First and foremost (well, not really foremost, but it's at the forefront of my mind right now 'cause it freaking hurts), carpenter bees hurt!! They are these stupid bees that look like a bumble bee, but are known for burrowing into wood to lay their eggs. Instead of stinging, they dig holes. One thought my ankle would be a nice place to try to dig a stupid hole. This was two or three days ago and my ankle is still swollen and itchy! Blasted bee!!!
But now onto things you probably care more about. Hopefully I can get my own mind off of my stupid ankle. Geez, it kept me up for a good chunk of the night it was so itchy!
Well The Hill Cumorah Pageant has begun! It is spectacular! Some 600-700 actors in it. Whoa. Crazy stuff. The first night we just went with Amy, kind of as our free night of being there without anyone missionary-oriented. But then we went with Jim and Sue. That was very cool! They are very Catholic, and not too interested in changing, but they are still probably the best non-member missionaries imaginable. We went a few hours early with them and took them on a tour of the Joseph Smith Farm and Sacred Grove. They liked it so much, they decided that they are bringing a busload of the senior group they belong to on a tour in a few weeks! That's some 20 people who will be going through one of the most spiritual places I have ever been!
Now this upcoming week will be just crazy. We are going to Pageant with Dolly Tuesday, Jimmy , Justin and Shauna , a whole big group , and hopefully find someone to go with . It is exhausting to even imagine haha.
, we were able to finally have a real lesson with Shauna! It was wonderful. Like I said, really we are doing new member lessons with Justin, her boyfriend, but she is there, and at least half of the lesson is in reality pointed at her. We went through the whole Restoration, and it was great, because as we were talking about the start of the apostasy and about the loss of the priesthood, she interrupted and said, "Wait, but how did that get back?" She'd clearly noticed the priesthood at church, and opened the conversation to the restoration beautifully!
I'm trying to think of other things to even talk about.... but I'm drawing a major blank. My memory further back than (the first day of Pageant) is pretty much erased, it seems.
Oh, yesterday we caught up with Jenn, again! (Tops Girl, that is!) It's super tough to teach her sometimes, not because she's unteachable, but because her phone is disconnected. Haha so if something comes up for her appointment, which it often does for her, she doesn't really have a way of rescheduling with us except for crossing our fingers that we'll catch her at home sometime. So it was with our appointment Tuesday, then she wasn't home when we stopped by or . Finally, though, she was home ! We didn't have a real sit-down lesson, but had a great conversation about the infiniteness of the Atonement. We now are planning on going over on Tuesday to really talk about how God talks to us. She's really started opening up on her past, though. Which is great, but definitely a little intimidating. There's a big past there hahaha. But, she's awesome and I am way excited. Hopefully she comes to Pageant towards the end of the week, too.
And Jimmy! We taught him again! That was really neat. We decided we were going to teach him about how to receive revelation through prayer, reading the scriptures, and going to church. As we talked, though, we naturally glided away from that to talking about how not casting away our confidence. I kind of based it on a talk that everyone should read for tomorrow's personal study by Elder Holland (http://www.lds.org/ensign/
2000/03/cast-not-away- therefore-your-confidence). The coolest part of it was how empty the lesson felt at first when we went with what we planned on, but it really picked up as we switched over. Halfway through, Jimmy commented that it was almost like we knew what he was thinking, because he'd been feeling less and less confident about the growth he was making. We were then able to link it all back into the beginning of the lesson and talk about how we strengthen our faith and resolve by inviting the Spirit - by reading the scriptures, praying, and going to church! It was great!
Well, I must depart. We are having a Mormon Night at the minor league baseball team in Batavia. The missionaries are singing the national anthem, Vernon Law (an LDS Cy Young winner) is going to be throwing the first pitch and signing autographs, and all sorts of good Mormony fun. Should be good!
I love you, but I don't miss you!
Elder Bracken Allen
Oh yeah, and here's a snapping turtle that was crossing the road. Archaic little bugger, huh?