I must preface this email with a HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Miss Elizabeth, because I am SO excited that she is turning 8 years old!! I know this is such a fantastic birthday, and I wish more than anything I could be there to celebrate with you all. I'm super jealous about the mustache party. So cool.
Also, I received an excellent package from Sister Yose and her dashing primary class of future-missionaries, so I wanted to thank them for their thoughtfulness and kindness:) Anything and everything brightens my day that I receive from all of you.
This week was a really good one, which I was glad that it turned out that way (since it didn't start up in the most uplifting way for me). I busied myself with a typical-Mallory thing to do: redecorating and renovating our entire apartment. I am so sad that I forgot to take photos to email today, but we were extremely frenzied last night (don't worry, you'll get that story too), so they slipped my mind. I bet you'll be on pins and needles waiting to see the pictures of our stylin' missionary apartment next week. That's how I roll: keepin' people in suspense.
This was the last week that we saw Frank. He was a less-active member we've been working with since I've been in the field, and he is one of my favorite people I've come to know on my mission. Sister Mitchell and I definitely were choking back tears. We helped him move out this week and it was awful. He's moving in with his family in Orillia for the next few months until he jumps ship to live in Indonesia and turn into a nomad all over southern Asia. He single-handedly provided furniture and groceries and other things for about four sets of missionaries and their apartments this week. Sister Mitchell and I were crazy busy delivering them. We're definitely going to get in trouble for using too many kilometers this month.... But it's all in the name of love, right? That's in Moulin Rouge somewhere, and everything in Moulin Rouge is true.
Anyways, at one point, Sister Mitchell and I loaded up the Zone Leaders' van with a futon, a set of dresser drawers, and myriad other strange things and took them to the Weston sisters (Jessica Nuttall and her companion). It was up to the four of us to haul them up their 8 flights of stairs in their un-air conditioned building. It was kind of a disaster. The futon was a mess. We desperately struggled hauling it up and around the first corner/banister and I swear we removed every square inch of paint that was once on that wall (don't worry, we don't really live in classy apartment buildings anyway). Luckily Sister Nuttall, who had difficulty contributing to the lifting effort, contributed tremendously with her logical mind and came up with a much better way for us to carry the futon up and around the other flights of stairs (no, there weren't any elevators, in case you were wondering).
After that disaster, which probably took us 30 mins, I was in a no-nonsense, get-down-to-business mood (which I understand is quite frightening when I get into such moods). We marched right back down for the heavier of the two objects: that cursed drawer set. Maybe I'm crazy, but I just grabbed one end, and two of the three sisters had the other end and whoever wasn't lifting held the door, and we just went for it. I wouldn't let them stop for breaks. I just had whoever was tired on the other end rotate out with the door-holder and we carried that baby right up in a very short amount of time. Sister Cross called me the Beast Sister after that. That's not a flattering name whatsoever, but I kind of liked it :) I wish we had video-taped that episode, it would have been a crack-up, for sure.
So I'm pretty sure one of our new investigators started Sam's Club with Sam Walton.... Or at least that's the story he's stickin' with. His name is James Hunter and he used to be a multi-millionaire and after a couple rough business deals, he now owes a lot of money, still has a ton of great contacts, and lives here in Toronto in government housing. He's a chipper old man, and is reading the Book of Mormon like wildfire.
We had the greatest experiences with Jane and Josh this week. Their baptism is supposed to be this week, but Jane's best friend (who is a member of the church) is in the Philippines right now, and will be back in two weeks. So we're waiting until then. We've been teaching them for a LONG time it feels like, and they've been attending church for even longer. It feels like they are members already. It has been incredible seeing their progression in the gospel, and their testimonies grow. It is evident that no matter how we might want to rush things, it is all in the Lord's time. I know that Jane and Josh will truly be converted in this gospel when they are baptized, and will not be unaware of the magnitude of the promises they will be making with their Father in Heaven. We had a powerful lesson with them where I just laid it out to her honestly and said "Jane, it's time. You know this is true, and you know you shouldn't put it off any longer." She was so cute, because usually she has gotten defensive about baptism the past month or two, but this time she got this huge smile and kind of squealed and said "You really think so??"; to which I responded with my testimony that she has been ready for awhile and that the Lord has been waiting for her to act on her faith. In church yesterday, I believe 16-year-old Josh reached his point of conversion. He bore his testimony in Young Men's, and when we were talking to Jane about being an example to her family of the gospel, she reached out for Josh's hand and asked him, "Josh, do you think you're ready to be baptized?" He thought about it for a moment, nodded his head and replied, "Yes, this is what we need to do, Mom." Ahhh, it was so incredible. I love them so much. She gave me a huge hug and said she is going to pray that I won't be transferred before they get baptized. I told her it didn't matter, that her baptism was about the Lord and her family, not me.... But secretly I think I'm going to be praying for the same thing.
I don't think I ever want to leave Etobicoke. Do people stay in one area their whole missions?
DID I TELL YOU I'M LEARNING SPANISH?? Yes, Dad, I'm serious, don't laugh :) Sister Mitchell is learning French kind of, and I'm learning Spanish, kind of. There's this ridiculous part of our weekly planning in Preach My Gospel that asks us to make a "relationship goal." I usually make fun of that sentence because it sounds like we're dating, but then I begged Sister Mitchell to find a fun "relationship goal" for us, just for the heck of it. Thus, our language study began. We pick an English, French, and Spanish word of the day that we didn't know before and each of us has to use it sometime during that day. Usually we try to integrate it in our contacting or our conversation, or even in a lesson if we're really bold. Trilingualism is super impressive, especially if you're awful at it :) But we're having a good time, carrying our mini-Spanish and mini-French conversation books with us everywhere. Life skills at their best.
Oh, I forgot to tell you why last night was frenzied. We were making copies at the church and Sister Mitchell locked the keys in the car. And when I say Sister Mitchell, I actually mean me.... Whoops :) I locked them in the trunk on accident. With both our wallets. And scriptures. Basically our entire lives. Don't worry, I was as dramatic about the situation as it merited, trust me. The Zone Leaders love us a LOT. One of the mission office senior couple elders drove down this morning with the spare to relieve us of the consequences of our idiocy. What a blessed man. Perfect timing to email for P-day!
I love you all very much. Don't doubt that I am working hard, and therefore witnessing incredible blessings from serving my Heavenly King.