Our week started with both Aaron and I speaking at Stake Conference Sunday morning. The Stake Conference was well attended even with it broadcasted to two other buildings. Our assignment was sharing the gospel. Even though that was the same topic we had for the Richmond Stake and still referencing Elder Oaks talk it was a completely different talk. More so because I could tell we had less time than they had given us so I really had to speak by the spirit and have it speak to increase their faith in sharing the gospel with others. I hope it helped.
Allie and I worked out together. We did a little Marshall Fitness and then some partner interval training. I had fun! Allie might have thought I was hilarious. I no longer have dance skills. I look like a mom that has dance skills from the 80’s that can’t get beyond the 80’s. Scary!!! And surprise, surprise…..we went shopping. While shopping a girl fainted while we were checking out. Many of us came to her aid but a man nearest to her accessed she was breathing and had a pulse. Once he had her come to she shared she had donated blood and was feeling light headed. One lady gave her juice and we had her call a friend to pick her up. Allie’s commented that the experience made her feel very uncomfortable and freeze up. Seeing others go to the girls’ aid automatically was not instinctive for her. She had shared with me last week that she doesn’t think a career in any type of health care is for her. She is now exploring other fields that feel more natural and compelling. I remember those days….
Zac was fitted with his invisaligners however the template was incorrect. He now has to return in two weeks to have the template done. We are trying to fast track his treatment so he can be done by the time we leave. He will be doing the Acceladent as part of his treatment to make it happen. This will enable him to switch his trays every week compared to Bode every two weeks. Also hoping Bode will be done by the time we leave.
Allie and I went to a companionship study this afternoon. Our lesson plan is for a couple that is getting baptized this weekend. The sisters want them to understand that they show their faith and obedience by attending church every week to partake of the sacrament. We had a great session with them. Afterwards Allie and I went in search of the several of the many graffiti murals in downtown Houston. The first one we went to we took too long getting out of the car and a group of girls started a photo shoot. So off to the next one on the side of an ice cream shop. Allie didn’t like any of the shots I took. I tried. Finally to a “LOVE” mural by a church. Again, my photography skills are no Bueno. We had fun together though, that’s what counts.
Wednesday, I went to the Rosenberg District Council. Apparently, the elders freeze the sisters every week so the sisters came prepared with coats and blankets. They even provided me a blanket. J IT was a good council. I was their person that they were trying to make connections with during their role plays. We call it connections because the goal during a OYM is to connect them to heaven during their interaction with the missionaries.
The big highlight for the family was going to the U2 Joshua Tree concert that night. The opening act was the Lumineers. They did a really good job and we knew a lot of the songs. More than I thought we did. U2 was amazing! I felt like the kids and elfs in The Polar Express movie trying to see Santa but we were trying to see the band through all the people because of being on the floor and having a height disadvantage. Their sound and visuals were astounding. They know how to put on a show. We had only bought 5 tickets thinking Jessie would do well on the floor with no seating. Good thing because Bode and I struggled ourselves. We were giving each other lower back massages, squatting down for a little relief and Bode finally just sat on the floor. During the first encore, I took Bode to get a drink and go to the bathroom. Oh, this was good for the two of us. When we returned to the floor we stayed on the outskirts, we could actually see U2 far better than we had before. I think Bode and I are not huge crowd people. We like our space. ;) Oh and Jessie got to spend the evening with Natalie so she was a happy camper and didn’t feel like she missed out.
Well Allie returned to Utah today. I was sad. L I missed her as soon as she walked through the airport doors. I have loved having her here. She plans on continuing to go to school at UVU in the fall. She was going to transfer to WSU. She has figured out some courses she can take to move ahead with her education that her allows her to explore some different career options. I have seen incredible growth in her this year. In her studies, working with professors, independence, how she listens and interacts with her roommates, among other areas of her life. It has been incredibly hard to have her so far away but I have seen the blessings from both of our experiences.
After dropping her off, I went to the mission office to have lunch with the new missionaries that arrived 8 weeks ago. It was our teaching skills training. This training has evolved so much since we arrived. The emphasis changing from teaching lessons to acquiring the skills to teach people. I love the interaction we get with the missionaries at meetings like this. That night I met up with my visiting teachers at a park with Jessie tagging along. Their girls have tennis that day and it worked best for all of us. Jessie got to play with a girls that had moved from our ward at the end of the summer last year so it was even fun for her too.
In our MLC on Friday, Aaron had everyone study Alma 36-42 and then we evaluated Alma’s leadership skills with Helaman, Shiblon, Corianton as a council. A lot of great principles were found on how to create a vision, address individual needs, kindly correct, teach, delegate, and increase faith. We also focused on the Area Plan and the alignment of priesthood keys and how the missionaries need to connect to the vision, goals, and plans of the wards and stakes. Each zone reviewed their baptism goals and commitments. We spent some time on our accountability plan, discussing the purpose, accessing if it was meeting the purpose and how to ensure that it is purposeful in helping us be accountable. It was a great council meeting today.
Saturday is always a good workout day! ;) We had a final dinner tonight with the two other Houston mission presidents and their wives (Drake & Mortenson). We’ve become good friends with them and it’s been nice to work together for the last two years. We are sad to see them leave but excited for them to return to family, friends and home. Another week in the books in THSM. :)