This week has been great! My new companion is amazing. Her name is Sister Kaelei Corbridge and she is from West Valley City, Utah. We get along so well! We are already best friends. I am so excited to be able to serve with her. She is so sweet and yet so bold. Sister Colton is training Sister Standage in the Fort Wayne area (only 30 minutes away). She is covering part of our ward and the Columbia City ward. So it will be great!! I am actually over her a sister training leader. So we will talk weekly and go on exchanges. She will do great! And YES, I did see Sister Ashby at transfers :) I ran up to her and gave her a hug! But...I did forget to take a picture...sorry! But she is doing wonderful!
We were personal contacting the other day and we started to talk with this guy who was outside with his dog. We started a casual conversation, and then he had to start to walk away to chase down his dog. I didn't know how to make him come back, so we started to walk down the block some more. But Sister Corbridge said "No! I am not going to leave without talking about the gospel with him." So she yelled, "Hey, can I ask you a quick question?" And he came back over. We found out that he was Jewish, and he really wasn't too interested, but we at least planted a seed. I was so proud of her! She is amazing. I was too awkward to say anything more, but she was determined to share a message about Christ with him.
Our first lesson together was with Shelby (the part-member family). We had our lesson at the church and a member (Sister Bullock) was there with us. We taught her about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was a great lesson!! AND at the end, Shelby pretty much asked us how she could become a member. So basically she asked us if she could get baptized. What?!! [It reminded me of Jackie from the District.] It was so amazing!! Our member started to cry a little bit and I was so overcome with the spirit. We committed her to baptism and she said yes. We are going to give her a baptismal date this week. We are very excited! Now we just have to work to get her husband more on board.
Then we had a new investigator fall into our laps this week. We have been doing tracting and personal contacting and such trying to find new investigators. We find a lot of potentials, but no one will set up a return appointment with us. But on Friday we went to go and teach the daughter (Sherry) of our recent convert (Sister Townsend). Sherry's boyfriend showed up and sat in with the lesson. He was very interested and intrigued by our doctrine. He had all sorts of questions about the Plan of Salvation and the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. It was very cool. Sister Townsend said that they have been talking about it for the past couple of days still. It is amazing how Heavenly Father just places people into our hands. We have been working as hard as we can and been getting discouraged, but then Heavenly Father blessed us with a new investigator without any real effort on our part to find him. It was very cool. I love Heavenly Father.
So my new calling is going to be a little bit stressful. As a Sister Training Leader I will be going on lots of exchanges and making a lot of phone calls. Every night after nightly planning at 9:30-10:30pm I am pretty much on phone calls. We have conference calls every Monday, Thursday, and Sunday with all of the Zone Leaders, the Assistants, and President and Sister Porter. We announce how our zones are doing and then we announce our numbers over the phone to the whole mission....let's just say it is a little uncomfortable. It makes you feel awful when you don't have very high numbers and everyone else has really high numbers. I just have to tell myself that I have to do my best and it will all be okay. For leaders we are supposed to get 6 new investigators every week (so far our average is 3) and 85% of our lessons should be with a member present. Currently only around 30% are. This is going to be hard to say the least. I am definitely being stretched to my limits. Also, President Porter wants all of the missionaries to read the Book of Mormon by Thanksgiving and highlight every time it talks about the Godhead in red, Miracles in blue, and the story line in yellow. We are supposed to read 9 pages every day.....and we can't do it during our studies. We can only do it during our lunch or dinner breaks, our morning time when getting ready, and after getting ready for bed. But considering that I am always on calls after nightly planning until 10:25pm, I don't think I will have the evening. It is going to be a big sacrifice to find time. But I have felt a lot more peace as I have been doing it. I have been really really stressed the past few days, but as I have started to read the Book of Mormon every spare moment, my stress level is waaaay down! It is incredible how the Book of Mormon does that. I just love that book :) And it is beginning to look like a rainbow! I know it will bless me so much.
ALLLLSO! Sorry about the mix-up with baptisms. The Bowers are actually getting baptized this Saturday :) They had to change weeks because of Brother Bowers' work schedule. But they passed their interviews last saturday and are set to get baptized! We are so excited. They are excited too. But also very nervous, you can tell. I am so excited for this step in their family. They are looking towards the temple and are so excited to be able to get sealed. Bah! I just love this gospel. Forever families are the most important unit in all time. I am so grateful to be a part of this great work. It is simply amazing.
Linda is also doing great! She had us over for dinner at her house this last week. That is something that Sister George (her neighbor) thought would never happen. She thought that Linda would learn for a little bit and then kind of stop. But no! She asked Sister George if it was alright if we came to her house for dinner and a lesson. And it went great! We taught her about the Restoration and she understood it perfectly. She pretty much told us about how corrupt her old church was as she went back through the history. She realized herself that the authority must have been taken. Oh man..It was great. We gave her a Book of Mormon and she was really excited. She got a new head lamp by her bed and didn't have anything to read yet. But she said that now she was going to read the Book of Mormon in bed! :D She really was quite excited. :D :D But some sad news, her husband has lung cancer, and was given 2 months to live. Keep her in your prayers. She cancelled her lesson this week because of those health problems. Hopefully she will be able to pull through. I love her so much.
Kewish news: Saranna should be getting baptized on the 28th of this month! Horray! She has moved it because she didn't quite feel ready. But this time we told her that she needed to be dedicated to it. She agreed and we are going to be dropping sticky notes by every day now. We are very excited for her. Keep them in your prayers too :)
I am loving my mission! It is the hardest thing I have ever done, but it is also becoming the best thing I have ever done. This gospel is true. This is the only true church on the face of the earth with the fullness of the gospel. Our Savior loves us and watches over us. We are all children of God and must never forget that. He loves us.
I love you all!! Keep growing closer to our Father in Heaven. Pray daily. Read daily. and Thank Him every step of the way. The best is yet to come!!
With all my love,