I joined Aaron for Sacrament meeting down in the Silverlake ward. They had a young man speaking that is leaving on his mission assigned to the Salt Lake City South Mission. He just happens to be the grandson of one of the members of our Sugar Land 1st ward. It was fun to meet all of their family and be apart of their missionary experience. I was able to make it back to our ward in time for our Relief Society meeting. I love the sisterhood of Relief Society. It fills me both spiritually and socially. Once home, I spent three hours trying to formulate an inspiring email about “making follow up happen” for my mission email only to set it aside and start over. I was discouraged that I had wasted all that time. Aaron assured me that I hadn’t wasted my time but that it would be needed elsewhere at another time. So true but didn’t know that until Tuesday morning. ;)
As I do every Monday, I joined Aaron in his meeting with the APs. I don’t know if I have ever mentioned the purpose of this meeting. For the most part it is to discuss logistical matters that affect the missionaries and the trainings or activities for the upcoming week. So this week we talked about what was needed for interviews, our objectives for what we would like to see the missionaries go away with (my part still in dense fog at this point), and things needed for our upcoming Atonement training on Thursday. Once that was discussed we mulled around the idea of changing our transfer week’s current setup to one that would be more efficient and less disruptive to the missionaries. By the end of the meeting it felt like this was what needed to be done and Aaron started the ball rolling to make the changes start happening. It is exciting to see how it will bless the mission. It will be more work for me in the two days verses the four that it was spread over before but nothing that I can’t handle with hands and hearts to help me. J Today I worked on Allie’s UVU experience. I noticed that her acceptance letter stated that she was a non-resident. Obviously that is wrong but now we have to prove otherwise with an application including submitting several documents to UVU. Oh JOY! for me. ;) I also will be submitting her application for her apartment as well. This falls to me because are sweet Allie girl is not 18……YET. I can hardly believe it!!
The kids are making great memories with cousins. Today they went to Lagoon with Kathi and her kids. They had a wonderful time. Bode is being helpful which makes this mom happy. I have also heard about Jessie’s Kids CewR gang. They have meetings, choreograph dances, practice songs, work on costumes and post videos to YouTube. Bode has joined the Pokemon Go craze playing the game with his cousins. Zac has enjoyed reconnecting with friends and spending time with the older cousins. I love and am grateful that they have this opportunity to be back in Utah.
Our interviews started in the Houston Zone on Tuesday, then Richmond on Wednesday, four companionships from the Brazoria/Lake Jackson area on Thursday after the Atonement training and Houston Central on Friday. So here is the story of how my three hours on Sunday were not wasted. All day Monday I could not really come up with what I was going to share with the missionaries. I did know I was going to ask them to share with me how the area book was a tool for them in their missionary work but that’s about it. I knew that this little bit of info wasn’t necessarily going to be helpful to them other than what I learned from the first ones to share with others. About 10 minutes before I left the house I had the thought to print the “making follow up happen” email off. So I did and left. With the copies of the email in hand I have been role-playing different invitation/commitments that they extend and demonstrated how to follow up in a more effective way that isn’t pushy or annoying. I think many found it very beneficial and were excited to implement it in their respective areas. As for the area book part, I gleaned their best practices and then shared with them the vision of how the area book was a resource to their efforts not a burden to keep records in. I really saw missionaries take to that vision and capture the blessing of it to simplify nightly and weekly planning. Lots of fun!
I know I have mentioned this before about our specialized training on teaching people not lessons is ever evolving but today our Atonement training experienced some evolving of its own. Aaron emphasized their vision to baptize which is knowing their “Why” which then is supported by the WHAT and HOW will help them focus on their purpose of bringing others unto Christ. I did my Adjusting to Missionary Life presentation with more gusto than usual. We have many missionaries that just don’t believe that their stress causes physical symptoms. We call it missionary tummy that I think they interpret that as the mission nurse is dismissing their symptoms but she isn’t. The symptoms are real and makes them miserable but will continue if they don’t recognize and manage their stress (most don’t think they are stressed just sick). The actual Atonement training was powerful and always opens their eyes to the need of their investigators (and the world) to understand the need and blessing of our Savior’s Atonement. It was a great day!
On Saturday, Aaron and I woke up somewhat early so we could both get a bike ride and swim in before the ward’s Pioneer breakfast. It was fun to chat with members in a causal atmosphere. The sister missionaries were making the most of the breakfast OYMing individuals who came to the park to exercise but would stop to ask what was going on. They were happy to explain and get contact information to follow up with them. We have AWESOME sisters! Afterwards, Aaron mowed the neighbor’s lawn for Zac and I headed to the church to help with the cleaning assignment. The assignment was mostly done but I just had to clean the foyer doors. It took me almost an hour and half but they looked so much better. Later Aaron and I rewarded ourselves with a nap. I know crazy but it was so needed. That evening we went to dinner with the other Mission Presidents and their wives in the Houston area. It was fun to get together, share experiences and exchange ideas.
It has been a very busy and full week but it doesn’t stop me from thinking about and missing my cute kids! Today the girls went to the Miss Rodeo Fashion show, later Allie and Zac went to Pineview with Megan and Curtis then met up with the rest of the cousins at grandma’s pool and then a drive-in movie. I know they are having incredible experiences and creating memories that they will look back on later and enjoy reminiscing about. Thank goodness for texting and now snap chats so I can stay in the know. I have very few moments that I actually get to talk to them on the phone except for short spurts. Oh how I LOVE them!! My heart swells just thinking about them. :) :) :) :) I’m not quite to counting the days when they get home but close. ;)