I am back in Columbus!! This was the place that I left 6 months ago to go to Albany, and now I just left Albany and I came right back! This time though it is in the other ward in Columbus, so it isn't exactly the same, but its still pretty close. We had stake conference this last weekend and it was kind of funny because I knew more people there then my companion did. Three people in the other ward I was in even offered to feed us dinner or lunch sometime.. Haha it was nice to know that I was missed and that people still remember me here:) The ward I am in now if the Flat Rock Ward, and my companion is Sister O'Brien. She is from Hawaii, and I'm pretty sure this is the first companionship I have ever had where one of us is not from Utah or Idaho.. Really all we need is to be in a trio with someone from Florida and then we have all the vacation states.. haha I thought that was funny. It has been pretty cool though, because this companionship is a lot like the one I had with Sister Danible. With Sister Danible, it was cool because she left the Rivercrest Ward 6 weeks before I got there, and then when I got to my new area in Albany, she was my companion, and we could talk all day about the Rivercrest ward. Here my companion is Sister O'Brien, and again, she had just left Albany 6 weeks before I got there, and my next area, which is ironically Columbus again, she is my companion!! So it has been fun to catch up with her about Albany and also to hear some of the updates of the Columbus wards.. I love Sister O'Brien though! We became friends almost within an hour of meeting each other, and we are still friends a week later.. haha.. so I am excited to see where this is going to take us in the next few weeks. It is entirely likely that she will be my last companion and that she will be the one that will see me off, and I love it. She is pretty much obsessed with Star Wars. I gave her a Star Wars puzzle and she almost freaked out on me. It was funny. She is an awesome person though, and we already have found a good rhythm in our teaching where both of us are teaching and testifying and participating pretty equally in all the lessons that we have. She makes me happy:) I have decided about this area though that I haven't seen as many sketchy areas as I did in Columbus. Perhaps that is because the Elders cover those areas here, but it does make it seem a little bit different, even if I recognize a lot of the people.
Alex sent me pictures of all of them, their family pictures are adorable! I love them so much. I can't wait to see them again! It will be fun to meet Henry for the first time. I love my family:)
That is so cool that all of you got to go to the Sacramento temple! I vaguely remember going there for the open house. I know I remember thinking the ceilings were really high, but I was also smaller, so I don't really know how tall they are.. haha. Didn't Alex go through the Sacramento temple for her endowments when the Oakland temple was closed last time? And did something happen to it to need major repairs? or did it just get old?
This last weekend we had the opportunity like I said before to have Stake Conference. The cool thing about this Stake Conference was that there was going to be a General Authority there. This is the second time in a short span of time that I get to meet not just one but three of the General authority 70s. The one that spoke this last Stake Conference that I attended is a recently called General Authority named Elder Peter F. Meurs. He is from Australia, and he gave wonderful talks with his wife on the Atonement and the power of it. His wife shared a story that I thought really put into perspective for me repentance and how it works. Forgive me if I tell it wrong, but the general idea of it will be the same:)
-There was once a boy named Johnny who had recently been given a slingshot to play with. One day he decided to practice using his slingshot and spent a long time trying to hit his target of the trees. He continuously missed, and eventually got tired so started to make his way home. He had almost made it all the way home when he spotted a duck. Thinking to try his luck one more time, he shot at the duck. Surprising to him, he managed to hit the duck. Sadly, the rock hit the duck and killed it. Devastated, and knowing that he would be in trouble for killing the duck, he took the duck and hid it behind the woodpile in their backyard. After hiding it, he looked up to see his sister, Sally, watching him. She told him she saw what he did with the duck but that she wouldn't tell. Later that evening, his grandma was asking Sally to come help her with the dishes, Sally responded with "I would love to come help you with the dishes, but Johnny told me earlier today that he wanted to help with the dishes tonight." and then leaned over to her brother and whispered "Remember the duck!" Grudgingly, but a little guiltily Johnny went and helped his grandma with the dishes. The next day their family was going fishing, but the grandma told them that she needed Sally to stay home with her to help her prepare dinner. Sally again told her grandma that she would, but that Johnny had expressed a desire for him to help earlier to her. Again she whispered "Remember the duck!" After a few days of Johnny not only doing his chores, but Sally's as well, he finally went up to his grandma and confessed what he had done with the duck. His grandma looked him lovingly in the eye, and said "I know, I was standing at the window and saw it all happen. I was just wondering how long you were going to let Sally make a slave out of you."
I thought that was a wonderful story! Because how true it is. Heavenly Father is much like the grandma who is watching out the window who sees it all happen, but is waiting for us to come to him to tell him. If this boy had only gone to his grandma earlier, he would have been spared the anguish of doing so many more chores. He would have been able to do all the fun things that he missed out on because his sister made him her slave. If only we would learn to immediately turn to our Father in Heaven when we do something wrong. We cannot hide it. He has already seen us do it. Our hiding it only causes more pain for us. What a powerful example of repentance though. Although I knew it, and I understood its significance, this made it hit a lot more home then usual.
I wish I had more time to tell you more about it, but again, time has run out. Remember that I love you all and I appreciate everything that you do for me everyday:)
Make today a great day!
Sister Monica Walker