Monday, March 17, 2014

You Know You're Tired When....

Leap of Faith
Mission Scripture, Motto, Vision. We say them each morning.

My first baptism of a gator I taught!  Jeremy was baptized March 16th.

Sister Zone Conference

Hale Murray in the Chappell

You know you're tired when... 

...three different people on three separate occasions straight out tell you  look tired.  Yah... it was a hard week.  Haha, we met with a less active girl named Territa.  We sat down on her couch and she said, "Ya'll look tired.  Especially you," as she pointed at, you guessed it, me!  This is a common conversation in our companionship:  Oh boy, let's get to bed early tonight!  Oh wait!  We hardly ever get into the apartment before 9:30 because we have a half hour drive home most nights (because we are blessed to have such a big area).  And then we plan until 10...  oh, ok we'll keep going to bed at 10:30!  Haha, but it was also a week with so many wonderful events!
I saw my first baptism of a gator I had taught this Sunday.  Jeremy is a very loving guy with a desire to follow Christ.  The other YSA Sisters started teaching him, but we helped him finish up.  It was a good baptism, with a nice Jeremy touch. :)  We sang "Ring out wild bells" and "Today while the Sun Shines."  It was a good reminder that we don't have to stick to traditional ways!  Funny side-note.  Jeremy asked the mission leader from one of the home wards to baptize him.  This mission leader and his wife are in the Law of Chastity pamphlet!!!!  How funny is that?!? Page 5 if you happen to find a missionary with one around. :)  They're great and they have the cutest kids!  We keep running into them at baptisms.
Going back in time... on Monday we had a Sister's P-day.  Most of the Sisters in the Mandarin Zone (my new Zone) and the Jax East Zone (my old zone) got together and went to the MOSH Museum. (Museum of Science and History)   It was the most amazing museum I have ever seen.  I literally could have spent an entire day there!!!  I would definitely recommend it, but if you ever visit Jacksonville keep in mind that you should check on places with people who know their area.  Apparently the museum is three blocks away from a part of town called "Murder Alley."  Moral of the story?  Park close to the museum, say prayers for safety, and have fun!  :)
On Tuesday we had another trade-off.  Sister McCleary came with me and Sister Hale to YSA.  It  is fun to be able to learn from other sisters.  On Wednesday we had interviews with President Craig, Sister Craig, and the Andrew couple (the medical missionaries).  It was a full day!  That evening I got to go with the Sister Training Coordinators to teach a new gator.  I keep forgetting that the Sister Leaders are a fairly new thing with the influx of sisters.  Here's how it works for ya'll older missionaries ;)  Sister Training Leaders is one companionship in each zone that do one trade-off with each sister companionship per transfer to see how we're doing.  They are examples and teachers for the zone.  THEN their leaders are the Sister Training Coordinators (the ones I went out with this night).  These sisters are sometimes compared to the AP's.  They do trade-offs with the Sister Training Leaders.  So... long story short they were on a trade-off that night so I got to teach a lesson with Sister Major (STC) and Sister Phelon (STL from Gainsville).  It went really well and it was amazing to see how well these sisters teach.  They asked me to give them tips for teaching in a trio since they had never served in one.  This gator's name is Nicholas.  He was a swimmer at one of the colleges around, but decided he was sick of the self-centered attitude and the partying taking place.  He is a very deep thinker and we had a great discussion.  His best friend is on a mission right now and we held the lesson in the home of his friend's parents.  The spirit was so strong being in a member's home.  I wish we could do that more often, but that's a struggle being in YSA.  Anyway it was a good lesson and he said he would, "Absolutely" be baptized if he finds what we taught is true after he prays.  We're so excited!  God truly prepares his children for the gospel!

Thursday we had dinner with our twin gators (Caitlin and Kristen) at a recent convert's house.  This sister  was just baptized on the 9th.  She made us a delicious dinner of baked ravioli and spaghetti squash.  Yummy!  And then she spoils us like no other!  She works for General Mills as a representative of some sort and she gets tons of free samples.. which she sends home with her favorite missionaries!  And the Elders get some too... Haha, just kidding ;)  She shared her conversion story and we had a wonderful lesson on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Caitlin and Kristen talked about how they feel the spirit and they both came to realize how the spirit speaks to them.  They have a baptismal date set for March 30th.  This week is spring break and they are home in Southern Florida.  We had a special companionship fast and have been praying that their family will be accepting of their choice to be baptized.  They come from a Catholic family.
One funny story from that night... I was sitting in the backseat when we pulled up and somehow the child lock got turned on.  My lovely companions ran out of the car to give the twins and a recent convert hugs and, to my dismay, I was locked in!   I had to knock on the window for them to come open the door.  We all had a good laugh about that one!

Saturday was a bit different.  Sister Chappell needed to get some rest due to some medical conditions so we called around and found three different members' homes for her to stay at through out the day so Sister Hale and I could continue to work.  One of the homes was that of Grandma Williams (Arlington ward).  We dropped Sister Chappell off just as our service project got canceled.  Since we were already in our service clothes we cleaned up Sister Williams's street gutters.  I've been told that everything in Florida bites (all of the sisters who have spent a summer here have pretty great scars from bug bites on their legs... I'm going to be using a lot of bug repellant!) and I am getting my first experiences of it!  There were these lovely little gnats all over.  In Utah that's no big deal.  You swat them away, maybe squish a few and they're just annoying.  Not the Floridian gnats!  Oh my goodness those things bite!  I have bites all over my arms and neck now thanks to those guys.  It's pretty remarkable that something so small can leave such a big mark.  It reminds me of the fiery darts of the adversary we're told to watch out for.  Satan tries to make things look harmless and innocent, but if you don't protect yourself you will pay for it later.
Well I hope ya'll have a great week (and hopefully don't look as tired as I must have!)
Sister Murray