I'm in a much better mood today to email than I have been recently. Sorry about that! The last few Monday's have been kinda weird for some reason, but today's been great! I got to hear from Anika (yay! And did you know she comes home in under a month?! I can't believe it.) and also from Sis Calaway from Azle! I love hearing from people I didn't expect.
Also, thanks so much for your testimonies! And for my new frog riding gnome! I love him, Sis Gorley suggested I name him Gnash, and I like that name, so Gnash it is! (But not like gnashing teeth, but like Nashville... haha)
I'm super happy to hear that William came up to Dallas for the storm. He's been on my mind a lot recently with it, I was kinda worried. But it's weird that now he really is so close. I mean, Fort Worth and Dallas are pretty much the same city. And I'm right on the edge of the mission, really closer to Dallas than to Fort Worth. It's exciting for Garrett to be able to come down and drive back up with William. That should be a ton of fun. Hopefully the flooding isn't too bad, that the retrieval of all the stuff will go smoothly. As far as hurricane clean up, I don't think we'll be invited down to help. Maybe if I was serving in Waco or somewhere in the south of the mission, but even then, we’re not super close. I don't know what President will do with that. But, it probably won't affect me anyway. We did get some rain up here, and a few decent little storms, but nothing super notable. Just that the locals keep telling me how lucky I am because of how mild this summer has been. And I am definitely counting my lucky stars! It hasn't been nearly as bad as I was emotionally preparing myself for, . William definitely got the worse end of the deal down in Houston.
The eclipse sounds cool! I got to see some cool pictures from a member that traveled up to the 100% totality. And it sounds like I'll be back in Texas in 2024! Though, hopefully before that anyway.... haha. Also, that remembrance party for Brian sounds so sweet. I would have loved to have been there. You know though? I definitely feel like he's been here, supporting me in Texas, and I am so grateful for that! I am so excited to get to meet him in the next life. He sure is an important part of our family.
As far as who we're working with, not a ton happened this week. We met this man named Chauncey, who said we could come back Wednesday, so fingers crossed! Funny story with Tristan... you know, the one I was all excited about because he set an appointment... yeah, he didn't set an appointment. Oops! Somehow I misread something. We were in the middle of texting him, and we actually got a text from a less active we've been trying to meet with, setting an appointment with her. But! We thought it was Tristan. So when we texted him to confirm, he said he was still up north. Oops! But we were super excited to have a lesson with Sis Holly Foy and her 8 year old son who's not baptized. So we're working with him (Jesse). He won't count as a convert baptism, but that's okay! He's a sharp kid, and super sweet. Really, we’re working more with his mom and trying to help her come back. We're also hopeful that before long we'll be able to work with the dad, who's not a member. But, one step at a time! So, we're still in touch with Tristan, but no appointment yet.
I found out the other day that Sis Asay did end up having to go home a few weeks ago. That was super hard to hear, and made the last few days interesting. But I do believe it was for the best, and I pray for her well being. She said she's going to try to come back out once she gets it figured out. I do have do admit, I'm so grateful that I wasn't her companion anymore when she got sent home. I would have had such a hard time with that, essentially sending two companions home in a row. But I have high hopes for her return to the field.
I also heard that Abbey is coming home. That breaks my heart. I emailed her, but please tell her how much I love her. I hope that the transition home will go relatively smoothly, that the ward will be supportive and understanding, and that her health trials can be taken care of quickly so that she can go back out if she desires. It really made me realize again how blessed I am to be out here. Every week is such a blessing, and I can't take it for granted. I mean, it feels like I've had friends returning home due to health challenges left and right. I just continue to serve with all my heart might mind and strength, and leave the rest up to the Lord. That's all you really can do, isn't it?
Well, I've already written a novel, so I guess I'll let you go. I love you all so much!
All my love,
Sister Erika Marks