Thank you to everyone who has sent cards, letters, prayers and packages! I love you all so much!
We have a new district leader and I'm trying my hardest to like him. Our old district leader cared about our investigators and our goals and offered us lots of good advice. Our new district leader just finds every opportunity to chastise us and lecture us. We are very obedient sisters!! It's been a hard week, adjusting to all of this change.
I'm sorry I forgot to tell you more about the Temple trip. it was really cool, I went into the technology center and got to chat online with a bunch of people who come onto Mormon.org and had questions. It was amazing, the spirit can really be relayed through any form, even through chat. I bore my testimony to a struggling mother, a 15 year old who wanted to leave the church, a man who didn't know anything about Mormons, and a returned Missionary who was struggling. It was amazing.
I feel So loved in this ward. We have FIVE houses we are going over to Christmas. The McClatchies, the Rogers, the VanOrdens, the Pedersons and the Rasbands. and the Clevelands christmas eve. All my favorite families :) this ward looooves the sisters. the WML (ward mission leader) has to remind people to feed the Elders sometimes too!!
updates on our investigators:
We are teaching this one sweet girl. We taught her twice. She loved church last week and so on Monday night we went over to read the book of Mormon to her a little bit and sister Bartschi and I started to open to 3rd Nephi and she said "WAIT. We forgot to say a prayer!!' Music to our ears. So sister Bartschi started to say it and she was like "WAIT. I want to say the prayer!!" and this was even more amazing, because in our last lesson she refused to say the prayer because she was too scared an embarrassed. but she said a perfect prayer for the opening and closing. That really really strengthened my testimony of what coming to church can do for our investigators. We taught her the plan of Salvation on Friday and she really liked the idea of living with God in the celestial kingdom. Her mom is so funny, because she refuses to sit down and listen to the lessons, but you can totally tell that she is extremely interested in what we are teaching. while we were teaching the Atonement, her mom ran into the room and said "Please explain to my daughter what happened to her is not her fault." (She was abused by moms ex-boyfriend) and we did, we told her that she is clean and beautiful and she has nothing to repent for and you could see the relief flood into her mother's face. It was a really good lesson. When we asked her if she wanted to be baptized, she looked at me for a long time and then said "nope!" hahah It was so not what I was expecting, but I didn't blink and eye before I said "Well why not?" We talked to her about it and told her to pray about it. We are going to get this girl baptized!!
we haven't had a chance to teach Beverly this week, but she came to the party with her grandbabies and they loved it and she came to church again yesterday with the whole crew. After Sacrament meeting, she pulled us aside and said with tear-filled eyes, "I don't have enough money for Christmas." she talked about how her heart was breaking but she had to make the choice of paying the bills and buying Christmas and she had no other choice. she told us she would rather die than see her 12 grandchildren have broken hearts on Christmas. We felt like she should talk to bishop. We know all too well that our church doesn't give handouts, but we thought if anyone could help, he would know how. Sister B and I sat outside the bishops office while she was in there and she must have been in there for like 20 minutes. she came out and she was crying her eyes out. My first thought was "Oh no.. he said he couldn't help her.." but as I pulled Beverly aside to ask her where these tears were coming from (Sis B was talking to Bishop) she said (through lots of choked tears) "I told him what was happening. I told him I was scared. He told me not to worry about it, because 3 families in the ward had already decided to cover Christmas for my family." She sobbed and I felt so much Christlike love for her in that moment. I hugged her and she said "I never thought I could be deserving of so much kindness." We testified to her that God loved her and was SO aware of her! We are teaching her tonight and we can't wait to see her in white.
Merry Christmas to you all. I miss you so desperately and I hope this Christmas morning finds you with love and peace and thoughts of our Savior. He is everywhere. Discover Him!
love you all.