Monday, March 16, 2015

Bennington, VT #20 “BEA{UTICA}FUL!”

Dearest Family,

Today I couldn't be happier. I really couldn't. I haven't been able to sleep since Dylan's baptism because I'm too happy. Let me see if I can remember all that has happened…

It's amazing how the weeks with the hardest trials usually turn out to be the best weeks for me. It's all because those are the weeks are the ones that I learn so much! If I could only learn how to have that sort of attitude in the midst of my rough times...
Tuesday: We did Family History with Charlann! I couldn't love family history anymore.

Wednesday: We stopped by Jessica Johnson (Leah's -recent convert- mom) and had a super fun lesson with the kids! Khalil wasn't home and we still haven't started teaching him! But soon... Jessica caught me by surprise because she randomly said that her and Khalil were thinking about getting married so that Khalil could get baptized. I wish I would have said more to her about that! I was so shocked. We're gonna focus on that family a lot this transfer so they can become awesome kingdom builders! They have SO much potential.

Behunin dinner was amazing as usual. The Greenwich elders came and Dylan loved them even more than I thought he would!! Before we had our lesson and partied a bit, Sister Rasheed asked the elders to give her a blessing so she wouldn't be so scared of dogs and overcome the stench... and also so she could find a way to sleep through my sleep talking. We had a really really rough night for sleeping on Tuesday. Hahaha! Sister R told everyone at zone conference Thursday about it when she talked about all her trials here... I was talking, but also standing up and walked to the bathroom and then knelt on the floor and prayed aloud. Ha! I don't remember any of it, but Sister R said she was just crying the whole time. She says, "Sister, one day... you kill me!" She legitimately has that fear... that I'm going to murder her in my sleep. She wanted me to get a blessing that I would stop being so crazy in my sleep but I told her no. I love it :)

Thursday: The drive to and from Zone Conference was so funny because Sister R was telling the elders all about my "party driving". I got 4 aggressive drivings in my first week as designated driver!! We have a little black box we call TiWi that talks to us and tell us if we're going too fast or driving aggressively and such... if you get 3 in one transfer, the other person drives and you can't drive for the rest of your mission. Yikes! Sister R has never learned how to drive... this is my last transfer as the driver. I didn't know I was so bad! I called the mission office and begged for mercy. We're becoming good friends with those office couples these days... they're going to see what they can do :)

Zone Conference was the most amazing meeting ever. We walked in and were given an orange mtc sticker on our nametags and were welcomed to the MTC! We got new companions and had mtc teachers (stls and zone leaders). Lately, I've been wanting to figure out what was so different in the MTC and how I can get that back. In this training, we wrote down the things we gave up to come on our missions and then the reason why. I loooved that because it really reminded me WHY I'm out here in Vermont. I could go on forever, but basically the entire meeting was just for me. I also forgot to tell you that I was asked to sing in Zone Conference! We sang Called to Serve, but it was cool cuz it was me and the Zone Leaders singing english, two elders from the Russia mission sang, Sister R sang Urdu and one of the Greenwich elders is from Hong Kong! During the meeting, we got a text from our investigator Patricia saying that she doesn't want Sister Rasheed to come over again because she's not going to keep her dog on a leash the whole lesson. That text pretty much started what I hope will be the biggest mess of my whole mission. Basically, Sister R didn't understand and she bore her testimony at zone conf, like, about how we just got a text from our investigator saying she'll hold her dog back so she can come over. I felt so bad. I had decided after that to never explain to her what the text said, but eventually, she realized as I was trying to deal with this crazy lady over text.

Friday: This all continued into Friday. Charlann teaches us once a week and she prepared a lesson on how faith overcomes fear (for Sister R) and Sister R had a breakdown worse than ever. We made it through a lesson with Maggie then went to the apartment and I just exploded and told her we can't have anymore breakdowns during lessons and that it's getting ridiculous and she was mad at me cuz I was working her to death and only caring about having more lessons and wasn't caring about her. True. So we were both right and it all really turned out great! We're fine now (at least I am). It's really rough trying to talk out things when you literally can't understand each other, ya know? But we're now making it work!

Saturday: BAPTISM DAY!!!!!! Brother B could see how rough things were on Wednesday so he told Danielle Behunin to come with us all day long! SO fun! It helped me so so much to have someone to talk back with me. Danielle helped us set up the baptism. It gets less stressful every time! THIS BAPTISM WAS THE BEST DAY OF MY ENTIRE LIFE.... so far :) Dylan was so excited. His mom and aunt came and the Greenwich elders came with one of their investigators and tons of the branch came. During all the running around and taking pictures and things, Brother Carmack (first councilor and most intimidating person I've met here) took me aside. He told me to look at the wall with all the pictures of baptisms from the past few years... there's like 5 or 6. My first week in Bennington he took me and Sister Gass to that wall and told us to notice that the same sister was in three of those pictures. Now he had me notice that I was now that sister in three of the photos. That feeling was amazing. During the baptism, I looked over at Brianna (our 15 year old investigator) and when I saw her face, I knew she was going to be baptized. She came to us and President Finnegan and told us she wants to be baptized. As of right now the date is April 19th. She wants to be baptized before I leave. The baptism, dinner and movie was beyond perfect even with all the little hilarious accidents that I just don't have time to tell you about!

I am so so grateful to be a missionary!!! I don't think I could be any happier than I am right now. During these past few days I have come to love training as well. It's SO hard, but so much fun to learn and grow and make a bunch of mistakes. Thank you guys for all you have done for me! Love you all!

-Sister Hallsted

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