My title today is what President Marsh's motto for the week has been. "Cool and flexible." As I mentioned last week, it has been a "loco crazy" week!
|Sister Nielson, me, Amy (awesome YSA member getting ready for her mission), Sister Parsons, and Sister Hahn in front of the display of our experiment just before taking it down yesterday.|
It all started on Tuesday evening, when 2 companionships of Sisters instead of 1 ended up staying at our apartment for the night before the big experiment started. The rest of the week, only 1 companionship stayed, and it was a party!
|Day 1 of the experiment at the park (who is even a missionary |
On Wednesday morning, we got to the institute building at UGA, ready to get started on the "Book of Mormon Experiment" we had all been anticipating for a couple of weeks. We spent the morning being trained on how to conduct the experiment and then went out to do it! For that first afternoon, we all wore street clothes (non-proselyting attire) and went by our first names (no nametags) which was really weird. I ended up staying in the background during that first day (putting papers on clipboards, collecting papers, etc.), but the next day, Sister Nielson and I were assigned to dress down again! By then, I was anxious to have some of the neat experiences other missionaries had been having while actually talking to people! You're probably wondering by now what exactly we were doing, so let me tell you. The Book of Mormon Experiment was all about getting people to read a single page of the Book of Mormon and come to know for themselves that it really is "Another Testament of Jesus Christ," as the title implies. A lot of our experiment focused on whether or not members, missionaries, or both are more successful at getting people to stop and read a page. Over the course of 4 days, over 900+ people read a single page of the Book of Mormon and became their own witnesses that it really is all about how much God loves His children. It has been a huge blessing for me to be able to participate in the whole thing (well, the half that I was there for) and I am excited to see what our mission does with it from here on out! (The people who were running the experiment left supplies for us to carry on doing it as a mission whenever we want).
|The whole mission!|
|Santa Claus even brought us cases for our phones!|
The next big, exciting thing is that we had a mission conference on Friday! For the first time in 3+ years, the whole mission got together, and a lot of things came out of that conference! We got flu shots, Santa Claus brought us all smartphones (one of the Assistants to the President literally dressed up and they played Christmas music and the whole shabang!), we learned about how to use Facebook (one of these days I will officially post something so you all know what to do about that), and now there exists a picture of all the missionaries in the mission! The conference lasted nearly 9 hours, and we got back to our apartment just in time for bed that night.
|The beautiful Deitra!|
|Elder Sullivan, Robert, Elder Egan, me, Deitra, Sister Neilson |
outside the Temple.
morning, Sister Nielson and I got up and ready to go in time for a member to pick us up and drive us to the Atlanta Temple in Sandy Springs (1.5 hours away). We had a special opportunity to go do baptisms for the dead (if you don't know what that is, you should go to lds.org
and find out) with Deitra, who got baptized the weekend before I came to Athens. It was wonderful to be able to feel the peace of the Temple and I can't wait to go again. Several people also mentioned to me that it might be the closest I ever come to swimming on my mission, which I thought was pretty funny. ;) No, really though. There is a special feeling of peace that comes when you are participating in the "turn[ing of] the heart of the fathers to the children and the children to the fathers."
When we got back from the Temple, we mostly did the open house for the experiment over the rest of the weekend.
Well, that's pretty much it for the week. I love you all and hope you are able to have your own unique, special experience with the Book of Mormon this week!
| The whole experiment crew. |
|Sister Neilson, me, Sister Parsons, Sister Hahn, Sister Branson, and Sister Johnson after mission conference.|
P.S. from Mom: We received this text yesterday--a parents' "payday!"
Brother and Sister Houghton! My name ifs Jeff Sheets, a BYU Professor. I am in Athens, Georgia working on a special project for the Church, a Social Experiment with the Book of Mormon. I had the privilege of working with your Daughter and her Zone on the project. She did an amazing job and is such a wonderful missionary! Just wanted you to know she is doing really well and blessing so many people.