Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sister Melanie has a Happy Birthday

Dear Family,

Thanks so much for the birthday presents and cards and letters and everything. I loved them, but it was hard because it made me miss all of you. I would trade all my presents for being able to spend on day with all of you, but I guess I will just have to deal with what I have for now. I love you and miss every one of you so much.

This last week, we were finally able to meet with Ellie Farfan, a less-active who is not even on the ward roster, but who we found in a parking lot at an apartment building in our area. She is such I sweet lady. She is 25 years old and wants to come back to church for her three kids, who are 2, 7, and newborn. She and the two oldest children came to church on Sunday and seemed to have a really good time. She is so sweet, but is struggling with why her older brother died a couple of years ago. her husband is a non-member, so when she found out that we are only allowed to have dinners with members if there is an investigator present, she said "Well, then I guess I am one of the only people that can have you over for dinner until my husband gets baptized!" Ha ha. We haven't really talked about her husband investigating the church, but that sounds very positive. I am sure we will have a very good relationship with the family not matter what happens.

On Wednesday, I was having kind of a tough night, just having a hard time communicating with my companion. I was feeling a lot better by the next morning though and thought that everything would be fine. That night, we got a call from our zone leader, Elder Carrier. He said that we had been on his mind all day and was wondering why and what we needed. We had no idea what to say, but he committed us to think about it and he would call us back later that night. The only thing that either of us could think of was that we each had individually been thinking that I should ask for a blessing. Elder Carrier and his companion drove out to the Trail Center on Saturday morning and gave me a blessing. I feel like the purpose of this whole exchange was not just of me to get a blessing. I think that it had a lot more to do with me knowing how aware God is of each person. He knows what we need better than we know. When we are willing or humble enough to ask for the help that we need, he works through other people to get us that help. He will never give up on us. I know that he is doing the same thing in the lives of our investigators. He is working on them individually, but when they continue to refuse his help, he sends us to find them.

On Friday, we cleaned the Trail Center in the morning and then, as a special treat, we got permission from President Kunz to watch the movie, 17 Miracles. Wow. What a powerful movie. I am not sure if I was crying more because of the story or because of the people I know that are in it, Mary Jane and Steph and Gary Riemer if we are going to count him. Ha ha. It made me so happy to see those people I love. This movie has changed the way that I view the pioneers. They were truly amazing people. It really helped me to see the different types of pioneers. There were those that turned back. There were those that turned against leaders or against God. They learned through their trials and took it all one step at a time. Those that persevered and that humbled themselves and learned from their experiences were truly amazing people.

Yesterday was my birthday! Apart from missing my family, it was a pretty good day. I opened my presents in the morning after having to search the apartment to find them. (Our roommates moved out this weekend and left them in a closet so I wouldn't open them early). Then Sister Kusnerik made me cookies for breakfast. One of the recent converts, JJ Holoubeck, in our ward got married, and she invited us to the wedding. We went early and helped make all kinds of Halloween treats that they had for the reception. The wedding was small, just on the back deck with a handful of people there. It was really special to be there and it really helped me to understand how people feel a really strong connection to missionaries, even when they don't know them individually very well. I was so honored to be there and so happy that we went. It was also a lot of fun to help them cook. I really miss baking and cooking. It has been a long time since I have really had the supplies and space to be able to really cook. After the wedding, we went to the Olive Garden for lunch. Sister Kusnerik and I talked about what we want to do after our missions and having families and all that crazy stuff. Ha ha. We are so weird, but we have a lot of fun together most of the time. After that, we went to the Trail Center to do mormon.org chat for 6 hours, which is a very long time! But when we got there, we walked in the front door and a lady that I had give a short tour to a couple of days before was there taking another tour. I don't know how, but she knew it was my birthday somehow and started singing Happy Birthday, to which everyone else that was in the front entryway joined in and there was some good harmonies going on. It was almost like being with the Young Ambassadors! Ha ha. I was shocked. I am still not sure what to think about what happened. But, it happened.

Well, that's all for this week!

Love you!

Sister Melly

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