I kept trying to figure out which was the most important feature of a very eventful week, and I’ve determined that it was when a HEDGEHOG POOPED INTO MY SHIRT. Happy baby animal news, everyone. I was visiting a sister who has not been involved in the branch for quite some time and she has about a million pets, specifically two bunnies, two dogs, a cat, a bunch of fish, and a hedgehog. Anyway as soon as I found out about the hedgehog I was like, “Awww can I seeeee herrrr??? Is she friendly???? What’s her name????” and Cinnamon the hedgehog was placed in my welcoming arms, wrapped up in a tiny, baby blue blanket. She was scared of me so she kept hissing and fluffing up her spines. Her parent/owner kept trying to comfort her by feeding her cockroaches. I thought a cockroach had fallen onto my arm but on closer inspection, it was hedgehog poop. I’m not sure if that was an upgrade or a downgrade from the cockroach, but there I was. We will do anything to get friendly with the people we’re trying to work with.
In other important events, I went to my very first leadership conference now that I’m an ~example~ (cut to a shot of me lying on the floor). Anyway we had a visit from Brother Donaldson, formerly known as President Donaldson of The District 2. You may know him from such great hits as “Training Missionaries.” When he was introducing himself he said, “I’m the one who taught Elder Moreno and Elder Christensen how to teach the law of chastity.” as soon as he said that, everyone in the room quietly said, “He….. broke it.” Poor missionaries with no entertainment. Anyway, six months after a new mission president comes in they always send someone out from the missionary department to evaluate and tweak things. They changed a WHOLE BUNCH of things that seem major to us that will probably bore you all deeply, so I won’t go into too much detail. Basically they streamlined our schedule in terms of studies and meetings and simplified how we report our progress so that we can spend maximum time proselyting. Like I said, boring for you but kind of revolutionary for us in the mission. It was also just a fun time, and of course they served those good chicken salad croissants that we all love so much. Pretty much everything you could ask for in a meeting. Also I saw an elder wearing a tie made of fabric that I have a dress of???? That was a little shameful for me.
On Tuesday I was asked to give a presentation in district meeting about helping our investigators pray. As usual I was the main one who learned from it and that very night we had a lesson with our awesome new investigator. She is kind of out in the open with her beliefs and not sure of anything, and she has a giant border collie that kept slobbering on us during the lesson. (sidenote: they should make a new training in the MTC where you have to feel the spirit with all of these distractions in the background, specifically pets and children, because that is one of my most common experiences) Anyway, at the end I was extra vigilant about doing a good job of teaching her how to pray and it was exactly what she needed. Good job to my district leader for knowing what to assign me. Another amazing lesson happened with a very recent convert whose parents reacted really badly to her baptism and told her she was not allowed to associate with the church in any way. She finally softened them up a little bit and invited us over to visit her dorm room. We went over with a sister who stopped going to church for a long time but who is coming back. This sister bore such a beautiful testimony about how happy she is making scriptures and church a bigger part of her life. Our recent convert was touched and her roommates, who are not members of the church, clearly were too. On Sunday she finally found a way to make it to church! I felt like I was participating in every aspect of the work of salvation all at once. I was so happy and just walking on air after I left that appointment. There is no joy like the joy of sharing the gospel, as trite as that sounds.
I love you all, my siblen. My new mailbox still needs christened, which mailbox is 5455 Columbia Rd. Apt. 213, Columbia, MD 21044-5689.