Shoutout to my fabulous G-ma Donna for working on her family history like a pro! I'm inspired by your efforts and I will definitley want to learn all about it from you when I come home. :) Family history is amazing! Only I didn't discover that until I came out here and had to start telling other people they should work on it, haha.
So the highlight of the week was mission tour in Madison. We drove to Sun Prairie, which was like a 2 hour drive, and stayed overnight with the sisters over there. I decided I can't be transferred to Sun Prairie because it smells like cows and the Culver's over there gave us only a tiny spoonful of toppings, hahah. :P So we slept on the floor over there and had to wake up super early to drive to Madison.we were told "to look our VERY best" for this 6 hour meeting. I loved every second of it! Elder Martino of the Seventy gave us the most incredible trainings, getting us pumped up for our goal of getting a baptism in every area before the October Conference. He talked with us lots about working smarter, with just the right member (or Amulek, as he tied it in with Alma 8 and 10) who will "astonish" our investigators with their experiences. I was just so amazed by him. He just talked for 2 hours straight, all by the Spirit, no notes. He asked probing questions and taught us deeply from the scriptures. He is an incredible teacher! He encouraged us to have our investigators answer their own questions. Also, he challenged us to get 3 consecutive appointments in different members' homes with 3 different investigators, AND the investigator has to already be at the member's house. We are going to do it before next week! :) He said if we do then 2 out of the 3 would be baptized (on average). It requires much, much planning but it's possible! Perhaps my favorite part of this meeting was hearing President and Sister Cutler bear their testimonies. They are such an incredible example to me of what an eternal marriage should be. I could go on and on about them, (Elder Martino surely did), but one thing I love that President Cutler says all the time is that the Atonement is the tree of life spoken of in Lehi's dream. The Atonement's purpose is to bring our families God's life, which is family life! Elder Martino shared an insight about the Atonement that I thought was neat. When Christ was suffering and asked that the cup be removed he may not have completely understood how excruciatingly overwhelming it was going to be. He meant "I understand everything depends on what I'm about to do. If there's any way I can't complete it (shrink) then please take it from me because I know how important this and if I can't complete it then Satan wins." None of us can truly say He doesn't understand what we are going through! He told us as we put our hearts, energies, and inner desires into this work then no matter what we are going to grow. I learned a ton from this meeting and it was great! Mission tours are the best.
After the meeting, well before the meeting started, I found out Elder Martino wanted to interview me! It was an incredible experience. He told me he felt impressed by the Spirit (he wasn't sure why he was saying it, he would never make an exception like this normally) that I need to have a cello out here. I had only briefly mentioned I played the cello in college. He also gave me an incredible priesthood blessing. He talked with President Cutler and, well, somehow I'm getting a cello! It's not every day a Seventy says something like that. I am amazed. And uber excited! :D
Mom, I finally got to use my birthday giftcard at Texas Roadhouse in Madison! :P Thanks so much!!!!! It was above and beyond delicious.
Funny story. Our parking lot was being redone and so one of the sides was closed. Well, the other side was full of cars and there was nowhere else to park so we had to park around the corner ( since we didn't see a sign or anything saying we couldn't). Well in the morning Elder Booth calls us saying "sisters, where is your car??!" The police called the mission office because they said we were parked there too long. We were so freaked out thinking that we, the cute sister missionaries, (criminals!) had put one toe out of line and were going to have our car towed! Or get a horrible ticket. But we didn't. Phew! :)
It was exciting to see Caryl Bender at church on Sunday. She hasn't been to church in forever! She will have loads of questions for us, she says. April is being baptized next Saturday! We are crossing our fingers, hoping and praying she won't smoke this week. And she's hopefully NOT going camping and will thus avoid alcohol. She's doing good so far... pray for her if you feel so inclined!
Sister McCauley, who I'm pretty sure is the most awesome lady ever, lent us a Sheri Dew CD called "The Lord Needs Powerful People." I love visiting her. She teaches us so much about marriage, life, and psychology, too. Anyway, this talk is super good and I highly recommend it! :)
Well, that's all for now! Love you all!