Wow what a week! I seriously have not stopped grinning from ear to ear since I arrived in North Dakota. There truly is no greater joy than in sharing with others what has brought you so much peace, happiness, and blessings.
Transfers were on Thursday this week, so that has been a bit hectic. Sister Madsen and I drove down to Bismarck to drop off Sister Stockham (she is going down to Chadron) and pick up Sister Wilkerson! Sister Wilkerson will now be with Sister Shamo and Sister Both in the 3rd ward. I was super sad because Elder Coles is no longer a zone leader here, and he actually was transferred to Eagle Butte on special assignment from President to go help out an Elder down there, and also to fix the area because apparently it's a mess. He said that they aren't allowed to walk around, they can't go tracting, and there are 9 people in their branch. However, 3 of the people are gone, and the remaining members include Elder Coles and his companion, and the senior couple that is down there as well... He got to come back on Saturday though because one of his investigators was getting baptized so it was really good to see him then. Not a whole ton changed in our zone, except for the fact that the 4th ward sisters were white washed with ELDERS!!! What the... so now there are two sets of Elders in that ward. And actually one of the missionaries now in that ward is Elder Greer! Haha so that has been super fun. Sister Madsen and I were a little sad about it though because now we only have two companionships of Sisters to get to know, but the sisters are getting sparse in this mission, and we know that Elder Greer and Elder Lewis will do super well with the 4th ward.
So on Wednesday, we went to sushi with the Elders as a farewell dinner for Elder Coles and it was super good! It was kind of funny though because all of them were talking about how much they loved sushi and then we get there and I was the only one who ordered any raw fish... They couldn't even eat it haha. But Elder Hubert was brave enough to try it so props to him. I thought the sushi place was actually pretty good so we might be eating there again :) haha
BIG NEWS!!! Ashlyn, the girl with cerebral palsy who was baptized 17 months ago? SHE FINISHED SEMINARY!!! She has been working so hard. She finished all four years of seminary in 10 months. She is seriously one of the coolest people I have ever met in my entire life. She has such a sweet spirit about her and her determination is incredible. All the missionaries in Minot have been taking turns going over there like twice a week (there are missionaries there like 2 or 3 times a day) and helping her to finish. She finished last week so we are having a huge dinner with all of the missionaries on Friday to celebrate. She now wants to start working on personal progress, so we are going over there tonight to start it with her!
On Friday, we were trying some of our potential investigators and we felt prompted to text this member, so we did and asked her if we could come do her dishes (she never lets us help her clean up haha:) but she texted us back and said, YES PLEASE. So we went over there and she just told us about how stressed she had been all week because she has had so much homework the past week (she is finishing nursing school) and hasn't had time to clean her house. Just the night previously she was talking to her sister and just crying because everything had started to pile up. Her sister told her to call someone to ask them to go help, but she just couldn't do it. So when we texted her it was a literal answer to her prayer. It is just so incredible how Heavenly Father can really use us to be answers to other people's prayers if we are willing to heed the promptings of the Spirit. So this week, I encourage all of you to pray for opportunities to listen to the Spirit and be an instrument in the hands of the Lord.
Okay last thing... Sister Madsen and I have been praying and working so hard, so that we can see miracles happen in this area, and I can't even tell you how many miracles we have had this week. One of our investigators, Wanda, came to the Elders' baptism on Saturday and LOVED IT! She also got to meet President Hess which was super cool. She came to church on Sunday (Sister Madsen said this was the first time she has had someone at sacrament meeting since she's been here) despite all the snow and crazy weather (she is 70 years old). One of the less active women that we have been working with had her temple recommend interview on Sunday and we are so pumped to go with her on the 28th! We would go sooner, but she is having surgery on her foot today, so she needed a little bit of recovery time. I am just so grateful to the Lord for blessing us so much and that He has allowed me to be part of His work at this time.
I love you so much and hope you make it a great week!!