I hope everyone had a wonderful week I know that I had a week of spiritual feasting! We had Mission Leadership Council (MLC) this week and of course as always I loved it. We drove up Wednesday without any trouble. We decided to grab dinner (per my request) at Panera! All of the sisters loved it. The nicest part was the manager walked over and gave us a box of 4 cupcakes and said they were on the house. He is actually a member up in Albuquerque. We had a nice conversation about his ward and his family and how they ended up in Albuquerque. I love when we meet random strangers and they tell us that they are members and then they'll talk to us like they've known us for years! The next day, on Thursday, we saw about 20 hot air balloons on our way to the mission home, because Friday was the start of Balloon festival and they were practicing. It was neat to see all of them flying together. MLC was amazing. We talked about the type of culture we have as a mission and how we are going to focus on making our culture a baptizing culture. We all left that meeting pumped to do missionary work and help all the missionaries catch "the hunger" for missionary work! I had a good drive home, but two of the sisters had super bad back pain. It is a lot of driving. We stopped at this McDonald's in Truth or Consequences and when we went to buy our dinners this member we had been talking to in line went up and said that he was going to buy all of us dinner. It is so humbling when members serve us in such small ways and I am so grateful for their willingness to give so freely.
The next day we had Zone training and it was probably the best one I've been to. We had a lot of other missionaries say the same thing. We did a few things differently in training like splitting up into small groups and having workshop type things and the missionaries really liked it. Afterwards we did an award ceremony. The Zone leaders and us had a whole bunch of medals and we proceeded to do the Missionary Grammy Awards. Each missionary received an award. We had things like most likely to be the next president or relief society president. We had next nascar driver, most likely to be in a boy band. Hermana Fallentine received the iron chef award because she made oreo balls for our trip up to MLC and all of the Elders loved them! They were very yummy! I received the Valedictorian award for my ability to know random facts about everything. The elders do this "word of the day" and "saying of the day" in Spanish and they were like, we'll send them to you if you give us a fact about church history. :) I miss being able to read about church history all the time. Overall I think it was a really successful training and I think the missionaries left inspired and uplifted which is the main goal.
Then unfortunately my companion was sick most of the weekend. She woke up with the stomach flu. We did manage to make it to conference all four sessions, but I think she was a little miserable. Saturday was the worst day and the elders actually pulled in the nice comfy chairs from the hallway and stuck them in the back and we sat back there so she could be more comfortable. It was one of those times it would have been really nice to have an ipad so we could have just stayed in the apartment, but it worked and conference was great. I love the way that the apostles can (as we say as missionaries) "throw down". They say what needs to be said, but they still do it in such a loving manner. I hope we all are a little more dedicated to being a little bit better right now.
Then to top off my spiritual feast this week we went to the temple yesterday. I can't even begin to describe the feelings that are in that holy place. No where else can you feel such a peaceful feeling of love. Afterwards we were able to sit in a sealing room and President and Sister Miller talked to us. When President was talking he reminded me a lot of my dad. They told us we were all their children and that they loved us like their children. President Miller told us to find out what our gifts are and talked about the importance of recognizing them. He said if you don't think you have gifts you call me and I will look into your eyes and tell you what your gifts are. Hermana Fallentine and I both knew that was a true statement because there have been so many times when he shakes our hands and he looks into our eyes and I know he can see right into my soul. I know that my mission president is inspired by God and I was suppose to come to this mission in part to meet him and his wife. One thing that was said during this week was that a mission is not a sacrifice, it's a blessing. I testify to that with my whole heart. My mission is not a sacrifice because I have been so abundantly and richly blessed that anything that I have given up pales in comparison. I know that this gospel is true. I know that my Savior lives and that he loves me. I know that in his holy house we can feel of his love and spirit. I hope every one feels and recognizes that love this coming week.
With all my love,