This week has had the most changes of any in my whole mission! And it started off with the coolest story in the world!
Since my last companion Sister Bryan (today is her birthday btw) left on a Monday, but transfers are on Tuesday, I stayed with the Laurel Glenn Sisters for the night, which is around 7 miles northwest of Berkshire, where I am serving. We were having dinner with a member of the Laurel Glen ward who was talking about his mission. I asked him where he served and our conversation went as followed...
"Oh awesome, my grandparents live there and my mom grew up there! Have you heard of California PA?"
"I sure have, I served half my mission there"
"REALLY, have you heard of roscoe PA?"
"Have YOU heard of the Monongahela branch?"
"Ummm, my GRANDPARENTS are in that ward and he was a branch president there!"
"What's his name?"
"George Scott, married to May Lou, father of Tracy and Terry (my mother)."
"HE WAS MY BRANCH PRESIDENT FOR A YEAR WHEN I SERVED THERE!!"
So, this world is insanely small. His name is Scott Hemingway, served from ‘75-‘77, born and raised in Bakersfield!!
We've been working with the M. family and they now know ALL the hand signs for the 10 commandments :D . They also fed us tacos again. I got called on an English speaking mission for a reason, I can't say no to Mexican food.... I only ate 11 tacos this time though, #hallelujah.
We also met with S. again, the wife of a less active member in the area here. We actually found them knocking on doors, and she had a really strong desire to learn more about the church. Our Bishop and Stake President went to visit her and it turns out our SP is the CEO of the company she works for!! They had a really awesome visit and committed her husband to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood in a year!
There are a lot of Sikh's in our area (there are 3 Sikh temples in a 15 square mile radius) and they're always crazy nice to us. But THIS week, one family invited us into their home, fed us, gave us water and 7 Up, told us how much they appreciated us and went on their way. They also started doing yoga when I said I was majoring in Exercise Science. Only one of the 3 people there spoke English, and only a little, so they thought I meant yoga!
Sister Pincock, my new companion, is from Rexburg Idaho, not sure if she has family in the Washington area. She’s been out 6 months and she’s a way good teacher and a very hard worker!! We are the same age and she was trained by my friend Sister Pesci, and used to be in this district before I got here!!
I haven’t cooked too much lately. I started making spaghetti with tomato soup instead of red sauce since I don’t really like red sauce.
And there are the Aussie cookies at Costco that are to DIE for, basically just seeds and raisins. See them HERE.
This week was full of sweat and long hours on our feet but I’ve felt the Lord's hand guiding the work continually! I keep singing one of my favorite Hymns, "How Firm a Foundation," and the 5th and 7th verses stand out to me:
5. When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,a
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply.
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, thy dross to consume,
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.
7. The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I'll never, no never, I'll never, no never,
I'll never, no never, no never forsake!
God WILL put us through hard times in this life, and often times we'll ask and wonder why it had to be that way, what we did to deserve what we're going through, what can we do to "push through" it. But God gives us trials to help us grow. I've always known that but I continue to see the BLESSINGS that come through our tribulations. His goal is to make us better and He'll never leave us through this process of refinement. I love this gospel and I love the chance I have to be a full time representative of Jesus Christ!