Friday, November 7, 2014

A little songbird

Dear Family,

The trees are pretty naked... or in the process of becoming so.  However, there are lights being put all over to cover up their nakedness. ;)  There are more and more lights up everyday!!  Yesterday, they started putting out Poinsettias and I was like "WHAT?? It is only the 5th of November!! You can't do that yet!!!"  But really, it is beginning to really look like Christmas... much faster than normal I think.
For Halloween, we had dinner as a mission (yummy potato bar) and then we went to the temple!  The ENTIRE mission went to the 7pm session at the temple.  It was crazy and the poor temple workers didn't know where to put everyone because the session was so full.  To think that there were about 200 sister missionaries there plus the senior couples and part of the mission presidency and the normal people attending the session.  It was so beautiful to see all of the sisters in the Temple.  I had a question and actually got a different question that I didn't realize that I had answered in the temple.  It was a wonderful spiritual experience. 
This past Sunday was fast Sunday and for the first time on my mission, I bore my testimony during fast and testimony meeting.  There is usually so many sisters, that it is impossible to go and bear your testimony, but I really felt like I needed to go this Sunday.  I felt like it was not a crazy profound bearing of my testimony, but I did feel the spirit strongly, and many other sisters thanked me for sharing.  I got some of my silent prayers answered from other sisters testimonies.  And to think, that a long time ago before my mission, I disliked fast and testimony Sunday. haha!
On Sunday, I also announced for my last time.  That is when after Music and the Spoken word you hold up a sign saying what language you speak and take turns talking into the microphone at the giant crowd coming out of the Tabernacle and invite them to take a tour with you.  You also really dress up so that you look really cute.  It is a big deal to announce. :)  I will sent you pictures next week because I don't have them/ have not gotten them yet.  We had 3 people come on a tour with us and got a potential investigator as well.  It was really good.  :)
On Tuesday we had our Mission Leadership Council which was really good.  The assistants asked us to sing a musical number at the training.  Sister Davis is an amazing singer and would be on broadway if she did not come on a mission and change her career plans.  And I believe that she would be on broadway too. haha.  The assistants asked her to sing and then turned to me and said that I could sing too. :)  So we sang a song and it was really beautiful.  It was too the melody of "Nearer my God to thee" but with the words of hymn 101.  It went well.  (I saw President Poulsen later, and he told me that I sang like a songbird.  And told me that he didn't know that I had that talent.  :)  That is the first time that I have sang in a public setting on my mission because I feel like I am showing off or something like that.  I really enjoyed the meeting because I learned so much.  I learned more about how important it is to teach sisters and not make the choices for them.  That is something that I didn't realize, but that I really need to improve on.  I have been giving the sisters a fish, but not teaching them how to fish.  I need to work on improving this teaching skill.  I hope that I can master it (or at least improve a lot) in the little time I have left.
Sister Davis and I have been working hard.  We have a good teaching pool right now, and I am sifting through the people that we have so that we will only focus on the prepared.  Sister Davis is a great teacher and a wonderful missionary.  I love her a lot.  We are working a lot on our Zone Training Meeting that will be this Saturday.  Wish us luck! haha!

I still can't believe that this is my last transfer... It is a weird thought that only comes to me every once in a while.  I hope and pray that I have done and learned everything that the Lord wants and needs me to accomplish.  I hope that I am different and it is easily noticeable when I go home, because that will mean that I changed.  I really love the mission and everything that I have learned.  I don't think it was a fair trade; 18 months of my life in exchange for everything that I have learned and experienced.  Heavenly Father is too good to me.
Well I have to go I guess. I love you all so so much!!

Love Always,
Sister Stephen

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