Monday, March 16, 2015

Bills and Talbot's Excellent Adventures: Part 1

(and many parts soon to follow)

So this week I got a fantastic new companion and we're going to be best friends forever because I love her. 

It all started with transfers. I dropped Sister Jones off in Carlisle and stayed the night with two fabulous sisters. We did some missionary work in a lil trio for the night, and then we ate ice cream to mourn the loss of our beloved companions as they drove to Pittsburgh to pick up their trainees. 
The next morning, we headed to the training meeting in Harrisburg! The good ole Harrisburg zone. It was like... pure torture being there. My old stomping grounds! and we actually ended up serving the day in Hershey while we waited for our companions to come from Pittsburgh, and that's like 15 minutes away from Lebanon and Hermana Landa and so that was actually REALLY rough. 

But whatever. 

Anyway, I got ahead of myself. 
It was good to see so many people that I know at the transfer meeting. Elders from my last districts. Sisters from zone stuff and missionary meetings. Missionaries are so fun to be around. I think the main reason they're so fun is like... we don't have youtube and facebook and netflix and all of those things that we normally use to "entertain" ourselves. And so everything that SHOULDN'T be funny, totally is. Like we laugh at the dumbest stuff. And if you're one of the "cool" missionaries that can quote movies and stuff and make people laugh, you basically win everything. 

So missionaries are fun. :) 

But yeah. We spent the day in Hershey (I was with Sister Hodson and Sister Anderson) and worked really hard and saw some really cool miracles! 

That night, I got Sister Talbot as my new companion. Like I already said, she's fantastic. We're going to have so much fun! I know it! 
The drive from Harrisburg to Carlisle to go get our car was a little crazeh. We had two missionaries that were getting transferred in and let me tell ya... sister missionaries do not pack light. But really, how are you supposed to fit your whole life in two suitcases? Not realistic! But anyway. We barely fit everything in, and I decided to be the martyr and hold this giant suitcase on top of me for the half hour drive and I was so claustrophobic and it was so funny! 

But everything has been good since that moment. The apartment was in disarray when Sister Talbot arrived, because the elders had just gotten doubled out and so we had some of their furniture and stuff in our apartment that they hadn't been able to get rid of. So we had the Clarksons come over and help us rearrange our house and now we have a treadmill that I've been using and maybe I'll lose some mission weight! #byebyefreshman15
But our beds are finally not in the living room and our apartment finally feels like a home and I LOVE IT! So we're still settling in and little by little we're deep cleaning the apartment and I just feel so springy. New companion, "new ward" (since now we're only serving in Hanover and not Gettysburg), "new apartment" NEW SEASON. Everything is starting to warm right up! It's so exciting! I've got spring fever! 

We're working really hard in our area, trying to figure out where our efforts can be best used. We went less active finding quite a bit and trying to sort through who has potential right now and who doesn't. It's good to have all of our focus on one ward. We were able to meet with the bishop yesterday as well. He just seemed so stressed out when we first came in. We just kept telling him, "give us some of the things that are on your plate." he came up with a list of things that we could do, and by the end he seemed so much more calm and excited to work. It was so cool. I love seeing that and being able to be the ones who can bear the burdens of others. Missions are legit! 

We've been working a lot of trying to find the less actives that have been prepared to come back to church. We're not focused so much on finding new investigators. The Bishop has asked that we focus on the work in the ward - specifically less actives and active members. So we're going to be having a member missionary class taught during Sunday school hour (I believe? One of our ward missionaries put in together). and we'll be setting up active member lessons as well as less active member lessons. We need to strengthen the ward before we start bringing new people into it! It's cool to have a focus and some direction. As we do what the bishop asks of us, and work hard to help him, I know that we will be blessed in many other areas of our work as well. 

I have been studying a lot lately about the power and authority of my calling as a missionary. That's something that I've struggled with my whole mission - feeling qualified to do the work. But this morning, as I was studying chapter one in preach my gospel, it finally just stuck. I'm ALREADY righteously exercising my power as a missionary in the simple ways that I do missionary work. Our authority is manifest in the smallest forms. Praying with and for our investigators. Receiving revelation about where to go and what to say. Being in the right place at the right time for the Lord to place someone in our path. These are little "commonplace" things that happen all of the time in missionary work. But they are manifestations of our power and authority as the Lord's representatives. 

That was so cool for me to learn and so important as well! I feel so much more qualified to do the Lord's work after having studied that this morning. 

I'm so excited about the next couple of transfers. Things are getting really good around here, folks. 
Stay tuned! :) 

Hermana Bills