|We've got a good couple inches of snow!|
It was so good to get to hear all about your Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving is such a wonderful time of year. I sure did miss all of you. But it brought a lot of comfort to know that I will be able to share next year's Thanksgiving with you. Thank you so much for sending updates and pictures of your week! It always means a lot to get them.
We had a pretty good Thanksgiving week back here in Madison too!
|Having a little fun on p-day|
Tuesday we had district meeting and we talked about the Holy Ghost's role in conversion. It is amazing how vital that really is. As a missionary, it is so important to always have the Spirit with me so that others can feel it. That is something that I have been trying to work on lately, always having the Spirit with me. We also had a really cool lesson with an investigator that night. We have been sharing stories with her from the Book of Mormon to help her have the courage to tell her family that she wants to be baptized. We shared the story of Ammon and how when he went to the Lamanites, all he did was serve and love the people there. Eventually their hearts were softened and an entire nation was converted! That is what we challenged this girl to do. Continue to love and serve her family and let them know that she loves them. As she does, I know that their hearts will soften. We haven't been able to talk to her yet so I will have to let you know next week how telling her family went!
Wednesday was a really good day! It is so weird that nothing super crazy or special happened. It was just a good day to be a missionary. We were working really hard and managed to find some really cool people along the way. A goal that Sister Kelley and I have for this transfer is to pass out more Book of Mormons. We are kind of doing like a "25 days of Christmas" thing by trying to give away 25 Book of Mormons! We found 2 really cool people that we were able to give a copy to that day. So we are off to a great start! So many people were placed in our path that day. It was just amazing. I KNOW that the Lord's hand is in this work. We also had a really cool lesson with our returning less active. We taught the Plan of Salvation and talked about how none of it is possible without Jesus Christ. He is the center of the plan. It has been really cool to learn and grow with her as she starts coming back to church.
|Thanksgiving with the Thurston's|
Thanksgiving with the Durtschi's
Thursday was THANKSGIVING!!! What an amazing Thanksgiving day we had! Obviously I was feeling a little homesick, but I didn't let that take away from the day that we got to have here. We got to go over to the Thurston's for a Thanksgiving lunch. That was really fun because I guess technically the Thurston's are family. 4th cousins totally counts, right? The thought of spending Thanksgiving with "family" brought me a lot of comfort anyway. Also, I have grown so close to them and they mean so much to me that they are as family as it gets for me out here in Wisconsin. So it was super cool to be able to spend Thanksgiving with them. Plus the food was absolutely delicious. And GUESS WHAT. As we were about to eat Hayley was telling us what all of the food was and she gets to this one dish and says, "and this just some raspberry stuff." So I was like, "Wait, what is in the raspberry stuff?" She said, "Just eat it. You will like it." So then I said, "Oh, because my Mom always makes this really yummy pretzel raspberry jello stuff every year for Thanksgiving." YEP, THAT'S RIGHT. Hayley made the raspberry pretzel stuff for Thanksgiving! She didn't even know! So I still got to have our family's Thanksgiving classic out here. Such a huge tender mercy. But seriously though, how could that NOT be a tender mercy from the Lord?
Afterward, we got to go to the Durschi's for another Thanksgiving dinner! It was so fun and absolutely delicious. It was cool because the less active lady that teaches us to knit came and I have gotten really close with her. So we got to spend Thanksgiving with her as well! So that was really fun. After the Durtschi's, we headed back to the Thurston's again for dessert. :)
Even though spending Thanksgiving on a mission is REALLY hard, it was an amazing experience. It is so amazing to be able to have a time of year that we can reflect on the things that we are grateful for. Back at home when we have Thanksgiving and we all go around the table and say something that we are grateful for, my answers have always been the gospel, my parents, my sisters, my extended family, my home, Sadie, school, etc. But this year, I was pulled away from all of those things (except the gospel of course). But being away from those things has given me a greater appreciation for them. It has also helped me to focus on the one thing that I still do have that I am oh so grateful for. And that is the gospel. The gospel has always been a constant in my life. I am so grateful for it. But this year, there is one more major thing that I can add to the list of things that I am grateful for- MY MISSION. I am so beyond grateful for my mission. I haven't loved every minute of my mission, but I have been grateful for every minute of it. My mission has taught me and given me so many things that have changed me so much. My mission has given me a greater appreciation for family. It has strengthened my testimony of my Savior Jesus Christ. My personal relationship with Him has grown exponentially on my mission. My mission has given me lasting friendships that I will cherish forever with companions, other missionaries, ward members, investigators, recent converts, and so many others. My mission has given me a greater knowledge and love for the scriptures. My mission has taught me how to be a better wife and mother which is one of my greatest desires. I owe so much to my mission. Making the decision to come on a mission was one of, if not THE, hardest decision I have ever made. And it continues to be very difficult. But I am so grateful that I , with the help of my Father in Heaven, made the decision to come. I am so grateful for my mission.
Friday was a pretty good day as well. We met some more cool people on the bus on our way to a few different places which was super fun. We met this guy on the bus who ended up coming to church yesterday. So that was a HUGE miracle! More to come on him next week. When we got home that night, we made ourselves some yummy dinner and then we decided to keep up with our family's tradition of watching a Christmas movie. We weren't able to watch That Santa Clause... :) But we were able to watch Mr. Krueger's Christmas. So I was able to keep that Thanksgiving tradition alive out here as well. :)
Saturday we were able to meet with a newly baptized member. She is still doing so well! And guess what! She gave her very first talk in Sacrament meeting yesterday! She is so amazing and is continuing to grow in the gospel. Gosh, I love her so much.
So that was pretty much my week!!
Okay family, before I sign off I have a very special challenge for you. This is something that has been on my mind a lot that I have prayed about and that I really feel is a good idea. Here is the challenge:
Starting on December 3, read one chapter of the Book of Mormon every single day. If I have done my calculations correctly, then you will finish reading the Book of Mormon on the day that I get home! The Book of Mormon is so important. Being able to read from the Book of Mormon so much on my mission is what has truly helped my testimony to grow. Even though it might be easy to let a day or two slip, make it a priority RIGHT NOW to read one chapter every single day. It should only take about 5 minutes out of your day. Elder Scott told us this last conference that reading from the scriptures is even more important than sleep sometimes. So if it means that you need to get up a few minutes earlier or go to bed a few minutes later, I promise you that it will be worth it. This is something that I feel is really important, so take this challenge seriously! Doing it as a family would be cool, but I think that you should do it individually. That way you can all share with me some of your thoughts in your weekly e-mails. And you can share thoughts in family home evening and at dinner and stuff because we will all be in the same place in the Book of Mormon. It would really mean so much to me if you would do this. I love the Book of Mormon so much and I really want to be able to share this cool experience with you.
I love you so much! Thank you for all that you do for me!
Can't wait to hear how your Book of Mormon reading is going!