I looked at all the pictures of Madi. She is so cute! The other sisters were looking at them too and they thought that she is pretty cute too, so it is not just because I am related. She has so much hair though! So cute. Baby baby baby. I can't wait to meet her.
Our recent convert, Holly, was baptized right before Christmas- just a couple of weeks ago. This last week was our stake temple night, and she was able to attend to do baptisms with two of our other recent converts, the Buetows, who were baptized in May. The three of them were planning on going together and Holly even loaned her car to the Buetows for the day to make everything run more smoothly. Everything was going perfectly until both of the Buetows got very sick. They were considering not going to the temple. They knew that this would leave Holly by herself on her first trip to the temple, so they decided to go anyways. It was a good experience for all and we hope to get them back to the temple within the next month. The next evening, we visited Holly and the Buetows came as our team up. Holly brought up a concern that she doesn't know if she has ever felt the spirit. It is a concern that we have addressed with her before, testifying over and over that she has and trying to help her identify those times, but we obviously have not been completely successful. But this lesson was very different. We were able to testify in harmony with the Buetows, and by the end of lesson, Holly said that she has felt the Spirit before; she just didn't recognize what it was. It was a really great lesson and we committed her to bring a question to church and to paying more attention to the spirit at church on Sunday so that she could get an answer to her question, but then she was sitting with us in sacrament meeting and cutting her fingernails during the sacrament. Hm. She got an answer though, so maybe she is just really good at focusing on more than one thing at once. I don't know.
The frustrating part of this week is just appointments keep falling through and sometimes feeling like I am doing the wrong things. There were days where we had appointments for every hour from 3 until 8, but everyone or almost every one cancelled. It’s frustrating because we spend so much time making sure that we have appointments and getting members to come with us to each of those appointments. I recognize that Heavenly Father can still make other good things happen, but I wish that things could just work out the way that we plan for them to.
Other than that, the Trail center has been very slow, which is nice for the new sisters because there is a lot less pressure on them to start taking tours, so they can kind of ease into it a little bit. Yesterday, not a single person came in during the 6 hours that we were here in the morning, although we did get some cleaning done. I am almost convinced that when I grow up and am a senior missionary, I will be called to do FM. (facilities management). Especially when it is slow like this, I am always finding something to clean. Yesterday, we finished cleaning up from the Gingerbread festival and cleaned the mats behind the front desk and took apart somethings in the gallery that were really dirty, cleaned them, and put them back together. I enjoy it :) A lot of sisters have been getting sick lately though. I guess the flu is running rampant through Omaha, so we are getting our fair share.
I have been thinking about a commitment that the Trail Center Leaders gave us this last week at training, to figure out what our unique role is in the Trail Center. In fact it is something that I have thought a lot about throughout my mission.
I know that taking tours is a very important part of what my role at the Trail Center is, but I feel like that goes without saying. Without question, that is the first and most important reason that any of us are here, but the question comes into play, "What is my purpose when I am not taking tours? What can I do to still be productive when I have completed all that I have been asked to do?"
I think that I first started wondering what my purpose was in the Trail Center when I was so often companions with Trail Center Leaders. For a while, I felt kind of useless because it always felt like my companions were involved in the important and exciting things at the Trail Center and for the most part, were not able to tell me what was going on. I will admit it has been hard to have so many companions that were Trail Center Leaders and to see the joy and fulfillment that they have received from their calling and then not have the opportunity to fill that same role. There have been moments of jealousy and others of sorrow, but eventually I got over it and realized that it’s really not the end of the world- I can still participate in meaningful ways without have the title.
Once I finally figured that out, I began to accomplish other things and be more mindful of other opportunities to serve, and started feeling more useful. Even if it was always being the first one to start cleaning the gallery in the evening or making sure that the gallery was stocked with copies of the Book of Mormon or writing love notes to the sisters or taking the initiative to be the first to sit up, I started to take more ownership of the Trail Center and felt like I was contributing in a meaningful way. This then evolved into other opportunities to help and participate.
I guess overall what I would say that my role at the Trail Center is coming up with ideas of how to improve the Trail Center in small ways, occasionally sharing my ideas with the Trail Center Leaders, and then going to work!
I can think of a lot of things that I have done that probably no one realized that I did, from developing the new miles reporting system to creating a file of the computer of Pioneer Stories to occasionally cleaning out the fridges in the TC kitchen. But, I am ok without getting recognition. I know what I was able to accomplish and I know that what I have done was meaningful.
PS. We are almost done with the Christmas puzzle!