Monday, August 24, 2015

He provides a clear map and points the way toward our desired destination.

Hey y'all!!

I was really tempted to start this email with all this boring regular stuff, like the weather forecast for this entire week, or the exact details of my outfit today, or what I ate for breakfast, but I decided instead of torturing y'all like that, I'll just jump to the good stuff!

So exciting things happened the week because it was transfers!!!! Yay!!!! Last Monday I ran around like crazy packing and cleaning my apartment. Tuesday I ran around saying goodbye and teaching lessons to the people I had grown close to. Then Wednesday I threw the last few things in my bags and then headed up to Irmo where the transfer meetings are held. Because Sister Ward was going to be training again she needed to go to a "trainers meeting" that is held for about an hour an a half before the transfer meeting itself starts. During this hour and a half I was without a companion and very grateful for the company of the member that had driven us. But my curiosity was driving me crazy. I can't even remember the last time I had an hour and a half go by so slowly. Then Transfer meeting itself started. By this point I was about to go crazy and just wanted them to announce where I was going immediately. But unfortunately there was a long opening song, then they introduced the new missionaries (simply stated their names and where they're from), and then had a musical number, and then finally they started the transfer slide show. So in the slide show they go by zone and they have a slide per area where a transfer is occurring. For example in my last area there was a slide that said "Lake Murray Sisters" then it had on one side "Staying on and being called as a trainer" and then they put up the picture of Sister Ward and said her name. Then the other half of the slide came up which said "Transferring in:" and then the put up my picture and said my name. It's very fun, but as a missionary nervously watching the slide show it's very annoying when your new area is not the first slide. Or even in the first zone. And you're just sitting there waiting and waiting and going crazy. Then finally you see your name on the slide and you look over at the other Sister who is already standing and you know that the next six weeks are going to be great.

Now as for the fun part, where I actually am! My new area is the Columbia Ward!! Now that may not seem super exciting at first, besides it being the Capitol of South Carolina, but let me explain the good part. So... my last area I served on Fort Jackson, right? Well there are two sets of Sisters that are among those that go to Fort Jackson and they are the Lake Murray Sisters and the Columbia Sisters!! This means that I still get to serve on Fort Jackson and I will still see Sister Ward every Saturday and Sunday! How crazy is that?? It also means that I already knew my new companion. As a Fort Jackson "District" we have a meeting every Saturday to discuss what needs to happen the next day (i.e. who's getting baptized, who needs to be taught what). And after these meetings the four Sisters all go out to lunch. It's really fun. So for the past 6 weeks I have been having lunch with my new companion every Saturday and then working with her every Sunday. So that's really fun!

Now onto my companion! Her name is Sister Webb. She has been out on her mission for 13 months! This is her third area and she has never kept a companion more than a transfer while she has been here (this is now her fourth transfer here). So we'll see what happens in 6 weeks haha ;) She is from near Saint George, Utah. She is super awesome and a great teacher! It's been a lot of fun already and it has been a much easier transition since I already knew her! I can already tell it's going to be a great transfer! We are going to work hard, but still have fun on the way. So I'm really excited!!

Well now that I've gotten all that out of the way, I'll tell y'all the highlights of the rest of my week or just some other random/fun facts about my new area. My district is tiny. We have three companionships total. It is the Columbia Sisters, the Columbia Elders, and the Hopkin Sisters. My districts is nicknamed the "Sistrict" because it is the only district with more Sisters than Elders! Haha! I guess I'll get to know everyone in my district really well! We actually share an apartment with the Hopkin Sisters, who just so happen to be the Sister Training Leaders. That will make exchanges funny because I'll still at the same apartment with my companion, we will just be going to different areas during the day haha!!! There's not a whole lot going on in the area right now because of some challenges that happened last transfer with a few of the missionaries, so Sister Webb and I are working extra hard to update all of our records and help the Elders do that same! It's been a lot of work, but we can all feel excitement in the air and that good things are coming. Hopefully not too far off haha! This week on Fort Jackson we had one baptism. Private S.! Also I got to teach some really cool people. One of them, Private Sm., he sat down half way through me teaching the Restoration to his battle buddy and he was talking about how coming to this church he felt like he was home and he wondered when he could be baptized! I got to teach him lessons two and three after sacrament meeting and he was so excited. He said that after today he knew the LDS church was the true church of God and then he asked me if he could start living the commandments before he was baptized! It was amazing! I am so happy that I still get to remain on Fort Jackson and have at least 6 more weeks to see the Lord's work progress there!

Well I think that's about it for right now! I am really excited to be in Columbia where I will get to go to the State House (the Capitol Building) and some museums on p-days. Also there is a Trader Joe's in my area so I can go by their amazing gluten free snickerdoodles haha! Also it's just fun being in the center and Capitol of the State!! Fun things happen. Oh also as a cool thing about my area. Fort Jackson is now actually in my area so we will get to see a few of the member of less active families that live there. It also means that we meet a lot of drill sergeants who live just outside Fort Jackson. We are actually teaching one right now, but they are super busy and always working so it's a little hard to coordinate schedules with them. But it's a really cool place and I'll keep y'all updated on the happenings here!

As for a Spiritual thought I want to share a quote with y'all. This is a quote from President Monson's talk in the Priesthood session of the October 2014 conference.

"Our Father provided the sun, the moon, and the stars- heavenly galaxies to guide mariners who sail the lanes of the sea. To us, as we walk the pathway of life, He provides a clear map and points the way toward our desired destination. He cautions: beware the detours, the pitfalls, the traps. We cannot be deceived by those who would lead us astray, those clever pied pipers of sin beckoning here or there. Instead, we pause to pray; we listen to that still small voice which speaks to the depths of our souls the Master's gentle invitation, "Come, follow me."

In this life we have all be given tools that help to guide us away from the sins of the world. One of those is that we have a prophet on the Earth. Private Sm. yesterday was so excited to hear that we have a Prophet on the Earth today who speaks to everyone two times a year. Seeing his excitement and wonder over that has really gotten me thinking of just how amazing that is. So I invite y'all to find a talk by President Monson from any conference and to read it and apply it to your life how ever you see fit!

I love y'all so much and I hope that y'all have a great week!!

Love always,

Sister Amy Bennett :)

The Package from the Hassell girls

Saturday Evening Stake Conference