This week was so amazing! It has been really busy because of the Christmas season and I am trying to just enjoy it while I can because it will be very slow come January. Some very unexpected things have happened this week. Some of the people Sister Ibarra and I met on the square that we were very hopeful about ended up giving us the wrong information so we can’t continue to teach them because we are advised not to stalk them (what a lame rule!). So, the other day, we were sitting in the teaching center for a few hours. I was trying to find people to call so that I could make good use of the time there but I was getting a little frustrated. One of the sisters came in and asked us if we could cover a movie that they were doing for just a few minutes. We needed a little break from not being able to call people, so we said yes. About five minutes after we went out into the visitor’s center, two guys came up to us. One of them introduced himself and said that his friend that was with him wanted to be baptized. He wanted to know if we can help him with that. Yeah, we can help with that! I was in shock the entire time that I barely said a word. We set a baptismal date on the spot for December 22nd. Well, we now have someone to teach. We have taught him twice so far and I have never met anyone more prepared to be baptized in my life! When we went through the baptismal interview questions, he told us that he was already doing all of those things and that he already had a testimony of pretty much everything. I don’t know how I am so fortunate to be even the smallest part of this but I am just so grateful that I am.
Yesterday was another great day! All of the first transfer sisters were able to go to the Tabernacle and the Conference Center to get a tour of the organs that they have there. We got to sit where the Mormon Tabernacle choir sits, go backstage, and look at all the pipes in this space behind the organ. They really don’t ever let people do that so we are really fortunate. We got to do the same thing in the conference center and I even got to sit on the bench at the organ where they have the organist play at General Conference. It was unreal! After that, we had a few hours on the square and then mission conference where we had a member of the 70, Elder David Evans, came to talk to us for 3 hours. You would think that a 3 hour meeting would be boring but when it was over, I wished that it was longer. He talked a lot about things that affect us specifically as Temple Square missionaries. We learned about using the Book of Mormon in teaching on the square, we talked about the age change for missionaries and how that will affect missionary work and then he had a question and answer. He also talked about some of the rumors that have been spread concerning missionary work. We have people everyday come up to us and ask us so many questions. So many of them are just ridiculous and so it’s nice to know how to address those things. It was an amazing and powerful meeting and I feel like I learned so much!
I have been focusing this last week on just trying to be happy, regardless of what is going on. There are some really unique challenges in my mission and I know that I am here not only to share the gospel with people but also to learn to be happy regardless of how my day goes. It is something that I have tried to work on for years but it hasn’t been until now that I really understand how important it is. If I let one thing or person or circumstance allow me to be unhappy, I might waste my time being upset or feeling sorry for myself when I could be helping other people. Luckily, the Lord has helped me with this so much since I have been here. Yesterday, while I was at the desk in the South Visitor’s Center, I overheard one of the “I’m a Mormon” videos that they always have playing. The guy in the video was talking about how he was homeless and his dad left when he was young. Then he said “I like to think I’m better than my circumstances”. I like to think I’m better than my circumstances too. Whenever we allow our circumstances to have an affect on our happiness, we are giving up our agency. It’s like saying, hello day, why don’t you decide how I’m going to feel? I don’t think so… I don’t want my circumstances to have that much effect on me because I am better than my circumstances. I just love how much the Lord is trying to teach me right now. I am so grateful for that.
I just want everyone back at home to know how grateful I am for their support and love. I love hearing how everyone is doing! I am really, really grateful for my ward who sent me a Christmas tree that they made and ornaments with personal notes from like a million people. When I opened it yesterday and saw that everyone took the time to do that for me, I started to cry in front of all these other sisters. They started looking at me weird so I waited to read all of them but they still made me cry. It wasn’t because I’m homesick or anything, it was simply out of gratitude. I am so grateful for all of the support that I have, I know that the Lord has blessed me by giving me amazing family and friends! Well, I need to go try to stay warm so I can do missionary stuff!
Love, Sister Walls