This subject line comes from Chad and MB's daughter Michiko. She came up to me in church yesterday and was rubbing my belly saying "Is this yo' belly egg?". She's 5. It wasn't creepy. Her dad later told me that's what she calls everyone's stomach. I thought it was a fat joke ;)
So, this week was fantastic and I'm starting to get the hang of things a bit more!
The best thing of the entire week....
RETURN AND REPORT. I love that name because it reminds me of the temple. This is where we all return to the mission home again and report how things are going and ask questions! I loved this and I have so many questions to ask because, I've realized after return and report, that I haven't really been "trained" on anything because my trainer is basically brand new too. So I had so many questions.
It was absolutely amazing to see my MTC sisters again! I think everyone was shocked that I wasn't bawling when I saw Sis. Collette because they didn't know I see her every week at District Meeting! I still feel so lucky that I get to learn from her some more.
Leaving them wasn't nearly as hard as it was before because I felt so comforted seeing that they were all having wonderful times like I am in their own areas. I still feel like I have to pray for them tons though because I love them so much.
So, Return and Report knocked out all of Monday and Tuesday for teaching lessons because we got home at 9. Then we had District meeting on Wednesday which is an hour away. Those are always amazing. Me and Sister Collette are both really bothered still by how we all act when we get together in big groups of missionaries. I think it should be the opposite so we both made a plan of how we're going to help our district remember when things get out of hand :) She's the greatest like that.
Basically... this week was rough number wise and I didn't really like that because we soo used Return and Report and District meeting as an excuse. We could've easily reached our goals even with those things in the way but whatever.
Thursday was Thanksgiving! I made up this little "Thanksgiving lesson" one morning that we used on everybody and then we had dinner at the Behunins! SO fun. He set out old fashioned oil lamps around the table just because he knows I love them :) I ate a chestnut for the first time. But the best part of all was... burying Mary Lou's cat. Bro. B read a speech, there were black flowers and even this head stone looking thing. At the end, Mary Lou's like "Was it just me or did I hear a meow come from the grave?" Bro. B- "No, she's definitely dead, Mary." hahaha
Friday we had to go to urgent care because Sister Gass has impetigo (sp?). We sat in there for 2 and a half hours!! The drive was extremely long too. And we weren't even together for some reason. They had her laying in this other room forever and I was left outside with the whole football team, the girlfriend, the grandma, the angry guy, and the crazy Jim Carrey man. I gave them all these titles of course. This ended up being super cool because the angry guy suddenly burst out furious that he had been waiting forever. I talked to him for about an hour about what we believe and the whole room ended up piping in at random times telling stories about when they met a mormon and what they think we believe. Just preaching in the waiting room :) It was super cool because it was totally on accident! I was seriously considering pulling up a chair in the middle of the room and pulling out my pamphlet to give every person the first lesson! I could've so done it! It was a very scattered "lesson" with the waiting room but I gave our card to two people and the Jim Carrey man is talking to us on Facebook! He was the coolest. Here's a quote from him: "They caught me at a weak moment and suddenly, I was being a bouncer in a Big Bird costume." I don't even know. Everyone here's amazing like that.
Jackson is progressing. So, I called him one morning this week and was planning to ask him to be baptized!!! He was SO excited that I asked him. It shouldn't be so scary to ask people that, especially if they're as ready as him. He has been waiting for us to invite him. He's being baptized on January 10th! He's already being such a missionary! Today he texted us and feels like he needs to stop smoking (we totally haven't even given him the WOW lesson yet). He just realizes that his soul is more in sync with heaven when he doesn't smoke. ...We're wondering if he's one of the three Nephites.
Charlann is still doing amazingly!!! I made her one of those paper chain countdown's with scriptures on it counting down to her baptism during lunch yesterday. She loved it! I've drawn a picture of her that she wants me to give to her as a baptism present :)
Being an artist has benefited me so much in this area because everyone's just as weird and "artsy fartsy" (as dad says) as I am! Every weird little awkward thing about me has helped me connect with the people that Sister Gass says her and her last companion never could connect with. We are seeing so many miracles happen, especially with less active families, because they're opening up to me! That has been maybe one of my favorite things so far about being a missionary.
Sunday's are always amazing and it was even more incredible because President Wirthlin and Sister Wirthlin spoke to our branch and then President Finnegan (our Branch President who started Build-a-Bear) gave maybe the most incredible lesson I've witnessed. I feel so honored to be in his branch right now. I have no doubt that you will all know his name someday as an apostle or Seventy. Then we had another Thanksgiving dinner with Chad and MB. They had their friend there who we're going to start teaching! It was great and Michiko is my best friend.
Looking back on my entire first week here in Bennington, I can truly see how the Lord carried me through and I am so grateful for it! I don't know how I would have been so strong with out Him. I am reading the 4 Gospels straight through right now and studying Chapter 6 from Preach My Gospel and I am blown away at Christ's character. Never have I studied Him in this way and I have loved how close I've become with Him. I'd encourage all of you to at least study the Christlike Attributes section in pmg (is it even 6?). It is so wonderful to be learning about our Savior, especially around this time.
This Thanksgiving, I decided that I am most grateful for the people I am supposed to be teaching. I am more learning from them than anything and I come out of each lesson being absolutely blown away by them. I sure love each and every one of you guys. Thank you so so SO much for the packages! I got one from the ward/mom and Sister Pew and it made this week loads better. I am so grateful for you all and especially for your prayers! They're working, guys!
Sure love ya,
Sister Brynnie Hallsted