This past week has been busy. (What week isn't? Hahaha)
Tuesday was an adventure with a lot of unexpected food! We had two programs feed us meals (without telling us beforehand), but I, of course, didn't mind :D (Sister Watts had eaten a big lunch, though, so I think she was a little less excited than me haha) We had delicious Hungarian bean soup, but the coolest-slash-most unique meal by far was a Cameroonian meal from our Nigerian member, Ananda's, roommate. It was different than anything I've had before. (Ananda told us if we couldn't finish it, it would be okay.) I liked it though! It was a meat with some sort of spicy spinach mixed with some other vegetable or herb sauce and thick grits. (Can I just say I love the wide variety of cultural experiences I have had on my mission?? Pretty awesome :D) And then, to top off our food day, we met up with the random lady who "streeted" (came up and started to talking to) me last week in the internet cafe and I typed a letter for her while she dictated. We were able to talk for a little bit, too. Turns out she's lived in America for the past 30 years and has come in contact with our church before. She actually already has a Book of Mormon. She is going back to America in a week, though, so we won't meet with her again. Sad. But we recommended some things to read, gave her the website Mormon.org, and encouraged her to look up the missionaries when she goes home. Anyways, to tie this back in with the food thing, she surprised Sister Watts and I with Milka bars. Which we both loved. And have already eaten. The chocolate in Europe totally rocks :D
As for the rest of our week? We have had a lot of meetings this past week, actually. A district meeting, a YSA meeting, a primary meeting, the missionary meeting, and branch council. Out here, where the branches are smaller, we as missionaries do a lot more running of the world than the ones back home do, I think. The branch here is moving in good directions, though! We are really working with the leaders and members to unite everyone and get everyone involved! I think God has big plans for this branch, seeing as there are now 8 of us missionaries working here. I'm kind of bummed I will just be here for the beginning of the growth and strengthening, but I figure I can help set up this area so the next missionaries can just go, go, go!
Anyways, by far the highlight of my week was general conference, though. Total love. You should ALL check it out at LDS.org. I totally recommend Elder Nelson's talk (sorry, still not in print format. You'll just have to watch it.) for those of you wondering who the heck missionaries are and what our church is about. A couple of talks that totally hit home for me, though, were President Holland's (he always delivers the most awesome, inspiring messages), where he talked about our personal responsibility as believers of Christ to be true to our faith and love and go and do what Christ would have us do. In other words, be true disciples of Christ in deed as well as in word. I really enjoyed Elder Christofferson's talk in Priesthood, too. And President Uchtdorf's talks. And, oh yeah, basically all of them. I remember sitting there, just thinking how conference has got to be one of the coolest parts of our church. Seriously, we have the chance to get direct revelation from God's living prophet and apostles for our day and age. Pertinent revelation for our problems and growth. SO AWESOME. Perfect example of this direct revelation that continues to shape the church was President Monson's AWESOME AWESOME announcement that boys and girls can serve missions earlier!!! I was watching it with a ton of other missionaries and we all totally freaked out! This is totally going to change who goes on missions. I know way more girls will go, which is so so awesome. I can't help but be happily biased about my belief that missions are amazing. I strongly believe that they are something that every girl should seriously consider and pray about. The interesting thing is that even though it has blessed my life so much, I know not everyone gets the answer to come. I remember that my mom actually told me she got the answer "no" about a mission. But, we know that God knows best. And so, like I said, everyone should ask God to figure out what is best for them and their life. I think that this announcement will totally open up the possibility for way more girls to ask and to serve. I know I would've served in a heartbeat at 19 years old. It would have been way more convenient school-wise and I felt ready to go then, too. With that, though, I want you all to know that I wouldn't change where I am right now at this stage in my life for anything. I really think that now, at age 22, this is where I need to be. I am grateful for all the additional experiences I had before I was able to come. And I just feel so blessed and lucky to be here :) Really, whatever sacrifice it took doesn't even matter when I compare it to all of the amazing experiences I have been able to have.
Anyways. I am going to stop gushing about all of this. I'm sure you can all tell I am super excited about it :P No need to keep going on!
Know that I STILL love my mission!
I love all of you!
Take the prophets' council to heart! We CAN be better! We can make the world better together, one day, one person, one act of love and service at a time!
Have an amazing week!
Kramer Nővér aka McKenna