Thursday, September 4, 2014

Beach Vacation

Before I came out on the mission, I think I had a limited idea of what a fun vacation is. Usually, it would have to involve swimsuits, theme parks, airplanes, and sand. This week we had our zwick vacation! And even though we had to stay dressed up the whole time, we had to drive there through backwoodsy roads, I slept on the floor, and it involved about 9 hours total of hearing old people talk, I thoroughly enjoyed Zwickcation! 

The half mission conference was held in Fort Walton Beach (hence the title of beach vacation, although we only saw the beach from a passing distance), and the night before we got to go to a member-missionary fireside as well. Not sure how long that was supposed to be, but we didn't get back to our one night residence of the Niceville apartment until like 10. Elder Zwick was basically calling on unsuspecting members to share missionary experiences like the whole time. People were scared haha.

At the conference the next day, the four west mission zones gathered to hear Pres and Sister Smith, and Elder and Sister Zwick. Elder Zwick told a lot of stories from his mission like the time he was training a new missionary and opening a new proselyting area. In order to do this, he and his trainee had to buy some horses in Argentina and swim them across the Bolivian border (which was illegal), and use them to haul materials to build a chapel in this little Bolivian villiage. He stayed there for 17 months, trying to finish the chapel and build a water well so that the people had something to drink instead of the corn liquor they were dependent on. I was like "whoa and I thought I was cool when me and sister bennion were the first Defuniak sisters."

And then in his after lunch talk, he was going on about working with members and I asked him how we could help a branch do missionary work on others, when they are still returning members or recent converts themselves. He ended up directing like half of the rest of his talk to me. It was too funny and a little awkward.

I had better move on to the rest of the week. We had a special experience with one of our family history contacts I've mentioned before. We have been just fellowshipping with her and doing some family history for her, but this week she asked us if we are in school or anything and we said no, we are nothing but missionaries right now. She was like wow you have it easy, you get to do family history all day, and then we got to be like, actually this is what we do! And I gave her a Plan of Salvation pamphlets. She said she would read it. :)

Another sweet thing that happened is we got to meet with the new relief society president for Jay and explain Brewton in its fullness to her. She told us all about her crazy younger years and how she feels like she can help the members of Brewton who struggle so much with addictions and hardships. She is going to be like our best friend up here. 

Okay, I've got to get on sending some pictures home from this members computer that will give me who knows what argument when I plug my camera in. Wish me luck lol!

Love y'all!
-Sister Laura Cooper

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