Aaron and I had a speaking assignment in the Houston South Stake this morning and Zac and Bode joined us. Aaron and I both spoke on the Book of Mormon and how it not only blesses them but their neighbors, friends and those they work with. I share how it personally has blessed me in my life. All the speakers did a wonderful job. I think I was more blessed just being in attendance than what I had to offer them. Speaking assignments really do strengthen my personal testimony so I am grateful for the opportunities even though they stretch me out of my comfort zone.
The boys went to the Lexington building for a change, still to play basketball but with different missionaries. I actually didn’t go over with the boys. I stayed home for an hour to do my weekly email to the missionaries and also work on my blog. I’m a little behind so I am trying to catch up….still trying to catch up this week as well. ;) Once over there I mostly visited with the sister missionaries. There weren’t as many this week because they are all low on miles so driving to the church is a luxury or waste of miles. We were at the church until 5:30. Bode has been asking for weeks if he can learn to drive in the church parking lot. Today was the day. He does surprising well. We drive around and then I have him park, back up and drive some more. He thinks he’s pretty cool!! I was a very nice mom and picked up chick-fil-a for the boys for dinner afterwards. Plus I didn’t have a plan for dinner and we still needed to do Zac’s final packing for Philmont. Our family night was on the Plan of Salvation. It was a good discussion with the boys. A wonderful uncle delivered Jessie to Kathi’s to spend some time with her family. They started her stay off right with apparently a hilarious FHE. *see pics below.
I woke Zac up bright and early today to head to Philmont. Bishop Kennington picked him up at 5:45 to head to the church to meet the rest of the scouts that are going. Zac is not too excited so I am praying he has great experience and wonderful adventures. I do know it is going to stretch him. Bode and I left the house at 7:40 to pick up the sisters to go do service in the Rosenberg area that was hit hard from the flooding of the Brazos river. We spent nearly 5 hours sorting donations, cleaning toys and toddler gear, breaking down boxes and cleaning up the cafeteria area at the headquarters that were at a local high school. They wouldn’t allow Bode to help clean up at the houses. You had to be 16 years hold. Bode really wanted to go to Torchy’s afterwards but I declined and suggested lunch at home. After getting lunch showered and packed, I took Bode over to the church to head out on his mini mission with Elder Ripley and Kaufusi. They were headed on their bikes to the hospital to give a sister a blessing. Just as they were leaving it began to rain. This is going to be a growing experience for Bode. ;) He later told me that they had a lesson with a less active and then a dinner appointment with a member family. Lucky for Bode the family forgot and so took them to Torchy’s for dinner. J Afterwards they headed back to the church for a Book of Mormon class that they hold for investigators, recent converts, less active and active members. It has been a great tool for working with less active members in increasing their understanding of the gospel. I had signed up to have dinner for the sisters at our house so I made them chicken taco ring because it is Bode’s least favorite meal I make. The sisters loved it. The scouts made it to Amarillo tonight. They decided to eat at a local hot spot, Denny’s. J
I attended two of the three district meetings that were held at the Lexington building on Wednesday morning. I love seeing the missionaries rise to their leadership responsibilities. The companionships shared about their progressing investigators and then the district counseled about ways to help the investigator or to find in their areas. Two sisters did a training on asking inspired questions and then we did an activity coming up with 10 inspired questions that went along with the Restoration lesson. It was a great activity to have them think differently about how they teach the Restoration using the pamphlet and asking inspired questions. I then went to the next meeting where they were finishing up with testimonies. The two elders that shared their testimonies are great young men and will be sorely missed. One of them shared an experience from when he first arrived about being accountable to the Lord. I will attach it at the end. He typed it up for me. Bode was at the district meeting to switch missionaries he would be working with. He now is with Johnson and Summerhays. He told me they had a lesson with a recent convert that is receiving the priesthood and will be going to the temple with a family name to do their work. They also met with a less active member then did individual study and companionship study. Bode has a new favorite scripture. “That as many would believe and be baptized in his Holy name and endure in faith to the end shall be saved.” Zac is now at Philmont. He has been selected as the crew leader. He shared with me that he is not excited about it. *see pic below. He will be stretched by leading and delegating during this adventure. Not sure I will hear much from him once they hit the trail tomorrow. Jessie is having a blast with cousins. Doesn’t miss me at all. Doesn’t even feel the need to talk to me much. L
