This first bit is my letter to President, because I thought it summed it up nicely.
Well....bit of a rough week. Heavenly Father really wanted to make sure we got our last lessons in on humility and patience before we switched to hope and charity. There's not a ton to report from the Prairieville side.
On the Vidalia side though, I had an incredible experience.
It was really cool this week though to see the end result of our efforts. I haven't had a ton of baptizing success on my mission--I know my purpose here is more of a planter and a nurturer than it is a harvester, and I'm okay with that. But I got the amazing experience escorting one of my dear friends I worked with extensively the 11 months I was in Vidalia through the temple. She has been through so much, and a lot of the time I was worried she wouldn't make it to the temple. But came, and she was there, beautifully dressed in white. She just glowed. When she got to the celestial room, we had some time. Everyone left except for us, and as we looked in the mirror I asked her if everything she had been through was worth it (mind you, she has had a harder year and a half since she was baptized than anyone I have ever known. She has literally had no break from the refiner's fire since the minute she stepped out of that font). She turned to me and said "yes. Everything I've been through was worth it just to stand in this room." So we cried and hugged and if that's the only reason I needed to come to Louisiana, so be it. It was worth everything I've been through on my mission as well just to see her there. I think sometimes I take what I have for granted. I forget how blessed I am to have the blessings of the temple. But sitting there with B was such an attitude adjustment for me and I am so incredibly grateful that she continued to allow me to be in her life. Even if I don't touch anyone else's lives, even if I don't teach another lesson my whole mission (which would stink), it would have been worth it just to see B in that celestial room. That's what it's all about, after all.
Without that high point this week, I don't think I would have made it. Everything sort of slipped through our fingers--investigators, less-active members, potentials....everything fell apart this week. All of our investigators dropped us in one fell swoop, including the one we had planned on committing to a date when we went over. The members are upset with the whole meal thing (President Hansen banned joint meal appointments, anything more than one companionship at a time. The members don't have enough money to feed us separately, and they don't want to play favorites, so they pretty much decided they wouldn't feed us at all). But it's okay, because this week is going to be good. We have a lot of finding to do, and we're back to square one with a lot of things, but I thinkwill carry me for a long time. I hope so, anyways! I'm working on gratitude and charity for the next little bit. I haven't quite mastered patience but I think I'm doing a little bit better.
It was also a really good experiencebecause, well, I got to see people :) The Eplings came down as well as Sister Ackley, and so I got to catch up with them and the ward. Sister Hoskins, Elder Castro (And their companions that I don't really know--Castro's training a greenie) and Elder Adkins and his companion were there as well. It was so good :) We went to a Chinese buffet after, and Sister Stephens ate octopus and oyster for the first time, and I ate a whole squid. It was rubbery but tasted a lot like crawfish, so it wasn't terrible.
Let's see. It's gonna be hot this week, so we're playing soccer again...I'm much better at soccer than volleyball, even while drenched in sweat. Sister Weidmann goes back to temple square, so I'm going to figure out how to get it so y'all can see her. Because she is amazing. And awesome and you will love her :)
THE Sister Steele (for the last time!)