I'm going to come home and y'all aren't going to think you have the same girl. I didn't get switched in the hospital, I just happened to become a little more....southern. I've also determined that I'm going to have to carry around a can of Tony's when I get back because without it everything is so bland!
Not a ton happened this week....we performed 3 times instead of twice, helped the Elders move into their new apartment (man, it's nice. they have two bathrooms and a dishwasher!) and did an awful lot of service. The broadcast was fantastic. I am SO excited for General Conference this week. Its funny how things change on a mission--General conference is one of my favorite times of year now. think of it...every six months we have the chance to hear a living prophet give us counsel directly relevant to this day and age. This is what the Lord will want us to know and do for the next 6 months. I invite each of you to listen to it and prayerfully consider the counsel given. Especially the prophet, even if you can't or don't want to listen to anything else.
Some tentative plans are forming right now with the music craze. I'm not going to say too much because I don't know myself, but things are looking good :)
Oh! yeah, bluegrass. Here's a cool story:
Its been amazing to see how music brings people together. We have this friend, Henrietta, whose son-in-law, Glen, is the pastor of her church and who lives right next door. Sister Jones and I tracted into Henrietta back in November and have been friends since, but this Friday our visit was a little different: she invited us and the elders to come so we could meet her son-in-law and his family, who make up a bluegrass band. Now, I was already friends with the girls in the family (because Henrietta would record Sister Jones and I singing and show it to them on her phone) but this was unprecedented and a little bit intimidating. We got there, and Glen was a little bit skeptical--not hostile, but not particularly open, either. We started sort of trading songs back and forth and cracking jokes and the atmosphere got more and more friendly, until the point where they had us take their instruments and learn a little bluegrass ourselves (note: I can't play the banjo...yet). Then we just became friends, musicians, and Christians united in the common cause of bringing hope. It was easily one of the most fun nights I've ever had on my mission. I'm fairly certain the elders won't stop talking about it for another few weeks. In the end, even if we don't get to go back or anything (which I think we will), we all felt the Spirit. Music is such a powerful way to break down barriers in the South, and I'm so grateful I got put in the district I did so we could use it to our fullest. It's a simple, nonconfrontational way to teach about the savior and about the little things. Even at the hotel when I play, if the other three need time to talk to people, I can just pull out some of my more religious piano solos. Although I'm not actively testifying of the gospel, through music I have found I can bring the Spirit better than through the words that come out of my mouth. It's been a really good seed planter and finding technique.
but really. I might have become converted to bluegrass.