We had our departing missionary temple trip today. It is always wonderful and amazing. Today was a little bit different in how I was blessed by being at the temple. During the session I noticed a sister from the departing temple trip from six weeks before. At that time she had shared with me that her 19 daughter was a temple worker during our session (Marshae) and was leaving to enter the MTC on Wednesday and it was bitter sweet because our missionaries have completed their missions. She had also shared with me that in 2012 Marshae’s older sister had been filling out her mission papers to submit when she was killed in a car accident. So here she was again (the mom) and I knew I needed to hug and also tell her that Marshae was on my flight to Utah when I went up for Allie’s graduation and that she got to sit by our sister missionary that was on that flight with me. As we talked, she shared with me all the miracles that she has seen in Marshae’s life from six weeks ago. It was incredible. As we continued to talk, we discovered that we both needed to share tender mercies that we have both seen from experiencing of loss of someone we love. Too many to share but we needed each other. Jolyn is another soul sister that has come into my life to bless me and I her. I know we will see each other more as we attend the temple. The other experience was as I was dressing to leave I could hear the sister next to me just crying uncontrollably. I knew I needed to wait for her to get finished dressing for the next session just to give her a hug and tell her that Heavenly Father was mindful of her. I followed the prompting and just let her cry on my shoulder. I don’t know what she is dealing with but I know I needed to be mindful of one of God’s children to spread kindness. I delayed our gathering outside of the temple but I felt I was being an instrument in the Lord’s hand. We took pictures with our missionaries, Aaron shared some counsel about the importance of the temple when they get home, I shared my testimony of the blessings of the temple and tender mercies that will experiencing as they go and as customary off to Paul’s pizza for lunch. Bode wanted to continue on his mini mission by staying with Johnson and Summerhays today. They did service at the high school in Rosenberg like he and I did on Tuesday. He really is enjoying his time with the missionaries. Allie, Jessie, Lexi and Jersey enjoyed an afternoon of fun at Color Me Mine. Jessie, I’m sure was in heaven. The girl loves to do crafty stuff.
Aaron planned an inspiring MLC on Friday morning. It was kicked off by a wonderful spiritual thought on Christ’s attributes by one of our newly called Senior Sister Training Leaders. Two of our traveling trainers shared insights that they learned from their assignments and how it can help zone leaders improve as leaders in their zones. Aaron lead a great discussion on the why, what and how of being tenacious in our missionary efforts. Which led into improving our efforts in using the Plan of Salvation pamphlets. It was fun to observe the participation and sharing of ideas among the council. Great meeting! Bode got to try out OYMing on Rice campus which the elders thought he might be hesitate but Bode jumped right in and talked to everyone like it was no big deal. I think he liked it a lot more than he thought he would. I am so grateful that he had a great experience. Tonight Aaron and I were asked to speak at the girls camp for the Houston Stake. It involved driving 2.5 hours north and me overcoming my insecurity of not having anything really prepared. The only thing we both had come up with was using “Believe” from their camp theme and relating a gospel principle to each letter. The girls were very receptive and excited to serve mini missions even with me lacking in confidence. We then made the long drive back home. A very long day!!
Our p-day started with sleeping in because of our getting home so late. I ended the week with another one-person sprint triathlon. The great thing about it is I can change of the order, which I do so I end in the pool swimming. Also I can take as long as a want especially during transition times. ;) Bode and I got his pack organized for his scout camp. He is not excited. He rather be in Utah with his sisters. We <3 Utah!