Wow what a week! We have started Steven's New Member Lessons! I love saying that, and his kids are starting to join us for the lessons! I love watching him teach his children the truths of the gospel because that is really how it is supposed to be. I can already see how his decision to be baptized is blessing his family in more ways than you could imagine. He actually had the opportunity to give a talk on the simplicity of sharing the gospel in church this Sunday! They waste no time, and he did so great!
We had exchanges this week with our Sister Training Leaders which was awesome. Exchanges is where we spend 24 hours in their area and are companions with one of them for the day, it's an opportunity for them to see how we are doing and for us to learn from someone new. I was paired with Sister Blaser who is so fun! We did a lot of walking that day (half of it in the rain) and Sister Blaser literally talks to EVERYONE. She will run across the street, chase people down, it's awesome. I hope someday I can be as bold and fearless as her. And today I did something I have never done before! Usually when we talk to people on their doorstep I have to be saved by Sister Hall and don't know what to say or when to say it. Well that day we were talking to this really cool guy on his door step and I just jumped right in and bore my testimony of the unique message of the Restored Gospel and how it has changed my life. The fact that those words came out of my mouth so freely surprised me and it felt so good! I am definitely seeing improvements everyday.
We had Zone Conference this week! That was an adventure. We were picked up by another companionship who had a GPS all ready to go with the address, things were going good. It was supposed to take us about an hour to get there, so when we pulled into the parking lot and it had only take 30 minutes Sister Hall was pretty confused. The fact that there were absolutely no cars in the parking lot was pretty weird too. We found out very quickly that they had looked up the wrong address. So we called and told someone that we would be about an hour and a half late to the zone conference. That was embarrassing and we had jokes made about it all day. It was pretty great. When we finally sat down and I got the chance to look around I saw something that made my day great again. It was Sister Hansen! I had no idea that she was in the other zone joining us and it was the greatest surprise ever. Zone Conference was really great. We were able to catch the end of Sister Daines' talk on keeping our sights on the temple. She reminded us that baptism is just the beginning and we should really be helping our investigators keep their sights on the temple and making those necessary covenants with our Heavenly Father. President Daines said something that really hit me,
"The only time you aren't good enough is when you aren't striving to improve."
Rick is so amazing! He has made a plan to resolve the things in his life keeping him from being baptized and has committed to a date next month! Sister Hall expected to be long gone before he ever got close to making decisions like that, but it is truly amazing what the Lord can do when we let him into our lives. So now both Rick and Keith are preparing to be baptized next month and we could not be more excited for them!
Not only did we have Zone Conference this week but we also had a Mission Wide Conference!!!!! And the part that is truly amazing is that we had the privilege of being addressed by an apostle! Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve apostles came to our mission and we all were able to take a picture (how we managed to get all of us in there still amazes me) and we each had the opportunity to shake his hand. It was an amazing day and an experience I will never forget. Elder Bennet from the Seventy spoke to us first. He reminded us that to find ourselves, the version of ourselves that God intended, we must lose ourselves. He said to do this we must 1. Have Faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement 2. Have hope which is manifest in our confidence and urgency 3. Pray to be filled with Love. When we do these things and learn to turn outwards we will find greater joy. Elder Stevenson spoke about many things, but I think it can all be broken down into three topics: Our call as missionaries, our purpose, and how we fulfill that purpose by inviting and helping people keep the commitments we give. Something that really resonated with me though was when he was talking about how much President and Sister Daines love us. He jokingly said that when they go home and someone asks Sister Daines how many children she has the answer will be 667, which is there biological children plus all the missionaries they will have had charge over during there time serving haha. I loved though that he said that great capacity to love comes from her understanding of the Savior. I know this to be completely true. The more we understand Christ's role in our life and the perfect love He has for us, the easier it is for us to love others. I have experienced this with our investigators and feel very blessed to experience even a portion of the great love our Heavenly Father has for all of His children.
Something completely crazy happened at that conference. Elder Stevenson needed a volunteer and he was walking up the isle of the chapel scanning the crowd saying "sister....sister....sister..." as he decided who to call on. We made eye contact and I had this overwhelming feeling he would call on me, but I was very relieved when he walked past our row. But as soon as that relief came over me he stopped, took a step back and said smiling, "Sister Lynch! How long have you been serving your mission?" I just stared at him, so shocked, and thank goodness my wonderful companion whispered the words "two weeks" in my ear because I'm not so sure I would have said anything haha. He was very excited by how new I was and told me to come up to the front. So of course I did. Sister Hall was beaming the whole time, she was just loving it. He stood very close to me and took me by the arm! We talked a little bit about how I am liking my mission so far. The whole time though I just kept thinking "Why is he standing so close to me?! He's a man and he's touching me, I don't know what to do!" (If you are unaware about our rules, we aren't supposed to have any physical contact other that a handshake with members of the opposite gender.) After those thoughts went through my head and he sort of shook my arm a little and said, "It's ok Sister Lynch, you can relax," (I just wish I could see how red my face was) I decided it was ok because he is an apostle of all people. After that thought all I could do was look at him and almost laugh a bit because oh my goodness I was standing right next to an apostle and he is having a conversation with me! It was an indescribable feeling. He had me lead the whole mission in reciting our purpose and then I was allowed to sit back down. Honestly, one of the coolest most surreal things that has ever happened to me.
It was amazing to be in the same room with, to meet and to hear the words of an apostle of the Lord. There was such a special spirit in that meeting house, I wished we didn't have to go. We all stood up as he left and after he had gone we stood there in silence for a very long time, no one wanting to disturb the peace we felt there. It is a day I will never forget.
I love you all and hope you have an amazing week! Just keep smiling!
|Sister Hansen and I|
|Chili Chocolate cook off and silent auction with 2 of Sister Murdocks Children|