Officially... 1 year!

Well, first of all, I want to tell you that in Ward Council on Sunday, we watched a training video from Elder Eyring and he was talking about his parents and he said, "They saw the potential in me that I did not," and my mind went straight to you! Thank you for always believing in me, never giving up on me, always encouraging me, and always supporting me. You are the absolute best mother in the whole entire world and I love you so much! I miss you and cannot wait to hang out and be best friends forever. 

Monday: Pday, the whole zone was invited to the Zone Leaders house to play volleyball, pingpong, watch 17 Miracles, or just hang out. We went for a little bit and just wrote letters and talked and things. Afterward, we came home and took a nap! It was soo nice! 
That evening, we went to Noelia's house for Family Home Evening. I love that woman with my whole heart!! She is so so wonderful and she is such a great new member of the church! She actually just got a calling in the Relief Society to organize the events. She is so excited :) Well anyway, we did a little Family Home Evening with Noelia, her mother-in-law Nancy (who Sister Summerhays and I had been teaching before we taught Noelia), and Noelia's two girls. At the end of the lesson, right before we left, Noelia said to Nancy, "Nancy, do you want to share your news with the girls?" Silence. "Well, do you want me to share it?" Nancy said yes, and so Noelia told us, "Nancy wants to be baptized!" ...Miracleeee!! We set up a follow-up appointment to begin teaching her and preparing her to be baptized! 
That night, we didn't have any other appointments scheduled so we were trying to think of where to go. I suggested that we say a prayer, and Sister Kiser said, "Oh yeah, I didn't even think about that!" So we stopped in a parking lot and prayed and right after, Sister Kiser suggested we go to this member's house who has an inactive son. So we stopped by and the son, who is never home or is always sleeping, answered the door! The father and son came outside and brought chairs and we had a lesson on the doorstep (We can't go inside homes without another woman). Well, the lesson went so so well! The son opened up and shared all of these stories with us. He was saying, "Should I tell them about [so & so] time, Dad?" and the dad would say, "That's pretty personal, but if you want to share it, you can," and the boy would. Inspiration.

Tuesday: Day of service. In the morning, we did a million dishes for this member who runs a catering business. She recently had shoulder surgery and couldn't do the dishes from a wedding reception, so we went over and put on some Mom-aprons and washed dishes. Sister Kiser and I had a fun time talking and doing dishes. 
Mom-aprons & service
Afterward, we asked this really great Young Woman, Allie, if she would come do service with us. We went to this lady's house, who is pregnant and can't do too much, and she asked us if we would clean her floors. It was kind of crazy, but we cleaned her daughter's bedroom and vacuumed a few rooms in the house. It was overwhelming because there was still so much to do, but we agreed to come over every week and help her out. After service, we had dinner at Allie's house.

Wednesday: I was feeling so so sick! The elders came over to give me a blessing and I slept for an hour or so. We had a lesson scheduled in the afternoon with this wonderful less-active woman who we have helped come back to church. She showed us some of her artwork and she is fantastic.
We had a lesson with Nancy and committed her to baptism! We are going to Temple Square with her and Noelia this week! I am so excited!
That night, we went to Sister Bennett's house, the Young Women's president. She is so amazing. Her daughter just went off to college, and left a TON of clothes at home, so Sister Bennett said we could look through them. Free shopping! Sister Kiser and I got so many new clothes and accessories. It is REALLY nice to have new items in my wardrobe. I didn't think I'd get so sick of my clothes after just a year, but I guess I am more of a diva than I like to admit. Well that night, Sister Kiser and I had a little fashion show! So fun.

ONE YEAR, August 22!
My ONE YEAR MARK! Woo hoo! We had lunch as a Zone. President and Sister Eberhardt came. We had a really good district meeting; all of the district leaders were switched around to do a training and we had a Tongan elder who gave us a lot of good ideas to help our personal and companion study. I was asked to give a little talk about companion study. I really want to make time to do scripture study when I get home and don't have an entire 2 hours dedicated to studies! 
Sister Kiser and I, weekly planning
During weekly planning, Sister Kiser and I made a goal to ask for referrals from EVERYYONE, and Thursday night, we got 7 referrals from members! 

Friday: We had an entire day full of appointments almost every hour! It was sooo nice. I love not having to worry about where to go or what to do. We knew exactly where we needed to be, and in the in between moments, we visited referrals. We did service in the morning for the woman pregnant with triplets. 
That evening, we had a lesson with Noelia and we taught the Plan of Salvation. We talked about Temples and Baptisms for the Dead. She really wants to go to the temple!! It's so wonderful! She lit up and she could really understand the significance of serving and sharing the blessings that she has seen from baptism! She is so excited.

