Funny story: So for P-Day Monday, we went to this gaming place which you can play board games or cards games or whatever. The owner is a member and has this adorable puppy named Frankie; the most precious thing ever. I basically held her the entire time we were there and she slept on my shoulder. We went to a member's home for dinner and she babysits a lot of children. After picking her up and holding the dog for all that time, I walked over to one of the babies wanting to pick her up and hold her. Half way through this process I realized that we, as missionaries, aren't allowed to hold children (for liability reasons), so I ended up just turning her over onto her back. That was a close one. Hopefully I'll get into the habit more with these certain rules. It is very hard because I love babies and children.
Another funny story: We were over at Brother Mattingley's house and he is the member who gives us duck eggs all the time. We told him that we hard boil them to eat every morning and he said, "you can't hard boil duck eggs." I thought he was meaning that you shouldn't boil them because maybe they are better scrambled or something. No, he was meaning that it is impossible to boil them and peel off the shell keeping them intact. I have noticed that sometimes when I'm shelling them, that part of the egg whites comes off with the shell. He told us that he has googled how to do it and tried everything and can't get anything to work. All the recipes say something to the fact that duck eggs are hard to boil and come out clean. Well challenge accepted! We boiled the eggs again and they came out clean. The trick is to be patient. Taking it off a little at a time is the key.
We visit quite a few less-actives in the Ward. Some people we run into are less-active but their records aren't in the ward. Sister Nield says that people come to Alaska to hide. I am beginning to see that now. One less-active lady we visit has these birds that keep her company. She lets them roam freely in her house so they fly around and perch on whatever. One bird came on Sister Nield's shoulder and was biting at her necklace. When she was moving her necklace away the bird began to bite her finger. It's only a nibble, but I still don't want a bird biting me with their beaks. One eventually came on my shoulder and thank goodness didn't do anything drastic to me.
We had transfers this week and received three new Elders into our zone. We had a service project which involved moving boxes into trucks for the Boy Scouts Association. We had some down time in between truck loads where we passed around a football or played hackie sack. Our zone is pretty awesome and it is going to be a fun six weeks together.
This week we were preparing last minute things to pull it all together. I wanted us to do the programs especially since I love doing things like that. We have a family history center in our church building so we used those computers to do it, but the computers did not have Microsoft Word or PowerPoint. All it had was this WordPad which is basically a crippled version of Word. Something that can take me 20 minutes to do took over an hour to just do the front cover. There is no way to move pictures around so I figured out how to indent it over to the side I wanted it on. After all that work we talked to Brother Miner who said we could use their school computer to work on it since we aren't allowed to use members' computers. The baptism was fantastic. There were so many people who came. We had two investigators come and a couple less-active members came as well. I was smiling from ear to ear the entire time. Bishop Beames said that we had the missionary glow that day and we sure did. Sister Nield spoke on the Gift of the Holy Ghost and I sang an arrangement of "Our Savior's Love". Everything couldn't have gone more perfectly. I am so thankful we have the gospel in our lives to allow us to be happy. One of my friends told me that when she is filled with the Spirit, she is extremely happy to the point of skipping in the temple. I am beginning to have similar sensations.
One last thing: We stopped by to visit a member and her son is learning to play the clarinet. I, of course, was excited for him but apparently he had a deadline to learn how to make a sound with it or they are going to have to give the instrument back. I know I have been blessed to have learned how to play when I was young because it taught me a lot of discipline and helped me to have confidence in myself. I was able that night to teach him how to make a sound just by using the mouth piece. It was something I learned from the first day in band class and I was thankful I was able to teach him. He can now continue on practicing and getting better at playing the clarinet. I never really had an opportunity to teach anyone how to play or sing music so it was a great experience to learn that it is possible for me to teach people music. I am so grateful for the talents and abilities The Lord has blessed me with and that I am serving here in Alaska. I know this is where I am supposed to be bringing people to Christ. I so badly want everyone to have the Gospel in their lives and know that Christ really did pay for our debt so we don't have to. All He asks is for us to follow Him.
Sister Shelley Willden