It's kinda interesting that my first baptism out in the mission is also Sister Pfeifer's first mission baptism. Granted, I don't allot the baptism to myself or to Sister Pfeifer by any means. Jess was ready to be baptized from day one, and her own relationship with her heavenly father was what brought her to the baptismal waters. In an ideal world, this is how all baptisms should be.
The baptism itself was ever so slightly chaotic. Sister Pfeifer and I had spent a good amount of time (as much as we could while also doing missionary work) setting up the baptism. We had the relief society looking really nice and set up when the first people started to arrive. All the guests then proceeded to go into the chapel. Apparently it's a tradition in the Eagle area for baptisms to be held in the chapel. Whoops. Then Jess put the jumpsuit on backwards. Bahaha. Then the program had one of the hymns wrong. But overall, the whole thing went very well. Jess was so ready, and it was just all very perfect despite the many flaws involved.
Earlier in the week, we had zone conference. Unfortunately, before it even began, I dropped something and bent down to pick it up, but the act of doing so strained something in my knee, so the whole conference and the entire rest of the day, my knee was in more pain than it ever has been thus far. I'm not sure how many elders or sisters noticed how much I was limping or spending extra time standing or sitting, but it was certainly not my proudest moment. For the musical number, I sang "I stand all amazed" which is my favorite hymn. I managed to convince Sister Pfeifer to refrain from singing with me, so that was good. I did great the first verse. But when I started the second verse, my voice cracked and I coughed awkwardly before starting again, and then I blanked on the lyrics and had to pull out a hymn book to finish the verse. But, despite the errors, I persevered and sang the last verse beautifully. I got a lot of comments about how good I did. Some people were like, "I would have died if that had happened! You handled it so well!" I'm pretty sure my voice had extra vibrato just from how badly I was shaking, but I kept it mostly under control considering how bad at singing in front of people I am. It was certainly good practice for when I'm going to be singing in sacrament meeting in a few weeks.
One thing that happened during zone conference was that Sister Murdock told all the sisters that although the grooming standards say that we are not required to wear makeup, she's changing it to say that all the sisters in this mission have to wear makeup. This is particularly frustrating and distressing for me seeing as how foundation makes me break out in acne for the next two to three weeks so I can't even imagine wearing it, mascara smudges and looks horrible, and I hate lip gloss, and in general I despise all makeup with a fiery passion, and that's not even accounting for the amount of time it takes to apply and remove it... And to me, I consider myself to be pretty enough without slathering paste onto my face. Thank you very much. So I'm grumbly about the whole thing, but it's directly from the mission president's wife, so I can't exactly ignore it. Sigh....
I also talked to Sister Murdock about my knee. Her response? Ice it and elevate it at night. So I iced it for a good hour or so, and I've been elevating it at night. Surprisingly, it's been helping. The pain I felt during zone conference is gone. I still don't trust my knee to do any sort of strenuous activity, but it's better than it has been for the last several weeks. Hopefully it will go away soon.
But we did see a couple of miracles this week. Last week, our numbers were depressingly low and we couldn't seem to find anybody to teach despite hours of hard work. This week started to look like it would lead to the same. Monday through Thursday, we were only getting one or two, sometimes three if we were lucky, lessons a day and finding absolutely no one new. We had 9 lessons for the total of the week. So Friday, we went out just the same as normal, and the morning seemed just the same as normal, but right around dinner time, we felt inspired to do some finding. So we skipped dinner and did some finding. We came out with 8 lessons in just the one day, doubling our efforts. The Lord really does bless his servants when they are in times of need.
Oh, and we had another cool experience. We've been teaching Brittany for a while, but she's one who wants to be your friend and will only hear the gospel as friends talking to each other. So we've been able to share the plan of salvation and the restoration with her over the course of like five to six visits, and she refuses to pin down set "lesson" times, but enjoys having us come visit her and talk to her a lot. But during the early visits, we left her with the restoration and the plan of salvation pamphlets. Then, one day we came to the door and she was like, "I don't have enough time to visit with you gals today, but I do want to say that I read through those pamphlets you gave me, and it was kinda cool because it was like seeing all of my beliefs sort of laid out in front of me. The only thing I don't believe is the whole Joseph Smith thing." So it was a moment of , "AAAUGH you're so close!" The funny thing is that we've talked to other people from the church she goes to, and I can already tell you that the church she goes to does not believe the same things she believes. And all of Brittany's beliefs were revealed to the world by God through Joseph Smith. But we explained to her the book of Mormon, and she was like, "Oh! So it's basically parts of the bible that have been missing since it took place on a different continent!" "Mmhmm, yeah kinda," and she took it and said she'd read about it and pray about it. I know that the spirit will work inside her and she will grow in her understanding.
Brittany also has this cute 4-year old granddaughter living with her, and little Kyrie was like, "I missed you," when we came to visit them last time and gave Sister Pfeifer a big hug. That whole family is just so sweet.
Funny story for this week. This morning I put in my laundry, but Sister Pfeifer was like, "Wait! I need to throw in this towel!" and stopped the washing machine to put in the towel. I was then under the assumption that she started up the machine again. Half an hour later, Sister Pfeifer changes over my laundry into the dryer. The dryer has this feature that detects how wet the clothes are before it dries them, so it started going, then finished about a minute later. Sister Pfeifer was like, "Hm. That was fast." but took out the clothes anyway. So I'm folding my laundry and I'm going, "Gee, these clothes still smell funny. Hey, this still looks awful dirty..." I finally figured out that Sister Pfeifer had forgotten to start the washing machine, so my clothes took a nice happy trip through the dryer, remaining just as dirty as before. Don't ask me how she didn't notice that the clothes were still dry when she put them in the dryer, but I guess that's what happens when you don't switch over your own laundry.
Anyway, that's about all I have for this week. Thanks for all the letters, and thanks for showing me the engagement photos, Darcy! I love you all!
~Sister Richelle Nicole Jones