Alright. I'm afraid my expectations for Bonaroo week were a tad anticlimactic. Nothing too crazy happened, besides the occasional trip to Walmart - I did see someone doing yoga in the parking lot. Overall, the Bonaroo people were super nice! Kind of crazy and rough looking, but nice all the same :) We had a conversation with a Walmart employee about it, and she said she actually prefers the Bonaroo crowd to the normal customers, because they're nicer to her. Pretty sad, if you ask me. The only downside of Bonarroo? We've been forewarned to avoid buying deodorant for the next few weeks, because apparently the Bonaroonians have a nasty habit of pulling deodorant off the shelf, layering it on, then returning to the shelf.
Delicious, right? Yeah, we'll avoid that for sure :)
Fun moments of the week:
1) Trying to leave the Vaughns house after FHE on Wednesday, but Paisley has thrown herself against the front door and wouldn't let us out. She demanded to know what the password was - luckily, Hna Smith remembered it from Sis Vaughn telling us this story earlier that week: "snot" :) After we both yelled "Snot" in our best door-opening voice, she let us out.
2) ANT INVASION! Okay, this was fairly traumatizing at the time, but everyone else will appreciate it under the "funny moments" :) I was minding my own business, loving on my Quaker Oatmeal Squares cereal, when I looked down and saw little dead ants floating in my milk. Not happy. I opened the cereal cupboard to find that ants had invaded ALL our cereals! Again, not happy, and I felt like gagging for the rest of the day each I wondered whether I had accidentally eaten a dead ant. Truthfully, there are so many in our kitchen, I've probably eaten a couple of those little buggers by now - the trick is to just not think about it :) Ah, the joys of a rainy summer in TN.
3) This Wednesday, the AWESOME YW made all the missionaries a dinner at the church - TACO SALAD! I was in heaven, and went to town on the homemade salsa :) The dinner was wonderful, the company was fun, and the best part was actually during clean up. There was leftover whipped cream from the angel food cake dessert, and I decided to show the Lynn's and Davenport's the nifty whipped cream launching trick that Carissa and I always did. After spraying a good amount on my wrist, I popped my arm up and launched that sucker into my mouth. Oh boy! It all went nuts after that :) Hna Smith and I ended up both trying to do it for about 20 min, while all the ward members almost wet themselves as they watched us launch whipped cream all over our hair, faces, and even the ceiling :) It was a good night indeed, and they still tease us about it.
4) We also had the chance to help the Garcia family to build an extra room onto their home. Their little boy, Ricardo (12 yrs old), has leukemia, and they don't have enough room to keep him at home. So, we're helping the neighbors build on an extra part of the house! It's so fun to get to work around these amazing Mexicans, especially since they feed us delicious food afterwards (Riss! I'm talking a huge bowl of Queso Fresco! I was in heaven :)
As awesome as all these parts of the week were, yesterday was probably the BEST day, since it was a double dynamic day! Happy Father's/Birthin' Day to my parents! Yesterday was Fathers Day (hopefully that's not a surprise to anyone - if it is, go buy an apology hallmark card quick!) and Mom's birthday was the same day! (She finally turned 38! Ha ha :) Mom, Dad, I hope you know I was thinking about the both of you ALL day yesterday - in a very undistracted-mission appropriate way :) I wish I could give you both a huge hug, do all sorts of things to show you how much I love you - make you breakfast in bed, help Justin sneak a dog into the house, the whole nine yards :) If I didn't say it enough in my letters to you, I LOVE YOU BOTH super, uber much :) (There was a ridiculous amount of smiley faces in that last paragraph, so if anything, that should give you a hint)
This week has also been wonderful, as I have been working on reading through the General Conference Ensign that my rockstar Mom sent me. General Conference is an annual meeting held twice a year, where the worldwide LDS congregation gathers together for a weekend of listening to the modern day prophets and apostles counsel us concerning what the Lord would have us know, work on, and be reminded of. I have had the opportunity to attend General Conference in person on Temple Square, and have always walked away feeling marvel at the power that our modern, restored prophet and apostles carry. What a marvelous work this is! For those who would be interested in seeing or learning more about General Conference, check out this link: http://www.lds.org/general-conference?lang=eng It never hurts to at least look into it, right? I promise you - see what the modern prophets have to say, I know you will find things that resonate within your soul, and you may find that Mormon beliefs are more similar to your opinions than you previously realized :)
One such talk that I was reading is titled "What Shall a Man Give in Exchange for His Soul?" by Elder Robert C. Gay of the Quorum of the Seventy. I LOVED a specific quote:
"The question before us is not whether we are doing things that need correcting, because we always are. Rather, the question is, will we shrink or finish the call upon our souls to do the will of the Father? (D&C 19:18-19)
This is the exchange the Savior is asking of us: we are to give up all our sins, big or small, for the Fathers reward of eternal life. We are to forget self-justifying stories, excuses, rationalization, defense mechanisms, procrastinations, appearances, personal pride, judgmental thoughts, and doing things our way. We are to separate ourselves from all worldliness and take upon us the image of God in our countenances (Alma 5:14-19).
Brothers and Sisters, remember that this charge is more than just not doing bad things. With an engaged enemy, we must also act and not sit in thoughtless stupor (Alma 60:7). Taking upon the countenance of God means serving each other. There are sins of commission and sins of omission, and we are to rise above both"
I loved this quote, for it reminds me of what it truly means to STAND as a witness of Christ. When we are baptized and enter into that first and ever-so-sacred covenant, we are promising a lifetime of effort to try and love His children around us, and to find our way back to Him. How grateful I am to be called as a literal representative of Christ in this, His holy work! I love being a missionary, for I know that it is the best way we can learn to love others as He did :)
On that note, I love you all TOO! What a coincidence :) Loves, hugs, and someone make my Mom a pan of 7-layer bean dip for her birthday, please. And then mail me some to.
Love, Hna Lake
ps - Mom and Dad,
I literally have about 2 min, but I wanted to email you and tell you HAPPY BIRTHDAY/FATHERS DAY!! I love you both SUPER much, and am grateful to have you as my parents. You have been such a support and love to me through my life, and it is so easy to feel your love and prayers while I've been on my mission. You are both such good examples to me, and I appreciate all you do for me and our family.
I feel like with all that lovey-dovey, I need to break things up with a joke or something. I've got nothing though, and times up! Just insert an Avatar quote in here, to keep things real :)