Hope yours has been as wonderful as mine. Thanks so much for the pics--I'm trying really hard to get some to y'all. The camera and email are having difficulties. This week was crazy busy! But that is also the best thing as a missionary. We had the most lessons taught and investigators in a week since opening the area. Hard work, planning, hard work, prayer, hard work, and study, and hard work are the key to finding and teaching.
We finally got back in contact with Devin last night--he seemed to drop off the grid--but we are so glad it wasn't because he didn't want to be baptized (it was very unrelated reasons). So we are going back this Friday to teach him some more about the Gospel and the church. I'm excited.
Thursday we went on exchanges with our Sister Training Leaders (similar to Zone Leaders). It was SOO good. One of my favorite days since being here. Basically we switch companions for 24 hrs. We set a specific goal of what we want to focus and improve on, mine was to bear my testimony to every contact and Sis. McHaley's was to work on contact variation (how you approach them and introduces ourselves/the church). It was lots of work and fun.
This was Sis. McHaley's first time biking on her mission so it was a bit of an adventure. She loved it though :) Roofus was the first person we knocked into on exchanges. When his family has family reunions on the one side 150 show up and when they have them with his other side there's 1,500 people. If you thought ours was a lot to plan for... :D He was also a drummer for a Christian rock band and has survived multiple heart attacks, strokes, and ulcers. We talked about family (obviously), prophets, and commandments mainly. It was really good. And he said we could come back to talk some more!
I'll write about Sis. Bowman next week Frank and Patricia we found after an appointment fell through. He was taking his dog out for the night and we said hi, introduced ourselves and we went on from there. He has a friend who is teaching English classes and he said she needed help and asked if we could! Sadly, we had to pass it over to the other sister missionaries because that was in their area but it's still amazing the various opportunites that come from one contact. Frank and Pat have two daughters. Patricia is from Mexico and Frank is from Cuba. I told him that dad served a mission in Venezuala--they lived there for 10 years! And we found out that it was the elders who taught Pat English. What an amazing connection and example of missionaries' influence for years to come. He will be out of town for work so we're going back to answer/correct some questions and beliefs that Frank understands about us. Things such as "How did John the Baptist baptize Joseph Smith?" and "How could Moroni come back as a human after he had died?" BTW He thinks Moroni is a pretty cool guy (he's read at least parts of The Book of Mormon).
Shawn is the incredible miracle from two Saturdays ago. We've met with him 3 times. We found out he is part Hmong (there are a LOT of Hmong people out here! you can tell Sis. Tobler! Sis. Derrick's dad served a Hmong-speak mission in California). Anyhow, we taught him about the Word of Wisdom most recently and...he's already living it! His grandfather who was Hmong had liver damage/cancer of some kind and it's in the Hmong culture to drink a lot at celebrations. A week before he died he was at one of these celebrations and it landed him in the hospital. On his deathbed he told his sons and grandsons that "This ends with me. Drinking, smoking, alcohol. It ends with me." Since then Shawn has not touched anything of the kind. RS conference session was amazing! All about covenants!!! Makes me all the more excited to go to the Temple next week. Oh, we also have Leadership Training Conference this week and get to stay overnight at the Mission home. Quite the treat :) Love all y'alls! God bless y'all! Sister McNeece