Hmm... oh! That's a good one! I don't know about thrilling, but it was exciting, nonetheless. (Halloween), a member invited all of the missionaries to go to her place for dinner. It probably wouldn't have been worth the travel time (about 45-60 minutes each way) otherwise, but on Halloween it was either be at an appointment or be at your apartment, and who really wants missionaries who can't listen to music, watch TV, or have fun at their house for Halloween? Well apparently Murr does. (Her real name is Mary or something... not sure why she goes by Murr.) Really, there'd be nothing to report on, except Andrea came for her first American Halloween! Haha it probably wasn't a very typical Halloween, so she probably wonders what the fuss is about, but it was cool to just spend the whole evening with her.
While there, she and Murr had a conversation that was half great, half super awkward:
Murr: So, are you a Mormon?
Andrea: No. Not yet. (That was the exciting part. I almost choked on my soup as she said "yet." Well, that's partway because the soup was really gross anyways. But it made me really excited!)
Murr: China is communist, though, right? (then, turning towards us) So what is the point of even teaching her?
Haha that was one of the more awkward things she could have said. But, we dealt with it well, avoided saying something sarcastic like, "I don't know, to allow her to know her true identity as a daughter of God, allow her to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and give her the choice of making covenants with him," and instead just focused on the part where Andrea, who has always been much more resistant than Jerry, said YET!
While we didn't end up meeting with them this week because of how busy they are with school, I had a really cool conversation with Jerry over text. We were talking about his upcoming fluid mechanics exam and I wished him good luck, and he said, "Thanks :) I will be sure to pray for help :)" When we were talking on the phone later that day, he said he's been praying every day and has been working with Andrea to help her feel more comfortable praying, even saying nightly prayers with her! It's fantastic! We have an appointment with them that we are planning on inviting them to set a baptismal date for the middle of December or beginning of January. It's a ways off... but when you're still trying to help them get faith that God exists, we could use a little bit of time haha.
The other cool event of the week was the temple trip! Patti, from Freedom, received her endowments ! Even though I was nowhere near New York when she got baptized three years ago, we did a lot of work with her to help her get over some recurring habits haha. When they picked Elder Holmes and me up, and we got into the car, the first thing she said was, "Well Elder Allen, this is your fault." After trying to figure out what she meant by that a little more, she said it was because I was the one that encouraged her to get her patriarchal blessing, and she said one thing lead to another from there. Haha not to make her temple trip about me, but I quite liked hearing that. After hearing about one convert after another going less active down there, it is good to know that I made a lasting impact with someone!
All of the missionaries in the mission who had worked with Patti were there! We aren't all in this picture, but I think it came out to 17 or so!
The temple was cool, of course. I actually probably had one of the most revelatory experiences from the temple that I've had in quite a while. Haha obviously I can't go into it much here, but it was great! And while I was in the Celestial Room, I was reading from Doctrine and Covenants 109, and a little bit stood out to me:
"And that all people who shall enter upon the threshold of the Lord’s house may feel thy power (vs 13)... And we ask thee, Holy Father, that thy servants may go forth from this house armed with thy power (vs 22)... But thy word must be fulfilled. Help thy servants to say, with thy grace assisting them: Thy will be done, O Lord, and not ours (vs 44)."
Anyways... I really don't have much else to talk about. We have a pretty exciting week ahead of us, though! So hopefully it all plays out!
I love you, but I don't miss you!