It has been another great week here in Florida. It was pretty crazy with the Hurricane! Rest assured that all is well here, and thank you for all of your prayers.
Originally it looked like the Hurricane was heading straight for our mission, and that it would hit Miami pretty hard. We received a text on Thursday morning telling us to pack a bag with essentials, fill our bathtubs with water, pack our non-perishable food, and secure the apartment. We ran around all morning trying to get everything ready for a potential hurricane. Then we had a big mission-wide conference call for President Richardson to give us further instructions. They had all of the other zones in the mission take refuge in the chapels, and they evacuated the missionaries from Miami. We kept working like normal because our zone is on the West Coast, so we were just supposed to get hit by a tropical storm (it would have been nice to know that before we spent all morning packing our apartment...oh well :).) However, at the last minute the hurricane took a turn and hit Orlando instead. We heard that there was some pretty bad damage done in Orlando, and some ward members left to help with the clean up efforts. Of course Cuba and Haiti got hit by the hurricane as well, so we are keeping them in our prayers. We did not really see any damage in our area, but there was a lot of people at church on Sunday. I think the fear of a hurricane reminded people about God.
Other than that on Thursday and Friday, it was a pretty normal week. We have been knocking doors like crazy trying to find our family, nothing yet, but are going find them this week! On Friday I had my first exchange! Our Sister Training Leaders met us at the chapel, and I left with Sister Hebdon to go work in her area for 24 hrs. We ended up handing out some flyers for a family history event at the mall, and that was fun. We got some free samples from the food court as well, so that was a plus. After that we spent all day contacting some former investigators. However, for some reason all of them had faulty addresses. At one point we walked four miles to get to a house, only to find out that the address was faulty, major bummer. However, it was a great day! Sister Hebdon is really sweet, and I had a great time working with her. She caught a huge toad, and I got to hold it, it was pretty gross. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera to take a picture, but let's just say it was the size of a cereal bowl.
Just a quick thought, I was reading in Alma 7:11-13. In verses 11 and 12 it talks about how Jesus Christ will go forth suffering pains, and afflictions, and temptations of every kind. The beginning of verse 13 says "Now the Spirit knoweth all things, nevertheless the Son of God suffereth." It caught my attention that the phrase "now the Spirit knoweth all things" was inserted in the middle of these verses about the Atonement. It seemed a little random, but the more I though about it the more I realized that Jesus Christ could have known, through the power of the Spirit, how to have sympathy for our sorrows, pains, and worries. However, because He truly loves us and wanted to be able to know EXACTLY how to help us, he suffered for us. It was a great reminder to me that Jesus Christ really does love us, he not only has sympathy but he also has empathy because He actually experienced everything that we go through. The atonement is about so much more than just receiving forgiveness, although that is a HUGE part of it. It is about Jesus Christ being able to comfort us in EVERY affliction, and that is something that I am so grateful for. I am so grateful to be a missionary and to spread the love of Jesus Christ with the people here in Florida.
I hope you all have a wonderful week!
Love, Hermana Monson