Monday, December 19, 2011

Merry Christmas! Dec. 19, 2011

Dear Family,

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!! I hope that you are all doing great and loving this Christmas Season, I am for sure!! It was so good to hear from all of you!! I love your smail mail letters, they are so fun!! It’s so funny to read them, then realize how slow snail mail is when I read your e-mails on Monday! Everything you talked about in your letters happened over a week ago and to you it’s ancient history! Ha ha, good times! I laughed at how Ben got asked to the dance, then in mom’s e-mail how Ben and Hannah both had a good time at the dance! That was fast! J Anyways,  your letters are the best!! I love all the little stories that you share about the chillens or YW or anything!! Ha ha, It’s so fun to realize that there really is a world outside of Chelsea Michigan where people go to school, and work and have family dinner. . . . . WOW!! IT’s crazy how it’s all the little things that I miss so much! J I can’t wait to talk to all of you in a few days! This is going to be awesome! So- here is the thing. . .  I’m trying really hard to be obedient. I know an hour is not nearly long enough, but that is the guideline.  (Actually today in our updates they told us to try to keep it to 30-40 minutes, but the white hand book says an hour, so I think we are okay on that one.) But, I think that we will have to do speaker phone and try to work something out that way!  We just can’t waste one second of our precious time!!! Oh, man!! I have missed you guys so much!!!
This season is one of the greatest for missionary work, everybody seems to be a little more charitable and willing to let us share a message about Jesus Christ. We have had some pretty awesome experiences this week!  Sister Burhnham and I stopped by a potential this week to see how the family was doing. (A potential is someone that may be interested but isn’t yet an investigator.) We drove up and the family was just getting home. At first I was really hesitant because it looked like they had company and I didn’t really want to stop. But, we did any ways!! (Ha ha, I’m getting really good at expanding my comfort zone!! It’s HARD, but slowly I can see my faith increasing.) So we walked in and the Mom (Kim) introduced us to her Son, Dakota. He is about 25 and is home from college for the christmas break. Kim explained that they were just discussing religion and said that we couldn’t have timed it better! Ha ha, it was so sweet! We had a pretty good discussion and ended up talking a lot about the plan of salvation. He is a biology major and had some doubts about the creation, ect. It was really fun to help him realize that you really can have science AND religion! It was interesting to hear what he believed and how we explained those beliefs with our religion. For example, (DI, I thought of you this WHOLE time!!! J) Dakota said that he could “create” a new species in a lab using technology from stem cells. He wanted to know how that “Creation” could have a spirit when he had just created it in the lab! We talked about the creation and how everything was created spiritually before it was created spriitually, but he couldn’t see how it had already been created spiritually if he had just barely created it physically in the lab. We left him a BOM and the Plan of Salvation Phamplet  so hopefully he will read that and they will help to answer his questions! But, if you have any suggestions on some simple doctrines that we could teach, we would love some feedback!! J

We did exchanges this week! It was so great!!!! Since I went somewhere the last time, this time I stayed in Chelsea and Sister Burnham left. I was scared out of my mind!! That meant that I would have to plan everything! I would have to say where to go, what to do, who to visit and I had to do most of the teaching because I was the one that knew the investigators! Like I said, I was so scared!!! I prayed like crazy all week long that exchanges would be a success. Well, Wednesday morning we  met up and switched. Sister Vanisi came to Chelsea with me. It was so funny!! She is from SLC and doesn’t like rural communities. So as we were driving back home, she kept looking around with a doubting look in her eye! Ha ha, I tried to reassure her and tell her how great the area was, but the only way to prove it to her was to get to work and let her experience it! J We taught a few lessons that day, did some tracting and actually. . . .  we had lunch AND dinner with Members!! Ha ha, that NEVER happens, so we were super excited!! It was great!! J So, that day at our lessons that I was so nervous for, when we got to the homes I was totally calm! The spriit was there and the lessons were great! I really listened to the holy ghost and depended on his guidance for good questions to ask, scriptures to share or experiences that would help increase our faith. It was incredible!!!  At the end of the day all I could do was give thanks to my Heavenly Father!  I did not do that on my own! There was no way that I could have done it alone!! I am still amazed, this is truly the lords work and HE will do it! All we have to do is be the one to deliver the message. <3  Since then I have seen how far I have come! This was exactly what I needed to help me expand that comfort zone a little further. I just LOVE this work so much!! It’s incredible!!
So, we had dinner last night with a member family- The Celkis family. The dad was baptised like a year ago. They were so fun!!! They actually reminded me a lot of the Parry family! J They had us all laughing all night! It was so fun to take the time and spend it with a family that has seen the blessings that  come from living the gospel! They went to the temple and were sealed a few months ago.  Families are the center of the gospel! I am so thankful for that!! We read a little quote the other day that I loved, it said, “Missionary: Someone who leaves their family for a short time so that another family can be together forever!!” It was neat to think that  even though I miss you guys like crazy, I am helping other families to be able to be together FOREVER!!! What a great blessing! I love you all so much, and I am truly grateful that we have each other for all eternity! J
 The Rowe family is doing really good. I think that Wyatt will be baptised in the next month and we are still working on Pat. He is struggling a little more and the last time we visited with him, he said he didn’t see why repentance was necessary. He said that he felt like he deserved to suffer a little for sins that he commited. We are trying to help him recognize the spirit and know that the gospel will bring him and his family peace, joy and purpose.  I guess just keep  all of us in your prayers! We need all of the help that we can get! J
So, singing was really good! Again I was super nervous. We sang Jesus was No Ordinary Man. It was great to share my testimony through song! I felt like I did my best and Heavenly Father knew that. The spirit was there and it was great to be a part of the program.
Well, guys my time is running out! We get to go bowling today with the Elders from our district so I’m not sure if you will get another letter from me or not. J Just know how much I love all of you!!! Especially this week with Christmas just around the corner I think about you all of the time!!!! I love you all more than I can express!  I will be calling Sunday night around 6:00 my time, so that is 4:00 your time. J I can’t wait!!!
Mom- I haven’t seen a letter from Dona yet, but it could be in the mail! J  We are going to a members house for dinner on Christmas and we are planning on spending the day with investigators. It will be a great day!  I wrote a thank you card to a few people just to let them know how much I loved them! The Olson famiy was one of them. J  Tell the kids thanks for the letters! I will watch for Mark's! :) Give them all a hug from me and remind them how special they are! :)


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