This week has been interesting! Out of seven days this week, I only saw
the sun for two days. Gotta love Oregon!! It was pretty funny
though because when the sun came out I was blinded by it.
Anyways, Sister Simmons is so great! She is a great companion to have,
she is wild and crazy and loves to sing and create jewelry. So we are
having a great time together, laughing a lot. She says I'm a lot like
Snow White. Hmmm... they call this area "the valley of the sick." The
Willamette Valley has the highest pollen count in the whole world, and
so in the spring EVERYONE gets sick : including your companion.
We live in a tiny apartment, it's in a small attic above the garage,
our kitchen just has a stove and a sink and a little counter. Then we
have a mini fridge. The mission jokes that it is the Barbie house. The
church building too is weird, it was built by members way back when
and the layout is very different. The sacrament table is in the center
of the upper part, while the podium is off to the side. It's called
the German building because the steeple is built differently.
We are teaching some cool people. One is Mary. She is an aunt to a
member in the ward, she is this sweet woman while a bunch of spunk and
spitfire. She is reading in the Book of Mormon and just loves it!
She is basically a member, but we think she is waiting till she
finishes the Book of Mormon to get baptized. Another is Craig, he is married to a
member, and is interested in learning about the church from us. He
came to church ! It was awesome to see him there! He has had
very little experience with religion and with God in general and has a
hard time with understanding how God can speak to him. During church,
all of the talks were about the Holy Ghost and listening to what God
has to tell you! It was pretty awesome to see!
One person we are teaching is a 81 year old woman. She is so sweet! I
just love her so much! She was excommunicated, and finally after many
years, has come back. She is recently baptized, and we had a lesson at
the church. She expressed to us how she feels so guilty for all of the
things she has done in her past and how she knows she has been
forgiven, but that she can't forgive herself. All the sudden, I didn't
see an old woman, I saw my sister. My heart broke for her as she spoke
of those challenges she was facing. I testified to her of the power of
the Atonement, and read 3 Nephi 9:13-15 with her. "Christ is eagerly
waiting for you, He wants to heal you Cleo!" she came up to
us and said: During sacrament, I realized that Christ suffered for
everything, for all that I have ever done. The debt has been paid."
Tears were in her eyes, but she was glowing. "I am clean." My heart
filled with love for her and for our Savior. He really does love us so
Today we were blessed to go to the temple. I am so grateful that we
are able to have that little piece of heaven on earth. I really felt
of the spirit whole I was there, and gained some more knowledge. Some
people think that they have to know it all before they get baptized,
or before they face a challenge. But in reality God wants us to take a
step forward into the dark, and then he will continue to teach us and
help us learn as we go. There is so much to discover! So why not keep
learning? Eventually you can look back over your life and see the
miracles and the light you have received, and it is glorious!