This week was nuts! I think this has been THE longest week of my mission. For those of you that don't know, "winter storm Jonas" hit this weekend, and it threw our week off.. The beginning of our week was ok, we had a bunch of meetings mostly. We did get to go to the temple though, which was awesome!! After we did that, we went to the Worldwide Missionary Broadcast, which was equally excellent.
Good news, Nian had his baptism interview early Friday morning, and he passed with flying colors! WOOOO. His baptism was originally supposed to be Saturday evening, but Jonas took over the entire northeastern United States, so that didn't work out too well. We've been quarantined inside for the past 3 days, and have to stay in again today! The worst. But his baptism has been rescheduled for tomorrow evening at 7, and he's so excited!! He goes back to China a week from today. Ah! Pray for him!!
Yesterday was probably my favorite day of my mission though! We're one of the few apartments without Elders or a senior couple in the complex, so Elder Fowler came and picked us up yesterday in the early afternoon! He and Sister Fowler live in a complex a mile or two up the road from us, so he got special permission to come and get us so we could have the sacrament! Some other sisters in that complex came as well, so there were 15 of us total I think. It was the best sacrament meeting I've ever been to!! The Spirit was so strong, holy smokes. Sister So gave a talk, and Elder Fowler spoke as well. After the meeting was over, Sister Fowler gave us all hot chocolate and cookies! Then we all sat and talked with Elder and Sister Fowler for 3+ hours, asking them questions and listening to them tell stories. I can't tell you guys how much I love and respect them!! I've never met anyone more dedicated to the Lord than them! I was definitely sent to this mission because of them, they've inspired me and taught me SO MUCH. Wow I love them so much it hurts. I love my calling!! :')
One more fun fact for ya... So, a few days ago the Trainers got an email from church headquarters. I'll just attach the email so y'all can read for yourself. This is from Brother Mark Lisvardi, who serves as the Church Director of Public Programs (meaning he's super high up there):
"I would like to express my appreciation to you and all of the missionaries at the Washington DC Temple visitors' center for the remarkable efforts made and inviting guests during the year 2015. Over the course of the year, your overall referrals increased by 62%. During the month of December alone your referrals increased by 84%. Further, you lead all visitors' centers including Temple Square with the highest number of referrals during the month of December 2015. This is really quite remarkable and we know that the missionaries must have a great spirit of unity and an understanding of their purpose to have achieved such fine results. I have been sharing this information here with the Brethren so that they are aware of the success that you are having."
AHHHHHHHHH!!! Believe it or not, our 24 sisters got more referrals during the month of December than any other visitors center or historic site, including Temple stinking Square!! And the Brethren (as in the 12 Apostles) know. Holy smokes. It was a huge miracle that came because of our faith and diligence. Elder Fowler, along with the incredible sisters here, has played a huge role in changing this Center into a prime proselyting area. It's my favorite area, and I feel so blessed to be a part of such a great work! I LOVE the Visitors Center, we proselyte like nobody's business. I know most members of the Church have this notion that Visitors Center sisters are "tour guides", or they apologize that we "don't get to proselyte" or that our "mission call isn't actually a 'call'", or even that we're not "real missionaries". If you've ever said or thought any of those things, go repent, because you're absolutely 100% dead wrong. We proselyte here more than anywhere. We work hard. We teach and baptize a blooming ton. If you ever have preconceived notions about VC Sisters, come talk to me - I'll be happy to tell you about the hard work we do. ;) Haha just kidding. But really, I'm so grateful for my calling! The Sisters I get to serve with an incredible, and they've taught me so much. I love Elder Fowler and everything he does, I just love my mission!!!!
That's about it for now, folks. I don't have much else to report, unless you want to hear about how many Wild Berry Skittles I've eaten over the past 3 days. Sorry this is so long, that should tell you how crazy I'm going haha. Feel free to shoot me an email or picture or video or something today so I don't go totally nuts. Thanks, I love you all so much!!
Nian made us pig backbone soup. Yes, that's a pig spine everyone.
Pre-Jonas shopping. Wheres the bread?
Beginnings of Jonas
Post-Jonas (that's a van and a little sedan next to it)
Driving with Elder Fowler
Sacrament meeting yesterday!
Lockdown day 2 - I did everyone's makeup haha
Lockdown day 3