Team Madsplund Abides

September 21
Well, my baby animal news this week is kind of sad, which is that we were visiting some people who live way out in the middle of nowhere on a farm and they had two CUTE tiny kittens in their yard but they were barn cats so they ran away from me 😦 But on the bright side, I had a dream last night that I got a puppy and named him Butterball and then my companion said, “White Handbook, page 46. Do not keep pets of any kind.”

This week we had zone training, wherein the Cumberland missionaries have to drive many hours (I am stationed in the most remote and most isolated area in the whole mission!) and then listen to the other missionaries for many more hours. It’s actually great, contrary to how I am making it sound. Lots of inspiring instruction. Because we have the privilege of following the instruction of teenage boys, the fellows in our zone got obsessed with these novelty-size Big Gulp cups that have ties printed on them for some reason (maybe they are left over from Father’s Day) and they commanded that every missionary in the zone purchase such a cup. These things cost $10 and there’s no way they would fit in our limited luggage space but on the other hand, Sister Madsen and I are obedient missionaries so we decided that we would follow-ish the rules by purchasing small wastebaskets at the dollar store and decorating them with Sharpies. We put several straws together. Now we have handy, thrifty, and decorative wastebaskets. I have learned a lot from my time in relief society.

Transfers are this week, but not to worry: everyone in Cumberland is staying put. Team Madsplund Abides. I have a lot of vision for the area so I’m very excited for the upcoming transfer. Last night I jumped out of bed in the middle of the night and wrote down a bunch of notes/ideas that the spirit or maybe a delirious dream whispered to me about the area. I haven’t read any of them yet so maybe they all just say “fax me some halibut.” We’ll see. It’s been a while since I got more than one transfer with a companion. I have a lot more to learn from Sister Madsen and I think we share our sense of vision here.

The highlight of the week was taking a wonderful family in our ward to the visitor’s center. They were baptized in June and hadn’t been to the temple yet. The temple is so wonderful and beautiful (or beaudyful as people out here say) and I ran into several missionaries serving there who I knew in my MTC days.

I have determined that the theme for the upcoming transfer will be “gratitude.” I want to become someone with a grateful attitude toward God and everyone around me. I found a weird sticky note that I had written a note to myself on one night (are you sensing a theme yet?) that says, “gratitude is a cure-all.” I’m very much looking forward to exploring the meaning and effect of gratitude this upcoming transfer. My commitment to you, gentle reader, is to write a thank-you note this week. You’ll love to!

Hugs and Handshakes,

Sister Butterball


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