Fun fact: Here's what happened a year ago :)
Once upon a time there were two little sister missionaries in a place called Vidalia, LA. Their ward was across the Mississippi river in a town called Natchez. Their mission president, President Wall was coming to speak at church that morning, and so they wanted to be there early to greet him. However, they were low on miles and also they had to take care of a member's dogs, so they set out on bike at 7:30 to cross the Mississippi and bike the 6 miles to the member's house, then to the church for sacrament meeting. That weekend had been the Natchez baloon races, so as they were biking the bridge they watched the hot air balloons fly over them and were so happy to be missionaries. They biked along, climbing each successive hill and coasting to the bottom, until the last hill before they got to the member's house. Sister Steele pedaled as hard as she could to the top, and stood to wait for Sister Jones, slightly confused because Sister Jones always was in front. She looks down the bottom of the hill and Sister Jones is panting, walking up the hill with her bike next to her. She gets up top, and out of breath, she says, "Sister....I got a flat." 3 miles from the church. We walk to the members house, take care of the dogs, and try and figure out what to do. We call the Elders--they bust up laughing and they don't have any way to help us. So we call President and he tells us to lock our bikes somewhere and they will come pick us up. The Elders call back and say a member had just pulled up with their truck and they were on their way to come get us. All while laughing far too much :) President spoke in church and made it a point to mention we got a flat to the entire ward...that was definitely a memorable day!
This week on the mission was so so crazy in the best way possible. It's hard to believe it was only a week though! I don't know how much of it will make sense, but I will do my best.
So this Monday, we got put on lockdown because there were tornado warnings across the state. Typically on lockdown that's a great time to catch up in your journal, maybe go to bed early......but not when you live with 3 of your best friends. We were laughing hysterically and having the best time I have ever had on lockdown. We didn't get anything done, haha :) But Monday for pday we played dodgeball and played in the rain. We had a blast :)
Tuesday Elder Jenson left for Brazil. We were instructing for zone conference, so we spent the whole day applying for college and working on our instruction. Elder Larkin came back with Elder Hacking, who goes home at the end of this transfer so it's pretty likely Elder Larkin will get double transferred out and we'll get a new set of elders. We had a relief Society activity and I re-learned that bread pudding is a gift from the gods, especially if it's pumpkin spice bread pudding. That's the only thing I really like about it getting cooler--the pumpkin stuff is starting to come out.
Wednesday we actually got to work! It was a miracle. We saw a recent convert and her cute 2year old daughter, and our investigator came to Young Women's and LOVED it! She said she felt so good when she came into the church. She was going to come to church on Sunday but then had to watch her sister's kids instead but she is coming to young women's from here on out! We finished up planning (I have planned more this transfer than I have my entire LIFE) and got ready for zone conference.
Thursday was the big day--zone conference is where it's not just the missionaries, it's the assistants, office elders, and President and Sister Hansen as well. We were instructing on building others up, and so we collected compliments about each member of the zone and made a paper chain talking about unity and how each one of us has a unique role in the mission. It went super super well--I know the Spirit was totally guiding is. It was nice to see the good in people and as we read out each person's strengths, their faces brightened and I knew we had been led by the Spirit to say what they needed to hear. Everyone came up to us after and told us how good of an instruction it was, so hopefully that's some evidence Sis M and I can stay together next transfer! We did exchanges with a set of Sisters after zone conference and that stayed until Friday.
Friday was really fun too! it was my first exchange staying in the area--the last two I had gone to the other sisters' areas because I don't know anyone yet, haha :) But we had dinner at a recent convert's, and she HANDMADE all her food. she hand breaded and fried her chicken. She made her own bread. It was so delicious. She is such a sweetheart. I got to drive up to McComb, MS (I finally made it back to Mississippi!!) and then sis M and I had such a good drive back. She has become one of my closest friends, I LOVE her as a companion and can't wait to party it up at school :)(
Saturday was probably one of the best days on my mission. Sis Stephens was back visiting, and we had to go get our car inspected in Baton Rouge, so we went to the temple and she was there and so were a bunch of our mission friends. If the celestial kingdom is a giant reunion, this was a small taste of that. I was so so happy to be there. Then we went out to lunch with some other missionaries, and then we went to get dessert with the Putnams!! It was so fun :) We came back up to Albany and even had time to see 3 people, before we went for second dessert with a family in Hammond Ward who still loves us and also Liza was there too.
Sunday was great too :) sacrament meeting was excellent, and we were able to work hard and see a lot of people. I love being a missionary. I love it so so much. This really has been the happiest time of my life because I am serving God with all my heart, might mind and strength. I know my heart has been enlarged since I've been out, both for the people out here and the people (y'all) back home! I just feel so much more love than I did before. I know that's one way I feel the Spirit--feeling love for the people around me. It just makes me so happy.
I hope y'all have a fantastic week. I love you so much and I am excited to hear from y'all next week!!
Sister Steele :)