My dear family,
I think it's not a very good thing to know that you're getting transferred in advance because then it just becomes this dramatic thing. I try not to be dramatic...but...let's just face it, I am. So it's been hard the past few days saying goodbye to everyone. Bishop called and asked me to speak because I wasn't going to be here too much longer. That was nice of him to think of me. My question is, why break up a good thing? We were not the only ones who tried to get President to keep us together. Bishop DeVaux and President Palmer both talked to President and said that our work here was not done and that he should keep us together. Man, if you got the bishop AND the branch president putting in a word with President Petersen...I don't know how much higher on the "spiritual corporate ladder" you can get. (One of the guys in our bishopric always jokes about how he's moving up on the spiritual corporate ladder haha). But I guess it's really time for me to move. In Sacrament meeting, I talked about the sacred experiences I had in that area/ward, and that what I think characterizes a sacred experience is when we are edified by the spirit. D&C 50:22. Then I related it to the parable of the sower. We always think of ourselves planting gospel seeds among our friends. We see many times that the plant doesn't grow automatically. It falls by the wayside, among stony places or thorns. Rarely do we see it planted on good ground. But what if, instead, we thought of Heavenly Father as the sower, planting seeds of opportunity in each of our lives. Do we let those opportunities fall by the wayside or on stony places or thorns? If we put ourselves in the right attitude of faith and hope, He will plant opportunities for us to share the gospel with those we love that we may then have sacred, edifying experiences. Anyway..I'm not sure if I did my talk good, but I just hope they knew that I love them.
We got to do something cool last week. We had zone conference on Wednesday. A few days earlier, the assistants called and asked if we would instruct for 45 minutes. What the? We were surprised, but it was a fun opportunity. We taught about how we can teach people, not lessons. We focused on asking inspired questions, and then discerning by the spirit what doctrine we need to teach that will meet their needs. We did this object lesson with balloons. We put all the investigator's "needs and desires" on different balloons. We did 2 role plays. The first one, we had the investigator throw all his needs at us, and we as the missionaries just completely ignored them all. They were hitting us with the balloons, but we just kept on talking. We compared this to all the times we go in and "teach" people, but don't listen to what they are really saying or what they need. We did another role play where we asked questions to see what their needs were and then taught doctrine to help them. It was a lot of fun. :) It really is a true principle though- I have seen it in my life from Dad's example. This is the way he talks with me. Instead of dragging me to the "right answer", he listens, asks questions, and draws out of me the things I need to learn. The lesson is in the learner. This principle has helped me.
We got to see this sweet Samoan family the other night. It's not the Kennach's, but the Loa's. Something about the Samoan people is so sweet and pure. Anyone who comes into their house, they feed and they love. When we got into the house, only the father and two of the kids were downstairs. As we began the lesson, they called all their kids to come together. All these kids came out! I couldn't believe it-I didn't know they had that many! They just kept coming. There were 7 all together I think. At the end, Brother Loa asked if we could sing a hymn. He wanted me to play the guitar. I agreed, but told him he shouldn't expect too much because I don't really play the guitar. He brought out this old suuper out of tune guitar and handed it to me. I didn't think the strings would hold the tune, but they did. He said it had been in storage for a few months. haha. Well, it worked. We sang Joseph Smith's First Prayer, and the night ended with the most beautiful spirit. He told me that he would fly me back out to Arkansas when I got home from my mission so that I could teach his kids the piano. :) He then asked for my home phone number so he could call and arrange it. He wasn't kidding! What a sweet family.
Okay, one more. A few days ago, we were in line for the drive through at Chick Fil A. The line was pretty long. As we were sitting there, this girl was trying to get out of her parking space. There wasn't a lot of room, and we had to back up a little to make room for her. The guy behind us backed us. It was really nice of him. A few minutes later, the exact same thing happened. This guy behind us was being so nice! By this time, we had gotten to the place where you order. Sister Gladden said, "I dare you to get out of the car and give that guy a mormon.org card". I jumped out and went to talk to this guy. I told him how we appreciated his kindness and wanted to give him a card. He said he had met with missionaries before. He didn't want us to come visit him, but he appreciated the gesture. It was fun.
Well, we'll see where I go on Wednesday. I'll let you know- so if you write to me, write to the mission home.
905 Kierre Dr
North Little Rock, AR 72116
I love you all!!
love sister annalisa wilde