We're working on music now :) that's been most of the week. We hve a few songs and we're going to get a small program together to present if the manager wants us to show him what we intend to perform. I finally am getting the opportunity to learn the maple leaf rag! It reminds me of the barfights from Crazy For You though :)
Other than that, not much from down south. Everything came, thanks for the music and the gift cards, and tell Preston and Adam hello for me! And please be careful. I am really really really glad you're okay.
CONGRATS CODY!! Super proud of you :) I don't think any of us really had any doubts that you'd get the pilot slot, but still I am super proud :)
Okay. This week was crazy. I'm trying not to word vomit for a bit because I need to get some important stuff out first but I'm trying to prioritize. This may be a bit stream of consciousness.
I found out during interviews this weekend that I am staying in Vidalia one more transfer after this (so 9 more weeks total)...which means that I will have served almost half of my mission in my first area (My halfway mark is in the field, but transfers are the week before easter so it will almost be my 9 month reporting mark, which is the next week). It's kind of crazy. So I will be here through the middle of April.
We have a TON going for us this next transfer--Sister Hoskins is an opera singer (no, really. She's studying vocal performance at BYU and makes me want to hide my talents under a bushel) and so President Wall wants us to perform a few nights a week at the ritzy hotel in our area. Now we just have to get some prep in since it's been over 6 months since I've played anything but church music, and we will pray they'll let us. THEREFORE (yes I just used therefore in an email) this is my clarion call for music. I NEED MUSIC--sheet music. The stuff I was playing at home that would be performable. Not just church music--President has opened it up to anything uplifting. I have some stuff here I was able to get, but like the Jon Schmidt and the Les Mis, and anything at all (show tunes, especially) you can send me, SEND. We are hopefully doing this 3 times a week or more for the next transfer and so I need a fairly large repitoire. Not even just piano music--a cap SA tunes, SAB tunes (Elder V is gonna help out, he's a bass), s/piano music, lots of stuff. Not just classical or showtunes. If it's uplifting, I want it because then anything we don't choose I can just send back. That's really the big thing right now.
One of the big things that has been emphasized in the mission is the concept of urgency. This weekend we were down in Alexandria (the stake center is there and it's the zone center as well) for Zone Training, interviews, and Stake Conference. Even in stake conference, the urgency that Elder Bluth of the Seventy had was evident. Let me explain a little bit:
The Lord said in the early days of the Restoration that He would "Hasten [His] work in [His] time." It says in Daniel chapter 2 of the Old Testament that the Lord's work would move forward like the stone cut without hands. The Lord IS hastening the work of salvation, and there is now a sense of urgency that needs to go along with it. I don't know if I can convey this well to yall because you're not here, but I hope you can feel it in my words. It's not panic. panic is that swiftness with an undertone of fear. Urgency is the swiftness with an undertone of excitement. The day is finally here that the Lord has promised. We ARE moving forward. The work of salvation (which isn't just missionary work! It's finding, teaching ,baptizing, retaining, and rescuing, along with your own personal salvation and temple and family history work) is moving forward much faster than ever before. We have over 80,000 missionaries out. The Gilbert temple will make the 142 operating temple in the world, and there are an additional 30 temples planned, announced, or under construction. With the rootstech convention, now members will (eventually) have full access to the world's best family history databases in the world. the bar for personal worthiness has been set very high. The Lord expects a lot of us because He KNOWS we are ready! That's why we are here on the earth at this time! We have been saved for these days because our Heavenly Father knew we could handle what is put in front of us. So we are being urgent. I KNOW that this is the time the Lord has promised for us to move forward. I KNOW that this is His Gospel, His restored truth and the ONLY church on the earth that has His authority to act in His name. And I know that this is the only way to experience a fulness of joy--through keeping His commandments, having faith, repenting, being baptized by one holding the priesthood authority, recienving the Holy Ghost and continuing in the path. I have SEEN the difference the gospel makes in peoples lives! (I'm super fired up today, sorry for all the caps.) Seriously though. This is right. I know it is. I've tasted the fruit and there is nothing sweeter. That is why I am so honored to be a part of the work of salvation. That's why ALL of us need to be a part of the work of salvation. There are no boundaries in God's love for His children between those who don't know the gospel, those who have forgotten their covenants, those who are waiting to make their second covenants, and those who have not gotten a chance but are waiting on the other side. God is our LOVING Heavenly Father. He wants ALL of us to return home to Him, no matter what we've done or said or think we're not worthy. He's given us the way home. No one is too far.
Anyways. Good week. I know that was a bit of a pulpit pounding pep talk, but I am for some reason all full of emotionz today :)
Happy February! Happy John day!
Almost Literally Nothing to Report
I mean, seriously. It snowed about an inch and a half on Tuesday, meaning we were on lockdown Tuesday and Wednesday, had district meeting and did service unpacking for our bishop on Thursday, and Sister Hoskins got the flu so we've been inside ever since. Emailing is the first time I've been out of the house for a long time. I have been going stir crazy. Seriously. I never thought I'd miss church on my mission...but so I did. And so did the Elders because they were sick too.
This week we are in Alex all weekend for Zone training and interviews and stake conference, so we don't have a full week this week either. I'm just ansty to be outside the house!
Really, that's it. Yep. That's all for this week.
Sorry about the lack of letter last week--it was transfer week and things were crazy. I'm still in Vidalia, but it's probably my last transfer here, though President might let me stay one more because of some people we're working with and have been working with for six months now. Yep! Six months out though not six months in the field until next week. I've really grown to love this area and ward. Sometimes when Sister Hoskins references things that happened after I left, I realize that yes, the world actually exists outside of my little mission brain and that things like movies and music and etc. are still coming out. And then I realize I don't mind.
Elder Ryan did get transferred this time--he'd been here for nine months so we all knew he was going. The new elder is Elder Willis, from Heber AZ. He's been out a transfer longer than E Virgin, so he's got six months left and it's probable he'll finish out here (if you ever here me refer to missionaries dying or other missionaries killing other missionaries, I mean they hit their expiration date. I killed Sister Jones.). He's nice, likes sports, and it funny but pretty quiet as of right now. That will probably change, though (I hope). Haven't had the chance to hear him teach or anything, and I've known him for less than a week, but he seems to be a good Elder. He came from Algiers in the West Bank district (in the nola english zone).
Oh. They took the truck and gave it back to the denham springs zone leaders. We're driving a space car, a brand new ford fusion with less than 6000 miles on it. Aside from the actual driving portion, it's entirely voice command. Hopefully I don't get laryngitis. It's nice, but it's super low and I've never actually driven a compact before. I'm not a huge fan--I miss the truck. Oh well, we're not getting it back. Not much to report other than that this week--it was really slow and we didn't get a ton of work done. However.......
It's not just cold weather or yucky weather.
on Thursday and it stuck until Friday afternoon. It probably was a good half inch to a full inch, too. Which meant all the kiddos got a snow day on Friday :) It's supposed to snow again tomorrow, fairly severely (Okay, like 3-4" but that is super severe down here). And this is all over the mission, as in tomorrow is issued a "no car" day because of predicted road conditions. I guess being out in the cold is a great way to get in doors though!
Other than that, nothing to report from down here! Love yall a ton, and happy february!