Monday, September 1, 2014

5-Month Zone Conference!!

Good morning, cute family!!

WHAT A WEEK!  There are so many fun and exciting things happening in our mission; I wish you could be here to see it! Instead, I'll try to summarize it as well as I can in the time I have. :)

First of all, Zone Conference was this week!  All the missionaries from the Santa Barbara and Ventura Zones met with President Felix (all the way down in's a pretty good drive!). Let me start by just saying, President Felix is SO cool! It's crazy how different he is from President Castro, but they're both so great in different ways. Anyway, we had a theme centered in Zion, this conference.  We talked about how we can build Zion where we are, if we have Zion in our hearts. He always reminds us that we CAN be Zion.  And he speaks in a way that the spirit is SO strong, you can feel everything he's telling us, and it gets us so excited to do this work.  One day, you'll have to meet him, and you'll understand what I'm talking about.  It was really neat though, throughout the whole conference we had trainings about how to bring Zion to every aspect of our work.  It was such a good day!

Another announcement made for us at the conference, was It's a new website started by the church, where we'll be finding service opportunities in the community.  Normally, we're asked to do 4 hours of service a week, in investigators or member's homes. Now, we'll be doing TEN hours a week, and serving with all kinds of organizations.  We'll be volunteering in Soup Kitchens, Senior Centers, with the Red Cross, etc. We're actually going to start doing service at the Santa Ynez Catholic Mission down the street, too. :)  They've tried this in 3 other missions, and it's had a HUGE impact on the way the community looks at the missionaries, and it'll make it so we hardly ever tract. (FUN FACT: We're going to be volunteering for DANISH DAYS!! What's cooler than that?!)  It'll be so nice to be able to get to know people in the community, and to break down some of the barriers that we all seem to put up. It's going to be great!!

Also...Zone Conference was on my 5-MONTH mark!!  Holy cow, it seems crazy that I've been out that long already--time is just FLYING by!  It was fun though, because I was there with Sister Currie, Sister Olsen, and Elder Payne, some of my favorite missionaries from my MTC district.  We all got to celebrate together. :)

In other news, Lenore is still doing awesome. She seriously is the funniest lady.  This week, she said "You know, you two are just like Marie Osmond...SO VIVACIOUS!" What...?  Man, she's so cool. She's TOTALLY someone I'm coming back to see! We found out a few weeks ago, though, that she was having a hard time reading the Book of Mormon, because the print was so small.  This week, we were finally able to get her a large print book, and she was so excited.  SOOOO excited! She just sat down right there, started reading, and talking about how neat it was that Christ came to the Americas. She loves that chapter.

Euell's still doing really well. At our last lesson, while reading, he flipped RIGHT open to the diagram in Abraham...and just STARED at it.  Sister Platt and I were PETRIFIED, and just stared at each other with a look that said, a "Are you ready to explain Kolob, cause I'm sure not! Luckily, he finally just looked up and said, "YEP. There's a lotta knowledge in this good book." Phew. I'll admit, some things, I am just not prepared to teach quite yet. :)

I've also found the funniest family in the ward--the Goodwins.  They're the ULTIMATE member family, and their daughter is such a good missionary.  She's ACTUALLY the one who found Euell! But this week we were having dinner at their house...and somehow it ended up with them setting up rat traps on the dinner table, and having us set them off with screwdrivers.  I don't know how things like that happen...but we turned it  into a Book of Mormon object lesson.

I love you all, and miss you.  But you're always in my prayers, and I'll see you very soon. ♥