Alright, so a quick update because I don't have much time...but this week was so incredible and full of so many miracles, tender mercies, and crazy adventures!
First off, Bobby D. Smith DID IT!! HE QUIT SMOKING!! Such a miracle and an answer to so many prayers. He quit after smoking for 30 years. He hated us at first and kept saying we were "torturing him," but by the end of the week he said that he doesn't know what happened but he has NO DESIRE to smoke. It has just been so cool to see how his attitude and countenance have changed. He is just so happy! He is now taking steps to get to the temple, and it has been one of the greatest blessings to be a part of and such an amazing blessing to have known him. He wrote a nice song for us to keep him busy that gave us a good laugh!
We were also able to have a second lesson with Bill who we tracted into last week, and the lesson went so well! He has been prepared and is ready, and I think he knows that as well. The spirit was there once again, and he had some amazing questions. He realizes that to know whether or not the Church is true is all up to him. He has that desire and knows what he needs to do. This week he committed to pray about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. I am so excited for our next lesson with him this week! He still just keeps saying, "I really don't know why I decided to let in the missionaries this time because I never have in the past, but clearly it means I'm reading and I need to take this seriously." Once again...such a testimony building experience...that seeds planted by missionaries and members previously are so important, as well as that our Heavenly Father is preparing people this very second!
We were also able to meet with Sister Sharek twice this week and help her with some service. We are going to have dinner and our next lesson with her on Wednesday. I know she is ready; she just needs to realize that and take that leap of faith! I am so excited for our lesson this week with her!
So, crazy story for the week--We had TWO MOOSE ENCOUNTERS!! Now that the weather is a lot colder, we see moose on almost a daily basis because they come down from the mountains. This week we had two pretty exciting/scary/awesome encounters. I always thought moose were friendly and harmless animals, but boy, was I wrong...haha! We pulled up to a house where we were invited to eat dinner and started getting out of our car. The kids in the house were looking out the window at us and started waving their arms. We were confused until we realized there was a moose right in front of the door. It was dark so we couldn't see it, but we hopped right back in the car and had to sit there for 15 minutes until the moose finally left!
Later in the week we were tracting at dusk (3:30 p.m.). We turned around after knocking on a door and 15-20 feet in front of us at the end of the driveway there was a mama moose and her two babies walking towards us. We quickly had to hide and sit on the porch until they moved far enough away for us to sneak out through the backyard and through the woods to our car! It was scary but also so funny.
Up until this week, I have only eaten salmon once; however, we have eaten so much fish this week! I was on "Cloud 9" because I didn't have to eat any moose!!
Interesting experience: We tracted a shamen and his wife, and they have "adopted us." All I can say is that is fine with me!
Shamanism among Alaska Natives[Alaska Natives have a special connection to the land around them, and a kinship with the animals with whom they share that land. Before the introduction of western culture and the religions that are now practiced in Alaska, there was a common spiritual connection made with the people to the land they occupied. The most common name for this connection is shamanism. Shamanism differs in every culture where it is practiced, in Alaska it is centered in the animals that are common in the area. Through the use of many myths, stories, and ceremonies these animals are personified and their spirits made tangible and in turn are deeply woven within the Native Alaskan people today. It was through the shaman that the spirit world was connected to the natural world. A shaman in Alaskan Native culture was a mediator, healer and the spirit worlds’ mouthpiece. Although shamanism is no longer popularly practiced, it was and continues, to be the heart of the Native Alaskan people.]
Anyway, this week was awesome! I love you all and hope you are having a great holiday season. Look out for those opportunities to serve others. Thank you for all you do.
Love, Sister Lake