smoky mountain of the lord

I’ll start out with the highlight of my week! On Friday We had a temple trip for the departing-ish missionaries. Don’t worry, I still have a few weeks 🙂 We started out going to Mission BBQ, which of course is an important place for every missionary due to its name and due to their selection of geographically-themed barbecue sauces. My favorite are the “Memphis Belle” and the “Smoky Mountain” (which is the West Viriginia-themed one). We had a wonderful session together and afterward we got to sit with President and gather together and ask him all the questions we have about life and the gospel. I thought my brain was going to explode. I also may have cried like a baby in the Celestial Room and then all the other sisters started crying. Oops. On the way home we pulled the giant 12 seat van over and President ran into Trader Joe’s and bought us all weird vegetable juice and kombucha. I made him get regular lemonade juice boxes too. We ended the night with pizza. The temple trip counted as our exchange with Front Royal. Me and my bud Sister Walker enjoyed a reunion for that time. It was wonderful.
On Tuesday we had our other exchange. We also had an awesome district meeting. We practice teaching a lot but it’s funny, even when we’re fake teaching I feel the real spirit. It was pretty magical. We have this awesome new sister who is just such a natural at missionary work. She was teaching and afterward our zone leader was like, “Man, she made me feel like a DEACON. I feel like I don’t know ANYTHING.” Good. Anyway we had such a nice time with our sisters in Shenandoah Valley. I was with Sister Allen, who was our companion for a week that one time. It was so nice! Oh she’s great. I look up to her so much.
Sister Feinga gave such a great talk on Sunday on the Atonement. It was a really cool Sunday. We have this awesome investigator who came to church. She brought one daughter who is about ten but her other daughter was 13 and she just felt self-conscious and nervous about coming in. We went out before the meeting to invite her in but she didn’t want to come. During the sacrament, the spirit told me that if I went out to the parking lot and invited her to come sit in the foyer, that she would agree. Especially because it was 1,000 degrees outside and church was nice and cool. She came in and seemed to really enjoy it and toward the end of the service she looked up at the painting of the first vision and started asking me about it. It was so sweet.
On Thursday we had a great day! We got lots of fresh produce from the gardens of our neighbors and we went to an awesome meeting with our stake leaders. It was so cool. We have an amazing stake leadership here. Our RS president was there too and she gave such a sweet testimony about missionary work. She was like, “We love our girls” :> Oh… and Thursday was my 18 month mark. What???
I’ve been thinking a lot about faith this week. Faith moves us to act. When we believe that something is really possible, we do things differently. I don’t know why this took my so long to realize. We often speak of how faith can impact missionary work for the better. It’s because it changes our behavior! That’s really basic but I just never figured it out until just now.
I love you my beans! Write me at 841 Thomas Ct #57, Winchester VA  22601.
Hugs and handshakes,
Mister Applesauce (as a little kid called me)

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