In September we had the opportunity to be in a focus group for an international company that wanted to create a survey for parents about their willingness to use medical means to "cure" or treat dwarfism.
It consisted of traveling to New York and participating in the group on a Saturday for 6 hours and then getting paid $400 each (Ashley and I) and they paid our travel expenses. It wasn't very convenient but it made for a nice, quick trip to explore New York.
It ended up being a good thing that Ashley was there because the only other youth that participated were two Middle School boys who didn't have much to say so Ashley was able to share her opinions.
While we were in New York I was able to celebrate my 45th birthday.
We got to enjoy some time in times square as well.
Even though we were recovering from a red eye flight we got to enjoy a Broadway show that night. Jeff got us tickets to see Lion King.
Getting ready to see the show!
Lion King did not disappoint. They did a great job and the costumes and performances were impressive. Ashley saw it when she was little and didn't remember much.
The next day it was cool and rainy but it didn't stop us from exploring the city.
The last time we were in town it was too cold and we didn't have enough time to take boat tour of the harbor and see the statue of liberty. Even though it was raining it didn't stop us.
She finally got to see the Statue of Liberty up close.
We also went under a bridge,
and saw the skyline.
We walked around a bit before we took the Subway back to our hotel to pick up our bags and head back to the airport.
The next weekend we celebrated my birthday and Joel's birthday by meeting up by the beach for dinner.
Our birthday's are two days apart and we are the same age. Joel likes to "forget" how old he is ;) and I never let him. I like to give him a hard time about it.
I love that at least two of my sisters are close enough to celebrate birthdays and holidays with.
The kids are good sports too.
This year for homecoming the theme was Incredibles and the mascots got all decked out in costumes for the event.
Summer seems to stay pretty consistent, temperature wise. It's been about 90 consistently, which isn't bad, but with the humidity it's not too fun. Luckily we're in full car! There are lot's of people out and about in the summer, so it makes it nice to be able to talk to more people. However, since school started not too long ago, it makes it a little tougher to meet with kids or young families. Here in Hickory, there is a big variety of ages, so that's not a problem!
We were able to go on a couple of exchanges this past week, and it went great! The Elders who were living with us who had bed bugs are now back at their apartment. It's been real quiet without them, but it's nice to have some quiet time. The exchanges went good, I was with a missionary who has been out only a couple weeks. It brought me back to the days of training, and I remembered how tough that can be! I was lucky when I trained a new missionary, he was super prepared. I also had my last official interview with the mission president. There will be one more right before I go home, talking about home and everything, but this was the last official one! He is such a great president, and he is the perfect man for the job.
Things have been going really well in the area as well. I have been playing piano at church for a while, and the ward is grateful for it, so it's good that I'm able to help out! It's been amazing to be able to help out in these two years, and I'll be excited to continue serving after these two years! I love yall and have a great week!
Yes! There is a crazy storm coming to NC right now, but this will be the 3rd hurricane I've been throughon the mission. We're too far inland for anything to be real scary, so don't worry about me! The mission is already preping us in case of emergency, so this should be fun! There will probably be a lot of good opportunites for service pretty soon. Other than that the weather has been dying down, which is nice. One thing I love about North Carolina is there is always a possibility of rain. Sometimes it will rain off and on for 2 weeks straight, I love it!
Also! Happy birthday mom! I really appreciate all you've done for me throughout my life, and all you've done to help me get on this mission! I love you so much!
This last week has been pretty fun, I had my final MLC and we discussed a lot about helping missionaries to work. It was great to be able to council about this, because this is the biggest struggle as a leader, is helping some missionaries to work. That has been one of my biggest testimonies of the mission, is that of obedience and hard work. Every missionary who is struggling so much, usually is not being obedient or not working, and he forfiets that extra help from the spirit. In my last little time here, I am just trying to help these missionaries and district leaders understand that the best way you can get through problems, or help missionaries get through any struggle they're going through, is to help them to fufill their missionary purpose. I love how much God is willing to help those that serve him.
I am excited to be seeing all ya'll soon, and I love you!
Do not worry! We survived the hurricane! It wasn't too bad where we are at though, only got a mild amount of rain. We have stayed inside from Friday night to this morning... and I have gone crazy haha. We were able to contact a few of our people over technology, and do some good planning. After we did that, and studied for a while and were mentally exhausted, so we built a fort. We were able to make it fun for those few days, plus now I appreciate being able to work so much more! As for everyone else, it had some pretty bad damage on the coast, but none too much in our mission. There were certain parts of certain areas with flooding and loss of power, but all the missionaries are fine! Overall, I am very excited to be able to spend this last week of missionary work, working!
Before the big storm happened, I went to my final zone conference. We had combined two zone conferences together, since one was going to be on the day of the storm, so we had over half the mission there! I was able to give my departing testimony, and i will admit that I cried a little bit. It hit me a little then that I woulnt see many of those people there again. But that is one thing I am very grateful for on the mission, is being able to develop good relationships that will last a long time. I am excited to come and add these relationships to those that I have at home. I love you family! And hope you have a great week! We have some cleaning to do today!
Last week in the mission field! It doesn't really feel real, but that's what they all say haha. We've been seeing a lot of miracles this past couple of weeks, and I am excited to see where some of these people will go!
There was one man, who his Sister was recently baptized, but he wasn't too friendly toward the church. After some events went down, and the ward members helping him and his sister, his heart has been softened and he started taking the lessons! We had one of his friends from the ward there for our first lesson, and he told us that this was groundbreaking, so we're excited to see where that will go! The ward was also super kind yesterday on my last day at church. A lot of them signed up for Lunches, Dinners, and desserts this week before I go, I will miss Hickory a lot.
Elder Olson has been a great companion, and I was glad I was able to be with him twice! There's a lot of missionaries I will miss, but be sure to keep up with.
I love you all, and I'll be excited to see you soon! I know that this is the Lords work, because if it wasn't wasn't it couldn't be run by us imperfect missionaries. I know the Savior lives, and offers peace to our crazy lives, and eternal life in the life to come. I have a testimony that it is only through Christ, and by living His doctrine, can we find this.