Monday for P-day we played Ticket to Ride, one of my favorite board games. I have only actually played it on my phone back home so it was nice to finally play the board game itself. As always we play basketball, but this time Sister Randall played with us. We actually play what they call missionary ball. Part of our rules is that we can only play half court so we split up into three pairs. The missionaries are only playing one other set of missionaries at a time and only for half court. The winner crosses to the other side and faces the third team. It's fun and keeps us active.
Tuesday our dinner fell through so we ate at his place called Odie's. It is a great sandwich place. Their half sandwich is the size of a big sandwich. I noticed they had an eclectic bookshelf in the shape of a tree on the wall that had books in it for people to read freely. We decided to put a Book of Mormon on it. Hopefully someone would read it :)
Wednesday we got asked to sing Come Thou Fount (a beloved hymn that is no longer in our current hymnal) for a Relief Society lesson on Sunday. It is the craziest thing because Sister Randall and I sing that song all the time and were just talking about singing it at church just a couple of days prior to the inquiry. The member had a copy of an older hymn book that had the song. We sang a combination of that arrangement and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's version. We listened to MoTab's song and I transcribed the alto line to sing. We even included the key change :) This is why I needed to serve after graduating from college. We did more family history work and I am starting to get progress with it. They suggested starting with the relatives closest to me and making sure their information is correct then going further back generations. I feel pretty good when I am cleaning up people's information and making sure they have sources to match the inputs. That night we also had a great lesson with Dominic teaching about tithing and fasting. Sister Randall had some pretty cool experiences with those principles.
Thursday we had another trainer/trainee meeting. The Kenai elders walk in so excited that this was the last one they had to attend and it was so fun bursting their bubble telling them we have two per transfer. I really like trainer/trainee meeting when we could meet in person in Anchorage,but it really is hard doing it over PVC (which is just an older version of Skype). Though this time we had very few technical difficulties. We had a lesson with a less active who is wanting to clear up any misunderstanding about the gospel. Even though we tried to have the lesson be guided, it was helpful to address concerns she had. Later that night we attended institute (which we do once a month) and it was really good talking about spiritual rebirth. The teacher is very thorough and really makes the gospel seem easy to understand; which what is intended by Christ. D. Todd Christofferson said in a talk, "This is our message, the rock upon which we build, the foundation of everything else in the Church. Like all that comes from God, this doctrine is pure, it is clear, it is easy to understand-even for a child. With glad hearts, we invite all to receive it."
Friday we had a great lesson teaching the Plan of Salvation to Megan and Hara. We had the Kenai elders there so they can get to know them since they are the missionaries in their ward. Afterwards we did a church tour with them and I think it helped Megan, mainly because she has young children. It seemed to put her at ease where her daughters would go while her and Hara are in Sunday School. We also had zone meeting that day. I don't know what it was, but there was a different spirit to the meeting. It might be because some contention has left the zone. It was enjoyable.
Saturday our ward mission leader is in charge of 11-year-old scouts and they had a nerf gun war to which they had to invite a non-member friend. There were so many kids there and they seemed to have a lot of fun. Even a few less-actives came :) We made some notes on how we can improve the next activity to be even more missionary minded. We had another lesson with Dominic and he has some reserves about his baptismal date and feels that maybe it needs to be pushed back a little. He is making sincere changes in his life to align his life with Christ's teachings and that takes time. We are still so happy that he is wanting to make these changes and still wants to be baptized.
Sunday we sang for Relief Society and we got a lot of compliments on it. Singing a hymn can bring in the Spirit quicker than anything else can. Sunday night we had dinner with a family in the ward and asked if we could teach them a missionary lesson as practice for an upcoming lesson with some of our investigators. We had them pretend they were non members and have them act like they don't know what we are teachiing them. They gave some really good advice on how to improve our teaching as they were trying to really get into character how they would feel and react to the lesson if they were not already members. It was a great success.
The more we teach, the better we understand this gospel ourselves. It is not enough for us to go through the motions everyday. God does not expect immediate perfection, but He does expect immediate progression. We need to be always increasing our understanding and application of the gospel in our lives.
Sent from ALASKA!
Sister Shelley Willden