Let's see.. for starters, the weather here is INSANE. On Wednesday we went on exchanges. So I was with Sister Walker in the University Branch. Lucky us, on bikes for thee hottest day ever haha. But really.. it was like 103 degrees out except it wasn't like my lovely az heat.. It was like a sauna out. I honestly don't think I have ever sweated so much in my life. Our first appointment was way far out and they had the wrong address.... so we may or may not have biked up and down this beastly hill like four times. And come to find out, his sister wasn't home so we had to bike all the way back to meet him at the institute.. But we just kept laughing all day long. Many of the appointments that were set up fell through so we were only let inside like once.. And yes, by the end of the day we were so delirious from the sun that we were just laughing our heads off. I think it was Sister Hinckley that said something along the lines of "Life is hard and we can choose to either laugh or cry. I choose to laugh because crying gives me a headache". Haha yeah I may have just butchered that awesome quote but you get the idea. And hey at the end of the night we met this Buddhist. It was sooo interesting learning about his beliefs. He told us about how they believe they will be "re-born" (basically reincarnation). And that they will become animals if they weren't good in this life.. It was very interesting and truly just strengthened my testimony. But we bore testimony to him and he accepted a Plan of Salvation pamphlet :)
Again in regards to the weather.. Thursday was the scariest storm I have ever been in!!!! We had gone to the Bradfield's (part member family who we are starting to teach) and we had the most awesome sister in the ward with us! Sister Spurlin, who is a convert and so so sweet. She has the cutest little boy too! But anyways, she was driving us back because we were pretty far out there. The Bradfield's live closer to Fort Riley because he is in the military. The sky was crazyyyy looking like pitch black but we thought we could make it to our next appointment before it hit. As we were driving it just DOWN POURED. We couldn't see anything outside and lightning was striking so close to us. We were all seriously just praying and almost shaking because it was so scary.. Our street sign by our apartment got struck by lightning and it was all messed up and bent after.. crazy! It finally passed and we made it back safely. The sky after that storm was wild! It was around 9 pm and the sky was all red, then brown. And half of the sky got super bright like it was the middle of the day! I thought for sure the Savior was going to appear.
We are teaching the most amazing people here. I love them so so much. We were able to meet with Felix, even though Satan has been trying super hard to keep us from doing so. The storm caused us to reschedule, one night he got called into work last minute, and just other annoying situations. But we were finally able to meet with him!! With the Pacada's in the ward, who are from Hawaii and awesome. Felix shared that ever since he has started reading the Book of Mormon, he has seen such a huge difference in his life. And in himself. I got the chills when he shared that. He had to take Jacob to KC Sunday morning so he wasn't able to come to church but he really wants to and is so ready. He also asked us to text him daily assignments. HE asked US. Like what? He is so cool.
We are still helping Shawn move, she is still reading the Book of Mormon, but she says she doesn't see the need to change right now.. but we had Mihoko (Japanese convert) come with us and she shared her conversion story which was soooo powerful holy cow. The Spirit was incredibly strong and I think it was just perfect for Shawn to hear that.
We have been praying constantly and super hard for our friends to be able to come to church. And we fasted for them. The Self family gave us permission to wake them up Sunday morning so at 8 am we came knocking on the door. Which may have turned into pounding. But hey, they gave us permission. Natasha finally came out after awhile and was like "Oh sorry, we will be ready in 30 minutes." So we were so excited and were going to come back in 30 with the ride we found them! But she texted us 10 minutes later asking to "reschedule" for next week.. If you really wanna break a missionary's heart just bail on church! But next week our ward will start meeting at 1 pm which we are soooooo stoked for. No more excuses for our friends :)
I was reading in Mathew the other day and one thing really stood out to me. So I remember in chapter 25 verse 40 about how when we are serving others we are really serving God and have always loved that. But this time it meant so much more to me and has meant so much more to me since I have been out on my mission. And not only that, but in verse 45, when it talks about when we are NOT serving others, we are NOT serving God. Wow that really hit me. I am going to serve with all my heart, might, mind, and strength out here because I know it is really for God and I will forever be indebted to Him.
I love being a missionary, it is the greatest thing ever. I know I've only been out for four months but I already know I don't ever want it to be over. These adventures and trials have been so much fun and have already strengthened me so much. I love it! Hope you all have a good week! Especially my mamacita who will be 25 years old tomorrow. I love you so much mom! Glad you got my letter. And happy birthday to Jen on Sunday! Miss you guys.
Sister Smartt (Sparkles)