Saturday, October 11, 2014

"Moral of the story...We got Zombies people!"-Roumanti

Well, I have no doubt in my mind that the Lord truly does bless His missionaries with strength and energy. Otherwise there would have been NO way that I could have made it through this week. It was so crazy. But also so awesome! So we had three exchanges last week since we had to squeeze the last ones in before the transfer ended. For one of them I was biking out in Lakewood for the day. It was SO FUN but also SO EXHAUSTING!!!! Holy cow. I am so out of shape. Those hills were killer. My whole bottom half was super sore for the next three days. But we were able to contact so many more people! I would actually love to be in a biking area someday. [But probably not going to happen with my diabetes. Sister Vellinga is very strict on that. That's how we got the Assistant's car before] 

We had Mission Leadership Council on Wednesday which took most of the day. It was awesome!! So many perks in this mission! Guess what...we saw Meet the Mormons!!!!!! It is amazing!!!! Oh my goodness. New favorite movie. You all have to go see it when it comes out. It is so inspiring, funny, awesome, and just all around wonderful. I can't even tell you what my favorite part was because all of it was my favorite. President is showing it to the whole mission during Zone Conferences next month. I can't wait to see it again! That night the Vellinga's had all of us North Olmsted Sisters over for dinner. I love them so much. They are so incredible. I asked President how he felt when he got called to be a Mission President and he said, "I was scared out of my mind!" Then he goes, "But if I knew you were coming Sister Olds..." and at the same time we both went "I would have been even more scared!" hahaha He is so great. I have loved serving in his ward for so long and getting to know him better. It is such a privilege. I asked them how they met [my favorite question to ask at dinners with members. It is so funny to see how couples respond to that question and hear their stories] Apparently President stole Sister Vellinga away from some missionary she was waiting for. Then President's brother got called to that same mission where the old boyfriend was serving and he was the one that picked him up from the airport! Too great. Then they went to his mission homecoming with their first born girl! 

So while I was on exchanges with Sister McIntire [LOVE HER! Can't wait to be her companion someday. We are creepy alike and both know Toree Day!! So fun!] we had this AMAZING lesson. We were going to deliver a gift bag from the Gladys Knight Fireside. I have never met someone so prepared for the gospel before. She absolutely loved the fireside and was so excited to get a Book of Mormon. She already loves it and hasn't even read a word of it! The spirit was so strong throughout the whole lesson and the things that she would say just astounded me. "I feel like there is more that we have to do in order to get to heaven. Like it is not all just based off of our good works." YES! "I think that sometimes God knocks in our lives when He knows that we are ready to learn more. I think you girls are my knock." YES! And so many other things like that. It was so awesome!! I am so sad that I won't get to teach her because she is in the Lakewood Ward, but I am still SO excited for her!! 

We all know General Conference was amazing. Not that I am biased at all, but President Klebingat's was by far my favorite!!! I couldn't even take notes fast enough! [Granted he was talking a million words a minute]. And so many other people here loved his too. It was so cool to be talking about his talk yesterday at District Meeting and just thinking, "He is still influencing SO many missionaries!!" I am still so grateful to him for allowing me to see Steph in Ukraine. I highly doubt that I would be out here otherwise. I mean, I'm sure the Lord would have got me here some other way, but I like the way it turned out. Also I absolutely LOVED Elder Scott's talk. I loved the focus all throughout conference on the small and simple things. I feel like that has been a common theme for me for the past few months. It truly is those small and simple things that can make the biggest difference in our lives. [Alma 37:6]

We got 2 new investigators this week!! They are both so awesome. So the first one was actually a former investigator that I had met when I served in Lorain. She actually lives in Avon Lake and I helped her move into her apartment when I served there. She is a nanny for a family in the ward here in our area and so we have gotten to know her really well cause she is almost always there when we are. She went to the Gladys Knight Fireside and now wants to get baptized!! So we started teaching her this week and she is awesome!! It is so neat to see the spirit work on people and help them to understand the gospel. I absolutely love Jojo!! She is so sassy. She is pretty much our best friend. Our other new investigator was a total shock to us and such a miracle!! So we only had a little bit of time before we had to head home for call ins Sunday night and we decided to stop by one of our less active members that we had been trying to meet with but hadn't been able to for a while. We knocked and were really surprised when someone answered. It was her fiance, Roumanti [not sure on spelling....], and he goes, "'s the girls again." And Sister Haithcock told him to have us come in. He goes,"What?! We're letting them in?!" It was actually really funny. We go and sit down with them and just start visiting a bit. We talked about conference and a few of the different things that we learned. Eventually the conversation turned to how they were having some difficulties in their relationship and wanted to know what would help. She mentioned how it kind of worried her that they had different beliefs. We asked him about what his beliefs and religious background was and he comes from almost everything! Catholic, Baptist, Jehovah's Witness. He kept saying how he has learned about so many religions and he's "studied them all!" I asked him if he had ever learned about ours and he goes, "" We talked about how we could teach him about it and he could come to learn and decide for himself if it is true. We testified about how the gospel not only helps individuals but also families, couples, and all relationships. He brought up how he is doesn't like "titles" though. I told him about what William McDowell {Gladys Knight's husband} talked about at the fireside. He said, "I'm not a Mormon. I don't even know what a Mormon is! I am a follower of Jesus Christ." That did it for him. It clicked. He got real excited, clapped his hands, pointed at me and just said, "Yes! E-xactly!" We are so stoked to start teaching them together! She has told us before how she knows that she needs to come back and does really want the gospel in her life, but it is just hard for her to do. She is excited too and says how a refresher will be good for her. We left their home in awe! That was such an unexpected miracle!

Oh man, sorry this one is so long again. I think I get carried away sometimes and think that I am just writing in my journal or something. But I am just so excited about all of the things going on here!! 

So it has been interesting to me to see how many of the sisters that I have gone on exchanges with this past transfer are having struggles that either I have faced on my mission or am currently facing. I think sometimes the Lord gives us things to overcome and face so that we will be able to help others with those same challenges down the road. That clever guy...I truly am grateful for what I have been able to learn from the trials I have had on my mission. I think I am finally starting to see how the Lord is shaping and refining me. It has been an interesting and not always that easy of a process, but a wonderful one nonetheless. 

Our awesome district. [Minus Elder Anderson and Elder Miller]

I love Sister McIntire so much!!! She is so wonderful. 

Thank you for the Halloween package!!!! We loved it :)

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