Hey! So, sometimes a week starts out slow, and it gets interesting, and then in one day, a ton of your prayers are answered, and it's beautiful.
I have been out a full 7 months last monday, can you believe it??
Everyone is doing well here.
Julie is a rockstar and I love her. Sometimes we don't hear from her for like 24 hours, and we freak out and think the worst, but we keep being wrong, which is wonderful. It happened twice this week, both times ending with a phone call from her where she tells us she is doing great, that she's reading and praying, not smoking, can't wait for her baptism , and that she loves us so much. Yesterday, she came to church, and brought her best friend with her. He decided that from the few short interactions he's had with us, and what Julie's told him, he wants to join our church too! So cool! Anyway, we attended julie's ward with her, and it was great. That ward is really excited for her, and has already reached out and loved her so much. Her baptismal interview was after church, and she is ready! She will be baptized this Saturday at 1pm. :)
This last week the elders from Julie's ward (Waterloo elders) met and taught the first lesson with their bishop to a sweet, Liberian lady, Teta. They then figured out that she is in our area! She came to the Waterloo ward yesterday, and upon being introduced to us, said that she wanted to become a member of our church today, and wants us to help her become one as soon as possible. Talk about being prepared to receive the gospel! We meet with her tomorrow to teach the Plan of Salvation and extend a baptismal date!
Hannah is doing great. We were able to see her on Tuesday, and teach her a lesson on the Book of Mormon, and she's been reading! We also had her over to a member's home, the Larson's on Friday for a lesson and shakes. They were so nice to her, and we had a great lesson. She was not ready for church yesterday she said, but Sister Larson invited her to the Relief Society activity on Tuesday and she said she'd come! We have already developed a great friendship with her, and are praying to see her come back to full activity in the church.
We had a really crazy experience/miracle on Saturday. Our ward had a temple trip, and Sister Dunigan (who Sister Boone and I miraculously found and activated) would be going to do an endowment session for the first time in years. In addition, Mick and Angie would be going to do baptisms! Sister Sumsion hasn't been to the temple yet, and wanted to go, and I thought just maybe President would approve me to go without it counting as one of my 3 trips since It would be to accompany Sister Dunigan. Last week, I called and told him the story of meeting her, and he granted me a free temple trip, and approved us to go! So crazy- this doesn't happen very often. Well, mick and Angie both ended up not being able to go because of work and family emergencies (all is well though.) But, we got a ride set up and were ready to go. Saturday morning we headed off in a car with Bishop, Sister Dunigan, her visiting teacher, and a couple others who didn't have rides. We got maybe 20 minutes down the road and got in an accident due to snow on the road. It wasn't bad- just scary. Only the bumper on bishop's car was damaged, and the other two drivers were 100% fine. It was a miracle that it was so minor. Nonetheless, our trip to Nauvoo was foiled, and we were all so disappointed. Not to mention- shaken up.
Sister Sumsion and I had both been seeking revelation and felt like we would receive it at the temple, and had prayed and prayed about if it was the right time to go. We felt like it was. We still don't know why Heavenly Father stopped us- and everyone else in the car who needed to go so desperately- from going, but I am absolutely confident that it was all in His hands. We both got Priesthood blessings yesterday, and are doing wonderful.
I know that Heavenly Father loves me so much, and that He is aware of me, and us, and our trials, as well as our joys. He is blessing me every single day, and even though sometimes hardship has to precede the miracles and blessings, they always come. Sometimes they're obvious and easy to see, sometimes we have to search for them. This week they have been absolutely clear, and I know that I, and we, are being blessed both spiritually and temporally for how hard we work and how much we trust in The Lord. Another huge blessing has been Sister Sumsion. She is amazing, and kind. We love each other so much, and have been helping each other through these trials- as most of ours, old and new, are the same! We are here together, at this time for a reason. Being a missionary is incredible.
Thank you for all your prayers and love- I truly feel them each day. I love you all so much!
-Sister Alex Monroe