No one came to church yesterday which is sad, oh well. Not even any of our less actives, except for a Chinese woman and she is awesome and we always leave with our hands full of food every time we go see her. It is traditional when you pay a visit to Chinese that they will always offer you water. One time she asked and I was all, "no no, it's okay," and Sister Chan murmured to me, "Actually, it is very polite to say yes," so I say yes every time now. Also, in China they offer hot water a lot, it is supposed to help you stay young. When we visited Sister Chan's Chinese investigator in Eagle River, she gave us hot water, so now I know Sister Chan's words are true. She also poked Sister Chan and said, in Chinese, that she needs to lose weight. Sister Chan says they are very open about this issue in China. We have been trying sooo hard lately to lose wait----we run around the Adams' house ten times every morning...well, mostly every morning. And we have all these grand goals of eating smaller portions and NOT eating seconds at members' homes when we go for dinner. Hahaha.
Oh man. It's like 50 degrees. Well, between 40 and 50. There is NO MORE SNOW right in front of our little cottage, there used to be so much.
Sister Chan gave a lovely talk on Sunday. I accompanied a musical number. It was a good Sunday.
I have big plans to write like, 15 letters today. I want to write Lily and Anne and Mom n Dad. And Lori and Bishop Lark. and Tara and Samara. And Amber Jepson. SO HOPEFULLY, I will get these letters written and sealed and beautified by either today or I'll drop em off at the post office tomorrow after the musk ox farm. Janelle, who works at the musk ox farm, has a dream of naming this next batch of lil musk ox babies, that are gonna be born soon, after the name brands of candy and chocolate bars but others who work at the farm disagree. One man, Mark, put it this way, "Do you really think a musk ox named SKITTLES pounding across the savannah will strike fear into people's hearts?" I think it would be LOVELY. I'm Team Janelle but Mark said if I get every Mormon in southern Alaska to donate $25 to the nonprofit that runs the musk ox farm, he'll allow the babies to be named after chocolate and candy. I'll pray.
We had a lovely lesson with the Woman In The Store. She is such a wonderful woman. She wants so badly for her children to have good values and standards. She even got emotional as we gave her encouragement and reassurance that she is more spiritual than many people we knew and was doing a wonderful job---the member we took with us really was the one who said all the lovely things, she being a mother herself you know, and talking about how her daughter started at 14 years old saying "I hate you" and went off partying and drinking, but what is she doing now? She's active in the church. And what helped her was, according to this daughter, the constant and calm love of her mother. Every time she shot an "I hate you" at her she got an "I love you" back from her mother.
We also had a lesson with the Woman With Two Kids. One of those kids, the daughter, has been studying from the LDS edition of the King James bible, which is cool. This woman's problem is that the Book of Mormon is kinda weird...she's grown up with and loves the Bible. We can understand how the Book of Mormon can seem weird. And invasive. But we say, hey you already know the Bible is true. Why we emphasize the Book of Mormon so much is because a person needs to put as much work into finding out if it is true than they did with the Bible--they have to, essentialy, make up for years of not ever hearing about the Book of Mormon. And what is cool about the Book of Mormom is if you truly read it and study it, you'll find it goes with the Bible, and that it carries with it the same spirit that the Bible does, and you'll realize, hey this is the word of God.
Speaking of the Book of Mormon, I've been reading in the war chapters of Alma lately. Captain Moroni is a stud. I know that everyone knows that. But he blows my mind all the time. And guys, there is humor in the Book of Mormon. May I please share?
So Ammoron, the leader of the Lamanites (the bad army), wrote an epistle ( a letter) to Moroni, Moroni writes back, and is trying to negotiate an exchange of prisoners. Moroni is all, if you don't repent and withdraw, you're gonna be visited with death .And then in ALma 54:11 Moroni says, "but behold, it supposeth me that I talk to you in vain; or it supposeth me that thou art a child of hell;" and goes on and goes on but SERIOUSLY, it just made me laugh out loud. Moroni's this young upstart chief commander and he's all writing to this formidable Lamanite king dude and he's like "well I just suppose you're a child of hell so it might be useless talking to you." hahahaha.
AND THEN, they go to a city that's been overtaken by Lamanites. ANd they get all the Lamanite guards drunk with wine. And then they could sneak weapons in during the nighttime to all the Nephite prisoners that were within the walls of the city, and then they surround the city. So when the Lamanites woke up, they had armed and vicious Nephites within and armed and vicious Nephites without, and in Alma 55:23 the Lamanites deicded "that it was not expedient that they should fight with the Nephites" and I'm all like, YA THINK??
And so the Lamanites think, later on in more battles, that it might be cool to try and poison the Nephites with sneaky wine, let's take this whole wine thing one step further they are thinking. And they also tried surrounding Nephite cities during the night. Like, hey let's take a leaf outta the Nephites' book. Which is hilarious. Alma 55:30. And then, the Nephites just have their Lamanite prisoners test the wine, cuz as it says in Alma 55:32, "if their wine would poison a Lamanite, it would also poison a Nephite." HAHAHAH. Yeah that's true. Sorry, I shouldn't laugh at people being poisoned.
And the last thing I'll share that I thought was funny was when Ammoron sent an epistle to Helaman, a Nephite captain, and was all, "Hey if you give us back our prisoners, I'll give you the city Antiparah." And Helaman's like, "Hey no thanks, I'm pretty we're strong enough we can just take the city of Antiparah by force." Alma 57:1-2. hahahaha. And then when Helaman and his threatening army got near to the city of Antiparah, all the people there got scared and just fled, and the city fell into Helaman's hand without the shedding of blood. Alma 57:4.
the gospel is true and I love it. I love working and not getting lazy and I love keeping to our schedule that we made prayerfully the night before. I love being a missionary. I know the Book of Mormon is a true record and I know that Jesus Christ loves us and wants us to learn and grow and go through life to be better people in the end. I love my family and everyone in this ward that I am serving in.
MELISSA THE MISSIONARY
p.s. thanks for the easter package and everything and thanks for keeping me updated on the family, mommy!