Thank you for all of your love and letters this week! I love you ALL!
This week was one of the highlights of my mission so far. Actually, of my life so far! We had the opportunity to go, as a mission, to Zions Camp. Zions Camp is a place somewhere in the mission that is owned by the Church. A lot of ward activities are held there and other certain stuff for church related things. It is BEAUTIFUL. It is up in the woods and there are just beautiful pine trees everywhere. The purpose of Zions Camp was to build unity with the other missionaries and to strengthen our own testimonies and apply that to our lives as missionaries. So I will tell you what I did and then I will tell you what I learned 🙂
So we got there around ten in the morning (we got to wear regular clothes! It was so weird!) and we all met in the lodge. Oh! and it was only half of the mission. The other half went up the day before. Espy wasn’t in my group 😦 . In the lodge we just went over mission business and sang songs. Then we had lunch. Then we started the activity which was a ropes course!!! We split into small groups of sisters of around 12 or so. My group was the BEST! I didnt know half of them but by the end of the day we were all best friends. Sister Stevens from my MTC district was in my group and I LOVE her. She is one of my very favorites out here. She is a hoot! She is the loudest, silliest girl ever. Anyways, each group rotated through each station of the ropes course one group at a time. The rules were that we had to be very quiet so the spirit would be there. At each station we had to figure out how to get each sister through it without talking. For example, one station was a giant wall. We had to get each sister over the wall one at a time. We got one minute to discuss how we would do it and then from then on we had to be silent. The first and the last girl to get over the wall were the hardest. We picked the strongest girl to go first (stevens) because we could hoist her up and then she was able to pull herself up over the wall. Then once two people got up they were able to help pull the rest of the Sisters up. But we could only have two people from the top pulling girls up and two people at the bottom hoisting people up. I was super nervous about getting up there because as you all know, I have zero upper body strength whatsoever. But I was able to do it just fine because sister Stevens basically pulled me right up! haha. It was so sad because the story was that we were all Nephites and the Lamanites were coming to kill us and we had to make it over the wall in time. Each time a girl talked, fell, or took too long, we had to start over. Lets just say that it was exhausting. It was so spiritual though because each girl that was trying to get up over the wall was so hard to watch and the rest of us were just right there cheering them on. (silently of course.) By the time the last girl had to get over…she had no one at the bottom boosting her up. It was so sad watching her try and scale the wall by herself. She was too little and could not reach our hands above for us to pull her up. After each station like this we had to relate it to the gospel. It was really cool. I Don’t know how to explain it but it was just so spiritual! Even the toughest sisters eventually broke down. We were all humbled and grew to love each other so much. I think of it as the Savior’s love. He and Heavenly Father must just sit up in Heaven watching us go through struggles in life and want soo bad to take them away from us. But they know that if they do, we won’t be learning and growing. And that is what this life is all about right? I also learned that day that My Savior and Heavenly Father love me. They do not want me to fail. They sent me here for a divine purpose.
I wish I had time to tell you guys about each station but I am running out of time! I want to share one more cool story with you guys about zions camp. I won’t have time to update much on anything else but we had 3 investigators at church and all is well! 🙂
Okay so last story about Zions Camp. Sister Mcquivey and I had a very moving experience at the rope swing station. So each sister in our group had to all stand on a tiny platform all at the same time and try to make it to the next platform by swinging on the rope. The two platforms were only about 8 feet apart so it wasn’t too hard. If anyone fell off the platform or didn’t make it across, then we had to start over. It was sooo hard for some reason. We started over like a million times. We also werent handed the rope. We had to somehow retrieve it ourselves. It was hanging dead center between the two platforms. The group held me out over the platform and with my body extended, I was able to get the rope for us to start swinging over. If a Sister wasn’t able to make it across, she was not given another try. Four sisters did not make it over. Sister Mcquivey was one of them. The leaders then asked us how we could get the rest of our girls over without them taking another swing. After a lot of thinking, we figured it out. We did a proxy swing for them. Just like our relatives that die without getting baptized, we are able to do baptisms for the dead for them so they can have that ordinance done for them. So one by one a sister would volunteer to swing there and back for the sister they wanted to “swing” for. It was so sweet. My arms were soo tired because it was the end of the day so I wasn’t volunteering to swing for anyone. Plus, if i messed up we would all have to start over. But then I saw that my companion was across the way and the last one left standing alone. From the back of the platform i raised my hand (still not being able to talk) and made my way towards the rope. I was able to swing back and get her and take her back with me. At the end of the activity the leaders asked us what we had learned. Sister Mcquivey quietly raised her hand and said something very very sweet that I am not sure I deserved. She starting crying and said something about how she was so moved that I would take the swing for her. She said that she was weak and could not do it alone. She said she needed me and was moved that I was there for her. The whole group just burst into tears. She said that the swing I made for her represents our companionship because I constantly am picking up the slack. (that is not true but it was nice of her to say) . I can’t remember exactly what she said but it was something to that effect. It was so so sweet and definitely strengthened our companionship and we were able to have an amazing week this week. We related it to the Savior. Even though we are weak and we are going to “fall” the Savior is always there to pick us back up and make up the rest for us. I challenge you all that are having a hard time getting along with someone to do an activity like this. It will wipe out every ounce of tension. To watch someone struggle, fail, or succeed is a blessing because you are able to have eyes of the Savior for a moment and want the best for them. Maybe try to find a ropes course like this and do these activities. It was so cool. My relationship with my Heavenly Father, Savior, Investigators, and other missionaries grew sooo much that day and I am so grateful for that experience.
I love you all so much! The church is true. Always has been, always will be.