Saturday: Sister Kiser and I spent our lunch hour making tons of little Thank You cards for members and leaders.
Making cards

I absolutely love crafting :) And this is the best stake!!! There are so many helpful people that we made almost 40 cards!
In the afternoon, we delivered a few cards to our bishops and ward mission leaders, along with copies of our progress record.
In the evening, we had a Stake Fair! The entire stake and all of the people (nonmembers, members, lessactives, everyone!) was invited. It would have been more successful had it not rained that day, but it had a pretty good turn out. There were games, tables of food, jumping houses, a live band, a dunking booth, and (my favorite) cotton candy! We talked to a lot of people and got to see Noelia, her daughter Amelie, and Nancy. It was pretty chilly near the end. Amelie was shivering so I rubbed her arms really fast, and I said, "Your skin is so soft, Amelie!" A few minutes later, Noelia said something about how Amelie didn't have a sweater on and so she was getting cold and Amelie said, "I'm not cold, I'm soft!" Noelia and I were laughing so hard! I love their family!!

Sunday: There was a stake priesthood meeting with the mission presidency. Sister Kiser and I didn't think that we would be involved because we aren't men and we don't have the priesthood, but at 7:45, a little after the meeting had started the Zone Leaders texted us and said, "Are you coming?" We called them and said, "We didn't know we were invited!" We rushed over and they asked us to sit on the stand. It was a really good meeting. I absolutely love love love the stake president, President Hicken!! He is so missionary minded. He emphasized that he will not let up the pressure because he made a covenant with God to provide us with 20 lessons a week!! Wow. He said that his son is on a mission and he is praying that the members will find work and provide a good experience for his son. He said, "I know that there are Brothers and Sisters Kiser and Wall praying for the exact same thing for these sisters." Ahhh. I love valiant leaders. 
In the 9th ward, the Relief Society President's son came home from his mission. He gave his homecoming talk and then they had a party in the pavillion next to the church, which we were invited to. 
Sister Kiser and I were asked to speak in the 7th ward sacrament. We talked about Faith and Prayer and I based my talk on Elder Holland's talk, Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence. You need to read it!! It's absolutely amazing. He says, "This opposition turns up almost any place something good has happened... With any major decision there are cautions and considerations to make, but once there has been illumination, beware the temptation to retreat from a good thing. If it was right when you prayed about it and trusted it and lived for it, it is right now."
I shared my experience about the time right before my mission when I went on a walk with you, Mom. I remember feeling torn about leaving college when things were going so well. You gave me such great and wonderful advice that I could return to those things when I got home. I had already made my decision to serve a mission, and you would not let me retreat from a good thing. Thank you!!!! I am so so glad that I made this decision and had tons of help in making this decision!

Sunday night, I felt like we needed to drive by the park. We saw Evgeniy (my Russian-speaking bestfriend) there and so we stopped. When we got out of our car, we saw Elder Pokrovskii and Elder Hartman getting out of their car! Elder Pokrovskii asked if I had seen Evgeniy lately and I told him that he was at the park, that we had sent them a message to tell them, and that was why we were there! They hadn't even known he was at the park but had decided to stop by. Sister Kiser and I had made copies of a couple of pages out of a Russian-to-English phrase book from a member. We showed Evgeniy and he pointed to the phrase, "Did you miss me?" I was so so so excited and said, "Da! Da!" ahaha. I love that man!!!!!!
Well, it was an absolute dream come true! to be able to communicate with Evgeniy! Not through the pages of phrases, but through Elder Pokrovskii who translated. We had a little conversation and a lesson about Faith. I told Evgeniy that I knew it wasn't coincidence that we had met at the park that very first time, and that God had sent us to him. He said that he knew that was true. I told him that it was an answer to prayer every time we found him at the park, including this very night and this very lesson. He said that he had a feeling he would meet us at the park this night as well! Ahh, what miracles the Lord has provided me.

Wellll.... I love you with all my heart! You are so wonderful! I miss you! Mwahh!

1 comment:

  1. My dear friend, Ariel. You are an Angel. I get teary-eyed when I read your blogs. How you have blessed the people in your area. You have done an amazing job as a missionary. When you talked of washing dishes, I remembered the day that you and I worked at Paul's helping him with his dishes. Love you, love you. Ruby