I can't believe Kelsie's home....didn't I just drop her off at the MTC the other day? Man... a year and a half flies by in an instant. I'm glad that she's happy and home. haha thanks for giving her my picture, Mom! I'm glad that school's going well for you! I loved Grandpa's experience, and I'm glad that they were finally able to go to Hawaii! Awww, do you know how often I think about Greenbluff this time of year? This is my fourth fall that I haven't been able to go... I was just talking to Hermana Gomez about how this is my favorite time of the year October-December.... there's always such a special spirit in our house during that time and I've missed it so much... I miss our fall memories! Awww TJ, I hope he sang with a smile haha. We have our ward primary program this Sunday! My pensionist is the 1st Counselor, and she's a recent convert of 2 years, so she's freaking out about it haha. Thank you for sharing your comment about the Savior, Mom, I have an experience this week that I'm going to share with you guys all about that. Love you!
Kacey, don't worrryyy! Everything's going to be fine. Just keep working hard. I'm proud of you with your APUSH essay! That's seriously awesome! I'm glad you had fun going to the movies with dad! Love you!
TJ, sounds like you had an epic week! I'm glad you had fun playing. Did your teacher go on a trip to Africa? I miss you too! Love you!
Goooooddd Morrnnninnng Jakers. Glad you had such an awesome week! 2nd on the all time list! That's seriously awesome! Sounds like things are going well for you! Love you!
Daddy, everything's going great here :) Still looking for some progressing investigators...but I'm happy and working hard. I'm glad you got to see Kelsie and that you're taking her riding, I'm sure it will be super fun! Uhhhh, I don't think I knew Sarah was pregnant!!!!! CONGRATULATIONS SARRRRAAHHHH!!!!!! Ahhh, they're going to have such a cute baby! Love you!
Well...this was another week of SEARCHING... but we're working hard and staying happy. I think the Lord is just testing my faith, diligence...and patience. I can promise you though, that once again I'm learning a lot about the ENABLING power of the Atonement and growing very close to my Heavenly Father through this area. Each area is so different, and you have to learn to work in a totally different way than you had in your old area... but I'm adapting and I have an amazing companion that keeps my spirits up and helps remind me that we're doing our part in bettering our ward and searching for people that need the Gospel.
Two experiences I'd like to share this week...
First... normally as missionaries we work with something that's called UNKNOWN ADDRESSES...or something like that in English... and we have to search for less active members that are in a database of old information. Well our ward still doesn't know how to work with that list, and still hasn't given it to us...so we've started working with our ward directory. We've been randomly selecting names to use to talk to their neighbors and then go to their homes and ask for references....but I can promise you that the Spirit has really been helping in this...because almost every one of the families we select from the directory end up either being less active, or they don't live there anymore. The Lord's helping us kill two birds with one stone haha.
Second, to hit on Mom's comment, this week we had a really inspirational moment. It was the end of the day and we were just about frustrated because it wasand we had only had 1 cita the entire day. We were searching for someone to teach...and thought that we'd just head to the house of the menos activos we've been working with. Well... then my companion had the impression that we needed to go knock on a random door a few blocks away... somehow I knew which house she wanted to knock on. We went and knocked and I was so surprised when I saw who answered the door... it was the first woman that I contacted when we arrived in this area. When we met her the first time in a store, she was super disinterested and didn't want anything to do with us. I tried many times to ask her for her information and invite her to learn about the Gospel, but she didn't accept...so that was that and we left. Well now..two months later...she's standing in front of me as I'm at her doorstep. I smiled at her and she explained that she remembered us perfectly....Ohhhh boyyy.... and reminded us that she is C.A.T.O.L.I.C.A. Oookkkk...well we start talking and then out of nowhere she starts sharing with us that her husband passed away two years ago and that through that experience she knows that God exists. She started crying as she told us how much she misses her husband. She said she never shares anything with the neighbors, but that she suddenly felt so comfortable with us. I was able to testify to her of the power of the Atonement, and share the Book of Mormon with her as I explained that it helped me a lot when someone close to me passed away. I explained to her that my situation was nowhere near what she was experiencing, but that I understood at least in part, and that I knew the Gospel of Christ could heal her. There was a strong spirit as the three of us stood there and tears filled my eyes. I gave her a huge hug and she held on tight. All of this was in the doorstep of a stranger's house...someone who I inicially was afraid to talk to because of a previous experience, but someone that really needs the Gospel. We're going to visit her this week and I know that this Gospel is exactly what she needs to bring hope into her life. It was a beautiful reminder to me that the Lord is near and knows His children, and that He often works through us to bring them to the Gospel.
I'm so grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm so happy to know that His Church is on the Earth today. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and that through Him all things can be made right, He can give us strength when we have none left to give, He can help us find happiness when we feel like giving up. I know that this Gospel can change lives, I know that families are forever through the blessings that come through the ordinances of the Priesthood. I'm so grateful for my friends and family that have served and completed missions, reminding me that my efforts aren't wasted and this is exactly what I need to be doing with my life at this time.
I love you all! I'm so glad Hermana Barnes is home and well :) I hope that you all have a wonderful week. You're constantly in my prayers <3