I am still alive!!! Can you believe it? I can hardly believe it myself. I did NOT think I would survive this week.
I guess that just goes to show everything is possible if He is on your side :)
So, being a trainer. Would you believe me if I said it feels like it is one of the most natural things I have done? Isn't that so weird?! Just further proof that this is HIS work. Last week, I have never felt humbler, and this week I have never felt more confident that the Lord can do all things. I know that it is only with His help that I have been able to do this, especially with the added bonus of feeling like my burden has been made light. So neat! It has been an incredible experience.
As for my cute little baby- haha, just kidding, I don't call her that- Sister Palmer is AWESOME! It is kind of funny that she came to Hiram, because when I first saw the pictures of the incoming missionaries, her picture stood out to me the most. I prayed so much that I would be able to feel His love for her the moment I saw her, and He definitely blessed me with that. She is so perfect for this area, and so far we have gotten together really well. She is different than any other friends I have ever had. She is a very headstrong, free spirit and she has no problem letting her opinions be known. She is so good at explaining things clearly and confidently, but she also has a great balance of listening and using the spirit in teaching. It really doesn't feel like she is a new missionary- this girl knows what she is doing! She is from Provo, UT, and has an adorable family of 6 siblings and a new nephew. She is in the very middle of the family- she has a twin brother- and she is really close to them. She has traveled to many places, including Peru and China, and she has the cutest smile and the most charismatic personality I have ever met. She is great, and I have already learned so much from her.
The bad news- Audrie says she is done with us. It came out of no where! She was doing so well- you could see her progression. She had more fulfillment in her life, and her relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ made a noticable change for the better in her life. On Tuesday she broke up with her boyfriend. Thursday morning she texted us at 1:24am because she was having a crisis and needed help. We rearranged our entire scheule to go out and see her and make sure she was alright. She is pregnant. After talking to her for 45 minutes she seemed a lot better and less anxious. Then she stood up the President for her baptismal interview. We were able to find her a ride to church, but she walked home before sacrament even started, and now she will not answer calls, texts and is never home when we stop by :( It has been difficult. This wouldn't be so hard if I didn't KNOW that she KNOWS it is true. She knows it. She has admitted that to me, she has received answers to her prayers, and she has seen the difference it has made in her life. To have her turn her back on it is excruciating, especially when I know it will make her so happy. I feel like I am dealing with a tempermental teenager who refuses to do what is best for himself/herself, even when they know what they are doing is harming themselves. I have had to resort to taking a step back, being patient and showing our love and support for her. It is tough letting people have agency, because I feel the urge to rush to her and make everything right. But I recognize that she needs to make this decision for herself, and letting her have time to make her own decision is probably the best for her right now. It is nice to have prayers- I feel like that is the best we can do for her. I know Heavenly Father will never give up on her, and that gives me strength to step up rather than step out of the situation. It is sad to feel so discouraged, but it is sort of neat to see how much I really do love her and genuinely want the best for her.
Did I tell you that the mission president went out of his way to help Giang? He emailed all of the stake presidents in the mission to see if there is someone who speaks Vietnamese and English. We found out there is a recent convert in Akron stake who is on fire with the gospel, and he has had the opportunity to Skype with Giang. Also, there is a Vietnamese MTC teacher who will be helping us out with the baptisimal interview questions this coming week, which will be really nice! Giang is getting more chatty and talkative during our visits. Yesterday he was telling us about how his doctor was giving him nutritional advice :) He is a character. Hopefully you get to meet him sometime- he is the sweetest man! We don't know for sure when he will be baptized- he can't wait :)
It is cute to see how Sister Palmer is so optimistic. We went tracting the other day, and she was DEVESTATED when we went back to visit the people who said we could come back and then they 'flamed us.' (they weren't there) Poor girl :) When we went tracting the first time she was laughing almost the whole time because of how awkward she felt :) It was so funny! She is hilarious. We are working together at being better at contacting (we both want to be more effective with those we introduce to the gospel) I will need to get a picture of us soon so you can put a picture to her name.
On Sister Palmer's first tour in Kirtland, we had the most amazing lady to bring on tour! She was such a sweet woman, and her testimony of the gospel was incredible. The School of the Prophets was especially powerful when she read the testimony of John Murdock's experience of seeing the Savior. The spirit was so strong! You can tell she has/will be touching a lot of lives for good, and it is amazing how attractive someone is just by living the gospel.
This week has been crazy- and the coming week is going to be even crazier! We are up in Kirtland every other day for stake conference, and missionary meetings. Just a heads up- Next Wednesday is going to be the New Missionary Training meeting all day (and we will be contacting up in Kirtland with the new missionaries!) so P-day isn't going to be until Friday of next week.
Love you all so much! I am glad to hear you are all doing well, and I hope you are excited about the spring Ray! Meg, Lex and Brooke, hang in there at school!
Sister Kimber Mahrt