WHAT. A. WEEK.
It's only been five days since I last emailed you all, but it's incredible all that we've packed in these last few days!
TRACEY GOT BAPTIZED YESTERDAY. Hallelujah. It was so fantastic. I walked into our ward council meeting (a meeting of the various leaders in the local congregation) yesterday morning right as Elder McKay was telling everyone the story about how we weren't sure whether or not Tracey was going to get baptized a week and a half before, but then "Sister Hutchings just started planning her baptism, and went over to her house and told her all about the baptism plans. When Tracey didn't stop her, she figured it was a green light! So here we are, it's her baptism day!"... The whole ward council got a kick out of that and told us we need to just start planning baptisms for all our investigators like that. Maybe we will - it worked for Tracey!
Her baptismal service was absolutely beautiful. The spirit was so incredibly strong. There was a point right before she was baptized where I knew in my heart that Heavenly Father was communicating to me that one of the reasons he needed me in Bowmanville was for that very moment in time. I wished I could have paused it and never let that feeling leave me. Missionary work can be extremely challenging, but it is exponentially more rewarding. Always. I am so grateful that the Lord lets me feel a sliver of the joy and peace he must feel when one of his children decides to follow him.
Last week we had an impromptu zone activity at a bowling alley. It was awesome. I scored second overall. Don't worry, I'm not competitive in the least, so it's fine. I bowled as Voldemort, of course. Maybe that's why I did so well :)
The famous "Historic Bowmanville Apple Festival" was this last Saturday. They blocked off all downtown Bowmanville and converted it to a big festival in honor of that particular fruit. It was actually pretty fun! We walked there in the rain, and got absolutely soaked. And as much as I would have liked, the apple treats didn't really warm us up that much. But hey, it was a life experience we could add to our list, right? And there were lots of families there who were basically begging us to teach them about the gospel. So we just had to oblige.
This is probably the worst news of the week, but I am sick. I have been on somewhat of a partial bed-rest the past couple days. But let me tell you what it's like being sick as a missionary: it's the worst thing in the world. There is always something that needs to be done, and unless you literally have NOTHING left inside of you to be able to do it, you feel bad about taking a rest. So this last week has been exhausting. I am grateful for prayer. The Lord has been answering each of my quiet pleas to get me through each hour (especially planning Tracey's baptism) without feeling like death.
It's getting cold. Really cold. But we're going to the zoo today to find Richard Parker. So all is well in the world. I'll report back on that next week. So stay on the edge of your seats for that one!
I love you and miss you incredibly.
"Now if this is boasting, even so will I boast; for this is my life and my light, my joy and my salvation, and my redemption from everlasting wo. Yea, blessed is the name of my God" Alma 26:36