Well holy cow, it feels like I have been in Bozeman forever, so much has happened this last week, but I have only been here for a little more than a week! So my mind was blown when I realized that. I am loving it here, it is really hard, but I also am so happy. Last week we had a good beginning to the week, it was a little slow, but we were able to meet a couple families that we began teaching and had contacted and made appointments with my first weekend here so that was really nice. They were some great families that have a spouse who isn't a member, as well as some families that haven't been to church in a while so it was nice to meet them. Last Tuesday two of the elders in my district here had a baptism for two girls they had been teaching, and B came to it which was awesome! She had said she wanted to see one before she got baptized and so it was perfect that there was one two days after she said that. She had a really good experience and then we were able to talk with her about baptism more fully and discuss what happens when someone is baptized, we think it really helped. Then one of the highlights of my week and my mission up to this point happened on Wednesday! President Mecham decided he felt like the entire mission (230 missionaries) needed to come to the temple in Billings, and so last Wednesday was my zone's, or area of missionaries, day to go!! We woke up, cleaned our apartment, and were about to leave to meet at Walmart where the van was picking us all up here in Bozeman to head out, when one of the sisters in our district called and said that she had sliced her finger while she was cutting food, and that it was really deep, so they were heading to the ER. We were worried and hoping she was ok and so Elder Brown and I told the missionaries driving the van, and decided we would go to the ER and wait for them and drive their car to Billings as soon as she was released. So we went to the hospital, waited for her, were in the room while she got the stiches, and then drove to Billings! We had to be in the temple by 12:15 and so we were so hoping and praying that we would be able to get there on time, all while obeying the speed limit! Haha so we actually made it!!!!!!!! I was so grateful and we were able to go in and have a wonderful time there. The temple president spoke to all of us and then we were able to go through and have a wonderful experience.. At the end of the session as I was sitting there before leaving, i was just pondering a couple things I had such a witness and reminder to me that our family is sealed and that no matter what happens, we will be together forever. It was so peaceful and I felt so loved and didn't want to leave the temple. But afterwards we went to dinner in Billings and then headed out. It was so uplifting and cool to be able to have one day to focus on the temple and feeling the Spirit.
On Thursday we had a good goal to focus more on finding people to teach, and I had been praying so hard that we could find more people, and then a random RM came to our apartment, found out we were in a certain area, and asked how this one person was doing, and told us we should contact her. She was nowhere in our area books or records, and so it was a miracle in that we never would have found her, then that night we asked the Ward MIssion Leader about her and he had been thinking about her, as had the Bishop and they are now working to have her meet with us. I felt so grateful for that, as well as how many referrals we have had these last couple days, it feels like Heavenly Father has blessed us with so many names of people. Some of them don;t want to be taught, but it has been cool contacting them and getting positive responses from so many.
Oh also when we were at the library we ran into an interesting fellow. Haha he asked our opinion on the Zionist movement in America and how they had kidnapped several people from our church... and how they were following him to Montana and all sorts of interesting things. It was nice being able to tie it back into how through all of his struggles he can receive help through our Savior, but he was little more interested in talking to us about unique conspiracy theories than hearing our message. Haha but it definitely was interesting. Oh and yesterday we ate dinner with a family in teh ward who were doing a murder mystery and so they all were dressed up very nice and pretty cool, but it was just a little awkward so we left before the murder mystery actually started to unfold. But it was very nice for them to do that and have us over as well! Oh and I ran last week!!!!! It felt so incredibly good, and it made me want to race, which I know would probably be disappointing right now but oh well!
On Friday we went and served during the afternoon at the Food Bank here in Bozeman with some of the other missionaries, it is something we do once a week and I loved it! We got to talk with and get to know slightly so many people, most who are in a really tough situation right now, so it was nice to be able to listen to them and help make their days a little better as we took their food and put it in boxes and helped them get it to their cars. Then on Saturday we had Stake Conference start, and a member of the Seventy was here this weekend for it, as well as President Mecham, and the temple President and his wife. It was so great to be lifted up by them so much, we were asked to go to a leadership meeting Saturday afternoon, then the adult session that night, and then the Sunday Morning session as well. I loved it so much, and it was great to here from these great men, especially form President Mecham, he is truly amazing! Having so many meetings and changes to our regular schedule made it hard for doing missionary work, but I felt truly blessed with so many opportunities that made it so we actually had a really productive week and got a lot of work done, Elder Brown said it was one of the most successful weeks he has had his entire mission. So that was exciting to hear!! Yesterday M came to church which we were happy about since it was her first time in like 10 years, and she really enjoyed stake conference. We are going to work with her and her husband on quitting smoking, so we are really praying for them to have the strength and desire to do so. We also taught B again after the session of conference on Sunday, and she is experiencing a lot of hardship in regard to pressure from a lot of different people in her life, a lot of whom are against her being baptized, and she is struggling that she still feels like she needs to know perfectly. We had such a great lesson with her and are now also going to be able to meet with her more often, so we will see if she is able to be baptized on the 7th still, I think she still can, but we might have to push it back depending on how that situation with her family goes. I really hope and pray that she can get baptized, it will be such a strength to her.
Mom, could you post my mission home address for people to write letters to? Also, I got your package and I loved it!!! Haha it was so awesome and I am still eating some of the things you sent me. It definitely helped make my day that day! Did you get my thank you note??
In regards to online proselyting, and sorry that I couldn't do it for everyone, but I asked that you forward it, Katy and Mom should check their messages folder on facebook, specifically the "other messages" folder... I think you might get a surprise.
I loved hearing about all of your weeks!! I am going to try to respond quickly to each of you but I don't have a ton of time, so sorry about that! Mom, good luck with the surgery, I thought it was this last week so you have definitly been in my prayers! Good luck with all of the craziness this week and CAMILLE IS ENGAGED AND GETTING MARRIED!?! Haha and I found out Madison is engaged too!!! And I can't believe Harrison is getting married as well so soon! Basically I feel very strange with all of that happening! Love you all!
Oh shoot I totally forgot!!!!! I am teaching a lesson tonight in Portuguese!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 The sisters here (one who is also going to Sao Paulo eventually) have a family in their ward from Sao Paulo and one of their friends in beginning to investigate the church, so the people invited us as well as the sisters over tonight to practice our portuguese, have brasilian food, and teach the first lesson in Portuguese! I am so incredibly excited and I am a little nervous since this is my first real lesson in portuguese! I have seriously been looking forward to this since last week when I found out it was happening! Love you!
****MOM note- I am removing the names of the people he teaches to protect their privacy!