|Sister Coontz and Sister Johnson. This is a photo taken by a man who was on their tour and sent a text message about how strong of testimony she has.|
This week was a definitely special week. Sister Johnson met Elder Ballard. We received special notes and pictures from friends from Ohio, Utah and a random man taking tours from her about what a special missionary she is. We are proud parents. :)
I don't have enough time to tell you all of the amazing things that happened this last week. It seriously has been one of the most uplifting, special, amazing and most inspiring weeks.
We weren't in Aurora/Hiram very much this week. We were at sites most of the week. We had some great tours. We took mostly non-members on tour one day... about 24 people and they were with a big group. Well, 16 of them had requested Books of Mormon :) It was awesome. They asked some very great questions.... More and more non-members are coming to the sites all the time. We also took an amazing tour.... we all prayed in the School of the Prophets and we sang the Spirit of God... best tour. :)
Scott Jarvie came to sites... he took pictures the entire tour we gave him! No bueno... ha no bueno.. It scared me because I heard someone say, "Kelsi" and I was like, hey! My name is Kelsi haha and then I turned around and boom! It was weird... ha ha. He said I was awkward. :(
You also should have received a text from a guy we took on tour and from the Tanner's. I saw them a lot on Saturday and Sunday I sat by them. Michael came to conference on Sunday and we gave him a tour.... long story. Maybe I'll tell more about that next week. President Vellinga wanted to meet him and so we introduced them. President Vellinga shook his hand and stared into Michael's soul and told Michael to listen to us because what we are saying is true. It was intense. He asked him a lot of questions... I think Michael gained a lot of respect for President Vellinga after that. (I have the best mission president in the world.)
We were helping Sister Young decorate for the open house with Elder Ballard. It was fancy. I will send you pictures. We felt like we were at the ball on the Princess Diaries. We felt way out of place. Only invited guests came for the 10th anniversary of Kirtland. They were so elegant and all dressed so nice! I felt way out of place :) They let the missionaries come (only us site sisters) and meet Elder Ballard.
Funny story, I was seriously so excited to meet Elder Ballard. I was talking to Karl Anderson (Mr. Kirtland) before Elder Ballard and I was almost oblivious that I was talking to him. I saw Elder Ballard was done talking to the person in front of me and so I stuck my hand out to shake his hand and said, "Hi, I am Sister Johnson" and before I could say anything else he said, "where are you from Sister Johnson?" I told him where I am from... he smiled a little bit and said, "Its a lot warmer, I mean, colder here in Ohio......" Then he leaned in a little bit closer to me while still shaking my hand and said... "Did you bring long underwear?" I didn't really know if I was supposed to respond and tell him if I really did bring any or not... and I was kinda speechless that an apostle was talking to me about underwear. So I just awkwardly smiled and shook my head no and said" No I didn't, I will need to get some :)" Then he smiled and I moved on.... it was an interesting meeting with the apostle. ha ha
Before the event when me and Sister Coontz were helping set up, there was an older lady sitting on the couch. We thought someone was already going to talk to her until we are about to take another tour and this family asks us if she was an important person? We said we didn't know... and we put the family in the Kirtland movie and then came back to greet this lady sitting on the couch. So I go up to her... she stated her name as Sister Smoot. We talked and got to know each other a little bit and then Sister Coontz came and then Sister Spong and Sister Harrison joined us as well. She was a sweet lady and then I asked what she was doing here and over another period of questions... trying to figure out who she was, she said " I was the General Relief Society President and my counselor was Sheri Dew." ha ha... so my eyes were big again... and kinda embarrassed that I didn't know who she was. Whoops... but we became best friends over the weekend and her daughter gave us "mom" hugs and we saw them a ton. It was fun.
The meetings were so fabulous this weekend. Elder Gay (who had the best talks ever...will prob be in the quorum of the 12) and Elder Seldom were there as well. Elder Ballard told us to really contemplate what happened here in Kirtland. He said there will be a time when we will all re-unite and we never want to look back on our lives and say, "Why did I not pay attention to what really mattered most in life?" He said this is one of the most sacred locations and how very blessed are we to be here. It really is sacred and hollowed grounds. 500,000 people have visited Kirtland the last 10 years. It's beautiful. He said that people need to see this.
When we were hanging out with Elder Ballard at the open house... it really was the most amazing time. Seeing him watch the little primary children in front of the Whitney Store made me tear up... it reminded me of the Savior. I just watched him shake the hands of every child and their faces were full of joy and they were so excited to shake this man's hand. As we sat in these meetings... particularly the fireside on Friday night, the spirit overcame me. Just like the saints say when describing how they felt when they felt the spirit so strong. I could not move as Elder Ballard concluded his talk and when we began to sing. I felt love surrounding me. It was as if angels were surround me and I was being told once again that this was the true church. I walked out of that meeting with my spirit lifted more than I ever have had on my mission and possibly ever in my life.
I know this gospel is true... this church is either true or it is grossly false and should be stopped. I wish I had more time because sooooo many things happened and a lot of small miracles. I wish I could share the talks... they were too great!
Love you and have a great week!
"Flabbiness of character should always be more of a concern than flabbiness of muscles. Body building and body conditioning are worthwhile goals, but there is more needed to gain true inner peace. We must blend balance in our lives and increase in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man (see Luke 2:52) to reach our full potential."