It's a good thing I promised a more exciting email last week, because there was a lot that happened this week! :)
We had interviews with our mission president and his wife . It was so great to be able to talk to them and feel their sweet spirits. They have such a genuine interest in each of their missionaries and our investigators. I got to talk to them about some of the people we are teaching and how they are doing. It is so great to see how much other people care about our investigators. I of course love them and think they are amazing and it is nice to see that other people think the same thing.
Oh! We also were put on tornado warning ! That was exciting :) We were in our apartment finishing studies and then eating dinner, so we were safe, don't worry! We had been warned in the morning that it was going to be windy and there were wind warnings in effect, so it wasn't a huge surprise. We were just sitting in our apartment and we heard this siren start going off. Neither of us knew what it was, but I assumed it was a storm siren. A member of our ward who lives close to us texted us and asked if we were okay and was giving us tips on how to stay safe in a tornado (not that we actually needed to use any of them). This ward is so great, they are always making sure we are doing okay! <3
We also went on exchanges again this week, and I got to take over the area. I was not as nervous as I expected to be and it ended up being a really good day! One of our appointments fell through so we went tracting and found 3 new investigators! We haven't been able to see any of them again yet, but we aren't going to give up on them.
Earnest continues to be amazing. We had a lesson with him and he is making great progress with living the Word of Wisdom! That has been something he has been struggling with a bit, and still isn't totally there, but he is recognizing that he doesn't need to drink and that he doesn't even want to most of the time! He told us a story about how he was going to buy beer ( , still working on that...) but heard a whistle when he was trying to decide what to buy. There was apparently no one nearby who could have whistled, so he took it as a sign that he shouldn't buy the beer. The Lord works in mysterious ways :) One of Earnest's friends stopped by and Earnest let him in and explained who we were. It was so powerful to hear him bear his simple testimony that we are there to help people come closer to Christ. Earnest has come so far since we started teaching him and now he is beginning to teach other people! I am so exctied to see the progress he will continue to make and the blessings that come into his life from being baptized and living the gospel.
In case I haven't told you how great this ward is, they are WONDERFUL! The stake president is in our ward and we had dinner with his family this past week. Their youngest son, who is about 9, had given his teacher at school a copy of the Book of Mormon. Without his parents asking him to! He has talked to his teacher about religion before (only in the South would that be normal) and is a great member missionary! There are so many ward members who want to come to lessons with us or feed us or help in any way they can! Ward members are a HUGE help to missionary work!
I have been thinking about the Sabbath recently and how important it is. I realized this morning the importance of the wording of the commandment to "keep the Sabbath day holy". We are not commanded to 'make' it holy, we are commanded to 'keep' it holy. The Sabbath has always been holy. It is the day that Heavenly Father set apart and gave us to come closer to him and renew our covenants. It is not a day to be lazy or do whatever we want. It is a gift to be treasured and protected. Keeping the Sabbath holy, the way it is designed to be, will bring a greater measure of the Spirit into our lives and bring us closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I invite all of you to evaluate your Sabbath day observance and find one thing that you can improve on this next week. I know that I can always do better at remembering my Savior and keeping the Sabbath day as holy as it should be.
Thank you so much for all your prayers and encouragement and support. I know that I could not be the best missionary I could be without the many prayers that are said on my behalf. It means so much to know that so many people pray for me and those I am teaching. <3