Well you know what that means?! Come May 27th is the count down of 12 weeks! I'm not trunky... I'm just making sure I appreciate each day. It's weird being close to the end of the mission because I've never experienced this before haha. It's something new to me. By time I wrap my mind around it it'll be over.
Twelve weeks is still quite a bit of time. However, let me tell you about this past week... since I will only email you 13 more times as of this email.
Right, so this has been a pretty great week. One of the fastest weeks since I've been in this area. There was a lot going on and that was a little stressful, but once you make it through you feel good.
Thursday the 16th the Elders (Elliott and Portillo) had a baptism for two young women named Jeannie and Joy (16 & 14 yr old sisters). I might have mentioned them last week. Anyways, it went really well. Our investigator Gifty accepted a baptismal invitation the day before for June 29th! It was awesome because Sister Crawford didn't even finish her question before Gifty responded yes.
Gifty was going to come to the baptism but something came up for school so she didn't get there until after it was over, but we gave her a tour of the church! She liked it. She's coming to church this Sunday.
Friday the 17th we had an awesome lesson with our investigator Jeff and one of the members made all the difference in the lesson going well. At the end he (Jeff) said an amazing closing prayer! He is really taking his baptism serious after this lesson.
Saturday night all the missionaries got permission to go to stake conference (even without an investigator going) because a big focus was on member missionary work. It was a lot like what our mission president told us from his meeting with the stake presidents as they counseled with the Lord about the needs of this area. They received strong revelation that the member missionary work needs to be strengthened. Why else would Heavenly Father send 100 new missionaries to our mission in the last couple of months. The field is white and ready to harvest. The finding is going to come from members and less active members.
It was also such a treat for me to go to the adult session of stake conference because 3 of the 4 areas I've served are in the stake and I got to see a ton of amazing families all gathered in one room! Not to mention previous missionaries I've served with! I was ECSTATIC! I literally was so happy! I was freaking out. lol
Sunday's session of stake conference came from Salt Lake and was broad casted to three states (NY, New Jersey, I forgot the other) It was wonderful too! It was a lot about member missionary work, family history, and going to the temple often. It was very similar to what was said by our local leaders. It was great hearing themes repeated by other church leaders (Boyd K. Packer spoke and a few others).
One thing that stood out to me was what was said about Family history. They pointed out that family history and genealogy are not the same. Rather genealogy is part of family history, but that family history is much broader. One one of the family history websites they have updated it so you can upload stories and pictures of your ancestors! That really caught my attention. I am going to do a lot of family history work when I come home! It's not just people who have passed away, it's for the past, the current, and the future! Also, while talking to some other missionaries on Sunday evening I decided something about my future goals =) I am going to learn Swedish so I can travel to Sweden and do family history work! Plus that is such a righteous desire Heavenly Father will help me learn the language!
Monday the 20th I went on a split! I got to go to Kingsbridge (my first area) and be with Sister Maldarizzi! Sister Broderick came here to be with Sister Crawford (Sis. Broderick's first area). It was awesome! I got to see some old members in Kingsbridge. We had dinner with the Britton family and the Cruz's (two of my favorites!) It was an absolute delight =)
Well after I get off here I am going to Manhattan with a member from our ward Hanzy. He's super funny and has been helping us a lot with the work. He's going to show us around the city (even though I know the city lol)
but actually we are going to a few spots I haven't been before.
Oh and it's official! It's NASTY humid again!!! lol
I love you! Thank you for your love and support. I know the Lord knows our struggles. If we are open, honest, and share our raw emotions with Him... even when we don't actually want to think about what we're feeling or thinking, He truly can comfort us. If we draw nearer unto Him, He will draw nearer unto us.
I love Him very much.
Sister Emily Johnson