I LOVE BEING A TRIO, ESPECIALLY WITH MY TWO HOMIES!!!!!
Now that's out of the way--a little about the incredible week we had! We were involved in all the new missionary meetings both Tuesday and Wednesday, which is always such a cool experience. This is an opportunity that I look forward to at the end of each transfer to receive that reboot of energy and fire that I need that is contagious from the new missionaries. They all come out here so excited to go and just work the hardest they have every worked, baptize all of Alaska, and just be the best missionaries they can be. It is truly contagious, and I LOVE IT!
After all of the new missionaries received their trainers and headed to their new areas, we picked up Sister Oliver, and the long-awaited trio finally happened! It has been a straight party ever since Wednesday at 5:30, maybe a little bit too much of a party, haha!! We had dinner and meetings all night, and then we were able to meet with our mission president the following morning and go over our transfer calls. First off (quick side note), President and Sister Toone might possibly be some of my favorite people ever. They are absolutely incredible and just have so much love for us missionaries. They know how to have fun, yet work SO hard! Seriously, we just sat there and had such a good meeting, and then just laughed our guts out. Such amazing people!!!
Sister Cox, Sister Oliver and I are blessed to be able to travel around the mission this transfer and work with every single companionship of sisters, as well as still work double with the ones we are over. We will be separated quite a bit but are so excited for the opportunity to do this, which means that I get the incredible opportunity to go and work for a couple of days with the sisters in my previous areas, North Pole and Memory Lake. I am really excited to see the amazing work they are doing there, and to see some of the people that are so near and dear to my heart. We are also very excited and looking forward to really getting to know all of the sisters, and to have the opportunity to see the amazing work they are doing all over Alaska.
We were able to attend Lydie Mattson's baptism on Friday. She is one of my favorite little girls that I have met here. The baptism service was one of the the sweetest baptisms I have been to, and the spirit was SO strong. She is always looking for ways to share the Gospel with her friends and is always teaching them about it. She decided that when she passed out her cupcakes for her birthday to her class that she would pass out invitations for her baptism as well. The room was filled with all of her friends and classmates that just love her and were SO excited for her. It was cool to feel of the spirit and to know that many of them there had never felt something quite like that, and to see how it impacted their lives. She is such an incredible example to me, so kind to all around her, always looking for opportunities to share the Gospel, AND she is only eight!! She has touched my life so much.
One of my favorite things the spirit does is testify of truth, and those moments where the spirit comes on strong out of nowhere...you just know without a doubt that it is true. I had a cool experience like that at her baptism on Friday. As her dad laid his hands upon her head and conferred the Gift of the Holy Ghost, I was thinking about what the many non-members there were thinking. In that moment it all clicked and the spirit testified so strongly that the Priesthood authority, the same Priesthood authority our Savior, Jesus Christ, received is restored to this earth, and that this is the true church restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. I can't even begin to describe it, and I know that everyone in that room could feel of that same spirit. IT WAS SO COOL. All I can say is this Gospel is true!
We also had a really cool opportunity to serve at the "Welcome to Anchorage" event on Saturday where they celebrated the many different cultures here, and it was an incredible experience. We were able to talk with so many people and a local group of LDS children had the opportunity to sing, "I Am A Child of God" in Samoan and Tongan, and it was absolutely incredible! The second
Lastly, some miracles from the week: We had an incredible lesson with our investigator, Diana. She is AMAZING and so prepared. It is always amazing finding and teaching someone that the Lord has prepared so well. She is awesome and just loves everything about the Gospel! We have another lesson with her today, and we are very excited!
We also received SIX solid, progressing investigators this week. They were all referrals, and they are incredible. They just came one right after another on Friday, and DANG, biggest blessing ever! The work is going so well! I love my companions, and this area, the mission in general, this amazing Gospel, our prophet and apostles, the fact that Conference is this week, and the women's session this last weekend! I am just thankful for the blessings the Gospel brings and the peace it brings during tough times.
On that note, yesterday was Fast Sunday. This past week I have had so many thoughts going through my head. I literally have felt like my mind has been running a thousand miles per hour. My emotions have been all over the place and I just couldn't seem to relax and think clearly all week. And, so Fast Sunday came along, and the second I started my fast to the moment I ended it, my mind was completely clear. As we were preparing a lesson that morning on fasting, the lesson talked about the blessings that come from fasting, and one of them was A CLEAR MIND! This was such a huge blessing. I was able to sit in church, organize my thoughts, and receive so much guidance that I had been searching for. I felt so much peace and was just overwhelmed with my Heavenly Father's love. Fasting, coupled with prayer, brings so much power.
I love this Gospel and am grateful for my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ who hear our prayers and silent pleadings. I have such a strong testimony of fasting, and know that as we fast and exercise faith, we will receive those blessings, maybe not right away or in the way we think, but we will be blessed.
Also, Women's Conference this weekend was incredible. I have to share one of my favorite parts. If you haven't listened to the broadcast yet, do so. Something quick that I loved was Elder Uchtdorf's talk when he spoke about the Tree of Life and the path that leads to it. He simply invited us that during tough times, or times when we are struggling, to stay on that path, to be glad and happy to look to the Tree of Life. Just simply, look to the tree, turn to the Savior, rely on Him and his atonement in our behalf, have faith that He will lift you up and walk you along that path. I am so grateful for such incredible prophets, apostles, and leaders in our church that are in tune with the spirit, and for the guidance and counsel they give.
Hope you have a stellar week. Enjoy Conference! Thank you for all that you do.
Love, Sister Lake
Anchorage Alaska Mission