so... i'm struggling to write good emails lately! haha. i feel like i've been out for so long that it's just normal life to me now and so... writing about normal life doesn't seem as exciting. :P i'm trying to think of good things from the week to write about...
first of all, i got to go through the temple with LILY last week! :D it was soooo cool. we got to the temple and changed, and then when we walked to the staircase that leads up to the session, there were a couple people from the black mountain branch that were there waiting for her to finish initiatories. so we waited with them. when she walked out with nicole, her escort, there was a group of 5 or 6 of us there to greet her in her white dress... ah! she looked unbelievable... glowing from the inside out. she had kind of an apprehensive look on her face at first--not in a "what am i doing here?" kind of way, but just in a soaking-it-all-in kind of way... and then she turned to nicole and whispered, "am i allowed to hug them?" :) she's so cute. nicole nodded and lily came straight over to me and gave me a HUGE hug!! oh my goodness... how special that was. and then we went to the session and to the celestial room... i wondered what was going through her head, of course--being a missionary you're ALWAYS worried about how your investigator/convert is receiving new information :P--but she was just smiling like nobody's business and saying, "that was amazing." :) ah! this will always be one of the most special memories of my entire mission. i am SO GRATEFUL for LILY!! she is one of heavenly father's choicest daughters. i can't believe it's been a year since she was baptized! and now she's the ward mission co-chair. oh--and engaged to be sealed for time and all eternity. :) :) THAT is what missionary work is all about! (take note, family... i WILL be heading back for her wedding in april... so in case you want to plan a vacation in advance or somethin... ;) )
let's see, let's see... other good things that happened this week... most other things pale in comparison to that. :P george went out of town, so we didn't get to teach him this week... and christine had jaw surgery, so we didn't get to teach her either... we will tonight though. the mormon battalion is doing good, just way slow now... when school starts it goes dead for a couple of weeks. :P but then fall breaks/holiday season it picks back up a little. oh! i had a really cool conversation with a kid from germany who is agnostic... i could tell by his reactions during the tour that he kind of thought the whole "believing in god" thing was a joke. he was cool enough, though, that i could be pretty blunt-but-still-friendly. :) i looked him straight in the eye, and i promised him that god would TRULY manifest himself to him if he sincerely prayed and asked. the spirit was definitely in my words, because his little smirk fell off his face... he knew and felt that i meant what i said, and he humbly nodded. i challenged him to pray that night, and he said that he would. i don't know if he ever did, but i know that was a solid seed planted.
one more sweet story: i went on splits with sarah mendiola, my recent convert, on saturday. we were just doing some contacting and went to a former investigator's house... we were halfway up his walkway when all the sudden his neighbor was waving excitedly at us. that's really abnormal for random strangers to be excited to see missionaries. usually they run in their house, shut all the screens, lock all the doors, close all the blinds, board up the windows, and hibernate for 42 hours until they're sure we're gone. :P so i wasn't surprised when sarah suddenly shouts, "christie??" and runs over and gives this lady a huge hug. turns out she was her co worker... they live 2 miles away from each other and never knew it. i also doubt that christie knew that sarah is now a mormon. ;) so we get talking, and guess what?? just the DAY before, there were two sister missionaries that were in the doctor's office where christie works... they had a long conversation with her and told her to come visit them at the mormon battalion, which she agreed to. (yes, they were sisters i work with!) isn't that crazy?? first at her work, and then a day later at her home! and this was sarah's first time on splits! NOT A COINCIDENCE. heavenly father has PERFECT placement. :) this also happens to be a hard time in christie's life... she's going through a divorce. so it's even more obvious that heavenly father is trying to reach her... hopefully she'll pick up on these signs!! she and sarah are going to plan a day to come visit us and we'll go from there. :)
okay. i think that's sufficient. :) THE GOSPEL IS TRUE! i refuse to believe i only have 11 weeks left to share it. :( it's too good to stop!!
i love you all (that is, if there's even multiple people reading this. ha.)! :)
love love love
p.s. san diego has these crazy weird spider seasons... we found this one walking back to our car the other night. they're everywhere! yuck. :P (you should see sister brown freak out... haha. i thought i was bad.)