Man I am absolutely exhausted but SO HAPPY! I think only in the mission are those two things synonymous. :)
This week was absolutely insane. As most weeks are...but this week especially. We had a two-day exchange with the Luling sisters since they had to be in NOLA anyways for some zone stuff. They just stayed over with us. We also sang at a Baptist church, marched in a parade all around NOLA, went to Baton Rouge for a mission leadership council, and somehow still found the time to track down everybody we know in this area. There's so many things I could write about this week, but I'll just hit some highlights to spare everyone an hour.
First, the conference in Baton Rouge was super fun. Being a Sister Training Leader (STL) is stressful, but it's awesome because we get to work closer with our President. He's absolutely amazing and I love him so much! He loves this mission and the Gospel so much, and he loves the missionaries so much. It was an amazing experience to be able to meet with him and talk about the mission and what we're going to do to improve it. I was surprised because I thought it was going to be President telling us a bunch of stuff to go relay to the other missionaries in our zones, but he came with an empty notepad and a few items of business and he took our input on everything. Even Mardi Gras! (We get to go! Woohoo!!!!) So yeah, it was great. Also, Sister Hansen made us Hawaiian Haystacks for lunch and it was amazing. Blessings all around.
Oh, a couple people have asked me what exactly a sister training leader does, and I must say, I'm still asking myself that same question. We're both first time STL's, so we're still figuring it out. Basically, we go to MLC (Mission Leadership Conference) once a month (the thing I just talked about), we teach the instruction with the zone leaders at zone training meetings (ZTM), we go on exchanges with all the sisters in our area (we're actually the STL's for two zones), and we take care of commissary. Commissary is once a month when everyone texts us what they need more of, like pamphlets, Book of Mormons, pass a long cards, etc. and we turn in a form to the office couple. Then, they get everyone's stuff together and give it to us at MLC to take to people at ZTM. So many acronyms. :) But yeah, that's basically it in a nutshell. Other than that, we're just there for the sisters and we check up on them, and if they need to talk to someone they come to us usually. But like I said, we're still figuring out the logistics of it.
One example was when we were with a less active, Lucia. She is the sweetest thing ever. She's had the CRAZIEST life. Oh my goodness. The fact that she's still alive, let alone strong in the Gospel, is unbelievable. When we were teaching her, we showed her the Mormon Message, "Hope Ya Know We Had a Hard Time" by Elder Cook (one of my all-time favorites). Then, we talked about God's unending love for us. I asked her if she knew that God loves her, and she said, "You know, sometimes I forget that He does because I make mistakes and I wonder how He could ever love someone like me, but then He sends angels in my life to remind me, and I know He wouldn't do that if He didn't truly love me. And you both are my angels of light in my life!" ..... oh my goodness. She makes me cry every time we see her. Things like that make every hard moment SO WORTH IT on the mission, because just knowing that we've helped one person to know that God loves her is all I could ever want out of life.
Fourth, we got to be in a parade! I felt like I was in Princess Diaries 2 when they're parading around Genovia. :) It was actually a huge parade with so many schools and bands and cool people. Not really sure how we got to be a part of it, but we did. We had our sign right in front, and we sang a lot of the way. "Called to Serve" was a crowd favorite. As we walked, and especially when we would stop, we would all go out with pass a long cards and Gladys Knight CDs to give to people along the sides. People loved us! It was just such a fun time for all of us, and it was a great way to get our name out there.
Alrighty I think that's all I have for y'all. I love all y'all so much and I pray for you all the time. Go out and serve someone this week! Or go invite people to your house and invite the missionaries too! Or do both! Just do something good.