Hello from Aberdeen! Haha. Elyse always gets to say hello from the DR and it sounds so exciting, but as a member reminded me this week, I guess its only a 15 hour drive from Aberdeen to Salt Lake and now I don't feel like its so exciting. Things are wonderful here in the Grays Harbor. Although my companion and I have discovered why its really called Gray's Harbor. The locals swear to us that its because Captain Gray discovered it, but my comp and I have decided its because this little port town never sees the sun. Sister Oehler and I have been here for four weeks now, and have only seen the sun, literally for two days... and that was several weeks ago. I'm thinking I'm going to go buy some vitamin D lol. But all is well, most days I even like the gray rainy weather.
Speaking of the weather, my companion and I received a call from my mission president early Friday morning asking us if we we're drowning lol. The tsunami was anticipated to hit the west coast pretty bad, but turned out to only raise the sea level about 18 inches, but because it was low tide when it happened, it didn't really effect anything here in the Harbor. My comp and I even went out to Ocean Shores to work with the branch out there, half the town there had evacuated, but everything ended up being alright. The funny thing is that there are tsunami evacuation signs EVERYWHERE in this little town and I lauged at them when I first got here, but I guess they really do need them... sort of :)
This week had some pretty exciting miracles. I received a phone call on Wednesday night from a companion I served with in Steilacoom a year ago. She told me that Sheila, the wife of Brian (I talked about him in my early letters home sometime last summer) was going to the temple and she really wanted me to be there. Brian was baptized just a few weeks after I left Steilacoom and was just this last Sunday ordained an Elder! Their family has come a LONG way. Brian was drinking and smoking and totally agoraphobic when I started meeting with their family. Sheila told me in the temple that he gave his testimony in front of the everybody just last Sunday. It's so amazing to see what the gospel can help you over come. There isn't anything it can't. Sister Oehler has a quote on her wall that says, "Because He can do all things, I can do hard things." I've definitely needed to be reminded of that these past few weeks. I loved being in the temple. I was able to be there with four other sisters who've worked with Sheila and Brian. Sister Anthony, my relief society president from Tacoma even treked it all the way out from Tacoma to pick me up and take me to Seatle. It was one of my greatest joys to see Sheila in the temple. Brian is excited and will go through the first week of August. They're planning on being sealed then as well.
Toby is ever amazing. We just taught him the word of wisdom and I wish I could have taken a picture of his face when we told him he could no longer drink coffee. At first he was incredulous, then sad, and then excited in the time of just a few seconds. He's getting baptized next Sunday at 4! It's been amazing to teach him. He's made really close friends with a couple in the ward and they talk often about the gospel. It seems whenever he has a concern and he shares it with them, its the exact thing we teach him that night. His jaw always drops when we start teaching and he says 'I was just asking them about this!' So AMAZING! His testimony is already so strong. He will do great things for the ward here.
Chandler our little 10 year old investigator has been praying about her baptism for several weeks. This Sunday she came up to us and told us that she had good news. She always waits to tell us til both my companion and I bend down so that our eyes our at the same level. She said that she got her answer and she prayed about it more than once and that she wants to get baptized. She's such a funny little girl. She's only ten but I swear she's a 20 year old stuck in a 10 year olds body. She is so smart and spiritually I feel like her and I are on the same level. She will be an amazing missionary some day. She's still waiting on permission from her mom, but we're hoping to see her baptism this Sunday as well. Keep her mom in your prayers as it all really hinges on her saying yes.
My companion and I were talking this week about the greatest changes that we've seen in ourselves since we came out. As I lay awake in bed the other night I pondered on the greatest change I've seen, and as she told me the greatest change she'd seen in her, I had to agree that it was the greatest change I'd seen in myself. I didn't recognize what it was when I'd seen it in so many return missionaries until I could feel it in myself. I feel like my eyes are so much brighter. I've spent the last year doing everything I can to become more like Christ and just like any other missionary who strives to do so, it reflects in your eyes. But its only there when were obedient and listening to the spirit. I'm so grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and this time that I have to conescrate everything to become more like Him. I hope you all have an amazing week! Pray for sunshine!