So I've mentioned the Ackaret family before in the past. Sister Wood and I found them our second week here and started meeting with them regularly. And I've emailed about mini miracles that they've been a part of. They took in their grandkids a few months ago (a month or so after we found them) out of necessity. Their daughter who left the church and is into drugs was gonna take them all to a homeless shelter. So the grandparents, although they're not really in a position to, took them in. The ward has really stepped in and helped them out with getting beds and clothes for them. They were living with their mom's boyfriend before but apparently he kicked them out pretty abruptly and they couldn't even take their things with them. Well the young men and women in our ward have just fellowshipped them like crazy; befriending them at school, bringing them to mutual, taking the oldest boy to seminary. It's been so great! Because of this, the kids have interest in learning about the church. So we started teaching them this week and they want to be baptized! It's been so cool watching the transformation in the grandparents as we've been meeting with them. They started out saying they don't need to come to church to show faith, to saying they should go more and read the Book of Mormon more, to asking when church meets so they can come, to coming to church yesterday and bringing their 3 grand kids! The grandparents are bearing their testimony to the kids and encouraging them to investigate and read. This will be such a great strength for the family. I'm so excited about them. They have so many questions- mainly about how the Holy Ghost works and how they will know it's true. This is so exciting! SO with those 3 and Hugh (who will be baptized Christmas Day), that made 4 investigators in church! We reached our goal! I mean, I had faith that it would happen, I just thought I'd have to be more patient to see it! I'm so blessed.
Also, while at church we had a few other non members that came. One is Evangeline. She is friends of one of our ward missionaries daughter who is on a mission. They were over at her house talking to the parents and mentioned how they were in choir and Evangeline asked if she could come. So she came to practice and stayed for all of church. She's 21 and would have to go to the YSA ward. But our ward missionary, Sister Tenny, thinks they can get the whole family to take discussions. So we are waiting a bit longer on inviting her. Her whole family (mom, dad, and 5 kids) will be in sacrament on the 22nd to hear her perform. And apparently other men in our ward have been inviting the dad to activities for years. We have high hopes for that family. But that's not the coolest part. Another older active couple in our ward is working on getting custody of their 13 year old grand daughter who has already asked if she could be baptized! So we may be teaching her in a week or so. They go to court Friday, so hopefully we'll know by Sunday when we see them. Last miracle from church. A 14 year old boy in our ward has been inviting his friend to scouts and church and he has been coming for a few weeks. He wants to be baptized. His mom and him both came to the ward Christmas party and she is the nicest woman I have ever met! The Johnston family is going to invite them to take the lessons and talk to her about him wanting to get baptized. What? So crazy! #everymissionary'sdream
Just to boast about my ward a little bit more. Although we've only had one convert baptism this year, they have been working so hard! There are 7 other baptisms that occurred where the missionaries taught the people or family in our ward members home but since they lived in another ward boundary and the other ward baptized them. So while it looks like they haven't had much success, they have! Just 2 weeks ago our bishop gave a Book of Mormon to his coworker with his testimony in it. She started taking the discussions and is getting baptized this Saturday! And our bishop challenged everyone in PEC to carry a pass along card in their pocket and promised they'd have an opportunity to give it to someone. Our Elder's Quorum president had an amazing experience with a woman flying to Boise. She committed to take the discussions. Maybe she'll be in Breanne's boundaries? ;)
I got acupuncture again this week on a different part of my back. I'll spare you the pictures this time! haha. It's well below freezing here! In the teens during the day and single digits at night. With wind chill is gets to about 20 below in the late evening. I'm bundling up. But a great gift to get me for Christmas would be those little hand and feet warmer packs. I've gone through all the ones I had. Shocker.
I love you all so much. Reflect this time of year on the greatest gift we have been given. Our Savior was born and He suffered and died for all of us so that we may live with Him and our families again. What could you possibly give to Him in return? More time devoted to him (prayer, scripture study, church, callings), serving others, be a little kinder, etc. Think about what gifts He would like you to give this year. The Mormon message this month is perfect! Everyone needs to watch it. We've been sharing it with everyone- members, people we tract into, less actives. It reminds you of the true spirit of Christmas!
I love you all! I can't wait to webcam with the fam on Christmas Day. I'll give you details on the time next week!
-Sister Megan Metcalf
7 degrees! But with wind chill it was 20 below