Well, hello there!!
How are things on the home front?
First thing is first, I promised mom for the story of how the article came about. Well, it all started a few weeks before I even got here to this area. Sister Williams and Sister Edwards had a great plan to throw an open house at the Longfellow Park chapel for nonmembers (and members) to learn about the historical side of the building and about the church itself. So, they organized everything, and got a bunch of missionaries to be tour guides, had "Mormon Messages" playing in the gym up on a cool projector, and had yummy treats. The whole shebang. They also called a bunch of local news stations and someone came from the Boston Globe. He really liked what he saw and got the missionaries' contact info. A few days later Yvonne Abraham called the sisters (she's the one who wrote the article) and asked them if she could do an article about them and kind of what it's like to be a missionary here in Boston. So, the sisters talked with President Packard, and President Packard took it to the first presidency, President Eyring. He gave it his blessing and plans started being made.
At this last transfer meeting, the first time I had heard all this was as Sister Packard started asking Sister Williams excitedly about when it was going to be. I had no idea what she was talking about - so Sister Williams filled me in and caught me up to speed. We had to coordinate the day and the time with the public affairs of the church and Yvonne just showed up to our apartment and we took her around for about 5 hours doing all our normal missionary stuff. She asked a TON of questions and we answered them all pretty well I thought. It was so funny to me to see the really random details she put in her article. It was a little disappointing to me that she didn't include more of our really good and uplifting experiences we had during those five hours.
At any rate, the outcome seemed rather positive and so we're not going to complain :) President Packard was really stoked about it and he went out and bought us each two copies of the paper so we could have one and send one home to our families which it sounds like you got this week.
This week has been super great. We've been working really hard and wearing ourselves out. It feels really good to know that you spent your time well. We had a really amazing lesson this week with Sherry. She's on her way to recognizing the Holy Ghost!! During our lesson with her she was able to recognize a prompting and now is just praying and fasting to know how to act. We are super excited for her. I feel like Satan is working SO hard to keep her from coming to church! She wanted to bring her roommate to church today but they got out to the bus stop and were waiting for half an hour. A passerby finally told them that the particular bus she was waiting for wasn't going to start running until 4pm because of a parade! Uh!! She definitely didn't have time to walk to church. We decided we are going to skip our ward council meeting this next week and just come to her house and take the bus with her! She needs to come to church!!
On Sunday we were blessed with some other amazing successes. I think I may have mentioned the new BU students that we're teaching - they are all three Chinese and are all getting their masters in different programs. They are super adorable and all, in the midst of their very busy schedules, made time for church. They even got there early to have a lesson with us and with a member who, we didn't realize, goes to BU too! It worked out really well. He speaks Manderin too so he was able to help us out in explaining new words and phrases to them. I seriously love our wards. They are really good at fellowshipping our investigators - at least they were this week. I think five or six people came up to the three girls to meet them and get to know them a bit. They felt really good and want to keep coming.
Our members are really good at inviting their own friends. Last week Trang, a member, brought her friend to church and she loved it! She even got signed up last minute and went to the ward camp out this last weekend and had a really good time! I want to be a cool missionary-minded-member!
I'm sure you all are interested to know that the Porter Challenge took place on Saturday. Almost our entire zone showed up which made it a lot of fun. With victory on our hearts, we learned that the stairs were very long...and we ran really hard...let's leave it at that. haha!
I'm realizing that my Spanish is kind of suffering. I need to do a better job this week at really making time to practice speaking - even if it's just to myself. Last night I was on the phone with the Lynn Hermanas and didn't fare so well with the old Español.
So, the official new word on music with our Mission President came out today - he is going to the white handbook for his inspiration and just...following the white handbook. This is what he quoted from it:
“Listen only to music that is consistent with the sacred spirit of your calling. Music should invite the Spirit, help you focus on the work, and direct your thoughts and feelings to the Savior. Do not listen to music that pulls your thoughts away from your work, merely entertains, has romantic lyrics or overtones, or dulls your spiritual sensitivity by its tempo, beat, loudness, lyrics, or intensity. Listening to music must never interfere with your personal preparation or proselyting.”
That's kind of cool. Not sure what I can do with that since I got rid of all my non mo-tab or classical music...but now you know if you ever want to send me any music ;)
This week I have been doing some thinking about Spiritual Gifts and really trying to figure out how to cultivate those gifts. I know that the spiritual gifts we've been given are given us to bless the lives of others. It just comes down to our diligence in developing those gifts and practicing them righteously that really unlocks the blessings for ourselves and those around us. I really want to work on making a conscious effort to seek those gifts and use them more effectively.
I really do love being a missionary. We have a pretty cool job.
That is all.
wah eye knee (my lame attempt at saying "I love you" in Manderin...that's what it sounds like to me)