This week has been so fun. So much has happened. And we did soooo much service, it was great. Monday we started decorating the tree of a sister in the ward. It the big ten foot tall tree I think I mentioned last week. It's so big. We've been back several times this week to continue decorating.
On Tuesday we helped another sister in the ward set up two of her trees, and we decorated them and the house with everything she had! It was so fun. She was having her Thanksgiving diner a day early, so we helped her prepare for that. And one of my favorite people in the Ward, Sister Renno, was there to help us. Then we went up to the very outskirts of our area and had an incredible day up in Covington. I love that town, we get so much done every time we go up there. We always have so many lessons when we go up there. So then on Wednesday we had a great lesson with an investigator that really wants to get baptized, she just doesn't feel ready yet. We went over the baptismal interview questions with her, and I thin it helped her realize what she needs to get baptized. Hopefully she'll be able to make the changes needed soon. She does want it, so someday it'll happen. Then we went and did service for another lady she we helped lady week, the one who is moving. (May or may not have mentioned her.) and this time instead of moving super heavy furniture, we packed up porcelain dolls for her. She has a million, and some of them were really creepy. We are going back again sometime this week to get more of them packaged. It was fun.
So then it was Friday, we switched up how we do weekly planning. We are trying to do better at following the outline given in Preach My Gospel, and it's a rough process, but it's starting to work. Then we went back up to Covington. Ran around trying to contact people, then meandered our way back down to Atoka (which is where our apartment is). Story from that evening: One time, we went to contact a referral, but we didn't have an exact address, just a description. It was Friday night, and really dark outside. We drove around, and after a bit we saw a house and car that matched the description. So we got out, went and knocked on the door. No answer. Ok, well, we got the address and moved on to the next person we needed to see. All four miles down this long windy road there is a big truck following us right on our tail. We turn into the neighborhood of a less active we want to meet, and the truck turns too. Then we park next to a random house to let them pass. They park behind us. So we move forward, maybe that is their house and we're in their usual parking spot. They move forward too. We keep going a bit, kind of inching along, now we're in the middle of the intersection between houses. Then someone gets out of the giant truck that was following us, and we start to panic as they walk towards us. I practically yell to drive away, but for some reason Sister Ellis stayed put. And then rolled down her window!! Then the person walked up to us and asked who we were. "The sister missionaries?" we answer. Then I remember the name of the lady we were just trying to contact, "Are you Alana...?" She replied that yes she was, and I quickly tell her how we got her name and why we were at her house in the first place. She said that she had had an issue with stalkers before, and that she was glad to meet us. We invited her to church, and she said that she had been looking for a church and would come sometime. And that we could come back anytime during the day. It was really funny, and totally a gift from God that we were able to contact that referral. We were so freaked out for a minute there. That was our Friday. Quite intense there for minute.
Then came Saturday. Oh, what a day. We went and helped a lady clean up her front yard. It's a very fun and disorganized pile of things, and we helped get a couple walkways cleared and things out into piles. The difference was huge even though we only touched a corner of the yard. It was really fun. Then we finally went to Millington his week. And continued to run around doing missionary things all day. Then we had dinner at the Renno's again. After we ate we helped Sister Renno draw animal heads and stick them onto sticks for her sunbeams on Sunday. It was a lot of fun. A so much service we were pushing our limit. Loved it.
And Sunday was just great. We went to Ward council that morning. Now it has steadily been getting colder and colder all week, and when we walked outside yesterday morning, everything was covered in a thick frost. We ended up being a little late due to the sheet of frost on our windshield. Sunday is such a wonderful day. We had a great time at church, one of our investigators we haven been able to see for a couple weeks was there, he comes pretty much every Sunday, and his wife (who is the member) was able to come today too, (she has been sick lately but knew that she needed to come because she had missed the past two weeks and recognized her need to come)! It was great. Then after church we did studies and contacting and everything else we needed to do, then some members picked us up for dinner, they live on base, so we had to catch a ride from them. It was really fun to have dinner with them. They are cool people. Then we took a young woman out with us for the rest of the evening.
It was a fun week. We got a lot done, and so much service! Thanksgiving was great, and I am totally in the Christmas spirit now with all that Christmas tree decorating. It was so fun. We also have been trying to improve our obedience to the things we are supposed to be doing. It has already blessed us. And we have been studying Preach My Gospel and are working to apply the things we are learning. It's so incredible how many things we find as we carefully read and re-read that book. It truly is inspired. This whole week we have been improving and changing to be more aligned with the way Preach My Gospel describes how to do things, and I can see and feel the difference. That is the coolest thing. I've noticed especially this past week that as we study the scriptures (and Preach My Gospel) and apply the things we learn there, we feel more at peace with ourselves. I didn't even realize I was stressed about some things until I read something and fixed how I do it. It's a testament to studying the scriptures and applying them to your life. The difference is immeasurable and so spiritually freeing. There is peace from that which can be found nowhere else. I love it.