Life is still wonderful here in the Hills of Mars! :) But I have to go back to some things that happened in the MTC that I forgot to tell y'all about last week...
First, Birgitta! Our scary investigator! The MTC has something called the Teaching Resouce Center (TRC), where volunteers come to act as investigators so that we can practice the lessons on real people instead of just role playing with other missionaries all the time. The first time Sister Jones and I went to teach Birgitta, she was sooo intimidating! She had all these super hard questions and she was really intellectual. Sister Jones and I were sooo nervous for the second time we had to teach her, but it turned out to be an amazing lesson! We went in with a prepared lesson, but we barely kept to it--instead it turned into more of a discussion. In the middle of the lesson, Sister Jones shared a personal experience from when her family went through a really hard time when she was younger. Birgitta started to cry and wasn't saying much. At the end of the lesson, she broke character to say that her family is going through the exact same thing that Sister Jones went through. We were all crying. Even in the MTC, where it may seem like "just pretend" or "just practice," we were able to help strengthen someone's testimony and bring them closer to Christ.
Then, some fun stuff! I got to have a makeover! They had this class for the sisters that you could sign up for, where they showed you how to do your makeup for the mission. It was super fun and a nice break from the regular routine in the MTC! And we got $200 worth of Nuskin makeup for free!!! Crazy!
This past week in Mars Hill was great! We had two days of training meetings in Marietta. They're changing the mission programs around the world, and one of those changes is these eight lessons that aren't for the missionaries to teach, but they're supposed to help us become better teachers. They want us relying less on lesson plans and more on the Spirit when we teach people. President Satterfield spoke to us, and we role played some. It sounds like they're having some obedience problems with some of the missionaries in this mission, especially around Atlanta (not so much in my area), so they're really pushing obedience so that we can have the Spirit with us. Oh, and I had fried okra for the first time here in Georgia!!! Sister Mills, a ward member, picked us up after one of the training meetings, and she took us out to this restaurant/bakery on the way home, called Gabriel's...it was sooo good!!! I had chicken pot pie, fried okra, and mac 'n' cheese. So good!!!
We had dinner with the Collier's last night. They are the sweetest family ever!! I love them!! Brother Collier showed me all their family photos, and I got to see the one from your baptism, Mom!! During dinner, Sister Collier asked me where I was born, and when I told her Jacksonville, Florida, she said, "She's a Southerner!" That made me so happy!! :)
Mike is still super strong! Everyone is so excited for his baptism--the Satterfield's are even planning to be there! We're also teaching a 21-year-old, Joe--we taught him the Plan of Salvation last week, and he's preparing to be baptized on October 30!!! We're so excited, but we may have to push the date back...we really want to make sure he's ready to be baptized, instead of just jumping into it and not knowing what he's getting himself into.
I ran into my first Bible basher...we'd knocked on his door to tell him about the Book of Mormon, but he ended up telling us what we believe in. He wasn't too bad--he was actually pretty nice about it, but he encouraged us to read the Bible and really study it, and he said that he hopes we come to the truth. Oh well.
There are fireflies here!!! The first few nights, we'd be driving and I'd see these little flashes of light...I couldn't figure them out, but then it hit me! Also, I almost killed my first cockroach...I was getting my breakfast, and as I was pouring the cereal into my bowl, I saw something moving along the counter out of the corner of my eye...it was ginormous!!! I didn't scream, though, baha! I ran into the bathroom to grab some tissue to get it with, but by the time I came back, it was gone...I got out of the kitchen pretty quick after that, haha!
Dad and Chris, y'all would be so proud of me...Sister Fine and I had a lesson in Halo. We went to visit a less active family to share a spiritual thought with them, and the son ended up talking about Halo for nearly 45 minutes, baha! So now we know all about the Covenant and all of the different weapons and the main characters. And now I know what Halo actually is, haha!
Every Friday, we get to do service at a nursing home--we do manicures for the women who live there! It is so fun and they absolutely love it!
How are y'all doing? Chris, your birthday's in like two weeks!!! You're going to be 20! You're making me feel old, baha! :) Mom, how is church going? Do you like your callings? I'm sure you're doing great! I think of you every Sunday! Yesterday was my first time going to Sacrament Meeting in the Mars Hill Ward, since last weekend was Stake Conference, and they asked me to get up and bear my testimony...I was so nervous! But I guess I should get used to it! I got a card from Grandma the other day! I'm writing her a note today, so hopefully she'll get it this week! How are the cats doing? I miss them! One family we visited last week has five cats...I loved getting to love on them a little bit!
I love y'all sooooo much!!! I can't believe I've been on the mission for a whole month! The days are going by so fast!!! I hope they're going fast for you, too--stay busy, that's what helps! :) I miss you tons, but I'm doing really good and haven't been real homesick since that first night, yay! Hope you have a wonderful week!!! I think of y'all all the time! I'm so happy to be here, and I love being a missionary!!!
P.S. Apparently, I mumble in my sleep...