Hello dear family!
The first week of this new transfer is history! We had a good week and are getting ready for another one!
This week we had a few lessons with our baptismal date, Saray. I am honestly just speechless when it comes to her and her story. She is so incredible and has just embraced everything about this gospel: the word of wisdom, law of chastity, tithing, a calling, and anything else. And she isn't even a member yet!!!! We had a couple of really good lessons, and one of them was with her friend that originally brought her to church last summer. It was really good. She got a priesthood blessing after another lesson, and she passed her baptismal interview with flying colors on Saturday night. It has been to amazing to have the opportunity to teach her the gospel and see how she accepts things to easily.
Our lesson yesterday in gospel principles was all about missionary work, and our Ward Mission Leader/the teacher asked her if she could see how the Lord has prepared her for this time to accept the gospel. It was such a witness to me that Heavenly Father works so hard and so specifically with and for each of us, so that he can accomplish His purposes through us, and I know that He will use her to do great things in the church. It is also a very humbling experience to be able to teach the gospel and share these plain and precious truths with Saray. All of the hard times and struggles and challenges and doors being shut, etc. are all worth it, 100%. I am so thankful to Heavenly Father for giving me the opportunity to teach her and to see her grow. There is nothing better!!
During companionship study this morning, we finished watching the rest of the District 2, episode 3 from last week's Preach My Gospel study. At the end Elder Bott is talking about how special it is to be able to be a missionary and see others come unto Christ. I got all emotional and realized just how much I enjoy being a missionary too. There is nothing like it. There was a long period at the beginning of my mission when I thought I would NEVER love this work or being a missionary or anything. I thought I would just have to endure to the end and that would be that. You all may or may not remember that. BUT then one day a few months ago, I realized how much I was enjoying being a missionary. I have come to love LA even more than I used to, even though I have seen way more than I would have otherwise chosen to. Being here is an incredible experience, and I have really come to appreciate all of the highest highs and lowest lows that come with my mission. It was a neat little "Aha!" moment that helped me realize the beauty of where I am in my life and how things are going. I can tell that I have grown so much and have had many testimony building experiences and opportunities. I am so thankful for Heavenly Father's perfectly timed expressions of love for us. This is a priceless opportunity that I have-thankfully-come to love dearly.
I have to say, there are lots of changes going to be happening, and I am somewhat apprehensive about them. . . I'm the oldest sister in my District, and 2 of the other 3 sisters are the ones I trained/ am training! I know it is all going to work out fine, but these are things that are on my mind nonetheless. You know how well I do with changes. . . :/
Anyways, I'll step off of my soap box now. Since coming to live with Sister Olson, I have appreciated the different experiences I have had with helping Dad with different little handy-man things around the house. On Saturday morning, I got in the shower and didn't have hot water. It has been cooler lately, so I was not too happy about that. Throughout the day I noticed that we still didn't have any hot water, even after letting the sink run for a minute. So I asked if Sister Olson had hot water that morning, and she said yes. So I thought maybe it was just the pilot light or something like that. So I went down in the basement (it isn't big enough to be a legit basement, but it is a smallish room right under the house) to see if we could get it figured out when we came home for dinner. Well, when I got halfway down the stairs, I could see the light reflecting off of water. I knew that wasn't supposed to happen, so we called elder B, and he called the plumber, and that night he came and got things taken care of. Turns out it was sewer water - EW!!!! I guess there were roots in the piping that caused the drainage to get backed up. That was fun. But we did avoid a plumbing emergency, and I guess that's good. So thank you Dad, for being Mr. Fix it! ;)
I had a few really neat tender mercies this last week that I wanted to share. They aren't huge or anything, but they were from Heavenly Father, just for Sister Hatch :)
1. An awesome Fast Sunday- I hadn't prepared very well, and had a headache in the afternoon before starting my fast, so I wasn't sure if I would have a good fast or not. But I didn't have any problems and our Sabbath Say was a delight :)
2. Last night we were in part of our area wanting to see some people, but we couldn't find a place to park. I was frustrated, so we stopped and said a prayer asking for a parking spot if that was where we needed to be at that time. Shortly after ending our prayer, we looked up and saw a spot right across the street from where we had stopped to pray.
3. Our dinner calendar has been rather empty lately, and we brought it up in our meetings before church yesterday. Then they mentioned in Relief Society that the last member meal we had was 2 weeks ago and that we need to be fed! So they passed around the calendar and it got filled up more than ever since I have been in this area!
These are seemingly random things, but they really were just for me. Recognizing them helped me know that Heavenly Father is mindful of us and loves us!! Don't you forget it!
I don't have much else to report on. . . Things are moving forward and I am super excited for the baptism we will have this weekend. We have a great district and zone and we are going to have a great transfer. We have made some goals and plans for things we want to work on this transfer, both in our area and for our companionship. Hopefully those help us to build unity and hasten the Lord's work in this area. It is going to be great.
I love you and hope you have a good week this week!!
Sister Lauren Hatch :)