So hard but worth it!!
I received my transfer call.....and.....I'm staying in Wasilla, which I am seriously excited about!!! I honestly love this area so much. It's weird to think, though, that I'm already done with my first transfer and that I have been out for two months! Weird!
A couple of cool things happened this week. First, we saw the Northern Lights again, but this time the lights were about 10 times more vibrant, and they were green, pink, purple, and just totally dancing across the sky--so cool!
Our power went out all morning until our studying was completed, and since the sun doesn't rise here in Alaska until around 10 a.m. we studied by candlelight, which was interesting to say the least.
Our entire zone drove into Anchorage to attend the temple, which was such a blessing.
Bobby Smith, the bull rider, gave each of us one of his shirts that he wore in the world championship bull riding event, and they are so cool (I'll send a picture.). Lynn Clarke's sweet friend found me at stake conference and brought me a homemade loaf of baked bread, such a tender mercy which honestly made my day! I only ate moose twice this week, another tender mercy right there!
I met this 17-year-old kid named Max. We were walking up his driveway as he was coming out of his house, and he came straight over to us with a huge smile on his face. We introduced ourselves, and I was able to ask him a few questions and talk about the Book of Mormon. He was so eager to read the copy that I gave him, and told us to come back in a week. I was honestly so nervous! It seemed like I was talking a hundred miles an hour, but it was such a cool experience!
The highlight of the week happened last night. We have been teaching this family, the Ronne's, for the last four weeks. The mom was baptized about six months ago after having attended church for the last four years. About four weeks ago she called us and said that her daughters, who are 14 and 17, wanted to start taking the lessons, but that they didn't want to get pressured into baptism. The mom wants her girls to make the decision 100 percent themselves, so she hasn't pressured them or talked to them about baptism. So even she was surprised that the girls came to her and asked to be taught. We started teaching them, and while we were teaching them, their 12-year-old brother started sitting in on the lessons and participating in the discussions. So, we have been teaching all three the last couple of weeks, and last night we were able to talk with the mom about baptism. We have been feeling like we need to invite them to take that next step, but have never wanted to step on the mom's toes because she asked us not to invite them to be baptized too quickly.
We had an awesome conversation with the mom last night, and all three of us decided that they are ready. We decided that we are going to extend the invitation this Wednesday! I just got off the phone last night and had such a peaceful feeling about all of it. It is so sweet to watch the mom sit there and watch her kids as they gain their own testimonies. You can just tell that she has wanted them to become members ever since she was baptized. They are golden kids, and it amazes me at how serious they are taking this. It has been so, so cool to watch their testimonies grow over the last couple of weeks.
I know that this Gospel is true. I know that it is truly what brings the most happiness in the world, and through living this Gospel we are able to receive so many blessings. I know that we are children of a living, loving Heavenly Father who knows us and understands what we are going through. He hears and answers our prayers. I know that the Book of Mormon contains the true word of God, and that Joseph Smith was a true prophet and with the power of God he was able to translate the plates. I know that we have a living prophet today. All of this knowledge has brought so much happiness and peace in my life. It makes me truly so happy to sit there and watch these kids learn these principles, accept these truths for themselves, and gain their own testimonies.
This Gospel is true. I know it! I love this mission! It really truly is one of the hardest things I have ever done, and there are definitely days where I'm not sure if I can make it through, but then we have experiences, like teaching the Ronne Family, and it makes those hard days all worth it. I know that Heavenly Father is aware of each one of us and the things that we are going through; I have a strong testimony that we we go to Him in prayer He will comfort us. I love you all and am so thankful for all that you have done for me! Have a great week!
Love you all, Sister Lake