Friday, May 24, 2013

Week #12 - Which way to Winchester?

I'm not sure why I always preface my emails home with "well, this week was another crazy one!!" It's as if there's a part of me that thinks someday, I'll have a week that's NOT crazy. After these past few days, I've definitely given up on that subconscious hope :)

 On Tuesday night, President called and asked Hna Smith and I to head up to Winchester for the week, to just stay with members and to tackle the Spanish work up there. Sticking with mission stereotypes, when we asked when, his answer was "can you head up there tonight?" The next day, we dove in headfirst. We quickly realized that part of the work that desperately needed to be done, was organizing and evaluating all the referrals from Dogwood. This started off a blur of organizational mayhem as we tried to gather all the referrals back (to make sure didn't lost any), sort according to town, whether they were contacted, response, and follow up appointments, and then start tackling the list of about 60 people who only put numbers and needed to be called. 3 days and lots of paper cuts later, we finally called President to report the numbers we'd figured out. Overall, it really was an awesome experience - partially because all the members were spoiling us rotten, and also because it allowed me a chance to really see how well Hna Smith and I could work together. We were put to quite a test, and had some of the BEST teamwork ever. Overall, super good :)  I'm honestly not entirely sure what the turning factor really was, but something clicked over the weekend - it makes me SO excited for this next transfer, because now I know we are ready to buckle down and work! I don't know how much longer I will be here in Manchester though - I was praying the other night, asking the Lord to let me be here in Manchester long enough to see the Basurto family baptized. I had an interesting sense of peace - I'm fairly sure that I will miss the Basurto kids' baptism, and will end up leaving around the middle of June. I love being here in Tennessee - if I had control over my call, I would wish that I could stay here longer! It's an interesting emotion being a VISA waiter - I have such good relationships with people in my ward, and feel so involved in the work here - especially in Winchester! However, as connected as I feel to the people here, I still feel out of place - I know that I have not yet reached my "home". For example, I love and appreciate President McKee and his example - but I still don't feel like I have met my "mission dad". It's an interesting experience, and really makes me reflect and wonder what things I came to Tennessee to learn - from the members here, and from my companionship with Hna Smith. Clearly, there were things I needed to know here, that I couldn't have learned otherwise :)


Chris was baptized
Also, Chris got baptized this weekend! I can't write too much about it, because I'm cutting it close on time. Overall, it went amazing, and really was the pinnacle moment for Sarah to come to being active in the church. She pretty much cried the whole weekend, and when we went to visit her Sunday night, we walked in on her reading the scriptures. So awesome! When I asked Chris what he thought of the weekend on a scale of 1 to 10, he said it ranked around a 120 :)  
Anyway, life is good! I had an AMAZING dinner at the Vaughns house last night, that was probably the most homey meal I've had while here on my mission! I'll bet you can guess what it was: a giant salad with black beans, avocado, peppers, tomatoes, chicken, cilantro (and lots of it!) with some lime avocado dressing on top. I had 3 servings, and felt more at home than ever before :) I told Meghan Vaughn to open a "Cafe Meghan" in Winchester - I would go there everyday!  My goodness, but I miss giant delicious salads! Most of the time, that's all I ever want to eat - too bad produce is always expensive :)  

I love you all!! Thankfully, a picture speaks a thousand words, so according to my normally ridiculously long email, those pictures should put me right on track :)  

Love you all!!

Hna Lake

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