Monday, January 27, 2014

January 27, 2014 - Getting closer....3 weeks this Wednesday

"Gooooooooooooood afternoon Silver Spring Zone!" is how I normally greet the zone when we send mass voice messages that we call fittingly, "call-outs."  And that is how I choose to greet you today Mom, with a great, big, guttural "goooooooood afternoon!"  Anyway... I really appreciated the email this week, it makes me very excited to hear about what good basketball players Dakota and Carson are, but I think I can still take 'em :) It's great you got a smart phone! I would like to get one eventually as well, hopefully sooner than later ;) (That's a really BIG wink by the way)  The ASL temple session sounds like tons of fun! I know I've really enjoyed it all the times I've been.  It really helps to discover some more of the emotion behind the Plan of Salvation, however I haven't seen or even know if they have a translation for the new film yet.
Well this past week was a big week for the ASL program out here, as you know from my message to you.  I didn't get to go to the meeting on Saturday, but I did type up a proposal that I sent to President that hopefully was well-articulated and able to drive home some important points.  It was, at the very least, a base from which we can continue to gather ideas and make informed decisions with.  President Cooke informed me that the meeting went well, and that Elder Gerrard was very supportive in making things happen. We met with the ASL branch leaders, President Cooke, and Stake President Windley on Sunday morning to make sure we are of one heart and one mind.  The big part was, "how do the members feel like the ASL missionaries can be used most effectively?"  We decided that strenghening the core, the branch, before reaching out to other groups that have started up, is most important.  One of the main ways that missionaries will be most successful in strenthening, retaining, and baptizing in the ASL program is to have STRONG language fluency.  I personally wish I would have not had that time when I was not interested in signing, but I wish I would have worked hard to be more fluent and able to communicate.  One way that the branch wants to see the ASL missionaries continue to improve language fluency is to have them stay in the area for a lot longer, and to have them cover different areas, and to transfer them between each area.  The ASL branch and the two Presidents agreed on regular meetings to continue the effort and to get the ball rolling in where the branch wants and needs to be headed.  I am very excited and supportive of this effort, and know it will yield great results.

Ok wow... enough about that!  We did some other things this week too.  We taught Brother A two lessons and we decided to have his baptismal a little farther out, actually right before I come home, so that we can make sure we meet with him and have all the lessons and everything.  He is really excited, turns out for the past few weeks he had a lot of family members in town and was very busy entertaining them.  Darn family members getting in the way of a baptism ;) We had a snow day on Tuesday where we got about 5-6 inches and stayed in all day.  We planned and studied and cleaned and when we got bored we played in the snow!  It was really fun. We are busy getting ready for... iPads this week!  We are excited to see how they will help us out in our preselyting efforts and to create new ways in which they can be used.  We are also busy preparing for Zone Activity next week where we will be playing dodgeball and eating pupusas.  This morning we actually had a dodgeball fight in our apartment..... as you can imagine 6 Elders+15 dodgeballs= 1 messy missionary apartment! But we cleaned up don't worry.

Well, what can I say?  I've been very emotional lately.  I'm like one of the many pregnant women in our ward.  Super happy one minute to be "livin the dream" and the next just super sad and dreading the day when the badge comes off, permanently.  It's helped that our transfer motto has been "cry if you need to."  I am doing very well and positively for the most part though.  I think that I would rather go out working hard with all guns blazing and crying and being-torn-up-inside-because-I'm-gonna-miss-this-so-much than ANY OTHER WAY.  I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, and the end was never easy, but it was also never the end.  I am closer to the edge. 


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