Sunday, December 14, 2014

November 17: Another Week Full of Twists and Turns

We had a fun week this week.

One of our lessons fell through, so we stopped by a potentials. She came to the door, but only her head was visible. She explained that she didn't have any clothes on because they were all in the wash. So she closed the door and ran and put a towel on. We still proceeded to teach her a lesson. On her doorstep. While she only wore a towel. Haha.


The lovely Sister Reed had to get a wisdom tooth yanked from her head this past week. Thankfully, Uncle Alan did it free of charge for her (so amazing!). She wasn't put under or anything, so I was kind of disappointed because I wanted to film her being ridiculous. Instead, I should have been filmed. Because when we got home, her mouth was really sore and painful, so she went to go take a nap. Before she did that though, she joked about waking her up if there was a fire. We lol-ed. She went to bed. Not only 5 minutes later, as I was experimenting cooking a tostada in the oven, it slipped through the rack and caught on fire. I started panicking and dancing around. I turned off the oven and ran into the bedroom and yelled

"Oh my gosh! There is a fire. I'm serious. I just started a fire. Uh....I don't know what to do!" And then I ran back out to go examine whether or not the fire was growing or dying. 

She hopped out of bed and somehow put it out. I don't really remember exactly what she did, because I had run to the door and was swinging it open and closed to let the smoke out so the fire alarm didn't start.


We also had a neat experience after we taught a less active girl. I saw a "U-Haul" truck in a driveway catty corner to this girl's home. I had a thought to go help them. No one was in the truck. So we knocked on the door. Turns out, this cute young family just moved in from Arizona. Just had a baby. And are looking for a church to go to. We shared a scripture with the father. And we are going back tomorrow night! We have already assigned some different ward members in that neighborhood to go deliver them some cookies and welcome them to Vegas.


Ok. Now here is the funniest story of all! We had stake conference this past weekend. We went to the adult session that Saturday night. It was pretty neat, because Bishop Gary E. Stevenson, the presiding bishop of the Church was there to speak. Just some background infos-- so there are about 20 missionaries that serve in that stake. Sister Reed and I are the only sister missionaries there. Well President and Sister Ahlander were there as well, so before the session, we were chatting. They got called up and were invited to sit on the stand because they'd be speaking. Well while they were up there, I was making my typical silly faces at them. And then President signaled that he was going to have me go up there and speak. I mouthed "No way!" And I gave him the universal death signal-- you know, the one where it looks like you're cutting your neck with your hand while simulatenously making a wide-eyed face. He just smiled and mouthed "Yup." I rolled my eyes.

So President Ahlander gets up to speak. I'm nervously waiting for him to call me up. He doesn't.


HOWEVER, then Bishop Stevenson gets up. And he starts talking about missionary work. He tells the missionaries that we must have done something in the pre-earth life to be serving in that wonderful stake and have President and Sister Ahlander as our mission president and wife. (Agreed). He then talks about how many sister missionaries are in our mission--45. And then he asks for the sister missionaries to stand. And come up. (That's me and Sister Reed)

When the presiding bishop of the church invites you to come up to the stand, you obey. 

When we got to the stand, he put his arm around me and asked "Now, how long have you been out?"

I pause. And look out at the vast audience. "A LONG time."

Everyone laughs. 

He says "So that means you're going home soon? Let me have about a month left?"

I say "Yes."

Then then asks Sister Reed how long she has been out. She says "About the opposite."

Everyone laughs.

He then asks us where we are from. And what ward we are serving in--

I said "Aviary Park whoop whoop (while also throwing my hands in the air for "Raising-the-roof" effect) and the North Star YSA ward."

Then he invites Sister Reed to share her testimony and for me to give a talk on how missionaries and members can work together. (Now remember, that is my favorite topic.)

The first thing Sister Reed says is "Well, I have been compelled to bear my testimony...."

She then proceeded to give a beautiful testimony after that comedic relief. 

I sat on the stand and tried to quickly throw something together in my mind, while silently praying I'd be led by the spirit.

This is basically what I said--

"I'm so grateful for a great companion. You know, I'm supposed to be training her, but she is really training me. And you know, I'm actually speaking in the YSA ward tomorrow on this very subject and my notebook back there has my talk in it-- can I just go back there and grab it? Nah, I'm just kidding. You know I had a feeling I was going to be speaking. And the Spirit never lies."

Then I got silent. For about 10 seconds. I choked because in that moment the past 17 months of my life flashed before my eyes as I looked out at the hundreds of people. I saw the other 18 missionaries sitting in the audience. And I realized "I'm going to miss this." I also was thinking "Man, when will I ever get this chance again? I should probably say something really inspiring or important."

When I finally recomposed myself I said "Brothers and Sisters. The Lord is hastening His work. There are over 88,000 of us missionaries out around the world. But it's not enough. We NEED to work together!"

Then I touched on how they are the full time finders and part time teachers and the missionaries are the full time teachers and the part time finders.

Then I shared the story of giving 2 names as referrals to the missionaries before my mission and how I was a coward when they asked if they could use my name. But how the Lord had someone else prepared.  And then being on the opposite end of that and this time being the missionary asking for referrals. And I briefly related the Diaz's conversion experience. And how they are going to the temple right before I go home. (Sister Diaz texted me the other day and asked when I was going home, because they are planning their temple sealing so I can be there!!!!!)

At some point, I turned around and asked Bishop Stevenson, "How much time do I have?" People laughed and he just motioned for me to just go ahead. I actually wasn't really trying to be funny, but I realized I could just go on forever and ever and he never gave me a time limit.

Anyhew, then I finished up and bore my testimony. I know I was definitely led by the spirit, because I could feel it working through me and most of what I said were not my words at all.

When we went back down, Sister Reed turned to me and said "Who is that?"

And I said "Bishop Gary E. Stevenson. You know, only the presiding Bishop of the the whole church."

She said "Oh."

Funny stuff.

I got to get a picture with the bishop after the meeting with Sister Reed, on his cell. He gave me his email address and told me to shoot him an email and he'd send me the pic. I asked him if I was too bold (I felt a little bold up there), but he said that it was great and not too bold.

The response from the stake was amazing. I think in that sole instance, that experience has done more to build member trust than anything I've ever done on my mission. We had SO many people come up to us and thank us and tell us how impactful that was. And even the next day at the general stake conference, we had prob over 30 people come talk to us. One lady was even trying to set me up with her son who goes to BYU!!! Hahaha. Too funny. The stake had this beautiful arrangement of flowers that they cut up every year and then give the different boquets to people and they gave Sister Reed and I both our own boquet. It was so kind!!

Well I love yall! I love the Lord and His Church. 

Sister Andelin

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