Hope that you all had a wonderful New Year! Can you believe it is 2015? Yeah, me neither. I am excited for the New Year. I was looking back on 2014 and just thinking what an amazing year it has been. With the exception of about 15 days, I spent the entire year of 2014 as a missionary and full-time servant of the Lord. What an amazing blessing that is. I am so excited to see what 2015 has in store.
|Turning the clock ahead so we can celebrate the New Year before we go to bed!|
|Celebrating the New Year with Mexican Soda!|
It has been pretty bitterly cold these past couple of days and is supposed to be getting worse throughout the week. Or so we have been told by the members here. When we left our apartment this morning it was -26 with wind chill. So that is a little frigid. But we are making it work.
As for the week...
Tuesday was pretty fun! We went out to lunch with the district to say goodbye because half of them were getting transferred. And then Sister Kelley and I headed out to contact a referral from Sis. Durtschi (Sis. Merrill's sister-in-law). She had given her a Book of Mormon so we headed over to follow up with it and see what she thought of it so far. When we got there, she let us right in! We had met her a couple of times before at Sister Durtschi's house. We went in and started talking to her and got to know her a little bit better. When we brought up the Book of Mormon, she told us that she had read the whole thing-cover to cover- in only a matter of about 3 days! And then get this- she said, "It has got to be true! It is all about faith!" haha we were blown away. Then she told us pretty much the entire story line of the Book of Mormon and how she learned more about faith by reading that book than she ever had before. We then had this really cool discussion about faith and why it is important and asked if we could share a scripture from the Book of Mormon that talked about it. We shared Ether 12:4 which says:
4 Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.
She loved that scripture so much that she ran to grab her Book of Mormon so that she could mark it in hers. She opened up her Book of Mormon to the chapter that she had marked and it was Ether 12! She took that as some sort of sign. So we asked her if she wanted to learn more about the Book of Mormon and where it came from and why it is important, and she said yes! It was seriously one of the coolest experiences on my whole mission.
Wednesday was pretty cool because we were already planning on having dinner at the Durtschi's with all of the other missionaries in the ward, so Sister Durtschi invited her over to have dinner with all of us too. We had such a good time and an absolutely delicious dinner. We stayed after to talk with her and Sis. Durtschi. We read Moroni's promise in the end of the Book of Mormon and challenged her to pray about it to receive an answer that it is true. She said that she would! So we are super excited about Sis. Durtschi's friend! More to come on her next week.
For New Year's eve that night we were given strict instructions to go to bed on time, plus we were completely exhausted anyway. So Sister Kelley and I just moved our clocks back to 11:59 and ended up celebrating the New Year at about 10:17 or so. Haha we drank some Mexican sodas and then went to bed.
Thursday was another really cool day. We had a lesson with another investigator in this really cool member family's home and taught him the Word of Wisdom. ( hahahaha to teaching the word of wisdom on New Year's!) BUT- he committed to live it! So he is moving steadily toward his baptismal day.
We also had a lesson scheduled with a new member. We had been asking her for a referral for a while now and she surprised us and brought her friend to the lesson! Her friend told us that she could tell that the new member was different and happier and wanted to know why and how that was. So we told her about the Book of Mormon and gave her a copy and are going to start teaching her this week! We are super stoked! She has had a reallllllllly hard life. The new member has gone through a lot too so she bore her testimony to her about how learning about Christ and his Atonement has helped her to move past those hard things. It was a very powerful lesson and the friend began to cry a little bit when we told her about how Christ suffered all things so He knows how she feels and wants to help her through. