Monday we just kind of hung out and got things done around the apartment that we needed to. It was nice. I got a 15 minute nap - it was great!
Tuesday was hilarious. There was this lady, Charlie, that we contacted last week. She has been to Kirtland a ton and was familiar with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. While we were talking to her we told her about the Utah Valley Children's Choir that was going to be performing at our building and she seemed like it was something she wanted to do. She gave us her address and so we stopped by on Tuesday. She came out of her house all in an uproar! She didn't realize that we are also called the "Mormons" and said there was no way she could ever be a Mormon. it was kind of funny to watch. We said that the reason we stopped by was to just see if she was still interested in coming to the concert that night. She calmed down a little bit but was still in a huff. She started talking about how she had this stuff that she had to get done and her son was at jury duty and she wouldn't have time to do anything. So we offered to help out. She said no because she couldn't pay us. But we told her we wouldn't accept it even if she did have money. So she softened a little bit and told we could come back when we changed into service clothes and help mow her lawn. So we came back and boy did she put us to work. She had us out there with a pair of scissors edging that lawn!!!!! She kept us working right up to the minute we had to leave. CRAZY LADY! But it was cool to see how offering to serve someone changes them and makes them more open to you. We're going to try and stop by again this week and see how things are going. We also stopped by a less active, Bro. Leathers. He owns a limo business so he was never able to go to church because he was always working on the weekends. but when we stopped by he told us that he had "received a revelation" and sold his business all in 2 days, sold all of his cars and everything. It was really crazy to hear that he had done it, never thought that was possible! So we stopped by to see if he and his nonmember mother who lives with him wanted to go to the children's choir concert that night. He said he really wanted to but it was going to be hard because he had to pick someone up at the airport at a certain time. He said he was going to try. So we went to the concert to save seats. The concert by the way was FANTASTIC! you should look them up on Youtube and hear them sing. WAY GOOD!!! Probably one of the highlights of my mission. So we get there and we're enjoying it and we don't see Bro. Leathers anywhere. We looked all around the chapel and we couldn't find him. So we get home and see that we have a text message from him saying that he was able to make it, but had to leave early and that he LOVED it! We were so happy! It was totally a miracle! It was awesome! We were really happy becuase that was the first time he's been in a church in YEARS! and the spirit was SUPER strong so it was just good all around!
Wednesday was interesting. I had my final interview with P. Vellinga. Let's just say it wasn't easy. We talked a lot about my plans after the mission, school, marriage, work. It was really funny, we talked about the STL arch for about 10 minutes. He's never been and wanted to know what it's like. cracked me up. another funny thing: He asked me if I knew the name of my husband. I told him no. He said, "really? you don't know yet?" and i was like, no. He said, "I do." and i was like what?!?!!?!!? you do? and he said, "yah, his name is honey!" hahaha! He totally got me, I thought he had received divine revelation about who I was supposed to marry. hahahahaha! I love P. Vellinga, he's so incredible. It was really good to get some guidance and counsel from him, he's so inspired. It was really hard though to hear him talk about my mission ending. It reminded me of Pres. Uchtdorf's talk about how we really struggle with endings because we are eternal beings who will never end. The good thing is my calling as a missionary never really ends. But somehow that doesn't seem to take away the sting of taking off my name tag.
Thursday we had Zone Training Meeting. That was really good! One of our zone leaders was my MTC district leader, so it's good to be around friends. There are a lot of elders in the zone that I am friends with so it was fun to get see them one last time. We won't be together as a zone again before I leave. We had some members that have already been in the ward move into our area. They are so so so fun! We love them, totally my new favorite people! The both graduated from BYUI and loved it too. It was fun to be around some fun people!
Friday we did some service for a member who is directing the community theatre. We painted her set pieces. It was fun! I love doing service! You can physically see the fruits of your labor, which in missionary work often isn't the case. So we were really busy with that and then we had dinner with the sweet Jambas. They want to meet you guys when you come out. So we might have to make a stop there. Grandma will love them!
Saturday we did a lot of yard work and more painting. we had some good lessons with some less actives too.
Sunday was a really good Sacrament meeting. The testimonies were great. In RS we had a lesson on the Temple. Made me SO SO SO homesick for the Temple. I can't wait to get to go soon!
Today we are going to Cleveland to West Side Market for the last time and then we are meeting up with some other missionaries in the area to play volley ball. shoudl be a lot of fun!
i've been thinking lately about how things mean differently to me since being out here. Like the Sacrament is something TOTALLY different to me now then it was before. I will never again go another Sunday without taking the Sacrament. Another thing that has changed for me is the significance of Kirtland. I never realized how critical Kirtland is for the Church today. Without the things in Kirtland we wouldn't have half of the D&C. We wouldn't know as many details about the Plan of Salvation as we do, we wouldn't have the Word of Wisdom, we wouldn't have had the Kirtland Temple and the amazing things that happened there. Christ has been here! He has visited the saints in Kirtland. the Spirit of Kirtland is alive and you can feel it. The day we as missionaries come to Ohio before we meet our trainers, P. Vellinga takes us to Kirtland to the room of the school of the prophets (where the WofW was received and where Christ appeared) and we kneel there and dedicate the next 18-24 months of our lives to the Lord. Then the day before we leave, the 23rd, we go back to that room, kneel again and give the Lord an accounting of the past 18-24 months of our lives. That room will forever be sacred to me for more than the reasons it's sacred to everyone else. Kirtland has forever changed my life. The Lord had a scourge prepared for the people of Kirtland, but a prophet has told us it has been lifted and now it is being built up again. That is why the missionaries of the Ohio Cleveland Mission are called here is to build up Kirtland, to build up the waste places of Zion and prepare a righteous people to meet the Lord. Zion is being redeemed. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY HERE! I'm so grateful for this time I've had to serve here and to just be immersed in the spirit all the time. I'm going to come home and convince as many people as I can to serve a mission. BEST EXPERIENCE EVER OF MY LIFE SO FAR!
I love and miss you all. See you soon