It's been a chilly week here in Cherry Grove! Fall is for sure here, leaves are changing, there's a chill in the air, and frost in the morning! I'm super excited because just as fall was starting back home last year, I left and came to the finishing of fall here! So I finally get my fall!
Well this week has been pretty busy! And we've had some sad moments. Our recent convert, K, lost her husband on Thursday. He's been sick for quite a few years with lung failure, and they were expecting him to pass away this year, but not this quickly. He went into the hospital on Monday, and Wednesday night fell unconscious. K was with him when he passed, so that really helped her, but it's still be really hard for her. Of course, that is expected. It's been amazing to watch her comfort her family by saying that she knows he's in a better place. Two of her daughters who aren't members came to church on Sunday with her, and the opening song was "Did you think to pray" they were crying the whole time. It was so cool to see the Spirit working in their hearts! The ward has been a great support to them, and the memorial service will be on Friday.
In the spirit of the Plan of Salvation, one of our investigators lost her father, and we went and saw her on Thursday as well. Thursday was a sad day! Haha her father passed away of stomach cancer, and she had spent the last 6 weeks with him watching him wither away to almost nothing. She was so strong through it all, but now that he is gone, reality is starting to hit. We were able to just sit with her, and have her share stories with us about her dad. I've found that when we lose someone close to us, sharing memories and stories about them really helps the healing process. Sadly she had to run to an appointment before we could share a message with her. But it seemed that she was doing better after we left.
Friday was what missionaries in this mission refer to as a "gong show." A gong show is the phrase that we use when everything is chaos! We had agreed to help a less active with a field trip at a preschool. They were coming out to Cherry Grove to pick some apples at Papa H's place. We showed up that morning to take the bus out, and the owner of the school let us know that this less active wasn't coming...... and then she asked us what the plan was....... How are we supposed to know???? So we had the bus ride there to figure out how to keep 24 kids entertained for 2 hours! Naturally, we were so frustrated! It wasn't our job to run this! We're just there to be some extra hands! Thank goodness for the Spirit. We were able to keep those kids busy the entire time! Papa and grandma H some ideas too, and everything worked out.
Later that day, we went and helped with a move. It was an elderly woman who wasn't a member, but her family members are. Sadly, she wouldn't' listen to us, and neither would her son. However, a less active we hadn't seen in a while was there, and she really opened up to us about her life. She's been struggling with a friendship that ended, and really needed some support. We ran into her today as well! Heavenly Father is just so cool. Today was another really hard day for her! So we're hoping this will lead to us being able to meet with her soon!
Saturday we went to a baptism for two kids in the ward. We had been asked to give the talks, and I spoke on baptism! Now, you all know me. Speaking in front of people doesn't scare me at all. And I wasn't nervous at all. Until I realized that I still remember the talks given at me baptism 15 years ago! These two will probably remember mine! No pressure! Hahaha I used an object lesson with a boiled egg about how we are clean when we come to earth, then we are blemished by sin, but through baptism, that scarred outer shell is peeled away, and we are clean again! They seemed to enjoy it, and hopefully they remember it as a positive experience 15 years from now!
Sunday was just like every other Sunday, insanely busy! Fast and Testimony meeting was so wonderful. The Spirit was very strong. I got up and shared with the ward how much I have appreciated the last 6 months I've spent in Cherry Grove. I have been the happiest I've ever been in my life in the last 6 months here, and I know that it is because I am seeing the miracle of the gospel bless lives of people that I have grown to love and care for. As I looked out on the congregation, I was so full of emotion! An overwhelming feeling of gratitude came over me, and it was wonderful to share that with this wonderful ward. After Sacrament meeting, we thought we had everything all planned out, everything put together, etc. We were supposed to teach Sunday School, then a ward member comes up to Sister V, begging her to teach Primary for him. He's only been a member for 2 years, and they were in a branch that didn't even have Primary up until 2 months ago. Hahah poor guy. So we did an emergency split and a ward member went with Sister V to teach Primary, and Shania came with me to Sunday School. I taught about Missionary Work, so pretty easy! hahaha It was really fun because there were 4 nonmembers there, and it was fun to help them understand what missionaries do. River was there, and we were able to have her share with the class how her life has changed since meeting the missionaries. It was a cool moment! The Spirit was so strong, and it was a great moment for her to reflect on how far she has come.
Well, this week is gonna be a sad one for me! It is my last week in Cherry Grove. It's going to be full of a lot of "See you laters!" But I know that I am needed elsewhere. It has been the best 6 months of my life here, and I know some trials are ahead. But I'm ready to see what Heavenly Father has in store for me.
Have a fantastic week everyone! Jesus loves you!
Sister Bethany Christensen