I love you! It's wonderful to hear everything that's been going on back home. (Wherever home is for you!) Keep on taking on the world.
So. I've been procrastinating this moment because I have so much to tell you! Nonetheless I love you, so I will write.
I am now serving in the Boise West Stake, in the Bel Air Ward. No, Will Smith did not have anything to do with the naming of this ward. Yes, I did sing the entirety of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air rap when I discovered that's where I was going. The first day we got here was. Sister Roundy and I met, and went over to the family that we are living with - the Andrus's. They are a fantastic older couple. Oh, and bonus, they have a piano. Who's going to be practicing in her spare time? You guessed it. This girl.
It's been a busy week. We got welcomed alright - in the form of a prank. Here we are, brand new in a new area. Our first dinner was with the Jenks. We were combined with the Elders, our district leaders. Turns out together the district leaders and Brother Jenks had the lovely idea of taking Root Beer bottles and replacing the labels with Miller Lite labels. Well, during dinner Brother Jenks kindly joins us with his drink - and Sister Roundy and I were thrown through a loop. What...?! I look around - "Families are Forever" quotes, pictures of temples, the first Presidency. What. Was. Happening. Soon, Brother Jenks got in a debate about the Word of Wisdom, ending in Elder Crowley taking a sip, on the terms of his "anxiety." I was frozen up - What are you doing Elder, you're a missionary!! I was so confused. Finally, Brother Jenks stoop up with open arms, and said, "Welcome to the ward, Sisters!" HA. As if I even remotely fell for that. AND it turns out they got everything on camera. Oh, the joy. We all shared Root Beers with misplaced labels afterwards.
The rest of the week we worked hard, knocking on doors, meeting the auxiliaries, getting to know less-active families, getting rejected, and learning about the area. Yesterday we stood outside of many unopened doors as it poured rain, and yet I was so happy. Crazy, how being a missionary can do that. Oh, and Dad, you'll be happy to hear that our Bishop has much experience hoeing sugar beets in his life! He told us that taught him hard work. So it does, so it does.
We received a very warm welcome into our new ward yesterday. Many people met us - some saying they had never met Sister Missionaries before! This ward hasn't seen Sisters in around 30 years. Well, it's about time. :) It was testimony meeting, and one testimony in particular just blew me away. It was an eighteen year old boy, who had just lost his mother to Leukemia two months previously. My heart went out to him as he testified of God's love for all of us, and of the reality of his Plan of Happiness for all of us. I've rarely heard a more powerful testimony than his was to me at this time.
That night we had dinner in the Bishop's home. After dinner, I shared the Mormon Message, "He Will Give You Help." Although the events that happened in that video happened over five years ago, they are still close to my heart. What I didn't know at that time of showing them that was that the Bishop himself was struggling with the recent death of his nephew. I was grateful I had felt like I needed to share what I did. The Lord is mindful of all of us, even if others are not aware of what we are going through. He truly does send us the help we need.
Well, I have to go. Until next week, good luck! Sure love ya!
- Sister Rachel Ann Bennett
He Will Give You Help