Date

December 21, 2015

Area

Hope Mills

Companion

Sister Weaver

Merry Christmas!

Dear Family!

So good to hear from you!

Also- funny story time-

This guy in our ward was telling us and the Elders something about Christmas (he's a little hard to understand) but anyways, he starts saying the poem "Twas the night before Christmas and all though the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a rat...." and Elder Peterson says "Hey wait don't you mean mouse?!" And he says "No no no man this version happened in the HOOD." So hey, Merry Christmas from the hood! ;)

Dad- So that light show y'all went to by Dalen and Ali's house? Elder Wilkinson (the AP when I came out) was a part of that, his family's house was decked out! I bet you saw it. Looked like it was so fun! I laughed so hard hearing about Zach, what a crack up. I can't wait to see them all again!! Tell everyone hi! I hope your Christmas Eve is so good. I am excited to hear about the service project you do. I remember the year we did that same one- I hope it is just as meaningful. I wish I was there to do it with you! I know it will be very appreciated. Great to hear about even more missionaries coming home! This Friday is my "hump day"! So crazy to think about. 9 months done, 9 to go. I finally feel like I am getting the hang of missionary work.... haha

Mom- STRAIGHT A's?!?! Woohoo you go girl! I am so proud of you! Way to be. I am so excited to see your faces! We are going to be at the Martinez's home for Skype. It will be 11 am our time (So I think that is 8 am your time?) Hopefully that works.... I know it's a little early. Sister Weaver is going to do a 3 way call with her sister serving in Romania at the same time. We are going to spend time on Christmas Eve with Sister Matthis (she is the home-bound member we go and visit) and we are having a "fancy" Christmas Eve dinner with Katie and her little son Dustin! Katie told us she even bought apple cider so we can celebrate fancy "Mormon style". Love it. I am so excited.

Brayson- I am glad to hear about your new friend, I am sure the 12 days of Christmas was a brilliant idea! You are a great friend and missionary. Keep it up brutha! Also- stop growing!! I hope your Christmas is stellar!!! Love you :)

Kennedy- Hey Thanks for the sweet package!!! I love it! All of it! Y'all know how it's done. Okay the nun calendar killed me, that is so funny. I look at it and laugh every day! P.S. I need an update on your life! You'll be there for Skype right?! I only have like 45 minutes to talk to y'all, you better be there! hahaha

Auntie M- You are so beautiful, I am so proud of you and all you do. Keep it up!

Penny- Thanks so much for the Christmas socks, I love them! I also love all the cards from Thanksgiving. Love you!

Everyone else- Thanks for the Christmas Cards I got! They are hanging on my wall. Love them! <3

This week was so amazing.

We made a promise to the Lord this week that we would accomplish our goals. Sometimes during weekly planning we set goals and then we kind of forget about them through-out the week until the next weekly planning session when we discuss them again. This week we decided we had enough of that, so we worked really hard to accomplish everything we had been inspired to plan for. And we totally did! We reached all of our goals but one, and even exceeded some. It was amazing. One of the best things that happened was that we received over 12 (and contacted 10 of those) referrals from members, non-members, and others. Christmas time definitely helps with that (people want to spread Christmas cheer). We doubled our numbers from the previous week and the crazy part was that Sister Weaver and I are both way sick. We have been real sick all week... But we kept on working hard and we saw blessings come from that. Sorry to talk so much about numbers. There is a family and a face behind each of them, and they are so dear to my heart. The smiles and tears I saw this week I will always remember. What a special time to be a missionary testifying of the Savior.

Sister Weaver and I got creative this week with our tracting. We decided to be "Singing Christmas Grams" and started off one night at a members home singing a Christmas carol, sharing a scripture about the Savior, and then asking which of their friends they would like to send us to. We were able to teach many of their neighbors and friends and the chain just kept going and going! We shared the "Savior is Born" video with them, and we saw many teary eyes as we sang. Thank goodness Sister Weaver has a good voice!! haha I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!

Some other neat things that happened this week-

One night we were out and about, it was probably around 8pm and we were trying to decided what to do (our plans and back ups all got used up, and when it's dark we are a little limited!) I had a distinct idea to go see Tomi, a former investigator. But then I thought about it and said "well I don't know, it would use a lot of miles and it's kind of late to just stop by..." Sister Weaver who has never met Tomi said "No- we've got to go see her, I think that was a prompting. Let's do it." So we drove out to Tomi's house! She was home and so happy to see us. She struggles with really bad depression and never leaves her house. We shared a scripture with her and gave her one of my famous pep-talks. It was so good to just see her smile and relax a little bit. When we left she said how grateful she was that we came by, and that she noticed we have a special spirit with us that always helps her to feel happy. It's true- the Spirit helps us feel happy!

This week I got to use some more talents to help with our work. We are teaching Minda and her kids the missionary lessons, and also piano lessons. :) It is my favorite thing. They have so many questions and are so ready to learn. I just feel like part of their family, they are so sweet. I didn't know my heart could grow so much!

The best part of the week was probably seeing Sister Matthis. She doesn't get a lot of visitors but we go see her. We love her! She is such a sweet lady. She's the one who has parkinsons and cancer and all those sad things. :( She lives alone and doesn't get out much. We go read the NT to her and bring her good news, and sometimes ice cream! We read a conference talk with her this week and just laughed and smiled with her. As we got up to leave she started crying really hard. I get pretty nervous when she cries because I am really worried she is in pain or something is going wrong... But she just said her heart was full, and that she is so grateful for us coming to visit her. Oh man, that feeling of love you get for those you serve is indescribable. I really don't know how to tell you how I feel about these opportunities.

These two things came to mind:

Lyrics1. 1. I feel my Savior's love

In all the world around me.

His Spirit warms my soul

Through ev'rything I see.

2. 2. I feel my Savior's love;

Its gentleness enfolds me,

And when I kneel to pray,

My heart is filled with peace.

3. 3. I feel my Savior's love

And know that he will bless me.

I offer him my heart;

My shepherd he will be.

4. 4. I'll share my Savior's love

By serving others freely.

In serving I am blessed.

In giving I receive.

5. Chorus

He knows I will follow him,

Give all my life to him.

I feel my Savior's love,

The love he freely gives me.

And Alma 31: 33-35

Wilt thou grant unto them that they may have strength, that they may bear their afflictions which shall come upon them ...... O Lord, wilt thou grant unto us that we may have success in bringing them again unto thee in Christ.Behold, O Lord, their souls are precious, and many of them are our brethren; therefore, give unto us, O Lord, power and wisdom that we may bring these, our brethren, again unto thee.

I love my Savior and I love this gospel and I love this Christmas season!!!!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

-Sister Wilcock




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