Well, this has been the BEST WEEK OF MY LIFE! Where do I even start? I have no idea... this was the most inspiring week of my life. My FAVORITEweek of the whole mission. Sister Newren and I were saying, "there is no way we can tell everything." Good news.... I wrote in my journal a few pages so I will be able to remember the little details. Sorry if this is the longest email.... it will be good, I promise.
Okay, for starters. We took some great tours this week. On Tuesday we took a mission president who just released, 2 BYU professors and my singles ward stake president from Provo! It was so funny... because when I saw him and his wife, they looked SO familiar. I was thinking that maybe she was on the general board of the church or something, but we started chit chatting and come to find out, I met with his wife a few Sunday mornings when I was the temple Prep teacher with the other temple prep teachers from the other wards. It was so fun to see them, they were really so sweet. Then I had to take a tour all by myself in Kirtland because there weren't enough sisters and it was a mission president who was just released. I was so tired after that.. they had over 700 people here yesterday. It's now SUMMER!
Because we have a shortage of sisters and we kinda set the schedule... we put ourselves at the JOHNSON HOME on Saturday! They needed a set of sisters and usually we wouldn't be allowed because we are too far, but we were going there that night with Jason for a fireside, so they let us take the bus tours! It was the 2nd best day of my life this last week. The youth were so cute.. the girls were saying, "can I hug you?" "Can I take a picture with you?" "I want to serve a mission now." I LOVE taking youth groups and again there were so many people that I had take the tour by myself, but Sister Newren joined me on the last one (she went with Sister Smith because they both are learning) and she walked in right when I was telling a joke and lying to the tour... she told everyone not to believe me... ha ha. I love teasing all the people.
Okay, the next best thing. Jason came to the fireside. Guess who the fireside was with? That's right. Brother and Sister Dalton. The recently released General Young Woman's President. Who did I hang out for 2 days with this week? Sister Dalton. No big deal. Ok, just kidding. Not really 2 full days, but we chatted a ton, then we went and listened to them speak in Kirtland and then chatted again at the Johnson home and then after the fireside in Hiram. Jennie Best was with her... we almost got a picture, but my companion said no because she didn't hear Jennie right. ha ha. Oh well. But Jason connected SO well with them. Sister Newren and I kinda started dozing off in Brother Dalton's talk... he just has a soft voice, but Jason was so in tune! We were so grateful. Jason said he felt as though they were talking to him.
We introduced Jason to the Stake President. The Stake President said, "why aren't you getting baptized, you are denying yourself blessings?" He was way blunt and stern. Elder Sorenson did the same thing. Then Sister Dalton did the same thing and Brother Dalton started talking to Jason about the organization of the church and how wonderful it is! He didn't even know that that was Jason's issue. Then he told Jason he could bore him forever and Jason said, "probably not, you are a really good speaker." That was huge coming from Jason... he really wanted to meet this guy and Jason hates people. The other thing is that both talks were on making covenants and receiving the Holy Ghost. Jason is getting baptized now. Finally.... he is praying about a date. We told him that Lake Erie frozen over is not acceptable. He's stubborn.
Susan knows it's all true, has read Book of Mormon 3 times and wants to be baptized, Alexandria, Kayla and Jason are all progressing very well. I love seeing results :) We also had a great training meeting and we had an idea to report numbers at sites, so we are now in charge of that as well.
Another thing I can't forget is laughing. I have never laughed so hard... Sister Newren and I have our lives planned out. I am moving into her house in January by the way. :) We are creating a work out studio when we get home. It was so funny. I grabbed the mustaches that you sent me and I put one on and we went to all the senior houses and said, "my name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die." ha ha ha. They thought it was hilarious. Sister Newren taped me.... it was so funny. We just like to be weird together.
Okay....... drum roll.... Elder Holland. We were at the visitors center waiting for him to come and when he came, we were on our knees over the balcony eaves dropping on him talking to everyone downstairs. Elder Sorenson called us while we were being sneaky and said, "Go now." That meant that we needed to run to Elder Sorenson's house. So by this time as we were quickly walking to his house, we were both saying, "I can't breathe, I can't breathe." We were so nervous and then we saw a shadow and boom he walked in. He said, "it's the musicians." I walked up and shook his hand and then Elder Hallstrom was right behind him.. Elder Sorenson told him that we were going to sing before they ate.
At this point.... I have never been so nervous in my life. So selfish. Elder Holland said, "wait before you start, where are you from.? We told him and he said he knows right where Aliso Viejo is, and then we started. I really tried hard to think of the words... my voice was a little shaky at the beginning. The General Authorities sat and listened.... you can see in the picture I send (sneaky Elder Sorenson). The spirit was really so strong... I couldn't look at Elder Holland, but I looked at the others. When we finished, he said, "wow, that was perfect. Just like you two." (We were told that we were perfect from an apostle!) Then he got up and shook our hands and said, "aren't you glad that you listened to your mom and practiced?" He said it was beautiful and then Elder Seldon (area 70) said, "you just set the tone for the entire day, thank you." They said some other really nice things... as I was leaving I shook his hand again... he is beautiful and just such a wonderful person and very humorous.
Then we get to the meeting with the missionaries. He remembered me as I shook his hand again and said, "hello again, thank you so much for singing again." Elder Hallstrom said that as well and then Elder Seldon grabbed my arm and said, "thank you so much." Sister Newren and I aren't allowed to tell anyone in Ohio about this experience, so we just felt so special. We felt as though we were best friends with him by the end of the day. haha He looked us in the eye so much during the meeting and even spit on us. He got worked up ha ha. He is so wonderful! We learned so much from him.... this is way long, so maybe I will share what I learned next week, but as he was leaving... he said, "I love you. Now get to work." and he quickly walked out of the room. I was crying... I don't even know why, but I just loved him and it was just powerful. It was as if the Savior was saying that he loved me.
I will quickly tell you a story that Elder Hallstrom told us. He said that he was working with President Kimball and he said one day President Kimball grabbed Elder Hallstrom by his collar and pulled him down to eye-level and kissed Elder Hallstrom's cheek. Then he told him he loved him. Elder Hallstrom started walking away and he told him to come back. He grabbed him by his collar again and kissed his other cheek and told him he loved him again. Elder Hollstrom said that he had just recently purchased the biography of President Kimball. He said he had the biggest desire to read it at that moment and he ran home as quick as he could to find it and read it. He said... "why did this happen?" "Because I knew he loved me and I loved him."
Now, it is the same with our Savior Jesus Christ. We know that he loves us. We love him... so why don't I have a stronger desire to constantly be reading his bio? The Scriptures are His biography. He really loves us so much... I will definitely be reading and studying the scriptures even more. I love my Savior and I know He loves me.
I love you, I love you.
Sister Kelsi Denae Johnson