Monday, June 1, 2015

Faith and Fireflies

This week has seriously been the craziest week! I feel like I say that every week as an STL but this one really takes the cake.
Plus, I found out that it's my last week as an STL.
so first off, I'm really sad about transfers. Sister Talbot and I were just praying and praying that I didn't get the call but it came anyway. It was so suspenseful. They sent out a text saying that if Elder Boren called you were staying but if Elder Stallings called you were getting transferred. So when the call finally came at 10:15 I answered and said, "Is this Elder Stallings?" Them there was this awful dramatic pause that I TOTALLY could have lived without and the answer " Yes, it is." 
Ooooh man I could have broken down and started crying. Instead I just said, "Oh hey Elder Stallings. I was actually wondering if I could talk to Elder Boren." Haha we all laughed outwardly but inside we were all crying. It was rough. Elder Stallings gave me a little pep talk and told me I was gonna be great and then he had to go make more transfer calls so we hung up and I just fell to the floor.... so sad.

Mostly because I had to pack.
Have I ever told yinz how much I HATE packing. 

But also because I love this area and this ward and all the people. I love the scenery and how the freshly cut grass always smells like glorious avocados and I love the goats that live by the pond by our parking lot and being 15 minutes away from Gettysburg, I definitely love that. I love my companion and going on exchanges every week and driving our brand new car around and I even love our tiny little apartment. I love everything.
And I know I'm going to love my new area and stuff. I just hate saying goodbye!!

But anyway. This week was so fun. 

Monday was Memorial Day so we had our ward picnic. Sister Talbot and I drove to Gettysburg to get hoodies from this little shop on the square cause I've wanted once ever since I got to this area. Then we picked the elders up and drove to the picnic. It was really great. Our investigator family came and there was great food. Then we went to get ice cream from Mr. G's which reminded me of the BYU creamery. Then we wrote emails at the church from our iPads which was weird. But anyway, after that we grabbed some dinner and then did laundry at the apartment. I just hope that my new area has its own washer and dryer. Paying $3 to do a load of laundry is so lame!

Tuesday we had PAL LUNCH. Which was the best. I love that. We had a little miracle, though. So usually pal lunch is very well attended but somehow this week nothing worked out and when we showed up there was only one other member there. So we were kind of panicking and we called the elders for backup. So they came to the rescue and I don't know what we would have done without them, cause halfway through serving lunch we ran out of food and so we had to find something else to cook really fast and then when lunch was almost over this guy came up to us crying and said he wanted to talk to the missionaries so Sister Talbot and I went out to talk to him but he said he wanted to talk to the boy missionaries and I don't know what we would have done if they hadn't been there. They were able to help him out, and it turns out that he's an inactive member who is struggling to get out of a bad situation and wanted to start coming back to church. The elders were able to talk to him, and convinced him to come to Book of Mormon class that night with us, and now we're teaching him and he even came to church on Sunday!! Miracle!!
When Pal lunch was over, a sweet member took us all out to lunch which was so nice of her. 
Then we had to do an online training course for out iPads which took us like 3 hours. By the time we were done, it was time for BOM class and then we had correlation and then we went home and packed for MLC! Crazy!

