I have tons to say and very little time, so I'm going to use my Mavis Beacon skills and type this super fast. Sorry if there are lots of typos.
This week was really good, with some amazing miracles, and also a bit sad, with some disappointments.
I'll start with the good.
This week I FINALLY started to feel like I have a purpose here in the YSA. It takes me a good eight weeks to get used to a new area, which is how long I have been here. I'm finally starting to feel at home, though.
On Wednesday we had one of the best lessons EVER. We have a super great investigator, Laura, and this week our branch president had us, her, and another one of our members over for dinner. She seemed to feel really at home there, and it went well. After the dinner we read a chapter out of the Book of Mormon with her, and then talked about fasting. She has done it before! Wow! We committed her to pick a baptismal date, and then fast and pray on Sunday at stake conference to know for sure if this is right for her. She accepted! The member that we brought to fellowship her did great, and offered to drive Laura to church. It was all so wonderful. Like picture perfect missionary work. So rewarding.
A sister missionary from the Poquoson ward got home this week and called us within hours of getting off the plane to see when she could come out with us. She is so cute. She served her mission in Argentina, so the whole speaking English thing is tough for her. At someone's door she was like, "We're here comparting a testimonio about... Never mind. You just talk." Haha. Spanglish. I want to be like that. Out with the missionaries every day!
We met with a great guy that we found at the activities festival at William and Mary a few weeks back. He is super cool and seems genuinely interested.
Later that night we had dinner with two RMs in our branch. They invited a nonmember to be the third female, and it turns out that she is golden! We taught her the restoration, she liked it, and accepted the invitation to meet with us again. MEMBER MISSIONARY WORK. So much better than missionary missionary work.
We went on exchanges with the Poquoson sisters, and I got to ride bikes for the first time in my mission! IT WAS SO FUN. I loved it. Plus it wasn't that hot - in fact we got drenched in the rain - so it was nice. I wish that I could be on bikes more. Sitting in the car all the time is the worst.
Stake conference happened. Crazy because for stake conference a year ago, I was in this very same place, going to the chapel on Denbigh. Newport News feels like my home stake by now! The stake president here, President Hamilton, is the best. I think that I was sent to Virginia in part just to meet him. In the Saturday evening session he talked about the appropriate use of technology, and encouraged us to join in Elder Bednar's invitation to flood the Earth with uplifting messages.
Another theme that the Spirit brought to my attention during stake conference was the glorious hope of the Gospel. It struck me again and again how much hope I have gained through the course of my mission. Seeing families that work, Priesthood holders that love and serve their families, and people that have turned their lives around has helped me to trust in the Lord's promises like never before. I feel that the future is bright, that I CAN have a happy, successful family, that pure, Christlike love, really does exist. I didn't feel those things as much 15 months ago.
I could say more, but my time is up.