I assume that since I didn't email on my regular P-day yesterday, people are guessing that I got my VISA and left to Argentina. Sorry to quench that exciting rumor, but I'm still in good ol' Tennessee :) Although, the story behind why my P-day was changed to today is equally exciting as if I had actually gotten my VISA :)
On Saturday night, we got a text from our zone leaders, telling us that Pday would be changed, and that there was a mandatory meeting called for Monday in Franklin, just by the TN temple. Since missionaries happen to be some of the best information collectors in the world, rumors started to fly pretty quickly - guessing ranged from an apostle visit, to splitting the mission, to more mission changes. It was getting pretty nuts :) I don't know about the other missionaries, but I was pretty blindsided by what was actually announced: Just as President McKee was called by a prophet to serve as the Tennessee Nashville Mission President, he received a phone call from a prophet of God on Friday informing him that he would be released a year early. Sister McKee has had all sorts of health complications these past few months (namely 2 strokes and a heart attack - more on that story is posted on the Tennessee Nashville mission blog); She was on the mend from the worst of it, so everyone relaxed a bit. Everyone was pretty blindsided by the news of them being released a year early, so that she could fully recover; it was pretty unexpected. Many tears were shed that day, and Hna Smith and I have talked a lot about it since then, especially since Hna Smith has served under him for a year now, and has really grown to love this man. However, this whole scenario can be fairly well summarized from a line in Preach my Gospel pg 122:
Obedience is the first law of heaven. It is an act of faith. You may sometimes be required to do things you do not completely understand. As you obey, you increase in faith, knowledge, wisdom, testimony, protection, and freedom.
It's been a powerful last couple of days - hard for everyone in the mission, but powerful nonetheless :) Lots of thought concerning the timing of the Lord, and all that He has planned for us. In the meantime, we are all determined to make the month of June the BEST and HIGHEST baptizing month yet - the McKee's will be leaving, and the new mission president comes on July 1st. We've got a lot of work to do in the meantime! :)
Highlights of the week:
1) This conversation with Paisley, the 4 yr old daughter of our Ward Mission Leader)
P: Sister Lake, are you married?
Me: No - I'm a missionary, remember?
P: Oh. Well, do you have any kids?
Me: Nope - still a missionary!
P: Well, when are you going to have kids?
Me: I don't know - after my mission eventually
P: Are you going to have them in Utah?
P: Well, I know the BEST place to have kids!
Me: Oh, really? Where?
P: (glances around to make sure no one hears her secret, then whispers) Manchester, Tennessee. Sister Lake, you should have your babies HERE!
At this point, I was laughing so hard that I never answered her request. The moment was 10 times funnier because of what Paisley's younger brother Whitten was doing during this time. The little 2 yr old had been grabbing at my backpack earlier, so I let him take his pick of the pamphlets I had in there - can you guess which one he chose? Yep :) During this whole conversation with Paisley telling me that Manchester was a magical place to give birth, Whitten was waving around a Chastity pamphlet and trying to get my attention by bellowing "LAKE!" as loud as his little 2 yr old voice could muster. It was a pretty hilarious moment :)
2) Hna Smith and I deciding that Sarah Moore's DVD player is clearly anti since it was refusing to play the Restoration movie we were trying to show her. It worked on every other movie we tried, except that one!
3) When Meghan's ring tone went off while we were driving with her, and it was "Ships in the Night" by Mat Kearney - Sister Snailio, I laughed and thought of you!! :)
4) Having a 10 min conversation with Sarah about Duck Dynasty - apparently, it's near criminal to be serving in TN and have never seen/heard of Duck Dynasty. I've been forced to promise to watch at least one episodes of the Redneck millionaires once I get home :)
5) The hilarity and irony of walking up to Sarah's house to see her holding a cigarette in one hard, and her Book of Mormon in the other. We laughed at that one :)
6) THE LIGHTING BUGS/FIREFLIES ARE OUT!! (name depends on who you talk to, and whether they are 1) from the south, or 2) have seen Princess and the Frog or not :) We were driving back from Beech Groove last night, and driving on the freeway past all the fireflies made me feel like we were in a Star Wars movie - just streaks of light as we zoomed by!
As you could probably gather, it's been a good week :) I love the work here in Manchester, and am excited to readjust and learn what I need to do in this next month! Always remember that Obedience is the FIRST law of heaven - when we are completely and willingly obedient, the Lord blesses us immensely.
Love you all! As we learn from the ever profound movie "Meet the Robinson's", just keep moving forward! Sometimes, it's all we can do, and all the Lord desires us to try :)
P.S. Shout out to all the family! Happy memorial day weekend - it was so fun to see the pictures of everyone having lunch at our house!
Karis, I'm impressed that your face isn't too puffy from having your wisdom forcibly removed - feel free to carry on the tradition and suffer through watching "10th kingdom" again :) That's what Mason and I did!
Mom and Dad, thanks so much for the package! Those pistachios were actually a life saver, since I hadn't eaten in a while once I got them, and scarfed them all down right there! They were yummy indeed :) Also, I'm excited to start reading the General Conference Ensigns! Thanks for that - you're the best :)
Eden, I sure hope there's a letter on it's way! :) I love you, and love the pictures you send! You look so lovely.
Jameson, Mom told me that you're going to do leadership! That's SUPER exciting! You'll be really good at that, and I'm excited to hear what fun stuff you end up doing :) Do they have any camps or things going on during the summer? I know they have winter camp - is there a summer activity coming up as well?
Eli, high five for track! Sounds like you're working wonders only capable of a little Indian looking boy :) Tan enough for both of us, since you'll be the only one getting the sun :) In fact, tan enough for our whole family - you already do anyway :)
Jaylee, I had a conversation with the little Basurto girls about those Rainbow Magic fairy books that you love so much - they love them too! We talked about Junie B Jones, Percy Jackson, and all these other books that you've talked to me about. It was fun to see them loving the same things you do - made me think of my cute mini me! :)