I'm so sorry that I haven't emailed in so long!!! Things have been crazy. But I feel sufficiently reprimanded by all of you and I'm repenting and I'll try to have a good email this week. But I'm apologizing in advance - it's going to be totally disjointed.
First of all, transfers are on Tuesday. I'm staying in Uncompahgre, but Sister V is being transferred! Sad day :( My little baby is leaving the nest and moving on to bigger and better things. Probably the city. I'll be follow-up training a new missionary, so it will be her second transfer. Whoever she is, she came out with Sister V, and we've been taking bets on who I'll get. Fun times.
A couple weeks ago I milked a goat! It was fabulous. And I got to cross it off my bucket list! We were doing service for a member, and basically everyone out here has a farm, so we went and helped on this family's farm. Mostly it was boring, like moving hay around and giving the animals water, but then I got to milk the goat!!!! She was so cute. I was nervous at first because I've never done that before, but I was totally a pro. I got it on the first try and the owner was super impressed. I filled up a whole quart jar nearly as fast as the member did! I guess I'm going to have to have a farm someday - I'm a natural :) I didn't drink any of the milk though....that grosses me out. Maybe a farm isn't the best idea.
A week and a half ago we had Zone Conference. Sister V and I sang a really cool mash-up of I Know That My Redeemer Lives and I Feel My Savior's Love and it went super well. People keep asking us to sing now. I also bore my testimony at the end, and I bawled the whole way through it! I've never cried over the pulpit before. It was brutal and I do not recommend it.
I learned a lot about repentance there, which was great because it's also something I've been studying and thinking about a lot lately and I feel like my knowledge of it was magnified at that meeting. I'm specifically working on the principle of daily repentance. Do you know how difficult it is to go through your whole day in prayer and repent of everything you've done wrong? It definitely doesn't allow for quick bedtime prayers, that's for sure. I'm starting to get calloused knees! It's so good though. I feel a lot more peace and strength and I can already see myself changing. And partaking of the sacrament each week is becoming a more meaningful and spiritual experience because I'm significantly more aware of my need for the Savior's Atonement and mercy. At church on Sunday one of the speakers said that when they are partaking of the sacrament they listen to all of the cups dropping into the trays and they picture each one as a drop of the Savior's blood in the Garden of Gethsemane. I thought that was a pretty powerful thought.
Repentance is real. It does change you. The Savior loves each of us and wants so badly for us to repent and to allow his Atonement to heal us. This morning I read 3 Nephi 9:13-14 which is the Savior speaking, and He says "Will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you? . . . If ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life. Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me." I challenge each of you to think of ways that you can turn more to the Savior and rely on Him this week. And I also challenge each of you to work on daily repentance - I can promise you that it is worth it.
Last Friday was Pioneer Day and the Delta Ward asked Sister V and me to come out to their picnic celebration to sing Come, Come Ye Saints. We showed up and they were all just mingling and eating and they told us we weren't going to sing for a long time. We sat down to wait, and we totally chose the best possible place to sit! Sister V was sitting right next to this couple where the husband is a member of the church but his wife is not. They both come to church every week though. And get this - the wife was a former Jehovah's Witness, just like Sister V!!!! They totally hit it off, and that woman's heart was softened SO MUCH. Miracles! Then I sat right across from this guy who I thought was just a member of the Delta Ward, but his friend who was standing behind him turned to me and pointed at him and said "This is B. He's an investigator. Sic him!" It was really funny. And of course I totally jumped on that and within 20 minutes we had set up a church tour for the next day and I basically told him that he was going to be baptized and he agreed. It was amazing.
So we saw B on Saturday at the church! Apparently when he lived in Delta years ago he took the discussions, and he became really close friends with our Ward Mission Leader. We brought the Ward Mission Leader out to the church tour and it was an incredible lesson. We showed him around the church and the Spirit was so strong, especially in the chapel. Then we went to the baptismal font and taught him about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as we sat in front of the font. He agreed to be baptized August 29th :) I'm SO EXCITED. He has hardly any religious background or knowledge, but he's soooo prepared to make changes and follow Christ. It's the best. He kept saying that all he wants is to be happy. Thankfully we totally know how to help make that happen!
We invited him to church, and he came! That's a huge miracle right there. He already knows so many of the members in both the Uncompahgre and Delta Wards, and they love him a ton. What's really cool is that he literally just moved back to Delta a few weeks ago and wasn't even sure why he did, it just "felt right." He said he keeps being drawn back to Delta and back to our church. I told him that was a sign from God. He agreed. We will be seeing him again tonight and I'm stoked.
I've been running more lately and it's been really fun. My goal is to be able to run 3 miles by the end of this week and I'm almost there! Have I ever mentioned how hard it is to breathe here? I'm like a mile high and my lungs do NOT like it. I figure if I can run 6 miles here by the time I go home, I could probably run a half marathon no problem when I'm back at sea level! We'll see.
I love you all so much. But more than that, I love my Savior and my Heavenly Father. I would not be here today without their infinite love and mercy and PATIENCE. They are so good to me.
I hope you all have a fabulous week. Please feed your missionaries and help them out :) It means a ton!