|Body armour from Hurricane Sandy|
This week should've been thanksgiving because I'm am just so grateful! First off, thanks to all those who sent things for my birthday. I really have the greatest Family in the whole wide world and i want you to know that i am so grateful to you all. LoVe YoU!
Its been the craziest week of my life (i know i say that alot but i really mean it this time!). It was the week of discussing transfers with President and getting everything set up for that and all preparing for the weekend mission Conference and Service day down in New Haven CT. I honestly can't tell you what happened during the week but i know we were swamped from 6am to 10pm every day and didn't even have a chance to visit the DJL family or T this week. The H's (an office senior couple) took all 4 of us assistants to the Cheesecake Factory for my birthday and what a treat that was. They are the funniest people. I love them cuz they remind me of my fabulous grandparents. The office couples depend on us greatly because they are a bit slow when it comes to computers and technology (unlike Gramma Butler) so they love us and treat us like heroes every time we come into the office and help them with their latest problem and then when we succeed they do these funny little dances all hooting and hollering hahaha its priceless. I love older people!
I will just cut to the chase, Friday after running around all over greater Boston trying to get everything ready to go down to CT, we picked up some sister missionaries in the city and drove down 2.5 hours or so to Madison CT. One of the sisters is from Las Vegas and used to sing with Gladys Knight! She's got such a good voice. When we arrived, the whole mission was together (first time since the consolidation of the two missions) we had hot chocolate and donuts and reunited with many friends and companions we haven't seen for a long time. It was a glorious time and just something special in the room where we were all gathered. Then we moved into the chapel to have our mission conference meeting. Elder R and I conducted the meeting and we started by singing Called to Serve and it was such an incredible sight to behold as we were sitting on the stand looking out across the hundreds of faces of people i have come to love so much and who we have been praying really hard for because of transfers. I almost lost it a few times in tears just because of the pure Christlike love I felt towards all of them. And once again, there was just something different and special about the feeling and spirit that was present in that chapel with our whole mission together. Something i will never forget.
Each of the Packard kids spoke and they are amazingly mature speakers, and i learn so much from them. Sister Packard also spoke to us but the best talk was definitely by President Packard. This is how he started: "Albert Einstein once said- simple minds talk about people, as in gossip. Mediocre minds talk about things, as in the weather or sports or whatnot. But Great minds talk about ideas. I want to talk about an idea. Its called Zion. Everybody wants it. A few people have tried to create it. only a couple were successful." He focused alot on Joseph Smith and the early saints and their efforts in trying to build Zion. It was that idea of Zion that lead people from place to place being burned out of their houses and driven across the plains. There is power in that idea. He really thinks we can create it here in our mission. I believe him and want to do it. He is such a powerful speaker and when he talks, he has a way of inspiring you to want to join him because of the faith that he has. A life-changing talk. He and his daughter also sang a special musical number. That family is so talented!
That night all of the elders slept in the church there while the sister missionaries went to stay with local members. Saturday we woke up and dressed in our yellow Mormon Helping Hands shirts and vests and took off in groups to go serve. It was such a fun day! And such a good change of scenery. We shoveled sand off of people's property-sometimes up to a couple feet! Cleaned out basements, moved furniture, walked along the beach and picked up trash and debris, helped take boards off of windows, Lifted a shed off of a fence ha, and lots of other little things. The people we served LOVED us! They were so grateful. And even the people who we didn't help but who just drove by on the street would take the time to stop and thank us for helping their community. It was amazing. I'm so glad I got to be a part of it.
There are so many other little stories that happened throughout the day but it suffices me to say that we served and lifted burdens and had loads of fun doing it! plus the weather was great even with the random snow storm earlier in the week. Blake, count me in for next year hurricane clean up cuz i loved it! (as you can tell by the picture i sent). We drove home Saturday night and fell asleep instantly. Easily some of the best days of my mission.
Well, I love you all! I know that this gospel is true. How can it not be. When you stop and think about all the good that comes from this gospel and what we learn and what we strive to be, its so obvious that this is what Christ wants us to be doing. Look for those in need of this great message of purpose and hope. He lives!