Man oh, man! So much has happened since I last wrote. Hopefully, I will remember everything.
My last week in the MTC was pretty good. I really enjoyed conference, as I'm sure many of you did. I got to feel all warm and fuzzy the whole time. I feel like a lot was about loving people, missionary work, and repentance. At least that's what I got out of it. My favorite was when President Russell M. Nelson spoke, which is probably everyone's favorite. It was really funny when we were sitting there, as all of us missionaries were gathered in an auditorium watching, super quiet and reverent. When it was announced that the prophet was going to speak, the entire auditorium was filled with excited hushed voices. I thought it was pretty funny how anxious everyone was to hear him speak. Saturday night, while the elders went and listened to the priesthood session, us sisters had a devotional with Sister Dalton speaking. It was pretty cool. It was my 3rd or 4th time hearing her speak at a devotional, because she loves to do that sort of thing.
I got to perform at the departing devotional! I sang "I Know that My Redeemer Lives." It was a pretty good performance, if I do say so myself. Not flawless, but good nonetheless. There was a picture of Christ that came up when I was singing and I was just overwhelmed by the Spirit as I thought about what I was singing. My accompanist was phenomenal! I'm so grateful for him and he did an amazing job. I'm a little sad, although because he accidentally stole my sheet music. He forgot to give it back to me before I left the MTC. But it's okay.
I got really close with my district the last week while I was there, and it was sad times having to say goodbye to the elders. I don't know if I will ever see those guys again. I know they will all be great missionaries and be helpful to so many people. Thankfully, I'm in the same mission as the sisters, so I still get to see them. All of us traveled together to Arkansas and had a party at 3:00 am on Wednesday to leave the MTC.
Our travel wasn't super eventful, as it was just moving from bus to train, to train, to airport, to plane, to plane, to car. Super fun stuff. We were at the mission home for the evening, eating dinner and getting to know our mission president, his wife, and other missionaries. We learned the rules and some basic stuff. They aren't doing the full on training until after 6 weeks in the field. We sisters were sent over to a member's house to spend the night.
In the morning, we got ready, headed back over to the mission home, had breakfast, and found out who our companions were and what area we would be serving. I am in the Greenwood, Arkansas Area in the Fort Smith Stake in the South Zone with Sister Nelson, my companion and trainer! She is super great and we are getting along super well and we are both working hard. I was sad that I had to say goodbye to my old companion and the other sisters, but I'm sure I will see them again. I have zone conference this week and Sister Young is in the south zone with me, so we will see each other then.
So much has happened within the last couple days. Our area book was kind of a mess, so we had to figure that out. There were people marked as investigators when they hadn't been visited in months. We've visited all kinds of people. It's interesting here in Arkansas. It was a bit of a culture shock when I first got here, but I'm adjusting and learning to love it here. It's definitely not Utah here.
Thursday consisted mainly of visiting people who are interested. We visit them, share a scripture, and slowly progress towards having them take the discussions. We met with Loretta and Roy, who are a nice elderly couple. They talked with us for a long time and I got to know them. We are hoping to start discussions with them next week, but both Sister Nelson and I aren't sure how that is going to go. We also met with Jeannie and talked with her. She doesn't feel well all the time, so it's hard for her to go to church. But she is going to try and go on Easter! Happy days! We hope to start discussions with her as well.
I got to meet the ward mission leader and I love him so darn much! He is so funny! He's a convert of 5 years and has some interesting stories to tell us.
Friday was more service than anything else. Our mission is a half service mission, as that is a big focus during the week, so we do that. We went to the Senior Center and served lunch and I got to know the people there. After that was crocheting, which we make stuff for a prayer shawl community. We visited some people who we are trying to get to church, and that was pretty good. The amazing part of the day was when we were heading back for dinner. Sister Nelson got a text from Sister Bowman, a less active, about teaching her 2 daughters. We have been trying to get in touch with her family for awhile, but we lost their number! So we finally heard from them and Sister Bowman wants us to meet with them on Fridays! So we rushed over to their house and we met the family and the young girls, Kadie and Presley. They are 9 and 10. They told us that before, both wanted to be baptized! We haven't set a date, as they are also learning about the Baptist church but you can see it in their eyes that they like what we have taught them. I am so excited!
Saturday was an interesting day. It was raining a lot and we did a lot of tracking and tried contacting people. Sadly, we have not yet seen the fruits of our labors. But it is okay. We were still good missionaries doing our part.
Sunday I got to meet the ward members. Also, the Bowmans were there! It was a beautiful day! We also did some tracking (still nothing) and we visited Sister Chu, who is a less active. She was so sweet and cute. I love her so much.
Things are going so well and I feel like a successful missionary. As long as I am doing what I need to do, than God will take care of the rest. My testimony is growing so much and am praying for all of you.
Love you all!