late autumn sunshine

November 23
What an eventful week! And a good one! This was honestly one of those weeks where I look at all the other weeks to come in my mission and I say, “See this week? OK now be like it.” Our week started with playing Sardines in the church for Branch Home Evening. Being a YSA missionary is kind of weird because there are so many activities. Most days of the week find us at the church. It’s also great because having lots of activities makes member missionary work easier and therefore full-time missionary work more fruitful. I am really loving this branch and the people in it. Sister Rowley and I are seriously blessed.

On Tuesday I had my first exchange as a Sister Training Leader. This was kind of weird for me. It’s good, though. I felt intimidated at the prospect of being an example/leader when I still feel very much like a beginner, but I tried to remember that I have learned so much from every single one of my companions, even the relative beginners, so exchanges are inherently useful even if I’m not an expert. It was great to visit the Savage Mill ward. I replaced my sweet former companion, Sister Nish, and it was fantastic to see all the amazing works she is doing. I was paired with a sister who is still training, Sister Anderson. New missionaries always have something kind of special to offer, the “beginner’s mind” if you will ends up being an amazing advantage. I learned so much AND I got to be in a ward with kids for 24 hours. We were having dinner with a family that had lots of sweet little kids and the parents said, “Wait… Sophie and Jonas are going to have their missions back to back so they won’t see each other for three years!” and then Sophie and Jonas looked at each other and just started hugging at the table. Both of their little kid glasses were knocked askew. SO CUTE.

Our investigators are also doing great this week. I missed what was apparently an awesome lesson with one of our investigators while I was on exchanges. We also had a great lesson with another investigator who is native to Haiti and speaks English pretty well, but learning the gospel even in a native tongue is hard. We have had success giving her French pamphlets and then explaining them in English. Her brother and sister have been interested in learning more, but we hadn’t been able to get in with them because of scheduling. They were free on Sunday, however, so we had their member friend go pick them up for church. We had what’s called a “flash choir” which is like a regular ward choir but for busy singles and which therefore only practices the day of the performance. Sister Rowley and I were practicing in the chapel and the choir was sounding pretty good when I saw our wonderful family of investigators walk in. I don’t know why, but I just felt like an angel for a second, proclaiming the glad news in song with our little host. It was a little bit magical. The big sister in the family has had a few lessons for us, and we invited her to be baptized on December 12. She said she had a work conflict that day but that she wanted to that week. Finally after church on Sunday we were at dinner with our branch president, his wife, the elders, and the family of one of the counselors in the branch presidency when we got a text from our investigator proposing December 10th for a baptismal date. I was so excited and I just passed the phone around quietly for all to see.

We also started teaching an amazing young woman who is rooming with the recent convert we were finally able to meet with last week. We took her to the temple visitor’s center. It was amazing! Some sisters who I knew in the MTC taught us all and showed us around and they sat us down in a theater to watch the restoration film, which is so corny but which somehow manages to pull through every time. Everyone there was crying. It was wonderful. Just being around the temple creates a feeling of awe and reverence.

Finally, some pretty good baby animal news: a sister who is returning to activity whom we are working with really closely just got a VERY CUTE KITTEN which has fur like a fluffy baby chick. I’m not kidding. He is best friends with the old, blind pomeranian who lives in their house too. ISN’T THAT CUTE?? Awww they are best friends :’)

Anyway I hope everyone has a beautiful week. Write me: 5455 Columbia Rd, Apt 213, Columbia, MD 21044-5689

God be with you ’til we meet again,

Sister Bad Plan


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