Mom, don't feel bad about missing a week, it happens:) I look forward to the mail coming! The mail doesn't get here until super late in the day though, so I probably won't get it till tonight. I will continue to pray that you get the position! I believe that you will. And this will be such a nice change and blessing when you get it.
I'm glad to hear that Garrett is finally getting to move on with his paperwork. The wisdom teeth ordeal is never fun, but at least it's only once in a lifetime! Plus, so worth it to be able to go on a mission! I honestly didn't find mine as bad as I was worried it was going to be. Also, Dad, I'm glad you found my joke funny about Texas being a nation... I totally laughed when I wrote that, then told my companion, and she didn't find it as funny as I did... 😂 good times.
I can't believe how smoky it is up there! You said the fire is over by Priest River? Man, that's so sad. I hope everyone is okay. Wildfires are so scary. Plus the smoke just ruins the air quality. It makes it hard to get out to the lake and stuff when it's smoggy. And yes, Mom, I am jealous that you get to go to Garfield. And I'm also jealous of the crack in the weather.... it's been hot here pretty regularly. Mom, will you send me that pic from Junior Bloomsday? Man, I loved that. What good memories.
This has been as awesome week for me! But I can't believe how fast it went. I know I say that most weeks, but it's so trippy. I swear, every week goes faster. It's kinda a scary thought because it makes it feel like I have so little time left on my mission! The other day I hit 10 months. Crazy!
On Wednesday, we go to mutual with the youth, and this week they were combined playing kickball! We of course had to play with them, but also (of course) didn't have pants! So, I played kickball in my dress, and it was so fun. I really think that that's the type of thing that makes the youth like and trust missionaries. From that night, actually, we've seen some of the youth really open up to us and it's been fun to be a part of. We actually started youth lessons with some of the kids, and that's been a great success so far! Pretty much, we just teach the youth the missionary discussions, one to help them, and two to create an environment where they can invite their friends without it being as scary. Plus, it gives us good practice to teach.
Then, on Saturday, we got to go to Canton (about an hour and a half away) to do tornado clean up from a tornado that came through last spring. It was super fun, hard work. I haven't done that type of work on my mission, and I've missed it! It reminded me a lot of the yard work back home really, wood projects and stuff. However, it was crazy hot and humid here, and we didn't get to go swimming after. But still fun! A member took a picture of us "pulling a tree" which I'll attach. I put it in quotes because, if you could see the whole tree, you'd see how big it is. There's no way Sis Gorley and I are actually pulling it. Haha! But, it made a good picture
Two cool experiences this week. First off, there's this young man that we've been trying to get in touch with because he seems really interested in the gospel. His name is Tristan, and we've been texting a bit, but he's been in Montana, so obviously can't meet with us... so the other day we asked him when he would be back, and he said, "Tuesday the 15th at 1 should work" and just set an appointment! That never happens. So, we're super excited for tomorrow, and there's a YM in the ward that's about to leave for his mission that said he'd like to come with us, so it should be good!
Then, we had an amazing experience last night. A story of being guided by the Holy Ghost without realizing it. We were working in this neighborhood that is pretty small, so we were just walking around it. When we see a mom outside as her two boys ride bikes. So like the good missionaries we are, we go walking 🚶 on over to her and strike up a conversation. Come to find out, she thought our coming was a total answer to prayer because she's been unsure what to do with her job, and apparently our showing up was her answer. We talked for a bit about getting answers to prayer (specifically through the Book of Mormon) and as we testified of God's love for her, she dissolved into tears, and gave us each the biggest hug. Her name is Stephanie, and it was so amazing to be able to talk with her for a bit! She has a strong faith in Christ, and attends a different denomination (of course) and said she wasn't interested in changing, but did say we could come back to talk more with her. She also has a Book of Mormon and that book changes lives. The thing is though, even if we never see her again, that meeting was super powerful. I know that she felt God's love through it, and I know I felt the spirit so strongly. So, hopefully we'll get to teach and baptize her. But if not, that was still incredible. It was almost cliché, and so great.
Also, funny story that you'll get a kick out of. That same evening, we were following up with a potential, and he answered the door, calmly, but kinda with a "deer in the headlights" type look (which look is perpetually in his face) and when we ask him how's he's doing he says, "okay, just preparing for labor, but the midwives aren't here yet." His wife was literally about to give birth in the next room, and he was just calmly talking to us! I'm pretty sure if we hadn't left, he would have held a gospel discussion with us, haha! Isn't that nuts? I love people...
Well, that's about it for me this week! I hope y'all have a good one! You're in my prayers.
All my love,
Sister Erika Marks ☀❤❤❤☀
P.s. What is a dinosaur's least favorite reindeer? Comet!