Aloha from Lemoore!
This week has been crazy--as most usually are.
We really enjoyed the Fourth of July breakfast our ward put on! Last year I convinced my companions (I was in a trio) to dress in red, white, and blue. This year, Sister Croft and I matched as well! We wore grey skirts, red shirts, blue cardigans, and black shoes. We even both wore our pearl earrings! It was quite a show. We arrived early to help cook the pancakes! There were TONS of food. This ward even had special dishes to keep the food warm until we started. That's right! Lemoore is classy. There was an awesome fruit salad. It was delectable. I don't think I have had that good of a breakfast for quite a long time! I guess the most happening thing in the area was the firework show put on by the local casino. Haha. On Sunday we were trying to find a less-active family and happened to be around the area where the casino was. They had TONS of road blocking signs ready for the huge flow of traffic they were expecting for the 4th! Our mission rules were that we could not walk, ride bikes, or drive a mission vehicle after 7PM. We could be out if we were with a member if we had scheduled lessons, however. Well, we had quite a bit of things to do so we decided to just come inside at 7. We heard a lot of the fireworks!
Today we had our first official meeting with President Gelwix. We unofficially met him Sunday night. We had been asked to be the "half-time show" for the Zone Leader's baptism--we talk while the baptizer and baptizee are getting dressed. Well, thankfully, our District Leader informed us that President Gelwix was going to be at the baptism! We hadn't met him yet-but thankfully we made sure that this was a stellar presentation. It was miraculous to see as I prayed for Sister Croft as she spoke, and she prayed for me likewise, how we were able to teach with the Spirit in unity. President Gelwix is A LOT shorter than you would think. He's only 5'9". That was my first thought when I met him. Haha. He's just my height--but I have my hair that kind of puts me a bit taller. Lol. He is a lot more loving than I imagined as well.
Today we had a Zone Meeting and President Gelwix and Sister Gelwix attended. They instructed us for a bit, but President took a few minutes with each missionary to interview them and ask a few brief questions. He asked if there was anything that he and Sister Gelwix could do for me, and I (half) jokingly said to pronounce my name right! Hahah. Why do people always put that "n" in? Lol. It took poor President Gonzalez quite some time to get it right.
At the baptism last week President Gelwix gave the closing prayer. As he spoke I felt an overwhelming confirmation that indeed, Presideng Gelwix was called by prophet of God to be our mission president here in the California Fresno mission, and my mission president for the last few months of my mission. I had been praying for that witness, and was so glad to receive it!
It has been curious how I have learned more and more about personal revelation. I have come to the conclusion that it's more complicated than I ever initially thought. It is so critical and vital for our salvation. Sister Gelwix today shared a personal experience and how she received an assurance of a previous desicion as she read Doctrine and Covenants Section 6, verse 23. It states: "Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God?" I am learning that frequently I allow my anxiety or other emotions to make me question previous answers to prayers. We sometimes do not hear the "answer" to our prayers because we have already been given them! It has been interesting as I have been examining the personal growth I have had on the mission. I know I have grown in my ability to recognize the whisperings of the Spirit. I must admit I am slightly terrified to go back to "normalcy" because I have been able to listen to that Spirit in this missionary environment. A change of scenery, responsibilities, living situation, and life in general will cause me to continue to examine and apply the lessons that I have learned.
I translated my first full meeting this last Sunday! It was quite a challenge. I have semi-translated. But this was word-for-word time! Haha. Thankfully the teacher spoke slowly and the topic we were discussing had words that I was familiar with. I translated for Celia as they really wanted to have all of the Sisters in this particular lesson. Ahhh I was so nervous but I was amazingly blessed as I was able to express myself and the concepts from the lesson. I was also able to translate one of her comments to share with the other sisters in the ward. Talk about a gift of tongues moment!
We saw a wonderful miracle this week as one of the less-active sisters that we have been working with really has been progressing! She accepted a calling and is preparing to teach her first full primary lesson this week! Then, she bore her testimony FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER in Sacrament Meeting! She is very scared of public speaking and large groups of people. As I saw her walking up toward the front I was praying so hard that she would be able to do it! And she did! Everyone was shocked but it just proved to me that ANYONE can change. :)