Hello!!! It’s so good to hear from you, like always!! J I’m so thankful for modern technology so that we can communicate so easily and quickly! It is truly a blessing! I got your Thanksgiving letters! They were so fun! It was so good to hear about your special day. Thanks for sharing it with other people! That is one thing that I am really so grateful for, is people who are willing to open their homes to strangers and allow them to share in the joy of their families! Families are so special!!! YOU GUYS ARE JUST THE GREATEST!!! OH. .. . . I JUST LOVE YOU!! <3
So, this week has been crazy busy like always! We did exchanges this week and I went to Ann Arbor, and stayed with Sister Hoops. Sister Hoopes is over 3 college campuses and so we got to talk to A LOT of students! J It was so great! It was really nerve wracking at first, but then I learned to love it! Ha ha, I’m sure it was hilarious to watch two sister missionaries try to run down all of these college students and talk to them about their religions! I was laughing at us the whole day! LOL it was so good. Sister Hoopes’s Mom served in the same mission as Dad!! We figured it out and think that their times might have overlapped a little, so Dad, Do you know a Sister Jamielyn Harmon from your mission? J She was from Provo. I’m not sure if you know her or not, but that would be so COOL! J Sister Hoopes and I had a great time! It was super fun and a good change for a day! J I will write more about our adventures in our other letter! J
So, quick little fun story, This week we were visiting members in our area. We went to stop by the Freddenburg family. This family was so AWESOME!!! Ha ha, the Mom is the baby of 17 kids!!!!! They have 6 kids and one on the way (Which is HUGE out here!) They were so awesome!!! I told them about all of you and they were shocked, there was an instant bond and we could have chatted all night!! Ha ha, they wanted to know how we stored food (I told them about our potato pits and I think Sister Freddenburg wanted Bro, Fred. Out there right then to start digging!!) They asked about how we did laundry and kept everything organized and what we cooked and how we cooked and EVRYTHING!! We were only there for like 30 minutes, but it was so fun! The kids reminded me so much of home! They were so cute! Then they offered us a drink of apple cider. At first they were a little hesitant and Bro, Fred. Explained that they had pressed the apple cider themselves and it was kind of an acquired taste. I just laughed and told them how we did the same thing!!! Ha ha, I think he about fell off of his chair!!! It was so good to see the gospel alive and thriving in a family out here, just like back home! What a tender mercy. Sometimes I feel like all we see is broken homes and sad stories, but the gospel is a happy thing and our message can bring a total transformation. It’s such a miracle! I love it!!! J
Last night, after listening to the Christmas fireside, I felt so much better! That is something that Sis Burnham and I have been really trying to focus on not just this Christmas season, but through our time together. I feel like our main focus has really had to shift. We have learned some things, seen miracles and realized that the only way to do this work is through LOVE! J We had an amazing Zone Conference and talked about how when we can help the person we are talking to feel the spirit and God’s love for them, then that is where the change of heart comes in! We have tried different door approaches and have seen that it really does make a difference! One person in particular; We stopped by one of our investigators homes. His name is Mike, he is like 60 and we have been trying to help him quit smoking and progress to baptism. It has been really hard and just one thing after another! This week we tried to stop by, tried to call and could NEVER get hold of him!! We were so worried! Last week when we were there he gave us all of his tobacco, all of his lighters and ash trays and EVERYTHING! He really wanted to quit somking and we felt like he was moving in the right direction. We usually see him 2 times a week and that seemed to help. But, like I said, this week we lost him! We worried and prayed and did everything we could think of, then finally Saturday night when we stopped by, he answered the door!! We were so relieved, but soon our worries were confirmed, there on the table was a new pack of tobacco, new lighter and everything. We were devastated! We tried to teach him and his girl friend about the restoration, but he was so agitated that he couldn’t even focus! When we tried to read, pray or sing he literally could not function. Finally he took some medicine and was able to calm down a little, but when we left him that night we were very discouraged. He had been making so much progress, but then he back tracked majorly! He said he would come to church the next day so we called to remind him, but he didn’t answer. We kept praying and hoping that he would show up, but never did. We were in his neighborhood that evening so we stopped by. This visit was 10 times better than the night before! We shared a short message about Christmas time being a time to recognize the Savior and all that he has done for each of us. We each bore testimony of this and invited Mike and his girl friend, Linda to come to the First Pres. Devtional. They said that they would be there! We were absolutely delighted when they actually showed up!!! J J J They seemed to enjoy it and feel the spirit. It was humbling to remember that these are God’s children! I’m here to help them feel of that love and come closer to Jesus Christ. It doesn’t do me any good to get discouraged, but I need to exercise greater faith in Christ and trust that he will help me to be a better servant, to discern needs of his children and to help me to love them as I know he loves them! My goal this week is to count my blessings, live every minute to the best of my ability, trust in the Lord and LOVE everybody! I know that my Heavenly Father lives, that he knows each of his children and loves them more than we can comprehend!!! I’m so happy to be a part of this work to help others feel of this immense love!
Well, family! I have so much to tell you!! J I can’t wait to talk to you on the phone in a few weeks. I think that we will be calling about 6:00 my time. (So that would be like 4:00 your time. J) Does that work?? If not let me know, we can switch it up. We are pretty flexible right now, we are just trying to plan ahead! I think that the rule is that I need to stick to about an hour! I know that is not very long, and I really struggled with that at first, but I know that with obedience come blessings!! J J I don’t think it’s too big of a deal, but I did want to let you know. I am super duper excited to hear all of your beautiful voices!!! J
I love you guys so much!!! Thanks for the letters, that’s my favorite time of the day!! I did finally get my quilt, so THANK YOU!!! I will write more and get some snail mail coming! LOVE YOU THE BESTEST!
P.S. I like the Christmas idea and I think I know just what to do with the money! Let me know when I can expect it and how much. I have the perfect family in mind. I’m sure they will really appreciate it.
For Christmas I would LOVE a new skirt and maybe a hat!! (I wear mine all of the time!)
LOVE YOU LOVE YOULOVE YOU LOVE YOU!!!