Grandma Win, Grandma Bonnie, Patti: thank you for your letters this week! i absolutely loved them. thank you!!
the definition of tornado is: "a violent outburst, as of emotion or activity"
Wow what a week. haha. Probably the toughest week of my mission. But let me start off by saying that the Lord is so mindful of each of us. I am so thankful to be here, and I am so grateful to be a representative of Jesus Christ. I love it... even when there are tornadoes both physically and emotionally.
Let's start with the baseball game on tuesday! Ah it was so fun! we sang the best we ever had, and a man who was from the pacific coast league came over to us after and said that he hears renditions of the national anthem every night, and this was the best he has ever heard! it was awesome. We actually got asked to sing at a football game, the Omaha Beef (funny/fitting name, huh?) on Friday so we got to do that as well. It was so cool. When we walked into the Beef arena the spirit was instantly gone - i literally wanted to run out of there. But, we prayed to have the spirit with us and that our music would touch the hearts of those in attendance. Right as we began singing, the spirit was instantly brought into that arena. it was incredible.
So. You can start calling me Dr. Lauren because i have felt like a psychiatrist all week haha. I have learned so much this week. My companion has had a really rough week, which has made it hard on our companionship as you can imagine! please pray for her. She has had anxiety attacks that turn her into a completely different person, which has been really hard. But it is incredible to see how when we are able to completely trust in Heavenly Father, He can provide us with peace and comfort that cannot be obtained from anything else. I have also learned that the way to be happy is through forgetting yourself. I am so sorry for being so selfish. i am not perfect at being selfless now, but man have i realized how bad i was before. I am so grateful for the atonement and for the ability we have to change each and every day. this week has helped me see that when i am focusing on others, i am happy - and their concerns and problems can be comforted because of my willingness to be there for them. Remember my companion sister pettyjohn? please pray for her as well. She has had a really rough week and thankfully i have been around to help comfort her. she only opens up to me, which is a great responsibility but also a wonderful blessing. Everyone knows if sister Pettyjohn is having a hard day to call me ... haha. but i am so thankful to have her as now one of my best friends.
We had a woman come into the Kanesville Tabernacle (we are on shift there once a week) this past week, which was quite the experience. she came in extremely panicked, and almost insane, rambling about how there are two prophets and she is so confused and she has been reading anti material. she is a recent convert of about 3 months, and man have i never seen someone so crazy. but it was an incredible experience. i was able to talk with her and calm her down. the other missionaries there serving at the time all kind of backed away from her, but it was amazing for me to instantly feel of Heavenly Father's love for this daughter of His. He strengthened me like never before. all i kept thinking was, "what would Jesus do?" He loves His children, and he strengthened their faith. so that is what i tried to do, and it was amazing to see the spirit come back into her countenance. it was insane. but also really neat.
So. there was a tornado here on sunday night - i am so glad that you were all camping and probably had no idea. haha. it was INSANE! so we go to bed sunday night, and it was raining like always and it was thundering: nothing unusual. The trail center was crazy busy on sunday, and i had taken so many tours that i was absolutely EXHAUSTED. i crashed right when my head hit the pillow haha. But at 1:30 am the two sisters we live with came knocking at our bedroom door saying "sisters?? ... umm, there is a tornado? so we need to go. right now." how is that for a nice surprise?! i hadnt even heard the tornado warning/siren go off which is saying something because i am a pretty light sleeper! but thankfully we live with another companionship! so i threw on some shoes and a jacket, and we drove over to the trail center. they had given us 15 minutes to get there before we would have to just stay in our house and hope for the best haha! so we drove over there, and stayed there with all the other sisters until about 3:30. thankfully, the tornado didnt pass by us, but still it was quite the night! i am still so tired haha. President let us sleep in till 8:00 the next morning which was heavenly. Kind of crazy, huh?
ok. enough talk about how hard it is here. haha
I had an amazing tour this week. A family came in with two daughters, aged 15 and 10. they were moving to indiana from Salt Lake, and the 15 year old girl i could tell was extremely nervous and upset about the move. At first i didnt know if i should confront her about it, but the spirit prompted me to ask her how she felt about what was going on. It was amazing to see her open up. i had the opportunity to bear testimony to her about how aware Heavenly Father is of each of us, and how Jesus Christ has felt every single feeling that we feel. if we utilize the atonement, we can find peace and assurance. It was so cool to see her countenance change and help her not only feel ok about the move, but excited about the opportunities she will have in indiana. I talked to her about early morning seminary, and i know that she was able to feel of God's love for her. it was amazing. isnt it so cool that i get to talk to people like this all day??? i LOVE it.
We also have a new investigator named Danielle. She is GOLDEN. we taught her this week for the first time, and all she kept saying the whole time was how good she felt while we were there. She believes everything that we do, and is super excited to continue to learn more. I know that the Lord has blessed me with Danielle because of the craziness of this week. He always reaches out to us. isnt it amazing? i am so thankful to be a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I love my Heavenly father, and His son Jesus Christ. there is no way i could be here if i didnt have them.
i love you all. and guess what? the church is still true!