This last week was a little sad because I had to say goodbye to Sister Hendertilo, but I know she will do wonderfully in Iona. I may or may not have cried at the Transfer site. Haha! It was because my really good friends Elder Araya, Elder Card, AND Sister Hendertilo were leaving me :( They were my best friends in the District, but I know this new one will be great too. I just wish we could write Elders that were in the same mission! I mean I know, I get why not, but they have just been such great friends to me! At least I can write them letters when I get to Nauvoo in April! That is an upside I guess. So my poor companion just saw me being an emotional wreck when saying goodbye to my friends, but no big deal. I don't feel like I cried that much when stuff like that happened before my mission, but since I have been here I am just a bawl-baby! I would like to think it is just the Spirit and I will be back to normal when I get back. Fingers crossed! ;)
This week has been stressful but rewarding. Training is hard, but I enjoy it at the same time. My new companion is Sister Blankenship, and she is from the Bay Area in California, specifically Concord. She is wonderful, and I really enjoy her! She went to BYU-Idaho for three years before her mission here, so it is really a blessing for her that she is used to this crazy weather. She is so comfortable teaching and has a great spirit about her. I joke around and tell her that she came pre-trained! Hopefully I will be a good trainer for her and give her the tools she needs to be a successful missionary. This week we helped serve a thanksgiving lunch to some needy seniors in the area, and it was so much fun. We think we will be helping out about twice a week at this Senior Center/Food Bank, and the times work out perfectly with us too!
It has been a joy to introduce Sister Blankenship to our investigators and less-actives that we are teaching. We were able to set a baptismal date for January yesterday, with a girl named Molly. I have been visiting their family a lot, and we also set a baptismal date with her younger sister Grace, but she is 8 so technically I cannot count her as mine. But I still do because I love this family so much! They are British Columbia, Canada and whenever we go other there I tell them a Canada joke. One time when we got home I caught myself calling my companion a "hoser"! The Dad, Steven works in South... or maybe it was North.... anyways it's one of the Dakota's and is only home for a week out of the month. So Brenda's there with the five kids and we go there to help her out. There is Xavier (17), Molly (10), Grace (8), Lilly (5), and Porter (2). Xavier likes to joke around a lot, and is great with his younger brother. He can be a bit... well, odd (he does some weird things with their dachshund) but he is a 17 year old boy so I guess that is normal. Then Molly and Grace are the cutest! We got them the illustrated version of the Book of Mormon and they always pull it out when we come over and read with us. They just snuggle up and want to read. They crave the Spirit in their lives, and love attention. I love to play with them too! Lilly and Porter are the cutest children. Brenda (the mom) just has beautiful children. They are so adorable and Lilly loves to play with my hair. Porter just likes to be the center of attention (he is the baby of the family after all) and is just so loving. I love going over to their house!
This last week I worked with the 4th Ward to pull together my initiative with the Ward Missionaries. I have officially hit all of our Wards! It is really exciting to have this and I am so thrilled with the potential for our Area. Their Ward has had some trouble with unity, so to remedy that we called the older Youth and some really great people to be Ward Missionaries who will organize a lot of activities to bring the Ward together. Since we were calling all of the kids who were 16 and older, we had the Priests and Laurels meet together after Opening Exercises to extend their callings to them. They seem to be really excited, and I know they will do so well! I love getting to work with the Youth, because honestly they are more fun then some of the adults, and I also am really excited about their potential.
Sister Blankenship also has a wonderful idea for a monthly fireside called, "Why I Believe". It will feature a speaker that will share their story of why they believe and are members of the Church. After they share their story, there will be a short Q &A, and then some mingling afterwards. We think this will be a wonderful opportunity to have a non-confrontational place to bring investigators and non-members to, and also a great way to strengthen members. The Stake Presidency is on board and we are going to try to have the first one be in January.
So on with the Cowboy boots. Well..... *sigh* I am afraid my fight against anything country will have to admit a temporary defeat. I am just not a country type person- the big hair, western-style clothing, just not my thing. I kept on being told in Nauvoo and here that I am such a city girl, and a member wanted to change that! We were talking about boots one day (I mean it is cold here in Idaho so of course we talk about cold-weather gear!) and the subject of cowboy boots came up. I was like, 'Nuh uh, not going to happen!" but my companion loves them since she has been living here for three years and the Bishop's wife is also very enthusiastic about them. So, lo and behold, she got me a pair of black cowboy boots! It was so kind of her, and on an upside they are black, which is very "me", but cowboy boots are just... not. I guess that will have to change though while I am on my mission! One of the people we teach saw me carrying them around and got very excited that I was finally becoming "country". Oh goodness, some of these people are just so funny! I guess the cowboy boots will come in handy though because I needed a pair of work boots since we spend so much time laying fence and helping out on dairy farms. So here I am, today, wearing cowboy boots! Who knew the things I would be doing out on the Mission!
I hope you all are doing well!
Love, Sister Allred