First off....a happy anniversary to the greatest parents there ever were! I love you both so much, and am IMMENSELY grateful for all you do!! I LOVE YOU!!
Well, Ava's still doing well. We've had a couple of setbacks this week, but it's actually been a blessing in some ways. For example, one of our investigators called out of the blue to tell us that he thinks "he belongs at Ava Assembly of God". He's just really confused about some things right now, and knowing what I do, it breaks my heart. I know that true happiness can come from this restored gospel, and I want him to receive the same blessings that I have! He's still open to talking to us, and so we've met to discuss his questions. But as we've visited with him, I've been completely humbled, realizing that absolutelynothing I could say could make a difference! I realize more than ever how I much I need the Spirit to teach him, testify to him, and help him receive his own witness. And so as I've been praying for him, it's been more humble and fervent pleading. I feel more deeply what's at stake, and I want it badly for him. We've been able to teach by the Spirit as a companionship as we've met with him, and I'm so grateful for that. I know he still has the agency to reject the message, but I'm hoping that as the Spirit speaks to him, he'll get the answer he's been searching for.
was just busybusybusy. We had been on splits that day, and so by when we all finally met back up, we just looked at each other and basically collapsed on the floor. Best thing ever--I love knowing we've worked hard! Then we had a combined district meeting in Springfield, and it was wonderful...I just love learning from other missionaries! We also started teaching a woman who had her records removed from the church 20 years ago, and now wants to come back. She's realized what she was missing, and so she approached us about taking the lessons again! She's been reading the Book of Mormon like a crazy person, and really is sincere about changing her life. It's so cool! was good too. We went out with Sister Lewis (our superstar ward missionary. She's served a mission, and just got released as the Stake Relief Society President, so she really knows what she's doing!) and visited a bunch of less active families.
And then ....we had exchanges. We couldn't find a member to give us a ride down to West Plains, and so we were driving ourselves. Partway down, we got our every-other-weekly phone call from Sister Hooper, on of the Sisters who works in the Mission office. She deals with funds, so always calls to tell us when she loads money onto Sister Burt's card to feed us. So she started off, listing the breakdown of what all of the money was for. Our conversation went something like this:
"...and then there's $60 for each of your luggage fees..."
"Wait, what luggage fee? Are they already loading it way ahead of time?"
"What do you mean? Aren't you a visa waiter? You're not staying in this mission, right?"
"Yes...Sister Hooper, do you know something we don't know?!"
"I have you leaving ! Is that right?"
"I don't know, we haven't heard anything!"
"Oh dear, what have I done???"
Hahahaha. Best way to find out EVER!! It turns out the mission office secretary has known a little over a week, but had forgotten to call us. So poor Sister Hooper was so worried she messed up somehow! Anyway. It's true! Our visas are HERE!!! Sister Garner and I are both flying out a week from today, at 3:00ish. I have no idea what that means about calling home (Mom and Dad), but this is probably the last time I'll have to write you. I'm pretty sure it's a Delta flight--maybe you could look up the flight information? They haven't gotten it to us yet. But I'm going to Brazil!!!! I am SO excited! The rest of the car ride was pretty funny--Sister Garner and I were super happy, and then Sister Burt was just freaking out and sad. Poor Sister Burt. We leave three days before transfers, so we're not sure what'll happen to her! I don't really get the point of being in a trio when two of us were visa waiters...we just had more to learn from each other, I guess!
Anyway, love you all. How cool is it that the next time you hear from me, I'll be in Brazil?!
Eu amo todos de voces, para sempre!