Tuesday, April 25, 2017

New nickname... HBL

This week has been the longest week ever!!  We thought it would go by fast because of all the events happening this week, but it is like going on a vacation and coming home having to go straight back to work ... not too fun.  Just glad we made it through and can look forward to going to the temple this Wednesday.  Here's what went down this week:

Volleyball:  For P-day, I had to go to the doctors to check out a rash I've been having due to the cold, dry weather here in Alaska.  I am used to humidity and I now need to change my laundry detergent, body soap, and use a loofah to exfoliate. Hopefully it should be gone in a couple of weeks.  We went to the church and played volleyball with the elders.  One of the elders is super tall and every time he jumps up to spike the ball, I duck and cover my face.  It is a bit scary to be on the opposing team of him.

Dead Dove:  We were visiting with Sister Groff and Sister Williams and I got extremely tired when we were visiting with her.  I look over at one point and see one of her doves lying down on it's belly.  I ask her if it was dead, but she couldn't see what I was referring to.  I look at Sister Williams and she gives me this look like "don't say anything".  We left shortly after that.  That is gonna be hard to visit her again once she realizes one of her 8 birds is dead.  She said it was just lying on top of her egg to protect it, but this bird was lying completely flat with it's eyes opened ...

Jake the Pug:  Sister Williams LOVES pugs.  Her pug she owns at home is named Otis. She talks about him all the time.  We visit with Bobby, the man who is blind and is going deaf, regularly.  We were outside on his porch visiting with him and all of a sudden Sister Williams says, "that's a pug" and runs over to get this pug that was outside playing with this other dog.  The pug named Jake and his yorkie named Bella came and ran around us allowing us to pet them.  We visited with Bobby sometime later this week and Sister Williams was like "where's my pug?".  So funny.

Zone Conference:  We had zone conference this week combined with Palmer Zone.  It is weird that I am in Wasilla now, but started my mission off in Palmer.  It was a good zone conference.  It was held in Wasilla, but drove to Palmer for lunch because of mis-communication.  While there, people's iPads were updating and all of a sudden the camera app was gone. Everyone was freaking out.  Some other missionaries and I left our iPads on airplane mode for the meeting so we weren't affected by the update right then.  Later when we arrived back in Wasilla we find that the update fixed itself and everything went back to normal.  I was still cautious to turn my airplane mode off for a while.

Exchanges:  We had exchanges with the STLs in Colony in the Palmer zone right after zone conference.  Sister Johnson, who I was paired up with, was sick, so she was a bit not herself while on the exchange.  The next day we had lunch with all the sisters at Taco Bell for Sister Williams 15-month click day and a bishop of the singles ward was there and paid for all of our lunches. #Blessed.
Baby Everything:  So one day we visited with a less active and she had baby chicks that she showed us and then we visited with another less-active family right afterwards who had a bunch of little ducklings they ordered online.  Their pigs also had piglets that we got to hold.  So many baby animals we held that day.  Yesterday, though, we were invited to a non-members' home whom we helped clean their house when they were moving to give us and some of the elders a pizza party for helping. They had this teacup pig who was the sweetest thing ever.  Her name is Coco and I held her for over an hour.  I was talking to Sister Williams that it was like practice for holding a baby because my arms started to hurt.  She says that I'm too baby hungry and gave me the nickname BHL:  Baby Hungry Lady.  I do want kids, but can I wait until I'm married?  Of course.  They are just so darn cute and we see tons of kids on the mission visiting families.

Monopoly:  Sister Williams and I like to play monopoly when we come home after the day and this week she kicked my butt back-to-back nights.  I'd like to think it's because I have taught her well as to why she is winning.  Though, I think the luck of the deck is just not in my favor because I ALWAYS land on her property and she never lands on mine.  Playing is a big stress reliever before bed.

Bobby Photo Shoot:  Bobby is a retired bull fighter.  Weird to think that, but he lived in Texas for a while and knows exactly where I live back home and is more Texan than I am.  He collects a lot of rodeo shirts from all the years past and gives one to each of his missionaries who he comes to know.  We decided to take pictures with him wearing them and some of his cowboys hats.  He is so funny and is awesome to see him be so self-reliant, even though he is blind.

Stolberg:  We visit Brother Stolberg every week and we have the weirdest conversations.  Last week we talked about spiders and snakes.  I'm surprised I didn't have nightmares from all the crazy things spiders and snakes do.  This week's convo topic was on pregnancy.  His daughter is almost due and we talked about when his wife was pregnant with her, they thought she was a boy the whole time, but she wasn't.  It turned out well that it led into a spiritual thought on Jesus Christ's birth and how special it is that our Heavenly Father is so aware of us and knows and loves each child.

Teach when you find:  While over at this non-member's home for the pizza party, we mainly were just visiting with everyone.  I was holding Coco and eating pizza but then the wife started asking us some questions about the church.  An hour or so later, her and I were talking and I was trying my best to answer her questions very basically and by the Spirit.  Long story short, we are going to start teaching her because she requested us sisters.  Sorry elders.  Though, they knew this family lived there this whole transfer and have done nothing about it.  I am just glad that she felt the spirit and wants to learn more.  I love teaching the gospel!  The thought of teaching seminary and institute when I go home keeps pressing on my mind.  As of right now I think I'll pursue that course.

This gospel is not just a 3-hour commitment for members of the Church.  It is a lifestyle.  We live what we preach.  No one is perfect so don't judge the Church from your view of some of it's members.  The Church is true; the people are imperfect.

Sent from ALASKA!
Sister Shelley Willden 

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