I have to start off and apologize for last week's update being pitifully short. So, to make up for it, I will include the activities that I left out, and then I will tell about this week!
So last week, 11/10-16, you saw on Monday that I went hiking with Sister Sim and Sister Bateman. On Tuesday, we had a really great lesson with Margi and committed her to baptism. She accepted, and is progressing along very well! More on that later in the week's report ;)
On Wednesday we had a big Zone Meeting and Sister Sim and I were asked to give a training on "The Map". The Map is a huge list of things that you individually decide you are going to Start, stop, and continue this Transfer. You have to select fifty of the items, and then implement them. Well, needless to say when I was first introduced to this idea my first Transfer in Seattle, I thought it was a bit ridiculous because you are focusing on so many things. So, I think that Heavenly Father wanted to humble me and to help me honor and sustain my leaders, so he made me give a training on it. I had to study the virtues of "The Map", and then help others implement it. Turns out a lot of other missionaries had similar feelings to myself, and so I was able to help them come to the same conclusion that I was. Yes, fifty things to repent of seems a bit excessive if you do not have a central focus. However, if you do have a central focus or goal, then those fifty things come pretty naturally. I have taken my focus to being developing Christlike attributes. I also shared how I set positive goals, so instead of viewing this Map negatively, you can view it positively and like it is pushing and cheering you on. The training went well, and I enjoyed the other insights that were shared.
Thursday was interviews with our Mission President, and I just have to chuckle. With every other missionary President Choi spent a lot of time with, and when it came to my turn he asked me three questions. This was literally our conversation!
"How are you doing?" -pretty good President, adjusting well to the new Area and I am enthusiastic about the work.
" That's great. How is your family?" - Doing pretty well I think.
"What have you learned from being in this Mission?" - Uhhhhh *at this unfortunate time my mind went blank* Well President, I have learned more about being exactly obedient and the essential differences between sacrifice and obedience. I know have a deeper knowledge about how it blesses our life to be obedient, and not just making sacrifices.
I was then going to say a little bit more, but I guess I paused for too long and he thought I was done :) Haha! It was kind of funny because he just complimented me, and then sent me on my way. I felt like it was a really short interview, and so I looked at my watch and it was only two min and forty seven seconds! I think it is safe to say it is the shortest interview I have ever had, because normally they are about 7-10 minutes long.
After interviews and further training from the mission presidency, it was time for the meeting to end when Sister Choi approached us. Sister Choi asked us come to the Mission Home with the excuse of picking up Kimchi for my Korean companion. When we got to the Mission home, President and Sister Choi surprised us with lunch! It was korean spicy ramen with kimchi, and this yellow turnip and purple rice. It was pretty good! I have always known that I love foods from different parts of the world, and now I can say I like Korean food. It was kind of a soup and noodle dish, and pretty spicy. I loved it though! It was a great time to sit and chat, and we had a very enlightening conversation about gaining revelation. Afterwards, he headed on home to our Area and went to work!
On Saturday, we had a mini-golf activity as a District that they had been working on. Everyone helped contribute to ten holes of mini-golf set up in the Cultural Hall of the Church Building, and it was great fun! We had asked members from our Ward to "own" a particular hole so there would be a lot of variety. It was great! We had several holes that involved complicated ramps, and one was even full of plants. One had a metal horse in it, and another a huge paper-mache of a pineapple. The ending hole was a huge complicated part where the ball had to travel up a bicycle chain which set off different reactions from other small metal parts. I am sorry, I wish I could explain it better- just trust me, it was great! In the waiting room for the line to do mini-golf we had Mormon Messages on a TV and pamphlets out. It was not the turn out we expected, but it was still a lot of fun.
Ok, then I believe I told you about the Member Missionary Fireside last week, so now, I am current! Hurrah!
Sooo, this week, 11/17-24.
On Monday we had dinner at a Member's house that was out in the boonies of Fall City. It is so beautiful out there, and very rural! Their kids were adorable and committed us to reading the book series, Fablehaven when we get back from our missions. So cute!
On Tuesday we had a lot of appointments and did service for a little while for an investigator named Bruce. I may have mentioned that he had 300 or so strawberry plants in his front yard a few emails back. Well, I stand corrected. He informed me that he has over 1,500 potted strawberry plants that he regularly maintains. Crazy right? There are so many! We talked about quitting smoking and the services the Church provides for the Addiction Recovery Program. I am so grateful that the Church has this inspired way to help people overcome addiction. How blessed are we to be a part of it!
