First of all, February 13th was my YEAR MARK from the day I opened my mission call!!!! Ahhhh! I can't even believe it! Time flies!
Second of all, the blood drive! It was awesome! Our ward mission leader is Brother Bonner and he is the ABSOLUTE best! He organized the event as a way to invite people from the community into our church building. We had 5 or 6 nonmembers come in, and more than 40 donors total including ward members, so the turnout was great! Sister Tidwell and I were able to give 2 chapel tours to non-members, and they were both received very well. We're excited to see if anything more will come from those contacts! (Funny story: we wrote thank-you notes to give to all the donors at the drive, and if it was someone we knew we wrote "roses are red, violets are blue" poems! My favorites were "Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, Some people need blood a LOT more than you!" and "Platelets are Red, Veins are Blue, donating blood was a swell thing to do!" haha.)
We had probably my favorite lesson yet with a nice older man named Gary. Gary is so sweet, he has the strongest love of Christ and Heavenly Father and a great desire to follow and please Them. We started teaching him the Restoration, but both felt prompted to teach the Plan of Salvation instead, and I think the Spirit really touched him. He's the kind of person who does the kindest things for the people around him just because he loves his neighbors. What a great example! It's a much-needed reminder to me to do things out of genuine love and compassion. In the past I have felt like sharing the gospel is my duty and responsibility, but lately I have realized that I really DO want to share the gospel with people because it's true, and it blesses lives, and I want everyone to have it! We're so lucky to know what we know!
Church yesterday was a merciful pat on the back from Heavenly Father, because both part-member families we are teaching were there, and several returning less actives were there. It was incredible! Such an outpouring of the Spirit and the deep love I have for the people in this ward. It's so cool to see the gospel uniting families, and such great things are happening in Kettle Moraine! Transfers are next week, and I've been here over 7 months now... pretty much my whole mission. In interviews, President kept joking that "everyone has a right to be nervous about transfers... except for me, because I NEVER get transferred"! Haha. All I know is that I have loved it here tremendously, and whether I stay or go, I will feel so happy and blessed!
One more thing: at church yesterday, I got the greatest compliment from a dear ward member, and I want to share it with you because it meant so much to me. This Brother is an older gentleman, and always pretends that he doesn't like the Sister missionaries even though he really does, and he came up to me and said; "I've been watching you for a while now, and you have about you the essence of womanhood and motherhood." It was the sweetest thing! I may have teared up a little. If I've learned anything on my mission thus far, it's that God knows each of us so intimately, far better than we know ourselves. He knows exactly what I need to hear, and sends someone to say it to me :) God is so good!
Love you all! Hope you had a great Valentine's Day. Stay warm!