So this week was more frustrating than others, but still got to do some pretty awesome things :) SO last P-day was pretty much amazing. 7 letters and a package. All the missionaries in my zone hated me for it :) Hahaha. After emailing we went to the stake center and played some bball as well as Dodgeball. I got some pretty good bruises. We had dinner with our ward mission leader who got back from his mission 6 months ago. For a job he gets to put the carpeting in Temples! How sweet is that! For FHE that night, the ward did Ice blocking :) Elder Bonaro had never done it so the singles ward planned it kind of for us...haha. There were 69 people there, 2 investigators, and 2 less actives were there so it was awesome! Got a good grass stain.,.
Nothing really exciting happened during the week. On Wednesday we were called to go give a blessing to someone in ICU again. Usually, we go in, give the blessing, and leave so that we don't take away time with family. This case was different...a family from Wyoming were in the Billings Clinic because the husband had been fighting cancer for a while now and was starting to fail. Only the wife was there at the time and we gave her a comfort blessing while they were re-positioning her husband in ICU. Her kids were coming from Wyoming but weren't there yet. After about an hour, we were let back. This man was on his death bed. His wife told us that he had already been lost once and was able to be brought back. Long story short, his family arrived and were all giving their parting words and Elder Bonaro and I just felt really awkward :/ We asked if they would like us to leave but the wife kept saying it was ok. We ended up only providing the oil because her two sons gave the blessing. But it was just depressing, we left after they gave the blessing.
Zone Conference was probably the highlight of the week! So to those who don't know, a Zone is made up as Districts, and areas. So I am in Billings Zone, Billings East District, and my area is the Rimrock YSA ward. So the Billings Zone, Billings East Zone, and the Glendive Zone, were all at a conference at the Billings East stake center. Probably about 70 missionaries? This conference was pretty much an obedience smackdown. We want to become the most covenant keeping mission in the world. The main topics discussed were Obedience, Sacrifice, and Consecration, the laws of the Gospel. As a mission, President Mecham is allowing EVERY ZONE (the whole mission) to go to the temple next transfer! As homework before then, he wants us to study the Law of the Gospel, the Law of Chastity, and the Grace of the Atonement. All covenants we accept in the Temple. He promised each of us that this will be our best experience in the temple yet if we study those topics.
As far as teaching goes, we have had a lot of success with Less Actives! Chelsea, who I have mentioned before, hasn't been to church in a number of years. She likes our visits and participates, but just isn't sure what she believes. On splits this last week, we invited her to come to Relief Society Enrichment which was a movie night. SHE CAME! And she liked it enough that she wants to come to church next Sunday! Of course, there is no church this next Sunday for the singles ward...the Billings Stake is doing new ward boundaries and the rumor is that three new wards are being created, It doesn't apply to the singles ward because our boundaries are both stakes anyway. So we weren't invited to the meeting, but Bishop figured everyone would go to know what their home ward is. So instead, Rylee (her fellow-shipper) is going to take her to her home ward in the Billings East Stake.
Eliza, our Less active on the stop smoking program has been doing INCREDIBLE. Miracles happen. We presented that to her last week. We met with er Tuesday and Thursday to see how she was doing. Part of the program requires that, without exception, there is to be absolutely no coffee, tea, or alcohol, at least for that week. She has been drinking coffee faithfully since 16 and was concerned because the last time she tried to stop cold turkey, she had migranes. I promised her that if she switched to caffeinated diet coke (her favorite) she would not have one headache all week and the caffeine supply would be sufficient. She has not had one headache all week, hasn't smoked once, likes the grapefruit juice, and is stopping 3 addictions within one week. We are so proud of her, she is taking major steps and is planning on getting a patriarchal blessing!
So the frustration. As mentioned before, finding people becomes very hard in the singles ward. Tracting isn't really an option, and it is difficult to teach the young women. There is a set of missionaries that are currently teaching 4 investigators between the ages of 18 and probably 25. Prime for singles ward. When Elder Bonaro and I find people outside of our teaching range (which is all the time) we hand out referrals like candy, immediately. But apparently it's not the same for singles? It got to the point that we talked with President Mecham. His response was, that each Bishop has Priesthood Keys over his ward boundaries. I completely agree. However, the singles ward is created by the stake specifically for young single adults. His "boundaries" (our area) covers both stakes. So to me, it would make sense that Bishop Williams (our Bishop) would have Priesthood keys over all young single adults within his ward boundaries (both stakes). We have not brought that point up to President yet.He told us that WHENEVER we find a young single adult anywhere, we need to notify and ASK PERMISSION of the home ward Bishop to teach that young single adult. What Bishop is going to prefer that someone in their boundaries be taught by the singles ward as opposed to their home ward? Moral of the story, we aren't going to be teaching anyone if we have to ask permission with each investigator. It is just frustrating that we have to hand out all people we find that is not within our age range, yet the missionaries and Bishops choose whether or not they want us to teach them. It feels like everyone is stepping over everyone's keys. Any thoughts? We just don't understand. (To all reading this and aren't members, just disregard this whole paragraph haha).
On a brighter note we picked up a less active that came to church this Sunday. We had 2 investigators and 3 less actives at church it was pretty cool :) For dinner we ate the Sielers home. Turns out that the grandpa there was at one time a 70 and was ordained by Bruce R McConkie! He had one of the original "Mormon Doctrine's" in his home library.
Sorry for venting :) The work is still going well! We were in South Billings yesterday and it is all Lamanites (native Americans). It is sad to see how some of them live and to think that at one time they were a great nation.
Spiritual Thoughts from Zone Conference:
"The Ark of the Covenant carried the 10 commandments or the 'Testimony.' Are you an Ark? A Holy Vessel carrying your testimony? A temple (your body) being carried in a special way?" -Sister Mecham
"We leave investigators with commitments to prepare them to make covenants. The Lord leaves US commitments to prepare US to make covenants in the Temple and possibly beyond that."- (Own Thoughts)
"If you have a filthy home on earth, why would Heavenly Father prepare you a spotless home in Heaven?" (Own thoughts haha).
"What would your Title of Liberty say? Or more, what would others put on your Title of Liberty based on what they know of you?" - President Mecham
Abraham's sacrifice showed Abraham's will to consecrate his will to God's. Abraham was chosen to do this partly because Abraham need to know himself. What his faith was made of. We need to know our own Faith. -Sister Mecham
It is great to hear from all of you as always! I'm sorry your sick mom, it's never fun when Mom's sick :( And it's a bummer there was no one really home to take care of you! You work so hard with Seminary and sometimes you just out-do yourself! Sounds like Jesse had a blast at scout camp. And Torie is doing things one week after another. And she is going to be a senior. Wow. I will be praying for everyone as always! Stay cool and don't melt! Love you!