I'm not going to lie, I suppose I had a pessimistic attitude about full proselyting-- without even realizing it. I've always been a "hope for the best but plan for the worst" kind of person. I figured I would be out here virtually alone, with a companion that I got along with just ok, but didn't have a ton of fun with, and that we would be tracting in the freezing cold all day long. I just thought after having such a perfect and blessed mission that I would need a lot of growing and stretching and hard experiences. Funny, I know. I need more faith apparently because that is NOT what I received. I have had two great companions and this area is amazing. We do tract and street contact a lot but we have been blessed with lots of opportunities to share the gospel here. People in Clinton are kind and so diverse. We have been blessed to find lots of people to share the gospel with and a few of them have even begun to progress this week! Yay! I feel like everyday we go out and Heavenly Father just leads us to people that are open. We have found a new investigator almost everyday, most days we find more than one. Conversations sometimes go like this:
"Oh have you ever heard of the Book of Mormon?"
"Yeah. I read it with my Bible."
"What do you think about it?"
Oh I like it... I agree with it."
"Can we come back and tell you where it came from?"
What?! Ok. I feel so blessed everyday because we have seen so many miracles. The best part is finding and talking to strangers has turned into something that I love, instead of something that gives me straight up anxiety. That is a huge miracle and a huge blessing. I feel as though my testimony and desire to share it have grown so much since I have been here because I am sharing it so much. Plus, there is an unending amount of work to do here. We have about 12 little towns in our area alone. Many of which haven't seen missionaries in months, and have never ever seen sisters. I think the hardest part is just organizing ourselves and finding time to keep up with everything.
I started training Round 2 this week. Sister Penman arrived on Tuesday and she is THE BEST! I love her so much. I feel like we have been companions forever, but that is probably because the full proselyting days can feel like weeks. She is from Henderson, Nevada and is 19 years old. She is awesome and so outgoing and it is so fun to be with her. We laugh a lot. I told her, her job is to "normalize" me before I go home. I don't know if that it will work-- or that I want it to be normalized. I love being a missionary. I can't even say how grateful I am that Heavenly Father gave me a perfect companion for the last two transfers of my mission. Is that even fair to have this much fun? It is. We have the perfect conversation starter because it is so strange that we are both from the west coast. I have learned that most people in Clinton prefer Nevada over California. Rude.
We sent Sister Boswell off at Thanksgiving dinner. We were able to have it with her family, and a family that they were having it with. She has such an awesome family. She is the oldest of 10 kids, so it was fun to have all those kids running around. She was such an amazing companion. I wish I was even half that awesome at 17. She was a powerhouse and really put me to work. We accomplished a lot while she was here and she was just what I needed to push forward and get things going here in Clinton. We miss her.
In other news, JR and Sherry are GETTING MARRIED and BAPTIZED this weekend. I cannot wait. I have been mentally counting down everyday for weeks and luckily the time has gone semi-quickly. Last week Sherry asked me to be a bridesmaid at the wedding! Can we talk about a mission dream come true? I love this family so much and I am so proud of them and all the growth they have made. I can't wait to go and see them again and see the progress they have made since I have been gone. Saturday I'll be headed back to Shoal Creek Valley and I can't wait!
I've been re-reading Preach My Gospel again. I love that book. It has taught me SO much about how to become a missionary and what that really means. I am going through the doctrinal lessons right now and it has just made me so grateful for the gospel. It is perfect. All the pieces fit, all the questions are answered. I. Love. It. Everyone should grab a copy and read it.
I think that is all for this week's update. Things are going great here. I can't wait to see these people that we have found progress. We have lots of work to do here!