It has been a week of many emotions here in Benson. We have been very blessed! Here are some highlights:
We had our last zone conference with President Killpack this week. It was a very emotional day for all of us. It was very special. The spirit was very strong, and I learned much as he gave us some of his parting counsel. Sister Killpack and him shared what they have learned from their missions, which was amazing to hear. We have learned some of the same things. It was a spiritual feast. We talked alot about the great blessing it is to have the calling that we have been given as full time missionaries. There is a special power that comes with that calling, that both humbles me and makes me so happy. There is truly nothing like being a set apart missionary for the Lord. I have been blessed by that calling, and it has come by trying to bless others. Some quick highlights from what he shared with us: "If you talk with everyone possible – you will baptize everyone possible." "You cannot socialize someone into the Church and have them stay." "Be obedient." "Your success as a missionary is measured by your commitment to be a missionary." "Your commitment to be a missionary is measured by your work ethic and your obedience and not by the relative success of your area." "A mission should not just change your behavior, it should change your nature." "You shouldn’t just go through your mission, your mission should go through you." "Do not waste one moment of the time you have been given to have the mantle of a full time missionary." "You WILL become what you want to be, by consistently being what you want to become." I have come to cherish the word's that he has given us. This is only a small part, but more importantly it is about the spirit. I love President and Sister Killpack so very much. It was very hard to say goodbye. They made us sing that awful song "God Be With You Til You Meet Again." We all bawled like babies. Truly we will all 'meet again at Jesus' feet' as the song goes. I am so grateful for their leadership and example. In our own personal goodbye's President Killpack told me some very special things. I love them, and will miss them, but I am excited for a new experience and new insights from another wonderful mission president.
I went on exchanges this week with Elder P. We had a great time. I got to speak alot of spanish which made me very happy! We had a really cool miracle that night. We were eating dinner at a member's house and another member came over (who had given the misssionaries a referral a couple weeks ago). The elders had tried many times to contact the refferral, but nothing ever worked out. When the member came she said that we should call them again. So Elder P did so and she finally answered and said we could come by right then. We did so and we had a really good lesson with them, a really cool family. It turns out M (the referral) was really struggling that day with many hard trials. She has been really sick, and she lost her job, and her mom is going into surgery in LA. We gave her a priesthood blessing, and it helped her alot. The spirit was very strong. Right as we were about to end the lesson, M stopped us. She said, "I have to tell you about what happened to me this morning. I was really struggling this morning, and my youngest daughter saw that. As they were leaving for their summer camp, she stopped me and said Mom, God is going to send you angels today. They aren't going to have wings, and they are going to call you and knock on your door." It almost made me cry to hear those words. They were so special. It is truly the sweetest feeling in the world to be the answer to someone's prayers. It was a true miracle in every way. Now the Elders are teaching their whole family.
We had an accident with a deer this week....... We were driving home, and we live on a dirt road way out in the boonies. There are a bunch of hills and as we came over a hill a stupid deer jumped in front of our car. :( Elder Teichert yelled out and I looked and saw it. Thankfully we were able to swerve a little bit, so he only dented the side of our truck a little bit. It scared me have to death though.
For other wild animal news, I saw my first Gila monster this week! I have always wanted to see one, and we finally saw one on the road this week. I will send you some pictures of that.
Max got baptized!!!! It was a great day and a great baptism! It all went very well, and the spirit was strong. Max is a really special kid. I don't think I have ever met a more spiritual 9 year old. As we were meeting with them the day before he said, "I can't wait to be a mormon!!!!" He is going to do great things, I can feel it. Alfred his dad got to baptize him, which was really special.
We have found some more really great people to teach, and we are excited with the work here in Benson. We have been very blessed. I love being a missionary so much. All the hard things about it, are NOTHING compared with the joys. It is a very unequal balance.
I love each of you so very much. I am so incredibly grateful for the blessing each of you are in my life. Keep going strong in life. Remember what is most important, the gospel of Jesus Christ!
all my love