11:17 AM (38 minutes ago)
This week was pretty good :) we found 3 more new investigators which was great! We met with a mormon.org referral and his father (who we think is a preacher of another church...) it was a crazy lesson full of questions and we totally lost control...anyway, we are meeting with them again after the holidays and they still have lots of questions! Next time we will be more prepared :) it happens. We also had a little miracle. We were bummed because we none of our investigators could attend the Christmas Concert last night so we couldn't go either...we decided to knock on a few houses instead! :) yes! And the second house we knocked on we met this wonderful person named Cindy. She has been married for about a year and we started talking with her. She didn't seem too interested at first--she's catholic--but, then we just decided to keep teaching her as long as she would listen! First rule=teach as you find! We taught her about the Restoration and about receiving answers to prayers.. She accepted a Book of Mormon and we are going back on Saturday to teach her! She seems fairly open and interested. We really felt the spirit as we testified to her on the doorstep in the 20 degree weather (my face was about to fall off, I could hardly speak...). But, it was pretty amazing. We knew we had met her for a reason and we are excited to see what happens! I love all the tender mercies every day. God is aware of us and I have been learning that as we set goals with Him, He provides ways to accomplish them. Setting goals and working for them is a major skill I have been desperately trying to develop while being here. It takes a lot of faith and work and creativity, but He is willing to help us accomplish them if it is right :)
Transfers are this week and I am proud to say I get to stay in the "Promised Land" aka Medicine Lake with my awesome Companion Sister Taufer! 1/2 my mission in the same area--WHOO WHOO!!! The people here are amazing and wonderful :) I love it here. We are really hoping to see some progress with our investigators and get them to really commit to a date. I think I have been blessed with very prepared people here in our area as of late so when people don't commit right away and have this strong desire to be baptized, I don't know what to do! haha It's a learning experience. But, with faith and prayer and their faith and their prayers, I know God will give them an answer. We are shooting for some dates in January. And really trying to establish the expectations of baptizing every month. It is possible because our mission president has told us we can do it and he is inspired. It is from the Lord! He has faith in His missionaries and we have faith in the Spirit :) Thanks mom for your words about how the Holy Ghost loves us just as much as Christ and Heavenly Father. I have never really thought of it that way before. He wants to help us. He has the same goal and purpose. Cool!
I just want you (family) and you (friends) to know how grateful I am for your letters, packages, and prayers. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the Lord for blessing me with amazing people in my life. You all play such a huge part! I am so grateful for the fun packages from Becca, Wanda, the Gottfredsons, the parentals, ect. Seriously. THEY WERE SO FUN AND GREAT!!! I love getting the Christmas card letters from everyone (extended family, ward family, etc.) Thanks for all the support you give. I hope you know how much I love each one of you and how much each one of you has impacted my life.
So it sounds like we're having an epidemic of baby boys in the family! What is this! What happened to all the girls?!? Oh well, Priesthood holders in the making :) love it. It sounds like Makena and Hads are having fun together. Give them a big hug and kiss for me! I miss them so much! And I can't wait to have two nephews born in a few months! Crazy. I hope you accept them in their birthday suit mom haha Hadlee is hilarious. How does she even know that?! Tell the rest of the family not to have too much fun on Christmas without me actually being there, I may be able to skype! So if the boys or someone with some technological talents in the family has skype or knows how to do that send a little email our way :) it will be great. 45 minutes of pure joy! :) we aren't sure the details of when and such, we'll let you know :) when i say "we" i mean "I" sorry...I've had a companion for the past 7.5 months.
I love reading the letters from my friends! They seriously motivate me to be better. Britt and her little trainee! Em and her Spanish! Kim and her awesomeness! Shea and her faith! Heidi and her humor! Oh my goodness she seriously makes me laugh! And because of her we are now trying to do more creative finding through our members :) love it. She is my hero. Can't wait for her to get to Spain and get it done! :)
Okay, this letter is really long and my companion just turned to me and said, "I'm starving, I need food!" she eats a lot, except it just goes straight through her! And it sticks to my chin and hips like glue! Don't judge me when you see me next week...working out inside is much harder than outside. ha. ha. ha.
Anyway, I love you. I hope all is well. The Toolson's will be in my prayers. They are such an amazing family, holy moly. I love them. Tell all the extended family I love them and miss them. Merry Christmas.
Before I send this I just want you all to know the Atonement is real. I have never been homesick before until about a week ago. It was really hard to focus. But, my testimony of the Atonement has increased. My burdens have been lifted, I am no longer homesick and the work is moving right along! Christ is the center of everything. His birth, ministry, and Atonement should be central to everything we do in life. I know that everything that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I was thinking about how our ancestors who crossed the plains had to sacrifice so much and all for what? They would not have done that just for a thrill, but they did it because they had Christ and His sacrifice burned in their hearts. They knew this gospel was true. They knew it, and they were not going to let anyone or anything tell them otherwise. I KNOW this gospel is true. I KNOW Christ is my Savior, Redeemer, and the Son of God. I KNOW Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, called to restore Christ's church to this earth. I KNOW the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I KNOW God has a plan for us and we can return and live with Him and our families forever one day as we keep and cleave to our covenants. I KNOW this is the Lord's Church. It's all true isn't it? Then what else matters? I know all these things, and I know God knows I know it. And I will never deny it. The Spirit has testified to me time and time again of these gospel truths. Nothing will shake my testimony of this work. I love you and merry Christmas! I will talk with you next week! WHOO WHOO!
p.s. shout out to my wonderful trainer--Sister Randall--thanks for the letter! our letters crossed paths in the mail...you answered all my questions pretty much. I love you and hope I can be as good a missionary as you were! Thanks for all you taught me!