What a week! On Thursday, we got to go to Pocatello and meet our new Mission President, President Hancock. He and his wife are from Arizona, and he says "y'all", so I think we will get along swimmingly. :)
On Friday, we got to help out one of our investigators, Richard, who works as an EMT in the Inkom Fire Department. The Fire Dept. was cleaning their fire trucks to prepare for the 4th of July parade, so we got to go help them clean it. Afterwards, Richard showed us around inside the truck at all the cool gadgets and things on the truck. We even got to spray water from the truck's hose!
On Saturday, the 4th, we woke up early and went to the community breakfast where we got to serve eggs and sausage and hash browns to everyone in Inkom! Well, everyone who came at least. It was a good opportunity to see a lot of investigators that we haven't seen in a while and also to meet some new people that we've never met! Also a good opportunity for Sister Stephens to meet everyone in Inkom. After that, we hitched a ride up to the church building where the parade was lining up. We held a banner for the "family floats" and walked in the parade all the way down to the park. The cars and floats were all throwing candy out to the kids on the sides. It didn't seem near as loud as Plano's parade, but that's probably because just putting the parade on takes half the population of Inkom, so the only people watching the parade were those who were not in the parade. Haha. But there were lots of family from out of town, so that made for a good crowd (including some members from my last area in Blackfoot and Brother Armstrong from Meet the Mormons, who is related to the Armstrongs here in Inkom!)
After the parade was over, they had fun things going on in the park, including food ventures and music and bounce houses and some games for the kids. We were supposed to help out with tickets, but they didn't end up needing us. So we stayed there for a little bit, then drove to Pocatello where we met up with other missionaries, played games, ping pong, and watched movies for the rest of the night.
Something interesting that Sister Stephens and I talked about later was the end of that 4th of July night. Driving home, I had an awful feeling in the pit of my stomach. Like a feeling I'd forgotten something. I looked around, checked my planner to see if we'd forgotten to do anything that day, but everything seemed to be fine. But something was just missing. Something was wrong. It was the strangest feeling. I just felt empty. As I expressed this to Sister Stephens, we realized that we hadn't read our scriptures at all that day. We had only prayed once, and we hadn't talked to anyone about the gospel. It just felt weird--so empty. What was supposed to be a great all-day P-day of relaxation was fun, no doubt, but at the end of the day it left us with no fulfillment. Being so immersed in the gospel all the time and then having a day where you hardly focus on it at all left me feeling terrible. It made me appreciate what I am doing here. This is my time to spend every minute I have to soak of every drop of spiritual knowledge possible. But I can't just let that go after I'm home and go back to playing. Or else there will be no true happiness--only empty 'fun' and entertainment. The gospel is what leaves us feeling fulfilled. I am grateful to my God for that.
Love you all!