I'd just like to mention, for the record, a few of the things I've learned from being in Plaquemine for the past 17 months;
The Simplicity of the Gospel (You don't need all the frills and extras to teach a Gospel lesson! You can still have the Spirit to edify teacher and students without tablecloths, flowers, posters, wordstips, pictures, handouts, or standing on your head.)
Be more Mary and less Martha and "choose the better part." (Have your priorities in order then do them!)
We can overcome challenges and adversity. (Just to name a few in the branch--Sister Covington, our dear sister in the wheelchair who was run over by a train; Sister Trent who had neck surgery and was in a neck brace for months, then, when she'd recovered, had back surgery; Brother Trent whose legs have all but given out on him, but the Trent's somehow manage to always attend their meetings, work at the Bishop's Storehouse, have missionaries to dinner every week, and a ton of other services that most people will never know about.)
Having to stand alone when you know it's right (Our young Aaronic Priesthood is probably the only member of the Church in his school. He's small, but don't let that fool you. He has a mighty spirit and testimony.)
Falling and picking yourself up (These examples are something that I'm not comfortable sharing on a public blog.)
Giving thanks for simple but important and sometimes overlooked things--waking up in the morning, getting to church, rain, a place to meet . . .
Being loving and thoughtful and taking two Westerners into your hearts and lives.
As the lyrics from "Wicked" say: So let me say before we part so much of me is made of what I learned from you. You'll be with me like a handprint on my heart. Because I knew you I have been changed for good.The frosting on today's cake was from Emily Ogden, who was released in December, texting to say she was in LA and wanted to visit. What a fun surprise. She came to the hotel in the evening and we spent an hour and a half just catching up on what she's been doing since she finished her mission. She's from Northern California but lives in AZ where she student taught before her mission and now has a contract to teach in Tempe. Those are some lucky 5th graders!
|Two Buddies--Elder L & the entire Aaronic Priesthood of One!|
|Elders Stewart & Elder Porter|
|Sister Trent & Sister Tomlinson|
|Sister Lu Williams says that in the South they don't say good-bye. They say "See Y'all Later?"|
|Chantal Hidalgo (Gavin's mom) & Brother Marchand|
|Sister Covington & Sister Young|
|Sister Call & Sister King|
|Emily and me|