Dear beautiful and amazing family and friends,
First of all, Happy Birthday my beautiful and fantastic mother! I love you!
Next, thank you for all the packages and letters! It is one of my favorite activities on the mission to come home after a long day of work and to see the box sitting outside our door. Ooh! It is like Christmas just seeing the box! :)
Before I begin the week, I have to tell you the best thing! So, while I was in Back Creek, there was one holler (a really small back road) that I really wanted to go down from the first time we drove by. I put it off and put it off because it was never scheduled until I went on an exchange during one of the last weeks I was there. On this road, there was about 3 houses and the first house we stopped at, I gave a girl that had gauged ears a Book of Mormon. I knew she wanted to learn more, but her mom said, "no". I told Sister Nisse that she needed to go back in a couple weeks to follow up and see if she was interested in learning more. Well, a few weeks ago, she went back! The girl's name is Holly and they taught her the Restoration and then the YSA elders began teaching her. She is going to be baptized on! Can you believe it?! I started crying when I found out. Sometimes we never know what is going to happen because of a simple testimony, example, or moment. I'm so excited for her and what the future holds for her! Share the gospel! It truly changes lives.
:)night we were in our apartment when we heard a knock on the door. Our neighbor from upstairs, Jolene, had come to introduce herself and to thank us for the cookies. We then got to talking to her and she asked us about the Word of Wisdom, well, long story short, we ended up going up to her apartment and taught her the restoration along with the Word of Wisdom. She goes to a non-denominational church, has many good questions, and we are excited to teach her more. She has lived above the missionaries for about 5 years and has never been taught! We invited her to church and she said she would go in 2 weeks because she was going to be out of town. She said she would love to come! She is a sweetheart and the next day we came home with 2 brand new scarves tied to our door! She bought us Christmas presents! So nice! We are excited to see what will happen.
Church was wonderful! We got to help with the YW lesson, we watched Joy to the World in Gospel Principles and had 3 deaf people who were not members come to the class. It was amazing to feel the spirit as we read the subtitles and saw their excitement as they clapped their hands. We have so much to be grateful for this holiday season! I was able to sit there and listen to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in a warm peaceful church building. I could watch the video and feel the spirit even more in my life. We are so blessed to have the gift of the Holy Ghost given to us after baptism to be our constant companion. While I saw them clapping, I thought of the scriptures in Mosiah 18 when the people have the desire to be baptized and they feel such joy that they clap their hands! If people understood how peaceful and happy the gospel message is, they would all be clapping their hands and desiring to be baptized! It is up to us to help them see that there is more to this life and that a knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ is what they have been searching for! We ended the night at Sister Johnson's house (the Relief Society president) and had pizza and pasta. It was delicious!
Well, that was this week! Wonderful, exciting, challenging, and fantastic! I love being a missionary and I love this gospel! I love seeing the light come into peoples' eyes when they begin to understand how this will bless their lives and all that our Savior Jesus Christ did for us. It is also wonderful to see those who have lost that light begin to see it return. No one is ever too far gone to not be able to return to the gospel. Repentance is real, the atonement is available for each and every person. The best gift of Christmas is what our Heavenly Father gave to us when he sent His son to this Earth. We will each have the opportunity to return to our Heavenly Father as eternal families! Conversion is not a one time event! Continue studying, continue praying, continue enduring to the end! The gospel is true! Exclamation point! ;) I love you all! Have the most wonderful week!
P.S. Sorry no pictures this week, I forgot the camera adapter. Also, we get to skype home for Christmas! It would be awesome if someone tech-savvy in our family could set it up to where I could see the family! ;) *cough *cough Matt hahaha I will hopefully have more information for you next week, but if any of you have information let me know! Maybe similar to what Kortlynn did when she opened her mission call. Can't wait! I love you awesome people! Oh and funny story, during training one night, we decided to do the reading part as different apostles and prophets. It was a blast trying to emulate President Monson's voice. :) I have a great companion!