Okay so technically it was November last time I wrote you, but now, here in El Paso, it's feeling more like November. I actually wore tights for 2 days last week... and then it became warm again and now it's windy, but hey, I like having 70 to 80 degree days in November :)
So being on a mission has made me forgetful. I forgot my planner in the car, so I'm going to try really hard to remember what happened last week.
Wednesday was a shortish day on missionary standards because we worked until 3 and then drove AAAAALLLLL the way up to Albuquerque for missionary leadership council (or MLC). Wednesday night was spent in the mission home with President and Sister Miller and it was just AMAZING being with them :).
Thursday we were woken up atby Sister Miller telling us that it was time to get up! In that dazed half a wake state, we checked our clocks/phones and then went back to bed for 45 minutes because we didn't have to be up until . SO at we got up, exercised, got ready for the day, you know, like normal missionary mornings. It turns out the Millers had been in El Paso since the day light saving change and all the clocks in the house were off, which is why we were woken up early. We (the 6 sisters staying in the mission home) realized that it was early and went back to bed. The Millers did not and ended up being at the church for MLC an hour early because of that.
MLC was INCREDIBLE! It was a great change to receive personal revelation to help me, my investigators and other sister missionaries serving around me. One of the things talked about was service and how sometimes it's hard for missionaries to find service, or to fill "dead hours" during the day (usually it's from like 10-4 when people are in school or working, or just not outside). And so the church is introducing new programs called "Just Serve" to help members, nonmembers and missionaries serve more. Currently it's still in the growth process, and I believe the actual growth of the program depends on where you're living, but when it really gets going it will be AWESOME! If anyone has ideas on service, or know organizations that needs service you can report them on justserve.org. As more and more service opportunities are reported, then someone can also use the website to find ideas of service. Each stake is going to have a committee to find service activities for the missionaries and members to do together, but anyone can use the website to serve. The purpose of the website and the just serve initiative is to help create a sense of community and service between everybody.... different religions, different ethnicities, etc. It's to help people serve their neighbors, and to really learn to foster that Christ like charity. So I'm really excited to see it get going (and then participate more fully when I'm back home!)
Friday I went on my first exchanges as a sister training leader! I stayed with Sister Roedel in her area and we had a blast! She's an incredible missionary and I think she was called to serve in English and I was called to serve in Spanish, because if we were together, things would just be too wonderful :)
The rest of the week passed by with normal missionary work! We found a new investigator on Friday, and when we went on Saturday (and I got to meet her for the first time) we found out that she was actually baptized a very long time ago... so currently we're looking for her records.
Sunday night we had a family night planned with a couple people in the ward. An active family, a family returning to activity and a part member family. We were excited to share a message on service and how we can help others. Well, the FHE started and we waited and waited and one family showed up, and then a bunch of people we hadn't invited but whom the family hosting had invited and then finally, after we had started the part member family showed up. And it was a great time for everyone to learn about service and talk and get to know each other! We watched this video for the FHE... I know you've all seen it, but it never hurts to watch it again. https://www.lds.org/media-
library/video/2013-06-1031- ill-go-where-you-want-me-to- go?lang=eng
So life is awesome. The mission is awesome. And do you know what the awesomest thing right now is? It's being able to read the conference talks I missed because of the flu! So now that I actually have the Conference edition Ensign, I would like to strongly encourage everyone to read theirs and really study and ponder on the words of the living prophets and apostles. One of the greatest blessings of my life is having the living scriptures and to be able to turn to them for guidance. Live wasn't easy for the Israelites, so God gave them Moses and the 10 commandments, the Jews had all the prophets, thus (eventually) creating the Old Testament for guidance. The early Christian church (after the death of Jesus Christ) had the living apostles to teach them... and they had continual revelation and guidance (creating what we now know as the New Testament), so to me, it makes so much sense that we would continue to have more revelation and guidance. Because if life was crazy for the Israelites, and it was crazy for the early Christians, it's definitely more crazy now! I know that Jesus Christ is our older brother and he would never leave us lost and guideless. So take some time to really study and ponder the guidance we have received specifically for us in our day.