We had a TON of success just knocking on people's doors this week. We just told people we wanted to share a Christmas message from the Bible. We got into a few houses that way (way more than usual). We went to one house and the lady opened the door and said "Oh! The sister's! Come in!" I'm thinking- is this lady a Mormon and we just don't have her records? Apparently the elders were coming 5 years ago and helping her out with a chess club or something? But she broke out some sparkling cider and Lindor truffles and brought in her children and asked us to share a message about Christ! We were so taken back! And she said we could come back any time we wanted. Her name was Hero and she's the only Asian I've seen out here. I'm excited to go back and teach her again. We also had a referral to teach a guy WAY out in the sticks this week. He's a police officer and his coworker who is a member asked him if missionaries could go share a Christmas message. What an easy invitation! Why don't more people take advantage of this time of year? So we called and set up and appointment with him and said we'd help him with his burn piles. Long story short he doesn't have a belief in God, so we were answering a lot of questions like "Why would God allow so many bad things to happen?" And "Why would we have to have a Savior? Couldn't God just forgive us instead of allowing His son to suffer?" He had great questions and we answered them the best we could. In the end we shared a message about Christ as our Savior and how to keep Christ in Christmas. He still isn't interested in religion, but has nothing but great things to say about the Mormons he knows. Seeds were planted.
Sister Dickerman went to see the Ackaret's and their grandkids, The Langton's, this last week while we were on exchanges- so I didn't get to see them. We were wanting to put them on date for Dec. 28th. The 2 boys are ready, but the 12 year old girl needs more time. But what I heard happen was that the boys said they know the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that they know the church is true, but the grandpa shut them down and said they need to read the whole Book of Mormon. When the grandpa converted in his early 20's it was a long process. It took him 3 years and he'd read the Book of Mormon several times. He doesn't realize that every one receives their confirmation at a different time frame and in a different way. So we're working with the ward council on having some adults talk with the grandparents. We need to help the grandparents renew their testimony and in the meantime we'll keep working with Steven, Austin, and MaKenna. They are going to all of the youth activities and Steven has been to 3 full weeks of early morning seminary. I have high hopes for these kids!
We went to see Hugh a few times this week and he's doing awesome! He's so excited to be baptized. And when we told him about going to the temple to do baptisms he got so excited and starting listing everyone he wants to do work for. I love that man! He has become so converted and is so eager to learn and improve. I can't wait for his baptism on Wednesday! And sooo many people in the ward will be coming!
This last Sunday I sang in the ward choir (well I've been singing in it since I got here) But we performed yesterday. We sang " O Come, Emanuel" and "Will you come with me to Bethlehem". Then in relief society I sang in a trio with 2 other women in our ward "Mary's Lullaby" and I sang second soprano. It was really pretty! Clearly this paragraph was just for mom- sorry to everyone else who had to read it :)
Neil L. Andersen will be coming out here on January 11th. All of the missionaries in our mission are getting together for a special meeting with him. How lucky am I? I love life!
I'm so grateful for this time in my life that I can focus on others and on strengthening my own testimony. My prayers have become so much more sincere. I want to echo what Breanne said- I feel so in tune with the spirit and just sensitive to so many things! I cry when I watch Mormon Messages. I cry when I bare my testimony. I cry when I'm listening to sacrament talks. I cry when I sing. I even cry while praying. I am just overcome with gratitude so often. Apparently the spirit manifests itself in me through tears. But it's great! I never want this to go away!
I got 2 packages from mom, one from Sister Morrisette, one from Breanne, and Christmas cards from Ginny, Elise, and Jensa. (Just so you know what I've gotten so far). Thank you to everyone! I hope you have a wonderful Christmas! I'm excited to talk to you on Wednesday! Breanne and I will Skype each other for a few minutes when she gets done with you guys. So plan on my "calling" a little after 3pm Boise time. Yay!!!
I love you!!!!