Thursday, May 6, 2010

Can you believe April is over?

Dear Family,

April definitely flew by. With General Conference and then Stake Conference it was a pretty weird month. A good one though. The weather here is really nice. We do get some crazy storms, which is fun, but for the most part it is sunny, warm, and windy. We have had a few tornado watches but no tornadoes. And yes, all the members and leaders in the mission have told us what to do if there is one.

I'm very proud of Clark for not throwing a fit when he was playing his game with you. I love that the gospel helps us even in those little things. We met a lady out walking the other day. She was from Germany and couldn't believe how crazy society is today with too many parents letting their kids get into trouble and break rules and everything. We reassured her that the gospel can heal societies ills and that it all starts in the home, just like she said. That's exactly what our prophets are telling us. She was really animated about it and we could hardly get a word in edgewise but she said we could come teach her more. When she comes to church she will be dumbstruck with how good the kids there are.

The highlight of this last week was going on exchanges with Sister Gingrich. Her companion, Sister Hale, was sick so they came to the Trail Center and asked if anyone could go proselyte with Sister Gingrich so that Sister Hale could stay at the Trail Center and sleep. I was more than happy to sacrifice a day in the Trail Center to serve with Sister Gingrich. It gave us a chance to be companions when she wasn't fighting death and I wasn't a super scared baby missionary. We had a blast! It was so fun to teach together again because I actually felt comfortable talking. Sister Gingrich was proud to see how much I had grown as a missionary. We even taught this young guy named Eric that I remembered us trying to contact way back when we were companions. Now I see why Sister Gingrich really wanted to teach him. He is amazing! He's really smart and very logical. He knows the Bible and has been reading the Book of Mormon, recognizing that they really do work together and support one another. After I recited the first vision he said it made sense because the "pillar of light" description isn't too different from the way prophets in the Bible describe their visions. He also said it made him feel that "uplifting, reassuring feeling, like a warm hug" that he feels when he reads from the Bible and the Book of Mormon. I loved that description of the spirit. I think my favorite thing as a missionary is to see people feel the spirit and/or describe it.

Another fun thing Sister Gingrich and I did happened when we went to the hospital to visit an investigator. We had to suit up in surgical masks and things before going in because their investigator was being tested for TB. Well, then we found out we couldn't go in at all. So, we took off our gear and got to keep the masks. Later, we were visiting a lady who smokes and I was tempted to put on my mask, but I knew that would be rude. I still think it is funny that missionaries often smell like cigarettes, but it really is part of being a missionary. That night, when we went back to the Trail Center, Sister Gingrich and I put on the masks to wake up Sister Hale. She was definitely startled. We all laughed at how goofy we looked. I was very grateful that Sister Gingrich and I could leave each other on a such happy note. It was probably one of the happiest days of my mission.

Well family, I'm excited to talk to you next Sunday. We will probably call in the evening. If I remember right, church ends at 4pm for you, which would be 6pm here. Mother's day really snuck up on me.

I love you all very, very much!
Sister Bailey Mortensen

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