It was a really great week! We may or may not have had frozen yogurt for dinner on Tuesday, and Smoothie King for dinner on Wednesday, and Rita's Italian ice for dessert on Saturday... umm... yah it's been a "sweet week"!
Onto the important stuff... Tuesday we had a lesson set with Matilda. The ward mission leader, William, had moved his work schedule all over so he could come. Then she canceled on us. Welcome to the life of a missionary. Well we weren't going to have William have gone through all that for nothing! So we invited Thomas, who is less active, to come instead! He agreed to meet at the church and stay for institute, which is really big!!! It ended up being perfect! Thomas is going to Spain this Fall and was mentioning how he wanted to improve his Spanish. Well William happened to serve his mission in Paraguay! William testified in the gift of tongues and taught that his Spanish greatly improved when he prayed in Spanish. Praying in another language really makes you think about what you are saying. William taught Thomas how to say a basic prayer and Thomas said the closing prayer in Spanish. Also, Sam brought his girlfriend, Jenny!
Wednesday was Zone Conference! You should have seen me and my amazing Sister Hale when we saw each other! We gave each other the biggest hug! I miss my sister! But I know it was time for us to be split up, and when I saw her I didn't feel like we should be serving together now or anything it was just good to be with her again! We were able to sit together during Zone Conference! Speaking of, Zone Conference was amazing! There were three zones filling the chapel of the Mandarin building! It is like a spiritual Thanksgiving dinner! The meeting started at 9:00 am and went until 5:00 pm. We were all exhausted by the end, but incredibly uplifted! I had the amazing opportunity to play piano! We didn't have time for a closing hymn, but the opening hymn was Scripture Power. You have to imagine the spirit and enthusiasm in the chapel full of missionaries singing "Scripture Power," and raising fists in the air on the chorus! I was really grateful I was able to play the song! I learned it and used to play it on Sundays at home when I was in Young Womens. I snuck into the chapel before institute the day before to try playing it once and I sounded terrible! It's not really a hard song, but without practicing I was worried I wouldn't be able to play it, but I believe in Angels and in the gift of hands! Somehow my fingers knew just which keys to hit. Thank you Heavenly Father!
The Conference itself was amazing! We used a talk by Elder Tad R. Callister's talk, "The Consecrated Missionary." I definitely have some things to focus on working on! The mission had a huge banner made with our mission goal of 1,000 baptisms this year and each missionary prayerfully decided how many baptisms he or she would contribute. We each signed the banner with our name and how many baptism we would get by the end of the year.
After Zone Conference we had a lesson with Aileen at Chirag's house. Problem #1 We left our phone in our apartment in our rush to leave. Problem #2 when we Facebooked Chirag for his address he didn't give us his apartment number. Problem #3 When we got to the complex nothing looked familiar and we realized we didn't have the apartment number or wifi to message Chirag or Chirag's phone number. So we went to McDonald's parking lot. Problem #4 we knock on his apartment and it still doesn't look familiar... we were in the wrong complex. Problem #5 we ended up being 45 minutes late. Embarassing! But it was a really great lesson about the Plan of Salvation. It probably even helped Aileen get more comfortable talking to Chirag and hanging out a bit before our lesson!
At Zone Conference President Craig told us a funny story: A Sister says to President, "I wish I were rich."
President asks, "What would you do if you were rich?"The Sister says, "I would buy t-shirts and hand them out to all the men who walk around without shirts around here!"
Haha, welcome to Florida! I hadn't really thought about it lately, but it's going to be different next summer in Utah where guys actually wear shirts! It will definitely be a good sort of different though!
So Thursday we were going to see a man we tracted into last week, Elijah. This African American man on a skatebord (without a shirt on of course) goes zooming by. We laugh about how he probably was going the same place as us... yep he was! We were able to teach Elijah the Restoration and this other guy, Michael came in part way though to listen while he ate his pop tart. They both said they would read the Book of Mormon and come to church. Unfortunately William worked a super late shift and slept though church instead of picking them up... next week we'll get them there!
Friday we had a lesson with Matilda. She is from West Africa... I can't remember which country though. She said she will come to church next week when she won't be singing in her church choir. That night we attended Beth and Kendall Williams' daughter's wedding reception. It was absolutely gorgeous! Instead of a cake they had a cupcake tower that Brother Williams made. We got to help put lace around the cupcakes! There were vases with fish in them and flowers on each table... unfortunately they used tap water and the fish were all dying... poor fishies!
We learned quickly that holiday weekends are not good times to catch people at home, but we did get in some lesson on Saturday. Sam and Jenny invited us over for dinner and a first lesson. Both dinner and the lesson were great!
Sunday afternoon we were surprised to see Sam enter the church without Jenny. Apparently sometime between Saturday evening and Sunday morning they had a "falling out." I feel bad for them. Sometimes being a YSA isn't easy. We aren't sure if Jenny will still be interested in learning more or not if she's not dating Sam, but we are hopeful! At the very least though we were able to talk to Sam. He hasn't been attending church very much and he asked us to help him strengthen his testimony by sending him scriptures to study and such. We decided if all that comes out of this was helping Sam then that would be enough!
Aileen and Chirag came to church! Aileen really enjoyed it! After church we had dinner with the Caruso's. Two dinners two nights in a row? Unheard of in YSA!!! So it was a really good week!
I love all ya'll!!! Have a blessed week!
Sister Alyson Murray