Wow! This week has been so busy!! I can't believe how fast it went.. I'm seriously so lost on how it could possibly already be Monday. I'll never understand the concept of time. Last week I kept getting the days mixed up, thinking that really it was supposed to be Wednesday when it was Thursday (except it happened every day of the week). It absolutely amazes me that a week can fly by without me realizing it, but also that 10 minutes can feel like an eternity when it's 8 o'clock at night, it's snowing, and it's -10 without adding wind chill. What normal person goes outside when it's that cold? Missionaries...
Last week we really only had a half pday because we drove down to Dansville to do exchanges with the sisters down there. Sister hunter (my MTC companion) is one of the sisters down there right now and I got to do exchanges with her!:) Sister McLaren and I prayed for a long time trying to figure out who needed to be with who and it turned out that sister hunter and I NEEDED to be together! Aside from the fact that we were able to help each other with some of the difficulties we've both been facing lately, it was so cool to see how much we've both grown as missionaries. Haha there have been MAJOR improvements in our teaching since we've been in the field. :) Dansville felt like a little piece of home. It's a little farm town, with lots of fields, probably more cows than people, and hills (it's the closest thing to mountains that I've seen in 7 months). The only things that I had heard about Dansville was that EVERYONE has cats, and you'll never leave an appointment without some kind of animal hair on your clothing. The rumors were true haha. We saw one guy who had 2 dogs, 4 cats, 3 birds, 2 gerbles, and a bearded dragon (obviously all the hair came from the bearded dragon). There's another lady in their area who has 26 German Shepards not including the 16 puppies they have right now. They have lots of fun service projects!:)
Sister hunter and I had a super cool miracle and it was such a tender mercy to me! We went to see 2 of their less actives and both didn't show up, so we had all this time so we decided to go tracting in a part of their area that they don't go to much. We came to this one house and this little old man opens the door. My first thought was "that looks like grandpa Nield." Then we started talking to him and I asked what his name was. You'll never guess.. Carl!! So I told him that's my grandpas name. And he asked if it was with a c or a k so I had to explain that both grandpas are named Carl. One with a c and one with a k. We started talking about families and he started bawling. His wife and his 2 daughters all died within a couple months of each other last year. So we talked about the plan of salvation and he wants the sisters to come back! Right as we left, there was a penny on the ground. Grandpa was there. :)
Then we made our way to Gowanda that night! (Slumber party 2 nights in a row!) I was super excited to go to Gowanda! Part of their area is part of the Cattaraugus Indian reservation and I've wanted to serve there since I got to the mission and I finally got to spend a day there! Sister Petersen is one of the sisters down there!:) it was so good to see her since she was basically my step-companion our first 2 transfers. I did exchanges with her companion, Sister Williamson, though, and once again we NEEDED to be together! She's been going through some things that I had been going through a couple months ago so I was able to help her and she was able to teach me a lot! I feel so lucky to be a sister training leader because I get to go on all these exchanges and learn SO MUCH from all these sweet sisters! We got home Wednesday night around 10. So we had a long couple of days! Full of miracles though!
Then we had zone meeting on Thursday and sister McLaren and I are the only sisters in the whole zone. Haha so for our training we had to find a way to keep all the elders entertained. Haha we used treasure maps and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Needless to say, we had a very captivated audience and we're now the favorite sisters in the mission. No big deal.
The best thing I learned this week is to BREAK the RULES. I know that sounds bad, but not to break the rules of the mission or the commandments but to break the rules that we set for ourselves. I've heard the phrase "oh that's just how I am. It won't change" more times on my mission than ever before. I've even been guilty of that. "Oh this area is slow, we'll only get ___ lessons this week because that's what it is on a normal week.." This week I wanted to really push myself and Sister McLaren. We were out of our area for more than half the week because of exchanges and meetings and 6 hours of church. But we set really high goals anyway, knowing that we could accomplish them even if it's not typical. All it takes is some hard work and dedication. The only thing stopping you from reaching your potential is YOU. Don't set limits for yourself because that keeps you from living up to the potential that our Heavenly Father sees in you. Break the rules; let yourself be willing to change; don't set limits for who you can or can't become.
Have a great week everyone! Love you all!