Monday, September 28, 2015

Perfectly Happy

This week has been SO amazing! 

It was seriously one of the funnest weeks ever. Mostly just the weekend. Monday was funny cause we blew up a pumpkin with rubber bands. I love our district. The rubber bandits. 
Tuesday was fun but a little bit sad. Sister Canseco wasn't feeling good. Again. It's been such a hard transfer for her! She's been sick so much :( 
But honestly, Hermana Davis and I could not spend another day in that apartment not doing missionary work, so we called around to some of the sisters in the branch and found one who was willing to stay home with Sister Canseco. So the elders drove us to the sisters house, and Hermana Davis and I worked while Sister Canseco got some rest. 
We were out for about 5 hours, just walking around, talking to people, laughing, working hard. It felt so good. We saw a less active sister and she had read from 1 Nephi 1 all the way to Mosiah 15 IN ONE WEEK!! It was amazing!!! She said she has felt such an amazing power come into her life and her home. It was so crazy!
Then we met some awesome new people and taught them a lesson... ON A BUS! Guys, that has been my dream for the longest time! I've always wanted to do that! 
Unfortunately, they didn't speak any Spanish, so we sent them over to the elders in the Lancaster ward. 
Wednesday was another day inside. Sister Canseco was still sick, and we couldn't find anyone to take care of her, so we just stayed inside with her. We cleaned a little and studied the scriptures while she slept. We played some card games and just talked and pulled the hairs out of our heads one by one as we slowly and painfully died of boredom. 

The end. 

No, just kidding. We actually did manage to get out of the house. We had this dinner appointment, and we had already had to cancel on her last week because of something, and she was so worried that we were going to cancel on her again. So Sister Canseco put on a brave face and sat through the dinner appointment. 
When we got home she was laughing and talking and joking and playing card games with us and she seemed to be doing a lot better. We asked her if she was feeling well enough to maybe go out and try someone. She said she still felt really sick. I just hope she starts feeling better this week! It is the worst to be sick as a missionary, you could literally be puking your guts out and still feel guilty for not doing missionary work. 

Thursday was THE BEST EVER! We got to go do service for one of our favorite families in the world, we were stacking wood and like cleaning up leaves and twigs and logs from a tree he had felled and chopped. He drove us around in his tractor and we worked really hard raking and loading the wagon with twigs and leaves and rocks and stuff. It was the funnest thing ever. Sister Canseco stayed in the car and slept so she could get better. Then they took us all out for lunch afterward! So nice! 
Friday WAS AMAZING! We had zone conference in Harrisburg and it was seriously so inspirational. I always love going to zone conference, the spirit is so strong, and it always feels so amazing to be with so many other missionaries, it really just buoys you up! 
The funniest thing! President Johnson was ON one during the conference. He started off the conference with a #BLANDIS photo and he said "I know some of you may have heard some rumors, and I just want to clear them up. 
#BLANDIS is a no go!" 
I was so done with his attitude haha. No one else in the entire chapel even got it except for us and we felt so honored and special. 
Then, since we're the assistants to the assistants now (I hope you're all up to speed with that joke, otherwise this isn't going to make any sense), we were doing the lights at the conference, like whenever the lights needed to be turned on or off that was our duty. And we were totally doing an awesome job with it. And the conference was coming to a close, there were just a few more remarks, and President Johnson told us that we needed to be sitting up on the stand with the assistants and with him and Sister Johnson and we were laughing cause it was so funny and then he totally shouted out to us over the pulpit! Like President Johnson is a full on homie! He was thanking the people who did musical numbers and Sister Johnson for how wonderful she is and the assistants for all the hard work they do for the mission. And then, in our finest moment, President Johnson turns around, looks at us, smirks, turns back around and says to the missionaries, "And thank you to our fabulous AAs for the amazing light work." IT WAS THE SINGLE GREATEST MOMENT OF MY LIFE.
 Like we could not believe our ears! Six weeks ago this started as a joke with Elder Birrell and Elder Gates and now it's for real! Hahaha the mission president literally holla'd at us in his closing remarks! 
Pinch me. Am I dreaming!? 
It was the funnniest, best thing in the entire universe. 

We all took pictures and everything together after zone conference. Then we gathered up our posse and went out to dinner at Texas Roadhouse and had a roll eating competition. (Cause we're broke and can't afford anything else ;) haha #missionaryprobs) It was the funnest thing, there were 11 of us crammed around this tiny little table and it was the funniest night. 
Saturday was SO AWESOME because we got to get up and do service for this family in the branch that was moving to a new apartment. And their apartment is SUPER close to ours! So we're way happy! We moved them all morning, and then we had lunch with some of our recent converts, they took us out to lunch at Golden Corrall and it was the best time ever. 
Here's what happened. 
So Elder Gates and Elder Birrell are the AP's of the mission. They're super cool. Elder Gates served here in Lancaster just under a year ago, and he was the one who baptized Nydia and Luis (the ones who took us to lunch). So when we found out that the AP's were going to be coming to Lancaster for an exchange, we knew we had to surprise Nydia and Luis! So Hermana Davis and Elder Andrade and I set up the lunch appointment and we surprised them by having Elder Gates be there and it was the best, cutest thing in the ENTIRE universe!!! It was so special. 
After lunch, there was a baptism for the branch in york, so we all loaded up in the party van and headed over. We played the ABC game and it got so intense. I love being with other missionaries. 
The baptism was amazing. It was a brother and a sister, and the spirit was so strong. Joel said his testimony at the end and it was super powerful. I also got to sit by my little friend Sofia as I "played the piano" (thank heaven for whoever invented player pianos). 
After the baptism, we got some ice cream with the missionaries on the other side, and then we drove back home and street contacted some people before the women's broadcast. 
It was so fun, we had an ice cream social before and all the women from the stake were there, which is kind of amazing because I know a lot of them since I've stayed in the same corner of the mission my entire life ;) haha. So I got to see a lot of really cool people. Then we watched the broadcast with the branch sisters in Spanish!! It was so cool, but I will definitely be going back and watching it in English. It was sad though, because we didn't have dinner that night until like 10:15 and we were STARVING and it was right before fast Sunday so I was really sad!! Haha but we made chicken nuggets before bed really quick. #missionprobs

But Sunday was probably the best day of my whole life. I kind of know that it's going to be my last Sunday with the branch, since next Sunday is General Conference and so we won't be with anyone. What happened was that we had a combined branch Sunday, and the whole branch met together for the first time since it was organized. 
It was just the biggest blessing... for me to have been a part of the branch since the very first Sunday that it was organized, and then to be able to just SEE all of the branch all together like that... wow. That was powerful. It was definitely the biggest blessing. I couldn't help but cry. 
I got up and I shared my testimony. I just want to stay with these people forever. To help the branch grow. I would seriously just spend the rest of my life here with these people doing missionary work and trying to make this branch become a stake. It means everything to me. 

I've been thinking a lot lately on how we can tell if we're successful in the Lord's eyes. I know that all He asks us to do is our very best, and to follow His spirit and rely on Him as we do it. I know that I fall short constantly, but I'm so grateful that He loves me and helps me in spite of everything. He sees me for my potential - who I can become. I love Him for that. 
I'm so grateful for this gospel, and for the knowledge that I have that things don't have to be perfect all the time for me to be happy. 

And I'm perfectly happy with that. :) 


Hermana Bills