Hey ya'll! Hello again from Iowa!!
It's getting colder--- you know what that means?!? SWEATERS AND CARDIGANS AND FALL AND PUMPKIN PIE
AND GENERAL CONFERENCE!!
AND MY 20th BIRTHDAY!!!!! (Oct. 6th;))---- I'm going to be 20. And General Conference is ON MY BIRTHDAY (again;)).. repeat. I'm going to be 20. WHAT?
Umm... a year ago... the announcement was made and before then, I NEVER expected I would be where I am today. In this little tiny town, preaching the gospel to everyone I meet. FAR FAR away from all my loved ones and people I care about beyond words can explain and I'm meeting people that I care JUST as much about out here because Heavenly Father has allowed me to see His love for all His children here in Red Oak. It's incredible.
Anyway, this week has been good! Highlight? I PET A WOLF.
There is a couple in our ward who are obessed with animals. They have a literal zoo IN their home. 2 BIG full-grown wolves that live in their home and just act like huge dogs. They used to have crocadiles and big pythons, but about 4 years ago they had a fire in their home and they lost a lot of their animals. But ya, I had a wolf come and sit on my lap. Beat that!
Okay, so as cool as that was, I guess it wasn't the HIGHLIGHT.
REAL HIGHLIGHT-- TEMPLE TRIP!!!!!!
On Thursday, our zone got to drive back into the city and do a session at the Winter Quarters Temple. Holy Hannah I have never loved the temple as much as I do now. In Utah in the real world, we're so blessed to be able to go whenever we want, but as missionaries when we have that restriction of only being able to go when our zone is told we can, it's crazy!! So it was an extra blessing because absense always makes the heart grow fonder.
This temple is gorgeous. It's filled with pioneer symbolism and so many pioneer paintings. After serving in the trail center, it was overwhelming the connection that I felt to the building. So many of my questions were answered and the peace and love that I felt sitting in that building is something I'll never be able to describe. It was so cool to be there with the abundance of missionaries too. It was like this super powerful source was pulling us all together in this work.
After the temple, we got to go over back to the trail center across the street. It felt so good to go back and see all the sisters and senior couples that I've missed this last week and a half since I've left serving at the trail center. I about cried when I saw Sister Brough! I love the missionaries here so so much. It was hard to leave again-- but we went out to eat at Applebees! (mom, hence the 'applebees' notification you're going to get on my card statement, because I know you stalk my purchases ;)) Thursday was just such an uplifted and re-encouraging day. I KNOW without a doubt in my mind that I am right where Heavenly Father needs me to be.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CARLY!!! I love you Sis! I hope you have an incredible day and a great birthday week! Make Jord take you out to a really nice dinner there in Georgia-- vacation on you're B-day! Lucky:) Family-- I love you. And I hope you realize how blessed we truly are. Never take each other for granted! You all are seriously my pride and joy and I miss you every day:) Good thing we'll be together for eternity;)
This has most definately been a humbling week for me. I have many areas to improve-- but in so doing, I am only able to improve because of the sacrifice that the Savior made for me. That He made for all of us. People, I KNOW HE LIVES. He has been with me on my mission every step of the way. And I'm not just saying that. I know without a doubt in my hear that He is my brother, that He is my Savior and that He loves me SO MUCH that he was WILLINGLY WANTING to sacrifice all that He had, so that I can improve and use His atonement every day that I live. And when we are keeping God's commandments and doing our best every day to LOOK for those ways that we can improve, that is the only time that we are worthy of the huge sacrifice that Christ made for us. We only deserve that sacrifice when we're doing all we can to improve. Ahhhh I love Him so much and through my mission, i've truly made it a goal to not only understand what He is and what He did-- but WHO He is and I want to KNOW Him.
He's real-- and don't ever forget that He is always there for you, too.
I love you all so much I can't even comprehend it. -- and know that God loves you infinityX that.. He's your Father-- Talk/pray to Him.
Have an incredible week. I'll talk to you soon. GET EXCITED FOR CONFERENCE!! (and my birthday:))
(picture is me and wolf) :)