Last Monday, we had a gnarly storm. More rain than I've ever seen in my entire life in Utah. Luckily tornadoes don't come to the Quad Cities because of the Mississippi. But the corn fields had huge paths of wind-blown stalks. Sister Batty and I were panicking. How on earth do Iowians survive if half of their corn is gone with one storm? A few days later, they had all stood up straight again with the sun out.
Life is good. God is great. And people are crazy. -one of my favorite country songs I have long forgotten
Sometimes, we are like corn stalks. Life is hard. Sometimes unbearable. And then we feel the Spirit and are so happy that we wonder how we ever feel sadness. This is my message. This is my testimony: that the more frequently we feel the Spirit, the more frequently we feel joy.
Keisha (her wonderful training companion Sis. Lloyd, who has completed her mission) came to the mission this week. I wouldn't have felt obedient if I saw her. It was really hard. At one point I was so tired and I felt like I wasn't doing anything here. So much work and so little success. So much vision and so little change. And then:
Joyann's baptism was Saturday. I first talked to her at the food bank we volunteered at a few weeks before I left Iowa City. (I am assuming the Chloe got to go down to Iowa City for the baptism) She has come so far. She knows the Gospel is so true. I was so happy being there I couldn't keep myself from giggling. I felt the Spirit so strongly. Sister Murphy and Elder McGinn were there too. HUGE tender mercy from the Lord. Murph was a little reminder of Lloyd and how much us three loved and learned and trusted together. And Elder McGinn was the missionary we served with during that time who is a SPITTING image of Ben and acts just like him and it was like my brother was right there with me. He preformed Joyann's baptism. SO HAPPY to be surrounded by those I love and comforted at what that represented for me.
Taught Ni---. Recent Convert. She answered my questions and prayers and we just talked like I had known her my whole life even though I've only met her twice.
Ran around all of Tuesday and Wednesday trying to contact people and NO ONE was home.
Zone Training was Friday and I felt the Spirit SO strongly. I think Zone Training is my favorite part of being a missionary. Always exactly what I need.
The 4th: pancake breakfast with the ward. Saw some members. That night: we had to be in by 6, so we had smores in our firepit with the older lady we live with: Sister Hirst. She is cool. But even cooler is her son Mi---: he's about 30 and less active and I swear he is like my brother. We just talked to him. We talked about church and the army and it was just so peaceful to not have to go anywhere. He opened up and we saw that he totally has a testimony! He just hates church. And it broke my heart because I understood exactly how he felt: and understood that it had been a very long time since he felt the Spirit. Breaks my heart. The Spirit is what I crave. It makes me so happy. When I haven't felt it for a few hours, I miss it. THAT is why this church is on the earth: to help us feel the Spirit more frequently through Jesus Christ and His Atonement.
SO MUCH LOVE. I thought I would seriously scream because I was so happy at Joyann's baptism. "Can you imagine? In de heavens? Ah. I just can't wait....." -The District
Also: Sister Batty is having some migrains. She is a champion and pushing through and is really trying to get better (she has been dealing with it for a few months--mostly stress related, we think) so we are trying to help her. I drove one day because she was hurting and I realized it has been 14 MONTHS since I drove consistently. "Nuts" as Ben would say. I was scared I would forget: but instead I was a super good driver cuz I was like TERRIFIED! hahahhahahaha #statesidemissionaryprobs #lovemyparents #missmySUBARU
Love from Moline, Illinois
--Sister Chloe Michelle Sumsion
|All the Sister Missionaries who have taught Joyann - in the middle.|