On Wednesday we stopped by a man by the name of DuWayne, who is not currently going to Church. He has BEAUTIFUL property just on the outskirts of Snoqualmie. I am telling you, beautiful! Next time we go, I will take lots of pictures! He has these stumps of trees that were logged 100 years ago with "nursing-trees" on top. His ranch is so lush and green it looks like it is straight from a fairy tale. He also has this beautiful vintage ford truck from the 30's that is just a great looking car. It just fits right in to the feeling of his home! We talked outside while I tried to entertain his hyper-active golden retriever with tennis balls (my arm was sore for two days!) and we are now going to come over once a week to help him with his Family History.
Later that day we went with one of our recent converts Joe to the Family History Center and got him all set up. It was really cool, because for his family history on his Dad's side they had a book, and once he put in the information he was able to find out he was a descendant of Norwegian Kings! Pretty awesome! He was really excited, and now has about 300 names of family that he is connected to now! He is so excited, and it just kind of fits. Joe is this man who is brilliant with cars and machines, has kind of crazy blonde hair and is a southern gentleman who wears boots and camo every day, that is located in the chilly mountains of Washington. For some reason it just makes sense that his ancestors were ferocious kings in Scandinavia!
This week we have done a lot of service with helping non-members put up some intense Christmas decorations. It is quite common to hear, "No no, wrap it this way, like you see on the cover of the Home Goods magazine", or "We need this tinsel to hang just right! This needs to be worthy of Martha Stewart's website!" I am only slightly kidding about the analogies- these decorations are quite the project! It is a lot of fun though and a great opportunity to help people. On Thursday one of the ladies we were helping took us to a new authentic southern Indian food restaurant that just came to town. Our experience was just hilarious. I got the menu, had no clue what anything was, and just picked at random. It was pretty delicious! It was a hard crepe-thing with yellow potato stuff with a hot sauce. There was also a not-sweet doughnut and rice cake with some more sauces to the side. It was an adventure to try to eat it, and we all had a few good laughs at our predicament.
On Sunday we had another lesson with Margi, and we are helping her make her decision about joining the Church. She is progressing along so well, and it is so exciting!! On Sunday night we went over to the Ward Choir to help out (they were in desperate need of sopranos) and had some great conversations and lessons with the Ward Members who were there. One of my favorite members is Brother Marquis, who is really involved with the local Tea Party. He is just a riot! (no pun intended).
Now for plans for this next week:
Our Area is doing well! We are currently working on utilizing a new finding activity with members- Christmas Caroling! Sister Sim and I had the idea in weekly planning that in addition to being a great way to build relationships with the Ward, it would be a great chance to meet the Ward Member's neighbors, with the members. We had a Ward Member create sign-up sheets for us, and so far it has been a great success! Many people have signed up, and are excited to go out with us this Christmas Season. We are looking forward to scheduling appointments with the families and setting up a time to go and carol :) We also are excited because it will be a great way to not only tell with people in the community about the Nativity in Bellevue, but also about "He is the Gift". Sister Sim and I are working well together, and I am really enjoying being here in Snoqualmie.
So the reason why I am emailing on Tuesday is because we had a special Zone Conference yesterday with Elder FalabelIa from the first quorum of the Seventy. I personally made a commitment to involve the families of those we are teaching, but also to help our two Recent Converts become missionaries. As Elder Falabella was teaching, the principles rested upon my mind and the Spirit testified to me of the importance of these two principles. I have of course previously heard and recognized the worth of these two individual practices, but yesterday the Spirit impressed upon my mind the importance, and the imminent need to employ those in my Area. I am now committed to helping our Recent Convert Joe, to be involved in missionary work and to further encourage him to be a missionary to his parents. Also, with helping a Recent Convert by the name of Bud, have more unity in his family by being a missionary to his Less active daughter and grandson. With our investigators, we are really going to focus on inviting and helping Margi's husband and teenage son feel loved and the value of our message.
It is great being here, and also warning- next week my Prep day will be on a Tuesday too!
I love you all, and have a great week!