What a great week it has been. CRAP, I've learned a ton. I love being a missionary. And Minnesota is so beautiful right now. The cottonwood trees all blow in the wind, and it's like snow in July. The cotton fluff gets caught in the light and it's honestly so stunning. Also, the critters are CRAWLING. We have so many large and poisonous spiders in the basement where we live. They're bizarrely beautiful, so I don't have the heart to kill them. I've been catching them under small glass bowls. This week I got brave and transported them all to a smaller, upturned goblet. We watch them fight. Like the Hunger Games. Some have handicaps from the move. But so did the kids in the Hunger Games. 'Specially Katniss. EMOTIONAL handicaps. She had to learn to looooove. I'm rooting for Earl. He's horrifying. But another spider, Henry, is also a contender. Something to keep an eye on, for certain. I almost tripped on their goblet the other night when I got up int the night to use the bathroom. Intriiiigue.
Things I want to tell you, because time is brief:
K is a miracle. I love him so much. On Monday, the elders came and taught with us. He was really, really weak and extremely embarrassed that a lot of what they taught about the priesthood was over his head. We simplified it and asked if he wanted a blessing of health and strength so that he could work towards keeping the Word of Wisdom, because we mentioned that he was in too much pain to do so. He said yes, and after I asked him how he felt. He smiled a little and said, "Good." I said, "Me too."
We stopped by Wednesday to reschedule our appointment and I felt like we were talking to a different person. He had perked up SO much. He had so much color, moved so much more quickly, and spoke in full sentences. And smiled SO much. I couldn't wait to teach him this Friday. When we taught on Friday, we saw that even since Monday, he's gained weight. He is happy and as we talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and I drew a map for him about our earthly journey, he was meticulous about understanding each step. When we talked about baptism, he kept grinning and asking, "When?" and "Who can do this for me?" ... Um. Can you die from loving someone too much... or?
Sunday we talked about the Sabbath Day and he asked to come to church next week. We recommitted him the to Word of Wisdom, and after the blessing, he was all about that. Seriously. He had felt strengthened by the priesthood and didn't want to rely on those substances. THE LORD IS SO COOL. Also, he kept making us laugh. He was so joyous and in so much less pain. The Lord is very good to His missionaries in letting us be apart of it.
Elder Holland was AWESOME. I shook his hand. Nbd. He said so many things I needed to hear, about using who we are to do missionary work, about missions being difficult so we can understand the Savior. AH. I loved it, but I'm so short on time today. I will send you a letter with Papa's Father's Day package. Anyway. He like beat the heck out of the pulpit and yelled and cried and I felt like I was in emotional shock after like SIGN ME UP FOR THE NEXT WAR. It was such a privilege.
I've been thinking a lot this week about the power of the Atonement, too. About how it can not only help us to overcome sin, but overcome insecurities and injustices, and help us to feel understood. One of Satan's greatest tools is to try and get us stuck in the middle, in feeling bad about what we did, or what someone did to us, or what happened to us. But God doesn't want that. He wants us to realize and reach back for Him. He is already reaching for us, every day, in so many ways. And so through that Atonement, we are able to overcome. We are enabled in weakness. We are divinely helped and understood. It's so important in our daily lives, and it's not just for big sins. Also, I love that the fruits of truly understanding the Atonement are charity, for ourselves as God sees us, and others, despite their faults or actions, as God sees THEM.
Ummmm, what else...? Saw the most beautiful sunset of my life this week. Forgot my camera AGAIN. I'll send pictures in the mail. And, on a really bad day, we tracted into TWO Chinese people, and Chinese was coming from NOWHERE. It was the weirdest thing I've ever experienced. Where was that when I lived in... oh, you know... China? Hhhhhawkward. So anyway, we are taking them Mandarin Books of Mormon, and it was a humorous little acknowledgement from God, like, I know you. I know where you are, and I know what you love. And I love YOU. Ah! One of our investigators dropped us, but I prayed and wrote her a letter thanking her for all her time and her testimony and she called and wants to meet! We truly can't do anything without charity. I love this gospel. The Lord is so good to us.
He does that all the time, in so many ways. Anyway. I'm out of time, but I love you all dearly. :) Life is good and missions are the beeeeeest.
I love you and I like you! Have a great week!
P.s. One month, whaaaaaaaaaat?