Happy first week of SUMMER!! This week was such a treat, I am so excited to tell you all what I did! First of all, let me tell you the horror I just encountered before I begin. I JUST HIT A GROUNDHOG!! I was driving over to email and I saw this animal skamper in front of the car and I couldnt swerve not to hit it and bam! I HIT MY FIRST ANIMAL! It was so scary. I was screaming my head off! Sister Roberts thought I was a lunitic, but it freaked me out. Thats all I'd like to say about that. This passed Saturday, Elder Bednar, Elder Rasband, and 2 other members of the 70, Elder Hamilton and Elder Smith, all came and spoke to my mission in Harrisburg! It was the first time my whole mission has ever been together in one place! Waking up at 4:50am was totally worth it :) We got there early and were able to sit on the 3rd row! It was so cool to be so close to an Apostle and 3 other General Authorities! We were all under the impression that they were going to give a training and tell us some wild news about our mission being changed or something. Nope. They just came because they wanted to tell us that we are loved pretty much! None of them gave talks, Elder Bednar just did a Question and Answer for like 3 hours. We had been asked to read 3 of his previously given talks on faith and prayer and when we got there he just asked us to tell him what we learned and gained from the talks. Then he would ask the missionaries questions to help him better understand what they learned and give advice as to how to apply those teachings in our missionary work and in our lives. It was a really neat way to hear from an Apostle! Right when it started he told us to put our pencils and paper away, and not write down everything he said. He told us that "Members are so stupid when they do that! You miss the Spirit teaching you when you focus on writing down my funny jokes!!" :) We were all so self-conscious when we wanted to write anything down. Missionaries were like ducking down to write things down :) It was really cool to hear how some missionaries learned totally different things than what I learned, but when Elder Bednar explained the principles we were all able to better understand how to apply them. He told us how members of the church are frequently worshiping like objects, waiting to be acted upon. But we need to be agents, making actions. He said people pray and then just wait for the answer to come but we need to pray then do something about it. He talked about how when the Israelites were crossing the Red Sea, the water didn't part until AFTER their feet were wet. They didn't stand on the shore and tap their feet waiting for the sea to part, they started walking and THEN it parted. Elder Bednar said that people always talk about the water parting too but no one counts the footsteps they took to get there and that is a better example of their faith. Not the miracle, but the faith shown before the miracle. It was a really inspiring way to consider faith and prayer. One Elder stood up and started by saying he felt prompted by the Holy Ghost to tell us to go home and say prayers of gratitude and Elder Bednar cut him off and told him that the Holy Ghost never tells us to admonish people and he didn't have the authority to tell any of us what we are supposed to do. We all felt so awkward for this missionary! Elder Bednar said that he cringes in testimony meetings when people get up and say that people need to do this or people need to do that and that the Holy Ghost helped them feel inspired to share that. He goes, "Yeah, no He didn't. He doesn't work like that!" It was really interesting for all of us to learn that. I made a comment about what I learned about Testimony and Conversion and he looked at me for a second and said "Sister, I couldn't have phrased that better myself. Thank you!" Then let me sit down. Looks like I didn't need to be probed with questions.... :) After we talked about what we learned he opened up the room for questions for them. He said "Elders and Sisters, never again will you have an opportunity to ask an Apostle and 3 other general authorities of the church a question in this small of a setting. Use your time wisely." For over an hour and a half we got to ask them questions! It was a really cool experience and I felt the Spirit so strong. At the end of our time together all 4 bore their testimonies and then we each got to go up and shake their hands. It was so powerful to hear Elder Bednar's testimony of the Savior and of the Restoration. I was so grateful for the opportunity to meet him after the meeting too! He is such a great man and so nice! It really was an opportunity I will never forget and I will never forget the way I was able to feel the Spirit and how the Spirit testified to me during their testimonies! After the meeting, we took a group picture and then got to visit with the missionaries for a little bit. It was really fun to see everyone again and hear how everyone is doing and enjoying their areas. A small group of us went and got some lunch and ate it at a park. It was so fun to see Sister Ferrin and Sister Kirk! I sure love the Sisters in my mission! This next week is the last week in the transfer and President said that a lot of changes are being made, so we will see what happens in 2 weeks. But as for this week, we have a few appointments set up. This week I got yelled at again by an investigator. If you thought it was over with Martha, you were wrong. We had a wonderful first lesson two weeks ago with an older guy named Shorty. He invited us back to teach him last week and when we sat down and I began talking he instantly cut me off and told me I am not allowed to teach him. He started yelling how I dont know who I think I am but he wasnt about to sit there and let me try to trick him into my "foolish ways". We had the same member with Martha at Shorty's lesson and after we got kicked out of his house she turned to me and goes "Wow Sister Andresen. You're having a hard go. But you did everything you could. Next time can you invite me to a better lesson though, thats kind of hard to watch." Man alive! I am just getting railed by people out here. Sister Roberts doesnt get yelled at, I pretty much get singled out. But I am learning I can either let things eat at me or let them roll off my back. And I am stuck in the middle right now with both. Its hard getting yelled at so personally, but I know that other people had it worse. At least I'm not being tarred and feathered or something. We did find a great investigator this week named Tim. He was out smoking on his porch when we were tracting (I got 4 doors instantly slammed in my face, in a row) and decided I could talk to him longer than a door :) He was really nice and we set a return appointment and had a wonderful first lesson. So that was a tender mercy, no yelling in that lesson!! I am excited to be able to have more lessons set up for this week and I am praying that things go well. It hasn't been as hot this week, which was a tender mercy! The rain has been a great gift! Hopefully the weather stays this mild this week. Love you all so much!
The pictures are with Sister Black and Sister Kirk. Sister Black was trained by Sister Carter as well and we are best friends. We write eachother just about every week. Sister Kirk was my MTC companion if you remember that far back :)