How are you all on this beautiful Tuesday evening? You are probably wondering why this letter is so late. Well, Monday as you know, was Veteran's Day. I figured the library would be closed, so we saved email time to tonight. I found out late last night, that the library had been open all along! My bad! Won't make that mistake next year! haha
Next week is transfers, so I won't be emailing until Wednesday. I will find out Saturday if Sister Nisse or I are getting transferred. We are really hoping to stay together because we have a few baptisms coming up and a lot of potential baptisms, but we will see. I'll go where I'm needed. I would love to open a new area! Doesn't that sound exciting?!
On Monday night after P-Day, we got to eat dinner at the Lowe's house. They are this cute couple in their 70s who act like they are in their 30s. So funny! They had invited some friends over, so it ended up being Sister Nisse and I with 4 70+ year olds. It was awesome! They were cracking jokes and laughing so hard! Of course we ended the night with a spiritual lesson, but I love these people. It is such a great ward!
Tuesday, I woke up at 3 am and drove with Sister Pierson and Sister Scholle (2 other STLs) to Charleston, WV. We got there at about 8 for our Mission Leader Council, or MLC. This is a once a month meeting for all the zone leaders and the Sister Training Leaders. It was amazing! Our mission president spoke to us about making our mission a zion mission. "One heart, one mind". He also got us pumped about our White Christmas and spoke to us about how as leaders we need to do all we can for the missionaries in our zones. I'm recommitting to help the sisters more. It was a long and emotional day, but so worth it! I love how much I get to learn!
Wednesday, we were able to get Jacob on date for December 14th. He is 9 years old and his parents are members. He is a little nervous about baptism and has autism, but his parents are now focused on getting him baptized, and we are going to begin teaching him weekly to help him get more comfortable with it. We also got to see Jimmy and Rose and Jimmy is reading the Book of Mormon! He was in 2 Nephi and we hope this helps them gain the desire to come back to church. We hope! We absolutely love them and would love to see them back! We also went to see Moses and Meredith with our Relief Society president and Moses opened up to us about his life and how the gospel helped him through it. We are beginning to see how much he wants this for Meredith. We ended the night at the Young Women of Excellence for our ward and got to see Josie. She is so ready for baptism! As soon as her parents allow it!
Thursday, we stopped by an inactive man's house and his girlfriend was home. She was very interested in learning more about what we believe, not for baptism purposes (at the moment) but for interest! She is very strong baptist, but had some great non-bashing questions. We are excited to see her again! This couple was also in their 70's p.s. :)
Friday, we got to work at the animal shelter, met with an inactive man's non-member wife. I know that sounds confusing. She is super nice and made us lunch, we then had a great lesson with her and even though she is not interested in the church, it was a miracle that she even let us teach her! A huge miracle!
On Beautiful Saturday we had an amazing mission conference with Elder Sitati of the First Quorum of the Seventy. He is from Africa and was amazing! What was awesome was that me, the 2 other STLs, and 8 Zone Leaders got to do a special training with him for about 1 hour. During the mission conference and our training, he would have us ask questions, then he would teach an entire lesson from the scriptures that would answer every question and concern. It was amazing! He focused on our purpose as missionaries and told us to study the why and how of our purpose as missionaries using the scriptures. During our training he used the parable of the sower to liken it to how we need to get every missionary to the status of "good ground" or understanding why they are here. I loved every minute of it and couldn't write fast enough! What was even better was when Elder Sitati and President Pitt and their wives went to Alan and Benita's house (our recent convert) and got to visit with them. They were so excited and honored to have him visit. We ended the night at Moses' house and he had us focus on Meredith. He made us a delicious dinner and we focused on the 13 Articles of Faith. He wanted us to read them and discuss them with her. She is a very supportive girlfriend, we hope to help her desire to learn for herself to grow.
Sunday was a great day as always. We sang in Sacrament meeting which was a little scary and I cried a bit (curse these genes!). We sang "I'm Trying To Be Like Jesus" which was fun and I hope we helped bring the spirit even more into the meeting and didn't take away. One miracle though was Brother Bohon came up to us after church and said that he'd had a cool experience that week. He had been driving late to work and seen a lady walking on the side of the road. He'd felt prompted to stop and ask if she needed help and when he did, she said yes and he gave her a ride to work. On the way, they got to talking about prayer and how he had answered her prayer and then she opened up and told him how she had a struggling marriage and he said he could give her a priesthood blessing. She accepted and after the blessing felt like she was a 1000 times lighter. He invited her to church and she said she would come next week. Crazy thing is...we've already met her! She is the trash can lady! I don't know if you remember, but a while back we'd helped this lady pick up trash and she said she would love to come to our church! Well, here Heavenly Father placed her in a member's path! We are excited to see if she comes! Thank goodness for good members following their promptings.
Yesterday we went on a beautiful drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway and then came home and had a relaxing afternoon. We then ended the night at Empty Nesters with music and also....drum roll please...dancing! Ya, Sister Nisse got up to dance and of course we come as a pair now, so I had to get up too...I'm not much of a solo dancer in front of a bunch of people, so after a few moments of awkward bouncing and scuffling my feet, I sat back down and I gave the empty nesters a good laugh. They came up to me afterward and said I'd done a great job! haha I fooled them!
Today we got to go to DLC to plan the zone meeting and sister training meeting. We then went home for lunch (I had a pretzel sandwich with cheese and turkey) Yum! We got to teach Jacob about prayer today and it was such a great lesson. I'm grateful for such a great companion! It will be hard to lose her. We then went to try and find a Part-Member family and now I'm here! Oh and Sister Alarcon fed us dinner tonight! Panera! My favorite! :)
That was my week! Exciting right? haha It was a bit slow, but I still love it! I'm excited for Jacob and possibly Mary. She's been a bit dodgey lately, so we hope she still has the desire to be baptized. We are working to find new people to teach each week and we are loving all we are learning. We get to go on exchanges tomorrow with the Vinton sisters which will be fun! I am still working diligently to help the sisters as much as I can. I hope to inspire faith and obedience among them and the desire to work. They are all great, I just know it is always good to help them progress as much as possible.
I hope you all know how much I love each of you! I continue to pray for you daily. I hope this letter finds you happy and healthy! It is supposed to snow here tomorrow which I'm excited for. I would love a literal White Christmas!
I want you all to know that I have a firm testimony of this gospel. If there is any area where you have concerns or questions, pray about it! God will answer you! Pray in faith! Act upon the promptings you receive! Stay active in church and in making the gospel the center of your homes! I've seen what happens when the gospel is not the center and a family suffers because of it! Thank you for your examples to me! I love you all so much! The church is true! Invite your friends to meet with the missionaries! Invite them to activities! As Jacob said when we invited him to pray today, "I've got nothing to lose". :) He is awesome.
Have the most fantastically wonderful day tomorrow! Talk to you on Wednesday! Happy late-birthday Stephanie! I love you!
Picture 1 - Sorry it is blurry, but Sister Nisse and I found this awesome park up in the mountains! We had to take a picture!
Picture 2 - It was definitely happy!
Picture 3 - I loved the walkway! I hope to get to come back someday!