patience but I have learned that it's ok to not know what to do all the time.
Monday was pday and we went to the park and played soccer and frisbee. Then we went to the creamery cause it got really hot. Afterwards, around 5:30, out STLs came and exchanged with us. I stayed here with Sister Ludwig and Sister Jones went with Sister Sampson to Lockhaven.
That night for FHE was fun. Every year Penn State does a "trash to treasure" sale which is basically like DI. Anyone can donate anything that they want to get rid of (clothes, shoes, furniture, book, etc.) and then Penn State sells it for really cheap. So for FHE we helped
them sort through clothes and put them in bins for different sizes so they'll be organized when it comes time for the sale. It was fun to do that with the guys in the branch because a lot of the things we sorted we women's clothes and they were baffled about how many different styles, shapes, and sizes there were. Between spaghetti straps, halter tops, tube tops and everything in between, they were real confused haha
Tuesday we taught Raisa and it was really sad because she didn't come to church that week so we had to move her baptism date back a week. It's even worse because this last Sunday she didn't come again so now we're working with her to figure out a day that she feels comfortable
with in June. We'll see how that goes. It's just so sad when you do all that you can to get your investigators at church and then they don't show up. It really showed me the importance of church attendance though. She's doing awesome in all other areas like praying and reading her scriptures everyday but just that 3 hour meeting on Sunday, even just the one hour for sacrament, is so important. That's the only thing that's holding her back right now. We're working with her though and hopefully she'll come next week and be on track for baptism again :)
Wednesday we figured out some more marketing ideas for campus. We were able to put out pamphlets at the spiritual center on campus so that was nice. Hopefully people will look at those and be interested. We also had a lesson with Loveday about the temple and family history. We are working with her now to be able to find a family name because we are getting ready for another temple trip hopefully on June 1st to Palmyra. So excited! But ya family history is hard to do with Chinese people because a lot of their records have been burned and also it's their culture to not be religious so to be able to get permission from her parents to be able to take names to the temple is next to impossible. Her Mom found out what it means to be baptized and she wasn't happy with Loveday at all. It's a very touchy subject with their family and just with that generation of the Chinese. We'll see how things go though. Only time will tell. For now though we're hoping to still be able to go with her and just have her bring a family name of someone else in the branch. If we can pull this off it'll be amazing. I've been able to do so many things within the first couple months of my mission that a lot of people haven't even had the chance to do in their whole entire mission so I am truly blessed for that.
Also Wednesday afternoon we had a lesson with Ryan. I think I told you about her last week. She is our investigator who is Catholic but is taking online courses at BYU. We found out that she is moving to Georgia in a couple weeks to be closer to her boyfriend so that's really sad. She's a way cool girl and would totally fit in here at the branch if she were to stay. We taught her about the Restoration though and emphasized the Priesthood and how that sets us apart from other churches. We also talked to her about the importance of the Book of Mormon and Prayer. She liked it all and said she'd love to keep learning more from us as well as other missionaries in Georgia. I wish we had more time with her but hopefully the other missionaries will be able to take care of her in the next two weeks.
That night we had institute. It was the first night of the summer institute class. We are studying the Pearl of Great Price. That book is always so cool to read so I'm glad we're studying it this summer. It really shows a good perspective on the Plan of Salvation and the things that we learn in the temple. It can be confusing at times but what scriptures aren't haha
Thursday was a crazy long day. This is that day we got our ipads! All the missionaries from the mission traveled to Cranberry Pennsylvania (north of Pittsburgh) for a conference to be able to be trained on the ipads and to receive them. It was cool to all be there at once. It's not a common thing for us to all gather together, actually it never happens, but we were able to have fun in seeing everyone there. We got a picture of all of us that I'll send. It was a 3 hour drive for us there. We got up at 5:30am and left our apartment around 7am. We drove through Pittsburgh on the way there and stopped for lunch and shopping/touring on the Strip. We went to Pepie's for lunch where we had really yummy cheese steaks. We were only able to be there for 40 mins so we took it to go and went shopping instead. We found a lot of cool Pittsburgh gear for really cheap. A lot of missionaries don't have the chance to go to the strip district so I was also blessed to have been there for even just an hour. I hope to go back someday though.
