This week was pretty good! Tuesday we went to New Missionary Training at the mission home. It was super fun! Since we are all the way up in Englewood, the AP's, Elder Robinson and Elder Merchant, met us and a few other missionaries at the Centerville building so we could ride in the mission van and not wreck our miles. Sister Buxton and I were the only sisters, but it was fun! New Missionary Training was awesome! It was definitely a lot different than my New Missionary Training. It was super powerful and at the end, Sister Ensign had us all write a letter to our future selves for when we go home. Sister Buxton and I cried a little bit while we wrote our letters, haha but the spirit was so strong, it was awesome! It was fun seeing and hanging out with the missionaries all day long. Even though I'm not a new missionary, I learned SO much and have been able to apply the things I learned. The meeting took up pretty much the whole day but it was super fun! We got home, had dinner, and did our companionship study to end the night.
Wednesday we had District Council. It was super fun! Our district is pretty hilarious, we have a wide variety of personalities so it makes it pretty entertaining. The missionaries in my district are the Greenville Elders, Elders Brown and Lawrence, the Englewood Elders, Elders Williams and Leano, the Eaton Sisters, Sister Hermann and Durland, and me and Sister Buxton. It's pretty fun! The Greenville Elders gave a training on one of the safeguards for technology, about being one with the Lord and your companion. They had 3 cups and 3 knives and we had to try to balance the knives on the cups and have it be strong enough to balance a book. It was difficult and one of the missionaries in our district just took over the whole thing, haha it was hilarious! Elder Lawrence gave a training on asking questions to those we teach and listening to them. It was a good training and also pretty funny. He is the elder that catches pigeons so we kept making pigeon jokes at him the whole time, it was funny. After district council, Sister Buxton and I went to the Goit's to help Sister Goit with some yard work. We took out some plants from in front of her house while she did some other yard work. It was pretty fun and we got to wear jeans! We then went to this lady named Vanessa to help her unpack. She was being taught in Beavercreek and she moved so the sisters passed her off to us. We got there to meet her and she had already unpacked so we just got to visit with her. We then came home to change and went to have dinner with the Latta's. It was fun being over there and Sister Latta is one of my favorites. When we left, we saw that we had a missed call from President Ensign. I got super nervous and we listened to the voicemail. President needed to talk to me and wanted me to call him back. So we did and he told me to take the phone off speaker and go somewhere quiet. So I got out of the car to stand outside. As most of you know, I have had some heart problems since April and was diagnosed with Sinus Tachycardia. My heart beats too fast and the past couple of weeks, my chest has been hurting quite a bit. So on Tuesday at New Missionary Training, I told the mission nurse, Sister Elliot, about it all. She called the missionary medical in Salt Lake and they called President. Since I already got a bunch of tests done back in April and I'm still having problems, missionary medical said that it is best for me to come home early and take care of it. President was calling to tell me that I had to go home and said I had a couple of weeks. To say I was sad is an understatement, but I know that this is what Heavenly Father wants for me and I know I need to get better.
Thursday we did weekly planning and went to see Jimmie and Blanch. They are seriously so cute! We visited with them for a while and taught them a bit too. We also offered service and Jimmie said all she has to do is clean her house. We said we would help them and so now we are going over next week to help them clean their house! Jimmie gave us a bag of candy for Halloween. It was so cute, she got their big bag that they bought and said that they have eaten so much candy in the last week that they need us to help them. So she got two sandwich bags and filled them full of candy, sorting it all out to make sure it was even and we each got at least one of every candy bar in our bag. It was so sweet! We had dinner with the Boyce's and they fed us really good waffles. Their kids are super rambunctious and one of their boys kept jumping on me and grabbing my arm. It was super funny! We went and visited the Bracken's in our ward after dinner. Brother Bracken isn't a member but comes to church with his wife every week. He collects lots of stuff and sells them. He asked us both if we liked Star Wars and we both said yes. He takes us into his junk room and shows us all of his Star Wars stuff, it was pretty cool!! They are a sweet family!
