Two years has come and gone and I can’t believe we only have a year left. This past week was the new mission president seminar in Provo and it is unreal to think we sat in those chairs 24 months ago. Aaron and I have been fortunate enough to be watching/listening to the New Mission President seminar recordings. It has been great as it adds fuel to our desires to help our missionaries the best way we can.
Aaron and I spoke at the Houston Stake Conference on Sunday. I spoke on the blessings of the restoration of the gospel. I tried to share on the restoration of the gospel blesses me as a mom, in everyday living as a family and during life’s most difficult challenges. As usual, I cried. Sharing my testimony of the things that our so dear to me makes my heart tender and it shows in tears. Although as I share my personal experiences I feel like I make it more real for those I’m speaking with. So as hard as speaking is for me, I continue to share precious principles that I know to be true myself.
We took the kids to the airport bright and early (3:30 a.m.) to head to Utah. They are so excited and I am for them as well. It is hard for Aaron and I to be without them for so long but know it is something they need. To be able to connect with our families and their friends is important. I am sure it will bring some increased homesickness for Utah when they get back to Texas but I will emphasize we have less than a year left before we return. They have done two years, what’s one more. ;)
Aaron and I finished up this round of interviews on Wednesday and overall the missionaries are in good spirits. As Aaron interviews, I have shared my thoughts on increasing personal revelation during personal study and as a group we discuss other ways they have/can increase personal revelation. I then let the missionaries ask more personal questions about us. The questions have ranged from wanting to know how we spend our time each day, what a typical week looks like, how we met, crucial conversations we have had, date nights, advice on dating and staying active after the mission. It’s been fun sharing with them and each time I would share different experiences related to their questions.
We had two new sisters arrive from Temple Square this week; Sister Fuimaono from Hawaii and Sister Pilipitaya from Sri Lanka. We have won the lottery each time with our outbound sisters and these two are great. Our sister from Sri Lanka is the first sister ever to be assigned to the US and she’s an amazing young woman. She comes from less active, but very supportive parents, and a sweet as a soul you’ll ever find. They have both been serving for a year and entered the MTC at the same time.
We had a great MLC on Friday and Aaron shared a couple of the recent videos from the mission president seminar. Within an hour of each speaker concluding their remarks, we are sent the video of their address. Elder Holland’s talk is one for the ages and I’ll send it to you in its entirety when I have it in print. He shared it with us when we were with him just over a year ago, but there have been updates that were awesome to hear. As a mission we are very focused on using the Book of Mormon when we teach and find. The council discussed how we can increase this effort and we reviewed all the reasons missionaries don’t use it more often (fear, rejection, not enough knowledge, preparation etc.). We’re working on ways we can use it more often and get it in people’s hands. We also reviewed a message from Bishop Waddell (presiding bishopric and the guy is amazing) from the seminar on the faith to teach repentance and baptize converts. His message was on making sure the missionaries believe and trust they can baptize and to also serve following the Lord’s way. It is incredible to watch our mission leaders counsel with each other and make plans to bless and uplift their zones.
Without the kids around on Saturday we did some very mundane things like cleaning the garage, moving exercise equipment around, cleaning the cars, running errands together. Stuff we usually don’t have or take time to do with each other. However, we felt very productive and got a lot done. I’m sure the kids were grateful that they didn’t have to take part.
An update on Veronica, she was set to come home two weeks ago but before they released her they did a couple of blood tests. One of them came back high indicating something wrong so they did a couple more tests and determined her colon was twisted. She had to have surgery to correct it and has been in the hospital now for over a month. I feel for her and her family. This week she was released and hopes to be back to work after the fourth. I told her to take it slow and only come back when she felt ready so she can recover properly. Hopefully she will.
We miss the kids a lot but know they are having a great time. I am handling the Texas Heat/humidity by telling myself it is paradise like Hawaii. ;) It would be more doable if it would cool down in the evenings. I love Utah summer evenings. Enjoy Utah weather!