The first day of October started out GREAT with a trip to the temple! Which is why I'm not getting an email out until tonight. I loved the new presentation but I especially loved being in the temple again! Really, the spirit is just so peaceful and it's so easy to sit back and think. Only 6 more months and I'll be able to go again! Speaking of the temple, the members that took us tried to send a picture to dad's phone but I couldn't remember his number. Let me know if you got it...if not, I'll look up your number and have them send it again. Who knew I would forget everything I knew before my mission?
Well this week was really good....not great because we didn't have any investigators at church. But we had sisters retreat and it was so much fun. My mission president said that we have the highest number of sister missionaries besides temple square. We currently have 110 sister missionaries. I don't know about the other visitor centers but that's what he says...so I think it's true. We had a few guest speakers and the Sister Training Leaders put on a skit. There are now 7 STL's and I requested to have the smallest part in the skit so OF COURSE I got the biggest part. It was fun though and people laughed. Maybe out of pity but still, at least it was fun! The whole day was honestly like a mini girls camp. So think of what goes on in girls camp and mash it together in one day and you get sisters retreat!
The funniest thing that happened this week was when I was on exchanges with another sister. We stayed in Gilroy and went to visit an older lady from the Spanish branch who is suffering from alzheimers. She is usually sleeping when we go there but this time she was awake so we decided to sing some songs for her. Towards the end when we were about to leave I noticed that she was starring at my name tag so I took it off and handed it to her. She stared at it for a long time and I told her that we were representatives of Jesus Christ. She looked up at me and then brought my name tag to her mouth. I thought she was going to kiss it but then she started sucking on it! My mouth literally dropped open and from what my companion told me I had the most disgusted look on my face. I wasn't really sure what to do so I just sat there frozen watching this lady try to eat my name tag and meanwhile my companion was dying of laughter. I finally gently tugged my name tag out of the lady's mouth and told her that it wasn't food. She looked confused but didn't get upset. I never quite imagined missionary work to involve such bizarre experiences.
The saddest thing that happened this week is that we had to give Amber to the other missionaries. The change has brought me close to tears just about every single day this week. She's always lived in the other ward boundaries but she had requested sister missionaries and at the time we were the only ones in the area so she had been coming to our ward. Well the other ward has sisters now too (our roommates) and Amber went to her "correct" ward (as far as boundaries go) and loved it because her and her kids recognized so many more people that live close by. I guess they have ward boundaries for a reason right? Anyway, she decided to go to the ward where she would know more people. Which is what she should be doing because she lives in those boundaries. But it also meant that we won't be teaching her anymore. I know she's in good hands though. And her testimony is so strong that I'm really not worried about it. It's all selfless reasons why I want to be able to teach her because my testimony grows a hundredfold every time we visit her. What she's been through compared to how she's living her life is the biggest inspiration to me. So keep her in your prayers even though I probably won't mention her very often anymore.
I hope everyone has a great week this week and enjoy General Conference! I've been looking forward to conference for quite a while. Something we've been telling everyone to do in order to prepare for conference is to think of a question or specific concern. I know we've all heard it but just another reminder that the Lord will answer your specific question! Try it :)
I love you all and I hope to hear from you soon!
Love, Sister Billings