Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Children are like pancakes

The title comes from an analogy from one of the sister missionaries serving here.  I don't remember how we got on this subject, but she was explaining that raising children is like making pancakes; the first one is a practice one and is not the best pancake; the second is much better, but by the third you have mastered it; the last is the left over batter pancake.  This analogy has been brought up three times this week in a matter of a couple of days.  This week, though, Sister Williams, and I thought this was going to be the longest week of our lives, but it flew by.  The Henson's went out of town to go to fish camp down in Kasilof by Soldotna for the majority of the week, but we kept busy in their absence.  Here are the highlights:

P-Day Fun: We had planned to hike Lazy Mountain again and have those from the zone who want to participate come with, but due to the weather we decided against it.  We ended up playing Laser tag with our district. It was so fun.  We played three games back to back.  This first game we played was basically the missionaries against this other group of people who slaughtered us.  This particular laser tag game had these modes that went along with it which would give you special abilities in the game; something neither of us were familiar with.  We learned as we went, but found out that you needed to take advantage of the modes in order to win.  The second and third games were just four on four:  missionaries against missionaries.  So much fun and each team won a game.  We were getting pretty hot in there running around shooting people. After that we went hiking with the Henson's and friends.  Kemalie, the Hensons' granddaughter who we are somewhat teaching, really bonded with Sister Williams and I, so hopefully that will help with teacher her more in the future.
Sisters Training Meeting:  Wednesday we went down to Anchorage for a training meeting just for the sisters in the mission.  This is my second time doing this and I think we are doing it now because this would be the last time we could do it with our mission president and his wife before they go home and we get a new president in a couple of weeks. They tried out this new video conferencing this that worked the entire time!  Normally with PVC that we have been using in the past there would always be problems.  We videoed in people from Fairbanks, Juneau, and Soldotna.

Service:  We had a lot of service opportunities this week.  We helped moved this family from the Colony area to Wasilla's area with the help of some missionaries from the zone and the Colony sisters. They said they wouldn't have gotten it done in time had we not helped.  Done in 2 hours:  moving out and moving in.  Later that night we had dinner with Sister Gogan in our ward.  Every time we are over at a member's house we ask them if there is anything we can do for them.  Majority say no and some joke about us doing really hard electrical work or something similar to it.  Well Sister Gogan joked about us cleaning her house and we actually helped her.We helped her wash her dishes.  She likes them washed by hand.  Of all the chores around the house to do, doing the dishes is probably my favorite because it is very therapeutic and I love the warm water.  So I washed all of her dishes by hand in an hour and a half. Spontaneous service.  She called the next day just thanking us so much for the help. It always feels good to do something nice for someone else.

Saturday:  Saturdays on a mission are like Mondays in the real world:  no one likes them.  Saturdays just normally seem really slow and long and Mondays on the mission are our P-days so they are fun and go by really fast.  Well especially with the Henson's gone we were worried that we would want to pull our hair out, but I think we are overcompensated ourselves with appointments.  One right after the other is how time goes by fast and you feel accomplished because we are being productive. We started teaching Nerissa, the new member lessons while teaching Braden vicariously.  The best news they gave us was that Braden was going to come to church !  We did service for Ruth Ann and she took us out to lunch at Taco Bell.  We stopped by the church to get the baptism key from the elders to use for a family needing baptismal clothes to have a baptism down in the lower 48.  We met with the new family in the ward and they really are great.  Not an awkward moment and we could seriously talk to them all day long.  We had dinner with the Wargos after that and had a lot of fun with them and their kids.  Sister Williams is in the process of saying goodbye to members now since she goes home next week.  Crazy fast how this transfer flew.
Father's Day:  WE HAD 4 INVESTIGATORS COME TO CHURCH SUNDAY !!!!!  Lonnie was there, a recent convert, so that is one. Braden came with his family = 2. And the craziest of them all: Mary and Barry.  Morgan, who is a recent returned missionary in the ward, was running late to church.  She contemplated on even coming but decided to come and found Mary and Barry walking on the side of the road walking to any church. She picked them up and took them to our church !  Sister Ronne had asked us to go with Braden to Primary and help answer his questions and just be with him so we asked Morgan if she would accompany Mary and Barry to class and help them.  It was crazy but we did it.  Working with members really does help. Later that evening the Henson's got back into town so we stopped by and visited with them.  Brother Henson is like our mission dad so we made him a candy board as a Father's Day gift.  He said he would not eat the candies and keep it forever !  That night we stopped by the Georges; Sister Williams said goodbye to them and had them sign her journal.  We were about to leave and take pictures outside when Cruise, their Australian Shepherd peed on me.  No one saw it happen, but I just felt my foot get really warm.  They apologized up and and down, but I laughed and said it would make a great story and experience.

I am so grateful to be serving in Alaska and more and more do I see that I was called here to teach the people of Alaska. There is no other mission that would teach me the things I've learned here or helped me increase my understanding of Christ's Atonement.  I feel blessed to come on a mission with the knowledge of the gospel I had because there are quite a few missionaries who learn the gospel on their missions.  What comes with an increase of knowledge of the gospel comes an increase to share it with others.  That is what pushed me to come out here for 18 months. Others have a lot of faith to come out on a mission with very little knowledge of the gospel but the best way to learn something is to teach it.  Every missionary can testify of that.

Sent from ALASKA!
Sister Shelley Willden

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