Wednesday, January 18, 2012

keep looking up, He is looking down

Hey from Btown.
It is snowing.  Yes, you heard correctly.  It is snowing. Mrrrr.  Well, brrrrr. Last night tracting was waaaay cold.  Handwarmers save lives.  It is supposed to snow 14 inches by tonight.  Yikes!  Bremerton isn't set up for snow.  No plows, no salt.  No chance of getting up and down these steep hills.  So we'll see, we might be walking.  I know I know, how will life go on.
Well yesterday marked the start of transfer #6. Can you believe it?  I have been out 7.5 months.  All four of us "Manetties" are staying.  Me, Sis Welch, Elder Gowans (my DL) and Elder Christensen.  (For those of you that watched the show "Sing Off, " Elder Christensen's brother was in the group "Vocal Point."  I know, crazy!! So many famous kids in the WA-TAC).  I feel good about staying.  It is so much fun sharing this area with this group. Sister Holman and my MTC comp Sis Eichenmiller got called to open a sister area in Lacey, which is an all elder area, or a "Man-Zone."  There haven't been sisters there in 12 years!  Cool, eh?  Poor Sister F is finally getting relief and President is getting her a new comp.
Now, for a moment of silence.  Let's take a minute and mourn the loss of blue card.  I will not be allowed to drive a mission car for the next 6 weeks.  Because I was convicted (wrongfully) of my ticket from 2 transfers ago, the guy in charge of the cars is temporarily suspending my driving privileges.  Not cool.  Now I have to be co-pilot aka make a billion phone calls.  I get carsick way easy so it hasn't been fun.  I'll get it back at the end of the transfer.
Andrews family! Wow, thank you for the Christmas card and sweet gift!  That was so nice and thoughtful of you guys.  Sounded like you had a jam-packed holiday!  You guys are the best!
Our zone meetings have been really fun lately.  So if you are unfamiliar with zone meetings, they are unique to this mission.  Usually a mission has district meetings where you meet with your district which is usually like 6-10 people once a week.  And a zone conference once a transfer with several zones in your conference.  We have those, but we also have zone meetings where the entire zone gets together once a week to present our numbers for the week on a stewardship board and we have all sorts of trainings and things designed to help us improve.  This past week, zone meeting was super fun.  One of our zone leaders, Elder Alden (skull candy guy), was having his last zone meeting in Bremerton.  He had been in the zone for 9 months so he was going to be getting transferred out. We played a game of missionary clue.  We had different places in the church like the gym, RS room, nursery, kitchen, etc.  Tools (instead of weapons) like Preach My Gospel,, scriptures, etc. and Areas (instead of people) so like Manette, Orchard Heights, and all the other areas in the zone.  We had to figure out who was poaching in what room of the church using which missionary tool.  Poaching is just like it sounds.  Getting investigators or baptisms from an area that you do not belong.  So fun!  We each got to make accusations based off which cards we drew and then headed to different rooms in the church and had trainings in each room.  I was asked to give a training on ettiiquette in the kitchen.  HAHA so random but so fun.  They didn't tell me we were going to be playing Clue when they asked me to do it so I wasn't sure how it was going to all tie in.  I made a way fun game that pitted district against district in a series of multiple choice questions, looking through The Missionary Handbook, physical challenges, and questions they had to huddle up to discuss before they answered.  So fun.
I cut my hair!  It is a little below the shoulder.  There is a lady in the ward that is a hairstylist and I asked if she would cut my hair.  Not only did she do it and do a great job, she did it for free. So cool.
Last week we had some way sweet miracles!  Two super solid church tours that led to two new investigators and two new on-date to be baptized!! Both really young moms.  One is married with a 5 mo old baby and jerky husband and the other is an 18 yr old single mom with 2 kids.  They both really expressed a need for a stronger relationship with God in their life and they both accepted an invitation to be baptized.  Nisa, the married mom, said that she had actually been thinking about how to get baptized for the past several weeks but she didn't know how to go about it and got overwhelmed because she didn't even know where to start.  Then we knock on her door, invite her to come unto Christ by checking out the church, and then invite her to be baptized.  She thought it was perfect timing.  We did, too.
One day we were coming home for dinner and the neighbors below us looked like they were moving out.  One guy was trying to carry out a bunch of stuff.  It had been raining really hard and there seemed to be a brief let up in the rain.  We showed up just in the nick of time to help them load up a bunch of stuff.  The elders luckily live right across the parkinglot from us and saw us helping them and literally came running over to help.  A job that would have taken that man I'm sure hours and several trips, took us about 20 minutes if even.  Many helping hands, make for light work.  They were this black, southern baptist family.  So you know they were "Hallelujah-ing" and "Praise the Good Lord-ing" like no other.  "Oooh, child, here come them Mormons! We can make it to choir practice on time now!  Thank ya, Jesus!!" (Actual quote from the grandma). Haha so cool.
For this transfer's Seattle Saturday, excuse me, "Sowing" Saturday, we all went out to eat at IHOP.  It was one of the Elder's birthdays so I made him a tray of funfetti cupcakes.  Yum.  All of a sudden this elder that finished his mission and just went home a couple of transfers ago comes walking in to the restaurant with his family.  He came to surprise the Elder for his birthday while he was touring the mission with his family.  They are way loaded, his Dad owns a major publishing company.  He footed our entire bill.  When we asked for the checks and the waitress said some guy picked up everyone's tab we were sooo stoked.  Broke missionaries were way happy that day.
Whoever does the bulletin at church always puts a quote in from an Apostle or from Conference or something way inspiring.  I was having a crummy Sunday morning so I felt a little better when I read this quote in the program from Elder David A. Bednar:
"In many of the uncertainties and challenges we encounter in our lives, God requires us to do our best, to act and not be acted upon (2 Nephi 2:26) and trust in Him.  We may not see angels, or hear Heavenly voices, or receive overwhelming spiritual impressions.  We frequently may press forward hoping and praying--both without absolute assurance--that we are acting in accordance with God's will.  But as we honor our covenants and keep the commandments, as we strive ever more consistently to do good and to become better, we can walk with confidence that God will guide our steps.  And we can speak with the assurance that God will inspire our utterances.  This is in part of the scripture that declares, "Then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God." "
Hope this week was a good one for everyone.  It was another high/low one for me.  Lots more miracles to report.  I'll have to send them out to you guys individually when I get the time.  I hope that everyone is taking President Hinckley's counsel he gave not too long ago about "trying a little harder, to be a little better."  I try each day to be a little kinder, be a little more patient, love a little more, pray a little more sincerely, and trust a lot better.  One day at a time.  Keep looking up, He is looking down.
Sis Baylon

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