Wednesday was great. Our alarm didn't go off in the morning so we didn't wake up on time to get ready for MLC. We ended up having like 20 minutes to get packed and ready to go. Then we showed up at the Zone Leaders house and they weren't even ready! Haha the awkwardness... 
But anyway. We always have the best road trips. We ask these super deep questions and honestly I feel like Elder Stallings and Elder Boren are some of my best friends in the world. I'm going to miss our car rides.
MLC was great also. We all had lunch together in the gym and then we had our meeting. We talked about the iPads and the trainings we've received and some of the miracles happening throughout the mission. It's always a spiritual high for me, I get so pumped for missionary work at MLC. We talked about our purpose as missionaries and how we can be inspired by it. I love our purpose. I love inviting others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. It is our continual purpose all throughout life, wherever we are and whoever we are. I love it...
After our meeting, we had dinner at the mission home and then we all went on this great hike!! It we so gorgeous, I love Pennsylvania. I felt like I was exploring a rainforest or something haha. I was able to have a couple really great conversations with some awesome missionaries, a few that I had never really talked with before. And I also got to talk to Elder Crook who served in Lebanon ward and he updated me on how everyone is doing and it was so good to hear about everyone!
The sisters got to stay the night in the mission home. I love the other STL's. They are some of the best missionaries I've ever met. We talked and laughed and had a great time.
We woke up Thursday and all got ready to go. Sister Johnson made us a super yummy breakfast and I got to play the piano for a while. Hen the elders started showing up and we all started taking funny pictures with photo booth and air dropping them to each other and we were laughing so hard we could barely breathe. 
But as fun as that was, we had to get on the road because we needed to be home. The elders dropped us off in Chambersburg and headed to a meeting for one of the districts in our zone and we had lunch and then went home and planned for our baptism on Saturday. That evening we were able to go to the clinic and I got my very first INHALER!! Wahoo! The doctor said that allergy induced asthma is pretty common in PA apparently, so now I don't feel like such a loser! There's like such a high concentration of pollen in the air that it's ridiculous! But it's all better now. 

Friday was good. We had district meeting and the Zone Leaders were able to come as well. They trained our district on the things that we learned at MLC. It was a little bit funny because Sister Talbot and I already knew everything they were going to talk about, so we couldn't help but laugh sometimes. It was a good meeting. After the Zone Leaders had done their training, we had a testimony meeting since it was our last time meeting together, and the spirit was so strong. We were all crying. And then we sang "God be with you till we meet again." and started crying even more. 
Then we had lunch as a district and we all talked and laughed and signed each other's notebooks and wrote nice things and it was the best time. I have loved this district. 
That evening was awesome. We visited a member family and had an awesome spiritual experience with them and the elders. Afterward, we were heading home and the fireflies came out for the first time this Summer. It was incredible to see them, and such a blessing as well. I'm very grateful to be living in such a beautiful area of the world. 

Saturday was good and bad. It was bad because we helped one of my favorite families clean and pack their house so they can move out of the ward. I guess it's not that bad now that I'm getting transferred... but it was still really sad. We were over there for a couple of hours in the morning. Then we hung out at the church and filled up the font for Teresa's baptism. It was a great service. Lots of people came and supported and brought treats. We even made a cheesecake! Sister Mealey (the one we packed up) gave us her recipe and it's the most delicious thing I've ever eaten. Everyone was blown away by our baking skills! I will bake so many cheesecakes when I get home! I will auction them off and make millions!! :D wahahaha.
Then, of course, Saturday evening the transfer call came. And Sunday was really hard saying goodbye to people I have come to love. I am always amazed at the outpouring of love from the members and people whose lives you have touched. None of you will ever have any idea the difference you make in people's lives. So much love... 

Transfers are always really nerve-wracking. But I know that things are going to be okay. I found this quote during my personal study from the gospel principles manual.

"To have faith in Jesus Christ means to have such trust in Him that we obey whatever He commands. As we place our faith in Jesus Christ, becoming His obedient disciples, Heavenly Father will forgive our sins and prepare us to return to Him."

This just means so much to me. I know that this work is the Lord's work and that He leads and directs it. Sometimes it's a little bit frightening to step into something that's new and unfamiliar to us. But we know that with the Light of the World, we will never be led astray. I know that the Savior loves each of us and has a perfect plan for our lives. We just have to be willing to follow Him to find out for ourselves. 

Faith is the antidote for fear. So I'm going to move forward into my new area with faith. I encourage all of you who are experiencing change or fear in your lives to do the same. I know the Lord will guide and bless you!! 

Have a great week.

Hermana Bills