Tuesday, April 2, 2013

What. A. Week.

Wow, this was an incredibly crazy week. 

I felt like two weeks ago we had an especially difficult week, and I'm not quite sure why, but because we endured that week, Heavenly Father blessed us with this one. 

With a particularly violent start, Arksey and I sometimes ask ourselves "Where on earth are we?"  On our way to District meeting on Wednesday we got off the bus and almost witnessed a knife fight.  It was insane.  Luckily the man got away on his bike (even though I assured Arksey that I could handle being the first responder to such a medical emergency until the ambulance arrived).  On the way home from our fantastic District meeting, there was a crazy lady (who really is probably suffering from mental derangement of some sort) who yelled some not-so-nice things at me and kicked me in the back when we were walking down the stairs.  It was super strange, because we weren't talking to anyone and I don't think she could see my nametag from where she was...so it didn't seem like an attack on "LDS Missionaries," just a "wrong place at the wrong time" type of thing.  But I didn't fall down the stairs or anything, and Arksey and I just kept walking.  Nice people around asked if I was okay, but we just hurried and jumped on the train to get away from her.  She glared after us and watched us for awhile. It was very creepy. We're keeping our fingers crossed that we get a car this next transfer! 

Our Zone Leaders in our ward let us use their car on Friday and Saturday this week, and it was incredible the things that we got done in that amount of time! In our mission, we have what are called "Standards of Excellence," which are certain things you can achieve in several key indicator categories. For the first time so far in my mission, Arksey and I were able to hit and/or exceed Standards of Excellence in all the categories! It was super exciting. We're pretty sure it was because we had the car and were able to do more than three things a day. 

On Sunday, we had two things left we needed to achieve: we needed a member present lesson and we needed another baptismal date. We had been praying that we would hit standards this week, because we knew that we would be close, and we put our faith in our Heavenly Father to make up for where we'd fall short. Those two areas were where we were falling short. We had (by some miracle) secured a member couple to come teaching with us Easter Sunday, but we didn't have an appointment.  So you see, that was a problem.  After church we tried desperately to call our investigators or potential investigators to meet with some of them, but nothing was working.  As I was typing the text to the members to tell them that we didn't need them anymore, we got a call from David.  David is one of our investigators who wants to be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost, but he has a jealous girlfriend so it is very difficult for us to meet with him or get in touch with him.   But now he asked us if we could go visit him in 30 minutes and share a lesson with him!  It was perfect, because that was when the members were planning on teaching with us, and we knew that David was eager to plan a date for his baptism.  We taught David the Plan of Salvation and he was so excited, he claimed that it sounded so familiar to him, that he feels like he has heard this all before.  We set his baptismal date for May 5th, which happens to be his birthday. It was so perfect, Arksey and I were just floating on clouds. We had worked so hard this week, and had endured such a peculiar week, we were so glad we could see Heavenly Father supporting us in our efforts. What a marvelous work this is! There is no better feeling in this life than to be worthy of guidance by the spirit. 

On Saturday, we were able to go to the temple. It was fantastic! I really like the Toronto temple!  We were able to do a session with my whole zone as well as our mission president and his wife.  But one of the BEST parts of that was that Sister Tebbs was outside the temple (having finished her session about an hour earlier) when we got out!!!!! I was so incredibly happy to see her! I haven't seen any of those three Sisters that were in my Crew at the MTC since I left that blessed place, and we truly rejoyced. I love her. We have been writing each other each week, but it was fantastic to catch up. We're praying that we'lll be able to be companions at some time in the mission, but I don't know if Heavenly Father will let that much silliness in one companionship. We'll probably have to wait until we're both more disciplined. Bummer. 

Easter on a mission is quite different than Easter at home. I must say, I enjoyed thoroughly this week inviting everyone I saw on the streets to come to church particularly because it was Easter Sunday :)  Sister Arksey and I were asked to perform three musical numbers on Sunday between the three of us. Holy cow. I really do enjoy it though! We had a baptism in our ward on Sunday as well, and I was able to sing at the baptism, which was very fun. We didn't have a dinner appointment or anything on Easter, so I think we had quesadillas and yogurt.  BUT THEN, in the true spirit of Easter, Arksey and I played a little game of hockey with our brooms, rolley chairs, and a volleyball. I'm sure the people living in the apartments around us love us. We're the quietest neighbors ever. 

Next week are transfers, which means that thereis a possibility that Arksey and I could be split up, and either of us could move to a new area. I bet that we'll stay together and that a third sister will be added to us that Arksey will also be training. There are 10 more sister missionaries who will enter the mission field next week, and since almost all the pre-existing sisters are now training or being trained, we expect they'll just throw in tri-panionships everywhere. 

I am so excited for General Conference!!  We get to watch it in a member's home as long as we have an investigator there, so we're planning a party/luncheon with a single return sister missionary and some of our younger potential investigators. It should be a lot of fun. 

Sister Hutchings 

P.S. The photos are of the Toronto temple, Tebbs and me outside the temple, and me outside Conrod's door. He has a photo of himself outside his door that he talks to all the time.  So I took a photo with it :)  Enjoy! 

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