Monday, 29 July 2013

this week deserves a novel...

Ok. Not really, but I wrote one anyway.
Let's talk about the weather right now. I would say 25% of my conversations with people begin with a comment about the weather. So here you go. Everyone told me how terrible Missouri summers would be. Here it is July 29th and it is 67 degrees and raining. Welcome to Missouri. I'm not complaining.
 
Joel got baptized! Yayyyy! Saturday was a great day. This whole week was great. We had two dinners at members homes with Joel. It was awesome to see how much fellowship within the ward helps. We have had a few members really take Joel under their wing to help him feel welcome and comfortable and free to ask them questions. It makes all the difference.

The baptism itself was awesome. I sang a duet with Sister Thurston, who used to be in this area and came up for the baptism. Too bad she was late and we didn't have time to practice because I was stressing big time. Turns out that we can wing it pretty well and it turned out great. There were even a few wet eyes... Kind of funny, when I was little and would sing in sacrament I used to love seeing how many older ladies I could make cry. Not nice, but funny to think about. I'm still working on staying humble apparently. Ok. Back to business. Joel was so happy after his baptism. I love seeing friends that I have helped teach directly after their baptism. It is the best. They are always glowing and so happy. It is neat to be able to see that change in people within a matter of minutes.
 
One of my jobs as sister leader is to prepare trainings for the sisters at the jail. This last week Sister Wilson and I prepared an awesome training. I have really been thinking a lot this past while about the sacredness of the Liberty Jail. It is such an amazing place. Literally when you walk in it feels different. It is peaceful, quiet, and calm. I believe that the site itself bears testimony of the restoration of the gospel because of the events that happened there. I had been thinking about that a lot. We often don't have a lot of time on these presentations, and we have such varied and large groups-- so essentially I have maybe 2-4 minutes at the end and a few minutes throughout to help strengthen the guests faith in Jesus Christ and the restored gospel. The training we prepared talked about how we as missionaries can create a holy place and carry that spirit with us as we bear testimony. It was a really amazing experience for me to prepare the training because I felt very inspired as to what to share and how we could help strengthen each of the sisters' testimonies.  So that paragraph was a long way of saying I'm really grateful that Heavenly Father answers prayers. I'm grateful for the chance to serve here and serve as sister leader so I can be taught and instructed by my Heavenly Father even more fully as I serve.
Sister Wilson and I
 
My dad sent me an article from LDS.org about my ancestor Anson Call. He lived near Far West during the 1830s... I live only 40 minutes from Far West! Anson and his family were driven from their homes by mobs just after Joseph was in the Liberty Jail. This is the history I teach every day and he was a part of it! It blew my mind a little bit to read about my great-great-great grandpa getting struck in the head with a barrel ring for trying to come and reclaim his property. Crazy town. Mobs back then were nuts.  Funny thing is, I have ancestors on my mom's side that were also in Missouri, but not mormon.  Some day it would be interesting to learn if some of the mob members were from my mom's side of the family. 

Let me just say how much I love this place. It is an honor to serve here. My testimony has grown so much. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet, called to restore Christ's church to the earth again today. I know it. I get to teach people about it daily and I love it. I also know that God is in the details of our lives. He loves us. He answers our prayers.

1 comment:

Shelby Schenk said...

I don't believe in coincidences. I served in the MIM mission and returned home 3 years ago, and I served at Liberty Jail 4 summers ago. The primary curriculum is church history right now, and a good friend of mine asked me to come spotlight her lesson about Liberty Jail today. Before going I was trying to quickly find a picture of the jail. I did a google search, and one of your pictures was the first to pop up (I just HAD to click on it to see if I happened to know anybody). Although I didn't, I couldn't help but wonder if we are related. After stalking your blog entries since you arrived at HLJ, we are...somewhere down the road! I, too, am an ancestor of Anson Call...my great grandma was adopted into the Call family when she was little. Long chain of events cut short, I feel so blessed to have stumbled upon your blog...and will probably find myself following it throughout your adventure in Liberty. My lesson has resurfaced all of those feelings and experiences I had while serving at the jail, and I just can't help myself. I will probably try and live vicariously through your miraculous miracles & tender experiences if that is ok! haha Thanks for sharing your thoughts and stories- you will influence far more people than you realize!

Shelby