Friday we went and visited Sister McCracken and talked with her for a little bit. We walked a lot and it was super cold! All week, it was under 32 degrees with windchill. But we were still out walking all day long! That night for dinner, we met Jimmy at Chick-Fil-A. Jimmy is the guy that we met a few weeks ago that knows the same person in Sandy, UT that Sister Buxton knows. We finally got an appointment with him. He paid for our dinner and that was super nice of him! At first, the dinner started out good. We talked to him about the Book of Mormon and gave him one and he seemed really interested. Then, once he got more comfortable, he started getting really creepy to Sister Buxton. He had this ring on his finger and took it off to put it on Sister Buxton's ring finger. It was obviously too big and she kept trying to give it back and he eventually took it back. It was weird. We just laugh about it now and are giving him to the Elders. We went to the church to give the Elders our car and Sister Sylvester was there and gave us a ride home so we didn't have to take the bus so that was nice. When we got home, President Ensign called to tell me that instead of going home in a few weeks, I was coming home on Monday night (today). He gave me all my flight information and told me what time I was being picked up and that Sister Buxton will stay here and get a new companion. After that, I had a video call with Justin, Caleb Horton and Summer Frandsen and we all read the Book of Mormon together. It was really good!
Saturday, Justin came up to Englewood to hangout and say goodbye. We got hot chocolate and sat at the library and talked for a while. We had a really good talk and Justin was able to ask me for help and advice with stuff he is going through. When he started talking about me leaving, he started to cry and said how he didn't want me to go and he knows how much I love it here and don't want to go. He isn't sure if he is coming to Utah anymore but said that if I ever want him to come visit, that he would come to Utah and I could go there and we could all hangout with the other missionaries. He made me cry so we were both crying in the library and laughed about it. I will definitely miss him! All day Saturday I just packed and got things ready because I knew Sunday would be pretty busy. I also made my birthday cake from forever ago! It was a jello cake which is my FAVORITE! I thought it wasn't going to turn out good because it was my first time making it but it actually was really good!!
Sunday was honestly super hard. I didn't realize how much I didn't want to go home until I got to church and saw the people that I have truly come to love. I cried a bit during the Sacrament and it didn't help that the closing song was Abide With Me. Once I saw Sister Goit and she asked me how I was doing, I lost it. I really needed a "mom hug" and so when I saw her and hugged her, it made me cry. I tried staying for the second hour of church but I kept crying so Sister Buxton and I went to the car and watched Meet the Mormons while I cried, haha! We went to say goodbye to Tracy Whited and went to the Come Unto Christ class. Mark and Julie came and that was great! I said goodbye to the Lemperle's and cried...again. Then we went to the Goit's and spent lots of time with them. We talked and laughed a lot and then Brother Goit asked me how I felt and I started crying again, haha. They talked to me a lot and it really helped. Then, they offered to feed us dinner and so we all went out to their backyard while Brother Goit grilled some chicken and bratwursts. They have a trampoline and when they rake up their leaves, they put it all on the trampoline. It has a net so all the leaves stay on. Sister Goit, their daughter Ella, and me and Sister Buxton got on the tramp and jumped with the leaves. It was really fun! Dinner was really good and the Goit's really feel like family to me. I love them! Being with the Goit's helped out a lot and I didn't cry anymore after that, thank goodness! After that, I went and said goodbye to Sister Latta and talked with her for quite a bit. It was fun and she is so awesome and really funny! I'm going to miss this ward like CRAZY!
Well, it was a great week filled with lots of emotions. I am beyond grateful for my experience here as a missionary for the true Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I will never regret my decision to serve a mission. I have learned so much and have developed an even stronger relationship with my Heavenly Father and my Savior, Jesus Christ. I am grateful to have been able to see people's lives change and help be a part of that. I know that Christ lives and that He is our Redeemer and our older brother. I know that He and Heavenly Father are in every detail of our lives and knows what it best for us. I know that this church is true and that Joseph Smith is a true prophet. I know that we have a living prophet on the earth today and that the Book of Mormon is true. I have loved being a missionary and know that it is time for me to get better and that this is what Heavenly Father has in store for me. I am grateful for everyone that I have met here and for the relationships I have developed. I have seen my life change completely and have become a better version of me because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, amen.