Sister Erin Echols 5.18.2015 (Last week in the field)
Well familia, my two years are finally up..............Ha! Not many sisters can say they served almost 2 years :D Just call me Elder Echols. Hehe. This week was bizarre. I have been sicker than a dog and in between just about every appointment, we had to go home so I could sleep because I haven't slept the past couple of days from the sickness. My head felt like it was going to explode and my ribs hurt so bad from the constant coughing. It was so crazy, but yet, we accomplished sooooooooooooo much! This for sure was not I expected my last week to look like, but there it was. So crazy. If it had gotten any farther, I would have been hospitalized with pneumonia!
We saw and met with countless investigators and less active members who I've known for a while now and we had a great attendance at church. Sister Mahoney and I were asked to pray, sing, and speak in church, hahaha. It was a super busy Sunday. God performed a miracle: since I'm super sick, we almost cancelled our talks and song in church, but God let me feel better for those 30ish minutes and I was able to do what I was asked to do. Afterwards, I went back to feeling sick, but I was ever so grateful. It was actually hilarious, after both sacrament meetings were over, there were countless people who came up to me to get my contact info so they could set me up with their sons, brothers, nephews, grandsons, friends, etc. HAHAHAHAHAHA One lady asked me for my number and asked me if I could contact her son. Instantly, I asked if the son was a member or less active and she looked super confused. Ha! I guess I'll forever be a missionary!!!!!!!! Sister Mahoney cracked up laughing and so did several of the members. My full intention was to invite her son to church with me, but I apparently had the wrong idea. Ha! Isn't that hilarious?!
Despite being sick, we've worked our absolute hardest and we've seen many miracles left and right. Sure I sound like a chain smoker, but you can still hear the conviction in our voices and we've had dozens of fruitful conversations about the Savior. And, most of which, we touched the person's heart and softened. I'm excited to see what the missionaries here in the future accomplish because there are going to be dozens even hundreds of baptisms come from the mighty Peachtree City/ Flat Creek areas! HUZZAH!
This past p-day, we got together with several of our sister's and we all played soccer at the park. And volleyball, but mostly soccer with a volleyball (poor missionary problems) and it was an absolute blast. We all had lots of fun, got to know and trust each other, and got tons of exercise. It was so hot outside, but it was one of the funnest p-days ever! We also had a picnic potluck and we had all sorts of great snacks and foods. I sure love the sisters in our stake and I'm grateful that I was able to serve as STL so I could learn from each of them individually. It was truly a blessing and it taught me lots, more than you'll ever know. We sure had our ups and our downs, but overall, this experience changed my life.
I LOVE YOU MORE THAN THE AMOUNT OF PLANES DELTA HAS!!!!!!!!
I LOVE YOU MORE THAN MISSIONS CHANGE PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
MOM: Those pics of Harley are soooooooooo cute! And it's too bad that she doesn't like you guys, she'll probably hate me the first time I meet her. Darn.
DAD: I'm glad dinner turned out so good on Mother's day, what was the funnest thing you did? I guess you can just tell me in person this week because I'm being deported out of Georgia. ha
JENNIFER: Are you coming to my homecoming talk on Sunday since you'll be busy this week?
MICHAEL: Thanks for your 2 emails for my mission. I come home this week.
KEVIN: Is Heather coming down to UTAH?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!?! Why are we seeing Pitch Perfect 2? Have I seen the first one? I can't remember, ha.
BROOKE: Do I really have to wear a mustache? I can't breath as it is, I don't know if I'll be able to breath with a strip of fuzz on my face.......
NATHA: Wow! When are we taking a trip to Montana??? Are you still planning on skyping my arrival?
***Sister Matheny made us GAM shirts and I have one for Dutra too.
*** I had approximately 20 people just yesterday try to set me up with someone they know Hahahah.
*** I prayed, spoke, sang, and testified in church yesterday. It was an Echols meeting because I felt like I was the only one who even stood at the pulpit at all during the sacrament meetings. Since I'm super sick, I only have a portion of my hearing (I'm basically deaf because I can't hear squat) and I stood up to speak and I yelled into the microphone so much that the bishopric had to turn it down. I yelled my entire talk. We were actually just asked to bare our testimonies at the end, but at literally, the last minute, their other speakers bailed and we had the whole meeting to ourselves! I scrambled through my scriptures to know what to speak about and thank goodness I had several cool things I could talk about in my scriptures, but I realized.... all the cool things to talk about had already been given in talks that I had spoken in this exact ward already! I've spoken more times in this ward in the past 2 years, than many of the members have their entire time living in Georgia. It's so crazy. I guess I did so good because they even asked me that if their speakers bail again, can they call on me last minute to skype and give an impromptu talk. Hahahahahaha. It was so funnY!
*** The Johnson's got smoked baby octopus so I could eat it and get some pictures and it was so gross! It's a good thing that I can't smell anything and can hardly taste because it was nasty. It tasted like teriyaki, but the texture was horrible. It was so chewy and the suction cups were disgustingly sticky. And, it was cold, so you got the whole experience. It was kind of like chewing on a water balloon that's full of a mix of jello and fruit chunks. It was so sick!
*** we got to do a food distribution at our church this week and in the down time, we got to play some basketball and I showed up the elders like crazy. They were all in shock at my game and skill. Now, the entire ward knows about my mad hoops because they all want me to come back and show off after my mission. Apparently, I now have a dual with the AP's (who are 6 foot 9 and 6 foot 6) because we have a rivalry. ha, this should be interesting!
*** I got to speak tons of Spanish this week with people at a yard sale. I translated for the Americans and I taught them all. Ha. In total, we gave out 27 cards, invited 11 to church, invited 2 to baptism, and talked to 15 Latinos. It was so great. I love this language. I just wish I could speak it.
*** >I LOVE YOU MORE THAN THE MILES BETWEEN US...... FOR NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! #seeyousoon #maketonsofnoise #quietairportsarenofun #wearwaterproofmascara #hopei'mnotstillsick
1. What has been your biggest challenge this week? I have a sickness that is 1 step lower than pneumonia (but I'm doing a lot better now, so don't worry.)
2. What has been your biggest concern? I haven't slept in 3 days and I feel like a zombie.
3. What has been your biggest success? Despite the sickness, we've gotten out and worked most of the time. we have to rest in between every single appointment because I feel so dead, but we've accomplished soooo much!
4. Who has been your favorite person this week? Why? The pharmacist at Walgreens, they helped me so much. I've been back there several times to get different medicines haha
5. What has been your most significant tender mercy? God blessed me and I was able to give 4 farewell talks yesterday and sing. Afterwards, I was oober sick, but I was able to accomplish all I needed to do.
6. What are you looking forward to this coming week? Well, I think I come home this week, so it'd be pretty cool to see my whole family in the airport, but that probably won't happen.
7. Do you have a goal set for this coming week? Tell me about it. I want to spend my last 48 hours working my guts out.
8. Which scripture has had the biggest impact on you this week? "1 On the third of October, ..., I sat in my room pondering over the scriptures;
2 And reflecting upon the great atoning sacrifice that was made by the Son of God, for the redemption of the world;
3 And the great and wonderful love made manifest by the Father and the Son in the coming of the Redeemer into the world;
4 That through his atonement, and by obedience to the principles of the gospel, mankind might be saved."