This week has been nuts! I grow so SO much when I have to get out of my comfortable little Bennington... and we were only in Bennington for Wednesday night and Sunday! So lots of growing happened :) We don't have much time again this week because today our district and zone leaders played volleyball and signs. As much fun as it was, hanging out with people still just exhausts me... so let's see how much I can remember about this crazy week.
Monday: TEMPLE TRIP!!! I was so freaking out about my hair... I don't even want to talk about it, but after emails it dried and we saw that the top was like purple/pinkish and the bottom was brown. Oh boy. We met up with the Toga Zone leaders and right when Elder Child sees my hair he says "Sister Hallsted! What happened?!" I've struggled my whole mission to have charity for Elder Child. Which is rough cuz we have to work with them so much! Haha! After we got rid of him and got the other elder going on the temple trip, the drive was amazing! Brother B was sending us Mormon trivia questions the whole time so it was fun showing him that he'll never stump us.
Being with the Utica sisters was the weirdest thing ever. They just adored me. They kept talking about my "calming energy" and would thank God for my grace in every prayer. Haha! So weird, but I guess my low voice was just what they needed. They're super spirit of the law and I didn't like the way they changed things up at all. It was cool to see that the Preach My Gospel way of doing things on a mission is always always better. But it was a miracle that I went to them the day after getting my hair dyed because one of them is a cosmetologist! The second I got in the car, she said we're going to the hair place and fixing my hair during lunch tomorrow. Haha! Tender mercy! The other sister kept saying "You are the most patient person I know... I would be crying right now if I were you!" Hahaha! Everyone's comments that are supposed to be comforting all week were so opposite. But it was funny. My hair looks much much better now! It's still red on top and brown on the bottom but Jessie Finnegan said yesterday that it looks like a "hipster melt". Better than what it was!
Wednesday: We worked Bennington as hard as we could! Showed me that we really can have 15 minutes lessons and invite the Spirit! Behunins that night was amazing. Chad and Marybeth came and so did Jessica and her crazy boys. Brother B felt inspired to invite Chad and MB and I think it did wonders for them!
Thursday, Glens Falls exchange: Everyone knows the Glens Falls sisters as the sisters who know how to have fun!!! I just didn't realize that they don't work while they do it... The Glens Falls sisters are struggling so badly that President is having us blitz their area this Thursday. I believe in miracles more than ever (especially when you're being exactly obedient), so I'm actually super excited to show those sisters that some miracles can happen there.
By the way, Glens Falls is the ward that Jimmer's family is in. They talk about Brother Fredett all the time and I'm gonna get a signed poster on Thursday :) woot woot.
At one point of this exchange I got kind of sad because it's really bad in Glens Falls because they're being super disobedient. I called Charlann for our phone lesson during their third go at weekly planning and basically Charlann just is amazing. I learn from her daily. Charlann's whole life theme now is "Would I be doing that in heaven?" I LOVE that and will keep it with me forever. I wish I could tell you the whole conversation. I took notes.
Three crazy things happened while I was there... Sister Kastigar lives in our old stake in AZ. Her sister went to Ammon's mission at the same time as him, then came back and married a Zuniga boy! She knows Brandt and Michelle and can remember what our old house looks like! Then, she also realized that her ex-boyfriend was Timo's old companion Elder Nebeker. So I may have made her ex-boyfriend a tie once. It ended up being a huge distraction to have figured that one out, but it was still awesome.
We went to a member's house for dinner the first night and I was looking at a picture of the Timp temple and said "That's my temple!" They asked me where I was from their mom ran in the room. She looked at me and was like, "Oh my gosh... I know you!!!" Apparently they just moved out of our stake about a year ago! Sister Hoffman recognized me from Girls Camp! It was crazy seeing parts of home in their family pictures. They ended up giving me that picture of the Timpanogus temple, carved in stone (I'm holding it in the picture). Haha It was random to come back from exchanges with a big stone. The Mormon world is so small.
Then, we got in the car after dinner at the Hoffman's from Cedar Hills and I saw a text from Brother Behunin..... I immediately started freaking out because..... he said that Dylan's mom randomly called and changed her mind. Dylan can be baptized when he wants!!!!!! They've been waiting for 8 years for this and I get to be the one who gets to finally see him be baptized! This is what Brother B had been fasting every other day for and me every week. It seemed totally hopeless after a while, but God softened her heart! I still cannot really even believe it. Greatest miracle of my whole mission so far. He could be baptized this Saturday, but they think it's too soon to throw together. Sister Gochnour's so sad and so am I because this transfer has seemed beyond perfect, especially with the progress Dylan has made.. it would be a perfect way to end he mission. But the miracle of him being able to be baptized on March 14th is enough!!! I have no doubt that next transfer is going to be filled with tons of miracles like this too.
Sunday: We had our Sacrament meeting in the primary room because the heating doesn't work anywhere else! And all the speakers didn't show up, but luckily people volunteered. Then we had our gospel principles class in the mothers lounge. #thebranchlyfe :) Haha! So fun all being squished in there for warmth. We had an awesome lesson with Chad and MB. MB gave me a tissue at the beginning because she can tell I'm kind of sick and then I got a huge bloody nose. Michiko was terrified because I guess she's never seen a bloody nose before. "Get her a bandaid!!" Hahaha Somehow the Spirit still managed to be there through all the blood :)
Sister Gochnour and I missed each other way too much on exchanges. We're now trying to let her get more excited about going home. You'd think she has another year left in Bennington with the way she still puts her whole heart into everything here. I feel like I don't talk about her a ton because things are going so well! She told me the other day that I have been her favorite companion, which is huge to me because she has had all the most popular, powerful sisters in the mission... and because I love her. She's almost convinced me to go to BYU-I. She's most excited to go home just so she can hang out with you guys! Go on a date with Breton (he's become famous in the NYUM), set up Hannah and her brother, make Herm and her other brother best buds and babysit Q all the time :) I'm excited for her! It's hard, but kind of fun to watch an amazing missionary like her be so focused on remaining a disciple of Christ for the rest of her life. I am going to miss her and Elder Arbuckle more than I can describe because they're probably my best friends so far in my mission. Man, I loooove being a missionary because of the other amazing missionaries I've met that have changed my life forever.
I get to find out what's happening in Bennington this Saturday. I am SO nervous. I've talked to President Wirthlin lots lately and I told him that training sounds so fun, but Bennington might need an older sister again who really knows how to work with members because that's something it needs and I don't know how.
Thanks for everything! I love you all tons.
"Sister Hallsted, I feel like you and Eve flipped a coin in heaven to see who would be the mother of all living." -Elder Arbuckle
"Does Elder Child even poop?!" -Sister Kastigar
"The temple was like... a spiritual spa." -Sister Thompson in G.F.
"Do you bear your testimony with that mouth?" -Sister Kastigar
"I've got faith out the wazoo." -Me
"I'm gonna call Prophet Munson and tell him to keep you here a little longer." -Charlann :)
"You missed the sign cuz you were too busy talkin' stupid!" -Me (... accidentally being mean to Elder Child)
1. Sister Gochnour, North, Kastigar and Me
2. Sweet little Elder Kelly with all the girls
3. A super weird picture of us doing service in a cute little library.
4. The Hoffman family from our stake!
(Also, Sister Snowplow because that's what Sister Kastigar called me because I have to blow my nose so obnoxiously right now... I guess I sound like a snowplow :)
|Sister Gochnour, North, Kastigar and Me|
|Sweet little Elder Kelly with all the girls|
|The Hoffman family from our stake!|
|A super weird picture of us doing service in a cute little library.|