Wednesday, April 10, 2013

10 April 2013

Hi Everyone!

Sorry for the long email again!  Last week with the change in emailing time, I tended to get a little carried away.  I think it might happen again, but thanks to everyone for emailing me back.

So, you probably may have heard about all the people that I ran into this weekend and who they were! It was so cool seeing all their familiar faces. SO COOL! But, funny thing, the only people I wasn't running into was my parents!  It was funny getting a text from my district leader on Thursday night telling me that she had met my parents and I was like, "What?" "They aren't meant to be here until Friday!" Then Friday came and I heard from some other sisters that they had met my parents that morning and I still hadn't seen them.  On my way to look for them I ran into Rochelle and Tim and they were trying to help me find them too but we just kept missing each other. I've gotta say, I love Sister Vaivai because she called me and let me know that she had seen them.  Because my companion weren't on the Square at the time, we ran out to find them and it wasn't long after, that we finallly ran into each other and had big hugs!   The visit wasn't long enough, but it was great to see the folks and comforting to know that I could now say to the other sisters that I had finally caught up with my parents.  We plan to get together again after Conference to take a tour, do a temple session and then have lunch or dinner. Yay!

Then the craziness of General Conference began on Friday too, so it was extremely busy on the Square and the Quorums of the Seventy were using our conference room in the basement of the SVC (South Visitors Centre) for meetings and my companion and I were downstairs in the study lounge when their meeting had finished and then you see all the members of the seventy start filing out of the room and past our kitchen and study room lead by Elder L. Tom Perry!  I jumped off the couch and stood there for a good 10 minutes shaking everyone's hands and it was such a neat experience and honor.  There were only about 12 of us sister missionaries who were in the right place at the right time. 

Friday night all the sisters were going crazy as usual due to our early mornings and long days but I felt a lot more prepared for this General Conference then I did for the last one, knowing what to expect.  The next day I got ready and was on the Square by 7:20 a.m. for a quick breakfast then out to meet the multitudes!  My companion did really well considering how busy it was,  but we did have to go on exchanges for a little while with the zone leaders because she was tiring and not doing to good and one of the zone leaders had pulled her Achilles the day before conference and was on crutches so I went on exchanges with Sister Mitchell (Lyle Wert's girlfriend from Texas). It was awesome and fun and it was really cool to see dad after the priesthood session too.  The session that we got to go to was on Saturday afternoon and it was amazing!!!  I was sitting on the far left of the conference center, third row from the front and it was really neat. The lady I sat next to said I had met her during the Christmas season - small world. I only wish I remembered what we had spoken about but it was still cool. One talk I really liked was about, "Catching the Wave!" Have you all caught the wave of missionary work that is flooding the world right now? It is so exciting and I'm glad I am a part of it. We left the Square at 9:30 p.m. totally exhausted and went to bed in preparation for the next day of conference mayhem. 

I woke up earlier then usual because we had a meeting at 7:00 a.m. (I know cruel) but it was to pump us up for day two of conference. My feet were still swollen from standing for so long the day before, but I'd put bandaids on my blisters and drew a smile (thank goodness for make up) and went back out to face the thousands of people and cameras.  My companion's health went downhill really fast that day so I went on exchanges again because she felt like she was going to pass out twice while sitting down. So, Sister Mitchell and I were together for the rest of the day. It was great fun and we had so many miracles happen. Once you are out talking to people you literally forget yourself in the work and the pain of sore feet or swollen feet or blisters or even tiredness leaves you and you focus on uplifting the members and asking them for referrals or people to teach. Missionary work is hard work, especially when everyone's trying to listen to the session being piped through onto the grounds.  We met a lot of nice people and we even met this one man who wasn't a member  that was taking photos and had little shorts on (clearly wasn't here for conference) but he was travelling the states with his friends and they were waiting for music and the spoken word to start so he was taking pictures before it started. We had a great conversation and I asked if I could call him and share with him more about the church and why we have prophets and he said sure! So I found a new investigator during the craze - tender mercies!  He is French Canadian so I'm brushing up on my francais!

Well,  the day passed quickly and I felt like I had not only talked to a lot of people but also to a lot of RM's that seemed a little lost after being home.  It was cool to remind them of what's important and to bear my testimony to them. I also met alot of pre missionaries too which was cool and I shared with them of how I felt that I could've better prepared ie. studied PMG more before coming out.  At 7:30 p.m. the Square was almost empty and we gathered in the Tabernacle for our, " High 5" meeting. The total number of referrals received this weekend was 3363 and our goal for baptisms before the next conference is 486. I don't remember if I told you how many baptisms we had this past 6 months but it was 437!  Such a miracle. The sisters here work so hard and are very obedient and we see so many miracles. The church is true!

Well, Monday morning we slept in (we were granted permission to do so) and later we took the senior couple missionaries from the MTC around the Square because they are going to be serving in various Visitors centers around the world.  I felt so sorry for them because I was feeling like a zombie with my sore feet and because of that I didn't want to smile anymore but it was good that my little companion was in good spirits and had rested so much during conference because she could be her bubbly self for the both of us. Then at 6:00 p.m. we had a big celebratory dinner which was taco bar and it was so delicious. We watched a short video where our mission president was playing different instruments and in the video it said that we had a special guest coming to perform. I don't know if you have ever heard of this piano guy before but the pianist, Jon Schimdt was our guest!!!!!!! President Gillette knows everyone so we ran to the NVC (North Visitors Centre) where he came and played some songs for us and answered any questions that we had.  It was a blast. It was so cool and he is sooooooo talented. Many of us listen to his music everyday so it was special seeing him in person.

Well, family I tried to keep it short but I don't think I did.  I am half way through my mission and it's insane. Never take the mission for granted because it just passes you by without you realizing it. I wonder what my next transfer will bring?  Have a great week! Read your scriptures and listen to the talks from General Conference.

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