Then we headed to the conference. We had a couple people from the missionary department there who I don't remember their names haha and then there was supposed to be someone from the 70 but he wasn't sick that morning and wasn't able to make it. It was a really good training though! It lasted about 4 hours and most of it wan't even spent on how to use the ipads. We really didn't get into the logistics of it. We mostly talked about our purpose as missionaries and our agency. They told us that there are extra temptations and responsibilities that come with them but that as we use our agency wisely then we don't need to worry about those temptations. They said that the best filter for bad websites, distractions, etc. is our hearts. As we turn to Lord and help his work move along then the ipads can be an extra tool in that work. They also talked about how if we weren't good missionaries before then the ipads won't miraculously make us better. It is just an extra tool that we have been given and that ultimately we and the Spirit are still the only teachers. Basically it's not about the ipad haha
After the conference we took pictures and then were given the ipads. We drove home and stopped through Punxsutawney on the way. If you don't know what/where that is then you probably don't know what Groundhog day is either. Haha it's a movie and you should watch it. It's also a holiday...lol ya I was there. Groundhog day is our mission president's favorite movie. We took tons of pictures with all the groundhog statues though it was super fun. We didn't end up getting home that night till like 10 though. Man it was a long day!
Friday morning we went to our branch building to set up our ipads. The church has set up different parts within the operating system that are good for missionaries that help keep us on track and blocks stuff that we can see and all that good stuff haha. It took forever because surprisingly (well not surprisingly) a lot of people are technologically challenged and were having a hard time with it haha. Good thing I'm real good at that stuff from working at Server Plus so I was able to help them out. A lot of people have come to me asking for help cause they can't figure things out haha I love it! It reminds me of the good ol' call center days. I never thought I'd say this but I kinda miss that job. That evening we had a lesson with a less active that we're trying to help get to the temple as well about family history. He's a grad student and is finishing up his thesis to be able to defend it in mid-June so he's super busy and swamped. Not sure if we'll get him to the Palmyra temple with us on the 1st but he wants to go this summer for sure when he's not so busy.
Saturday we taught a new investigator named Klonter. He is Chinese and yes that is his English name haha I'm not sure how he picked it but it's pretty cool. He wants to learn more about God and see if there really is one so it was cool to teach him about the Restoration and start off with the fact that there is a God and that He is our loving Heavenly Father. I always love teaching that to people. I wonder what it'd be like to hear that for the first time. It's so cool to know that we have someone who knows us each individually and love us and is always looking out for us.
Sunday was really good. We were sad that none of our investigators showed up to church, but the talks and lessons that we learned were amazing and just for us. After church we had a lesson with a recent convert who just had a bunch of questions so we just answered them all. Then that night we had two dinner appointments lol We did dinner with the Bishop family who made us Walking Tacos which are tacos in a chip bad. They were really good and super easy to do. And then we did dinner again after that with some branch members and one of the other Sisters investigator (Elana) who is getting baptized this Saturday. They fed us pulled pork sandwiches and then brownie sundaes for dessert. Good night but we were stuffed haha
Yesterday was Memorial day(Happy Memorial day to everyone by the way). We went to the Boalsburg festival with the branch. Boalsburg is the city where Memorial day first started. It was super cool to be there. There were tons of street vendors, car shows and reenactments of the civil war. Also we found a snow cone shack which is crazy because snow cones do not exist in PA so we were all super excited to get one. It makes me miss the Hokulia in Provo! Then we went back to State College and went shopping for Penn State stuff. We did dinner that night with Elana. We made hot dogs and then roasted s'mores in the oven lol it turned out pretty good though.
It's been a fun and busy week. This week will be super busy too. We are getting more training on our ipads and we're all gearing up for transfers which are on June 2nd. We'll hear Saturday night about who will be going where. Sister Jones thinks I'll stay here and train and she'll be transferred to a new area. I'm not really sure what will actually happen but it's very likely that that's what it'll be. I'd like to stay here with her for her last transfer but who knows.
I hope you all have a great week!
Sister Kayla Johnson