My Dearest Family,
Hey, I had a great week. I am getting over being sick. The weather is quite tempermental..I think that might be why everyone has been sick. Transfers were last week, and we had Sister Russell with us for a few days because her companion went home and she was waiting for her new companion who is Sister Gladden! I thought Sister Gladden would never get transferred..haha. So I got to see her at transfer meeting. It was funny and weird. She hadn't seen me with my new bangs, so the first thing she said was, "You look different...get away, you look weird! What did you do with Sister Wilde?" It was great to see her again. She was feeling worried because she is out of her little Hot Springs bubble. She had been there for over a year. I'm glad that she gets a new experience. Getting transferred is not fun, but it does help you grow. When I saw her, guess what she gave me! Remember when I used to play dominoes with Charlie and Margaret? Every Saturday? Well Charlie bought a set of dominoes for me and Sister Gladden. Isn't that the sweetest thing? I will always remember him when I play dominoes. It was a really nice gift.
On Saturday we got to go to a ward council outreach. We have been doing a few of those in various areas. It's where a bunch of missionaries get together with one of the wards and go to visit less actives to invite them back to church and help them feel the spirit in their home. I enjoy doing them. Well, I went out with one of the members of the ward named Sister Brough. She actually served in the New York Rochester Mission. :) I told her my sister had served there. But Becca is a lot younger than this lady was so I don't think they would have known each other. While we were out I got to meet a man who was going to be baptized that day. He is probably in his 80s and is the sweetest man ever. He reminded me of Brother Bledsoe. I know now that it's never too late for anything. President Petersen came to the outreach as well and announced to everyone that not only is our mission doubling in the next few months, the number of sisters will be MORE THAN the number of elders. Within the next months, we will have 108 elders, and 112 sisters. I don't know where they are going to put them all...I don't know how we are going to train them all either. President said that there will be a set of elders and a set of sisters in every area. He told me to prepare myself to train. Things are changing drastically. I wonder what it will be like. Its a good thing I think, but very different. I kind of enjoyed being the minority. Oh well.
Stephanie is one of my favorite people. She is the one who just got baptized. I told her that she would get to meet my whole family someday. She is so sweet, and has helped me know that I am actually doing a little bit of good as a missionary. She said that I made her feel truly loved and cared for in a way that she doesn't think she'd be able to feel from any other missionary. That was kind of her...she also has a real desire to learn. One lesson we had with her last week, I asked her what she wanted to learn about. She said, "Everything. Everything about the Book of Mormon". It was sweet. Man, if we all wanted to know the scriptures as much as she does, we'd be in good shape.
Also on Saturday, we did a church tour with our investigator Shelly. As we walked around, we stopped at the painting of Christ washing the feet of his disciples. Shelly and I were commenting on how much we liked that story. She said she liked it because it reminded her of where we all need to be spiritually, and where our spiritual leaders need to be spiritually. My mind immediately went to my dear mission president...He is truly a powerful servant of the Lord. Humility is such a good quality to have. The Lord teaches us to become as little children, who are humble. Earlier last week, we were walking down the street and we saw a group of kids out playing in the yard. I saw one little girl in particular who, when she saw me, smiled and waved. She almost ran up to me and gave me a hug. I was kind of surprised at her openness and lack of hesitancy. I know a lot of kids are really open, but when that happened, it struck me that I think she knows who we are. Why else would she do that? I realized that I think I would recognize a lot more answers to my prayers if I could be open like that, and trust that God knows what He's talking about.
This is the coolest thing ever. This morning I was studying President Uchtdorf's conference talk. I looked in the footnote as I read a certain sentance, and the scripture reference was Matt 11:28-30. I was pretty sure I knew what that scripture was, but I decided to read it anyway...Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden... As I read it, a thought came..."text this reference to Sammy". That thought was immediately followed by justification. "She would probably think that was weird if I did that, like I was trying to tell her she needed a lot of help. I don't want to sound condescending." I decided to do it anyway. I sent her a quick text with the reference, and that when I read it, I thought of her. 2 seconds later she replied saying, "I was just praying for help. That is my favorite passage in the entire bible. That was the Lord telling me He was here with me. I had just been crying, pleading for His help. He must be trying to tell me that it wasn't a fluke because He gave you my favorite passage in the entire book". I was as blown away as she was. He really does know her, because I had no idea that was her favorite scripture. I couldn't believe it. Heavenly Father is so cool.
I love you all. Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I wish I could be there with you, but I'm sorta busy converting all of Bartlett. :) JUST KIDDING! I miss you guys. I will especially miss you on Friday when you have Thanksgiving #2. I'll be taken care of though, I'm sure.
love sister annalisa wilde