My dear family and friends,
These past two weeks at home have been some of the BEST weeks I can remember! I began a blog post shortly after returning, but it was late and I’ve been trying to keep the habit of retiring early and rising early! My body has naturally kept me to the rising early one, ha ha…
But I wanted to share some incredible experiences!
1. Touring the mission with my parents:
My parents met me in the mission home on Thursday night and we had plans to fly home Monday morning. So from Friday to Sunday we were able to drive through the West Virginia Charleston Mission and visit a few of the people with whom I had shared so many wonderful experiences. Well, each day we prayed that we would have opportunities to be missionaries. Each day our prayer was answered. =) But probably the best was the last day. We had planned to go to church in Portsmouth, OH. It started at 10:00 and we had a drive that would put us there about 10:10. I knew, however, that the drive into Portsmouth would probably be the only day for me to see my beautiful best friend Shawna. So after prayerful consideration, we decided we would take the time hit and make the detour. We knocked on her door around 9:50 and she came out, started at the sight of me, and promptly said “I hate you.” I grinned and embraced her. Shawna was baptized shortly before I left my first area, and we shared a wonderful bond during that time. We offered her a ride, she quickly dressed, and we headed to church.
When we arrived at the chapel, we were disappointed to find the parking lot empty. As it turns out, it was Stake Conference day, and church was being held in Huntington, WV–two hours away. *facepalm* After more prayerful consideration, we all decided to go visit some of the members who were unlikely to have driven to Huntington for church. Lo and behold, we chose right! The first door we knocked was Austin and Wanda. Wanda came to the door, and in a grouchy tone said “well, come on in.” That one caught me off guard! Haha, but we obediently entered. The six of us gathered in the living room and relived some memories together. Then I asked if we could hold a testimony meeting in their living room. They obliged. My dear friends, that living room was sacred that day as each one of us present bore our testimonies of this Gospel. Each one of us was touched by the Spirit that day, and things were shared that will make me forever grateful for finding that empty church parking lot. It was a perfect Sabbath day.
2. The plane ride home from the mission:
I had two neighbors on two legs of the flight from Charleston to Phoenix. I honestly can’t remember the first right now, but on the second I sat next to a male who was a few years younger than me. He was reading a book, so for a good portion of the flight we were silent. Finally he adjusted enough that I was able to ask what his book was. It was a book on the physics behind the formation of the universe. We talked about his passion for physics and understanding things. At one point I asked if he had ever considered a Creator in studying physics. We talked about laws and I shared the understanding of a God who creates by using laws. He appreciated the concept of a faith that allowed for science and reason. We had an amazing discussion, and at the end of the flight, I reached into my bag and pulled out the hardback copy of the Book of Mormon I was given by President and Sister Pitt when I first arrived in the mission two years prior. I remembered hearing once that if the only Book of Mormon you have to give away is your personal copy, give it away! =) So I handed it to him, and he was super grateful as he accepted it. He promised he would read it.
10:10, time to get ready for bed. =) To be continued… (with pictures!!!)