I'm sitting in the library of Nazareth College, and it's packed with students! It's really crazy to think that summer break is really coming to an end, although it doesn't really mean anything for me haha. It just comes to show how fast time flies while you're on a mission- I can't believe that I was in Buffalo an entire year ago, and many of my close friends from the mission are going home! There are always new people coming in, new faces to meet, and new friends to make though, so life is good. It's just hard to constantly be saying goodbye to somebody.
This week was pretty interesting. One day this week we had a zone meeting, where me and Elder Bruner are in charge of conducting a meeting for a group of about 20 missionaries, with various trainings and what have you. It was all going great as we were driving to the meeting, and we arrived at one of the sacred sites early to get our thoughts together. We went to walk through the Sacred Grove for only about 10 minutes, then we planned on returning to the church to conduct the meeting. Unfortunately, about 7-8 minutes into the grove, my lip started acting up. It was tingly and felt like it was puffing out. When we got to the car, I found that I had somewhat broken out in hives, with a fat round bite-looking thing on my lip and my neck. Great. So we frantically go around asking for benadryl, which nobody had. So we said whatever, and pretended like nothing happened. It eventually unswelled, and the trainings went well. We have a zone challenge to see who can contact the most people this week, with the reward being a hefty one pound chocolate bar that was given to us by a member of the church from Canandaigua. We're excited!
In other news, I have a story to sort of epitomize this area. We were knocking on a few doors, trying to meet people in the area, when a really nice girl opens the door. She is not interested in what we have to say, but she offers us some water. Sure, no big deal, I'll take some water. But she then says that they have some canned seltzer, carbonated water they would be willing to give out. Canned seltzer carbonated water? Where am I?! Haha only in a place like Pittsford NY do you get offered carbonated water instead of a normal water bottle like normal people would offer. But we took the fancy water anyways...
The same day we happened to run into a very nice Catholic woman, who was doing yardwork outside. We offered our help, and she jokingly said "roll up your sleeves," to which we did, and she assured us that she was joking. We got talking, and somehow found out that she was a former foreign exchange student in Brazil. She spoke Portuguese! We actually had a really good exchange, and it was funny how much more she opened up after she found out I spoke Portuguese. It's also funny how the Lord puts people in your path that will listen to you. I was so surprised that I found someone that speaks Portuguese, but as I thought about it more, I realized that I ask every day in my prayers for God to put people in our path that we can relate to, and that will listen to us. Why should I be so surprised when God answers our prayers? He does answer our prayers, because He loves us. Ask and ye shall receive, knock and it shall be opened unto you. Not many people take that promise seriously. I've found on a mission how true the Lord's promises are. All you have to do is ask, and ye shall receive. Does that mean that every time you pray you will get an immediate answer? No! Because sometimes, the period where we learn most, and learn to really get down to the nitty gritty to find answers and come closer to Christ, is between the time that we ask God for something, and the time that He answers our prayers. Sometimes He lets us find the answers in the scriptures instead of just giving us a voice in our heads telling us the answer. Sometimes He lets us talk to and counsel with our siblings to work out contentions, instead of just magically making us feel better about each other. Sometimes He lets us ponder about a question we have, and learn about His teachings more, before He gives us a spiritual impression that reveals the answer to our question. He answers our prayers in ways that will help us grow the most. I think that's awesome.
Sorry the email is so long. I could've written more, but I want you to stay awake ;)