Thank you so much for all of the Christmas packages that I have received. I feel so blessed. I am excited to get to spend this Christmas as a missionary and servant of the Lord, but I sure do miss you guys. Christmas is such a great time to be a missionary though! People's hearts are softened at Christmas time and talking about the Savior comes so naturally. I love it.
|"Hanging our stockings"|
This week was pretty crazy.
Tuesday was the last district meeting of the transfer! Can you believe it? That is so crazy! I can't believe another transfer has already come and gone. The transfer will be on December 31. That reminds me- this week on Saturday we will find out if I am being transferred or not. So I will be able to write you about that next week. I am pretty sure I will stay here in Madison another transfer with Sister Kelley. But you never know.
This last district meeting was a really good one. We talked a lot about the Atonement as outlined in the lessons in Preach My Gospel. Did you know that the Atonement is a principle that is covered in all 3 of the first missionary lessons? As I was studying it this week, I noticed that in each lesson the Atonement takes on a different role. In the Restoration, the Atonement was part of the Savior's earthly ministry. It was the most important thing that He did while He was on the earth. In the Plan of Salvation, we learn that the Atonement is how we can overcome physical death. Because of the resurrection, we can all be resurrected too! In the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we learn that the Atonement helps us to overcome spiritual death and is how we can be cleansed from sin. I thought it was so interesting that in all of the lessons, it all comes back to the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Christ and His Atonement truly is central to all that we teach, all that we do, and all that we know. I am so grateful for His Atonement in my life. I truly feel that it empowers me. I love being able to talk about it every single day as a missionary! I am so grateful for the power of the Atonement in my life.
White Elephant gift exchange with my district
Wednesday we had a lesson with Z. She is still doing well. She is progressing, but it has been extremely slow. So we are going to have to figure out what we are going to do about that when she gets back from Christmas break. We just focused on Jesus Christ and why we celebrate Christmas. That night we got together with our district before our ward's sports night and had a white elephant gift exchange. I sure have loved this district!
Thursday was a CRAZY DAY and my favorite day this week! We had a lesson with I. in the morning. I think that I have told you a little bit about him. We met him on the bus a few weeks ago. We taught him the Plan of Salvation and he loved it! It is always so fun to me to be able to teach people that they can be with their families forever, and that if we repent and take certain steps while we are here on earth then we will be able to live with God again. He was so excited! He was a little hesitant when we had talked to him about baptism before, but after this lesson we was a lot more confident. We set a baptismal date with him for January 17! We are so excited about it! It is going to take a lot of work and a lot is going to have to happen before then. But we are excited to hopefully help him enter into the waters of baptism.
We also had a lesson with our new investigator Sally. We got a call from our Bishop at the beginning of the week saying that there was someone who had been visiting some of their friends out in Utah and wanted a visit from the missionaries when she got back. So Sister Kelley and I trekked out there and met Sally. She is the sweetest woman I have ever met! She was so kind to us and I feel that we hit if off right away. Before too long we learned that her sister is a member of the church and that is who she had been visiting out it Utah. She said that her sister lived in Lehi and that while she was out there she was able to go to temple square and listen to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. While she was talking, I heard the word "Sivert" pop up. I asked her if she knew Sivert's in Utah and she said that her sister is a Sivert. Turns out, her sister is Bob Sivert's mom! WHAT??? I was just blown away. I remember back before I left on my mission Bob messaged me and said that his aunt lived in Beloit Wisconsin. But Beloit is the one and only city in southern Wisconsin that is cut out of our mission. So I didn't think anything of it. Turns out, she moved here to Madison the same time that I got here to Madison! Isn't that insane? It has been absolutely amazing to see how many little connections I have been able to make here in Wisconsin. I know that they aren't coincidences. The Lord's hand has been in all of this. Sally is the absolute sweetest and I feel so grateful to have even more "family" out here. So we have started teaching my Uncle's Aunt! :)
Friday was fun because we were able to celebrate Christmas with the Thurston's. They are out in Utah now to spend Christmas with their families, but wanted to be able to celebrate Christmas with us, so we had an early Christmas with them. It was a lot of fun! We ate good food, sang Christmas songs in Spanish, and decorated sugar cookies. I am so grateful to be serving in a ward with such amazing members.
|Early Christmas with the Thurston's before they go to Utah|
Saturday was super cool! The Madison Campus Elders (Elder Wyatt Baird!) were having a baptism at our church building. So we wanted to bring I. to it so that he could see what a baptism was like. The baptism was all in Chinese, but the Spirit was very strong. And he could feel it. He is so excited to be working toward his own baptism in January.
Ok- I am running out of time so remind me to tell you about K and her trip out to Utah when we talk on Thursday! :)
Pretty miraculous week this week! I love you guys so much! Can't wait to talk to you on Thursday. I hope that you all have a very Merry Christmas and remember why it is that we have such a fun holiday at this time of year. I am so grateful that my Savior was born into this world to make it possible for me to make it back to live with my Father in Heaven again.
Talk to you soon!