My apologies for the short email last week. It has been super duper hyper crazy! So many things have happened.
First, let me update you on transfer news. I'll be staying in North Salem AGAIN for another transfer at least and Hermana Barrios will be coming here. I was SO surprised!!! I thought for sure I was out of here this transfer and that Hermana Gifford would take over the area. These past few weeks I've been so sad about the idea of leaving the ward and all the members and the people we're teaching. I was so excited when I found out I'd be staying!!! Plus, a little birdie told us that Hermana Gifford will just be moving to Hayesville so we'll all still be in the ward!! So exciting.
As I mentioned last week, we had Elder Brent H. Nielson of the First Quorum of the Seventy come and train us on the use of technology. It was amazing how, even though the meeting was centered on technology, I learned so much about things totally unrelated to iPads. He talked to us a lot about agency, for obvious reasons. The proper use of this technology will come down to a wise and proper use of agency. We talked about how when God created the earth, He created two types of things: things to act and things to be acted upon (see 2 Nephi 2:14). We, as children of Heavenly Father, have the power to act and choose for ourselves. When we give into temptation and sin, we surrender that agency and in essence say, "I don't like Father's plan." When we came to this earth, it's like we were given $1000 worth of agency; we are free to choose whatever we would like. When we make covenants (like baptism), however, we spend that $1000 worth of agency. How much agency are we left with? $0 worth; we've already made our decision. If, from that point on, we choose to go against that covenant, it's not a use of agency, we are just being covenant breakers. I hope that analogy makes as much sense to you as it did to me when he said it. It made so much sense, and left me with a greater resolve to make sure I'm keeping my covenants and acting for myself, not allowing outside circumstances to cause me to create excuses.
Hermana Gifford got bit by a dog this week! It was the craziest thing. We went to a less-active member's house to visit. When we walked in, their dog was barking super, super loud and we could see in the other room that their son was holding it as it was thrashing around and going nuts. We didn't think too much of it and went into the other room to teach. We started the lesson and the barking died down a little bit. After a little while, all of a sudden the dog comes CHARGING in from the other room and starts biting at Hermana Gifford's legs, not in a cute playful way but in a legitimate trying-to-cause-harm way. It latched on before the Hermano could jump up and take the dog away so it caused a little damage, nothing too horrible. Between the shock and the pain Hermana Gifford was in, we were all debating whether to leave or stay. In the end, we decided to stay and ended up having one of the most powerful lessons of my whole mission about the Atonement. Hermana Gifford was such a trooper about it. After the lesson, a little rubbing alcohol and ice cream fixed it right up :)
Have a great week!
On our way to the Training Meeting:
Ones I found online from the training meeting:
Note from Mom: Here's a small part of an email Hayley sent to Robyn, her sister-in-law, this week...
(I'm) trying to kick it up into high gear these last six months. It is the scariest thought in the world that in six months I'll be done! Still so much to accomplish and so much to become. I actually have really grown to love this ward and all the people. I think as I've started to take that attitude and perspective, they've started to love us more in return.