Monday, January 12, 2015

Snow in Florida

Meet Sister McCook!  No we did not plan to match

Service with Grandma Williams
Pete's costume
    Funny story: So this week everyone started freaking out because it started snowing downtown.  I saw a video on Facebook and it might have been snow... but it was the wimpiest flakes ever if it was!  Haha!  Yesterday it was raining this weird mist that totally would have turned into snow if it had been cold enough... but no go there.  And that's ok with me!  I like the warmth!
    Monday after Pday we were able to have dinner with Sister Fresh and Sister Giffen (sisters).  That's always a blast!  Then we had fhe at the church!  Not many people came, but we had a good time.
Tuesday morning our Elders went to Justin and Sheri Williams to pick up some rakes for service.  However they just drove around the block and went back to their home!  Brother Williams hurt his knee and we wanted to rake their yard for them.  We came with the Ft. Caroline sisters to help.  We called Grandma Williams to ask to borrow a rake and when we told her what we were doing she said she would help too!  I don't think I've ever done service with an 80 year old sister before!  And when she pulled out the leaf blower... man!  It was a memory to never be forgotten!  We had so much fun and ended up with 31 bags of leaves for the garbage men to pick up!  Grandma Williams had the sisters over for lunch and her special healthy smoothies after that.  Then we went to Thelma's and watched Joy to the World.  We gave it to her for Christmas and she wanted to save it to watch with us.
    We started our trade off with the Jax Beach sisters that day too!  I went to their area with Sister Pasko and Sister Aure came to Arlington with Sister McCook.  It was a great trade off!  We had a lot of fun serving together!  We also were able to have dinner with the stake President, President Spackman.  I think it was the most high class dinner I've had on my mission.  We ate on the balcony of their penthouse looking out over the dock.  It was pretty fun!
    We traded back companions Wednesday.  That evening we got a call from Pete asking us to let him into the church.  He said his friend, Mr. Bowers, had a nativity he wanted to donate to the church so he needed help carrying it in.  We got there and sure enough there was a beautiful nativity in a big plexi glass box that was about 4 feet long and 3 feet high.  We had no idea where we were going to put it.  Mr. Bowers is not a member and we have been doing service for him for some time.  he always wants to pay us but we won't accept it so he said this was his way to repay us.  We ended up putting the nativity on a table outside Bishop's office. Guess we'll see where it ends up getting stored!  Then if that wasn't strange enough Mr. Bowers got a phone call and said to Pete, "Grab your gun! Someone's breaking into the house!!!"  Ok, we shouldn't have been laughing, but it was just the most bizarre situation!  It was like a weird dream where you have no idea what's going on!  Carry a huge nativity into the church, then grab yer' gun!  Yah... it was funny!  And it all turned out all right!
    Thursday was FULL of meetings!  Which is great because I love meetings.  Weird, huh?  At 8:00 we had a meeting with the Zone Leaders and the District Leaders, Elder Purcell and Elder Young, to talk about how things were going in their districts.  Then at 9 Zone Meeting started.  I gave a training on the Book of Mormon.  We need to have personal revelatory experiences each day in the Book of Mormon so we can strengthen our testimony and then share that with others.  Especially with The Book of Mormon Broadway play coming to Jacksonville we'll need to be sure in our knowledge.  Oh, did I mention President and Sister Craig came to Zone Meeting?  It's always great to have them, but it sure seems like they show up whenever I'm giving a training or musical number or something!  Haha.  Well, right after the meeting Sister Craig had a meeting with the Sisters in our zone.  She asked us to give a 10 minute thought at the beginning.  We talked about the value of sisters and the gifts we have to offer as missionaries using President Uchtdorf's talk "Living the Gospel Joyful."  It turned out really good.  We didn't get to hear all of Sister Craig's talk because we had to run to a meeting with President Spackman and the other missionary leaders in our stake.
    That afternoon we received a media referral on our phone!  Oh happy day!  It was for a man named Antonio Floyd who wanted a Bible.  Well we ordered a Bible, but some other missionaries swiped it.. so we got one from the Elders.  We were able to go see Antonio that night!  He invited us right in where we met his sister, Nygia and her five children: Chris (12), DaShawna (10), David (8), Yatta (5), and Zion--no joke!--(4).  Antonio's mother was there too, but wasn't as involved. WOW this family is golden!!!  I am so excited to teach them more!  We taught the Restoration that night and set a baptism date for Antonio, Nygia, Chris, DaShawna, and David for FEBRUARY 14th!!!! Happiest Valentine’s day ever!
    Friday was pretty normal... weekly planning (one of my favorites!) and Ward Correlation.  We did have dinner with Pete that night at Luca's, and Italian restaurant.  When we got there Sister Weber was waiting out front for Pete then this giant football mascot walks out.  Of course, it was Pete.  So funny!
    Saturday we had some awesome finding time and we got some people to come play volleyball at the church for fellowshipping.
    Sunday was ward conference.  It was a great meeting!!!  Mr. Bowers came for sacrament meeting!  After the meeting we had ward Council with some of the stake leaders.  I've seen President Spackman more this week than I usually do in a month!  Right after that we went to dinner with the Dains family.  Then we took Bryson and Summer Dains to the Floyd's.  We were able to read the Book of Mormon with them and Nygia couldn't put it down!  After that lesson we picked up Veronica, a recent convert, and taught Karen the Word of Wisdom.  It went so well!  Her biggest struggle will be coffee.  Veronica's testimony added so much!  We know how hard it will be for Karen to give up coffee so an hour later that night we picked up some hot chocolate from our apartment and doorbell ditched it at Karen's.  She sent us a text that night thanking us and telling us she was going to be able to do it!
    I am so grateful for all of the miracles I am seeing in Arlington!  I know there are many more to come and I am excited for the work ahead!
I love all y'all!!
Sister Murray