Thank you so so much for the sunshine package! It totally brightened my week! You are the best!!!!
And I loved seeing the pictures of the office elders. Thanks for helping brighten their day. You are truly amazing! Seriously, you bring light and love into the lives of all you come into contact with, even people that you don't even know that live hundreds of miles away! :)
Crazy about Dad and Chey. Also heard about John. So happy that the famdamily is living life. I'll be praying for the Chey while she is at camp and in Deuchtland (sp?) The whole dad-going-to-girls-camp thing makes me a little nervous so I'll be praying for him too :)
So last pday was pretty magical - we went to Oak Alley, the coolest plantation ever. It was freaking gorgeous, and we got to go with Ruth and her fun family AND we got to get out of Metairie for a while AND we got to do something that was uplifting but not necessarily related to the gospel haha. So basically the whole thing was a win win win win situation. If/when we all come down here, I want to take you guys to this place because it is stunning. The home and the 28 oak trees that line the front drive (they are 300 years old!) and the restored slave houses are so cool/interesting. I'm sending a postcard so you can see the house with the trees.
I just want you to know that I've been feeling a lot of love this week. It's interesting because I feel like the mission strips you of all the normal resources that you turn to in times of struggle or stress (movies, music, swimming, going to the gym for hours, even your family and friends) and instead you have to rely soley upon your Heavenly Father. And that's what I felt this last week. I felt closer to my Father in Heaven than ever before. As I tried will all my might to keep the rules and study the scriptures and really pray sincerely, I felt Heavenly Father's love for me. It was in personalized promptings, it was in the beauty of the rain, in the opportunities He sent me to share the gospel, and just a deep feeling of peace and acceptance. It's been really really awesome, and I'm so thankful and humbled that God would take time out of His busy schedule to personally instruct me on how I can be even better while at the same time telling me that He loves me know matter what.
Please pray for D - she just moved here with her daughter and they have nothing. The bishop in Kentucky helped them escape from an abusive situation and paid for her ticket to come to Mississippi and then her cousins drove her from there to New Orleans. She was studying with sister missionaries in Kentucky and I think she would've been baptized already but she was working on Sundays. But now she is here, has no job, and the ward has kind of embraced her. The stake employment specialist is helping her to find work, the Relief Society is going to try to get some clothes and toys for her and her little girl, and we are teaching her the lessons and inviting her to various activities. It's really cool. She wants to be baptized because she knows it's important, but she doesn't understand yet that she needs to be baptized into God's church, not just any church. But she loves the Book of Mormon and she is a super spiritual person, so it will come.
Also, please pray for A. He is being baptized on Thursday night and The week before and the week after baptism is prime Satan time so please pray that he'll be protected and/or that he can make it through whatever Satan throws at him. I am really coming to love this man - he is autistic and has made some mistakes, but I just have this Christ-like love for him that is hard to explain. I am so excited for him to make covenants and receive a remission of sins and start fresh.
I love you with all my heart! Thank you for always being there for me!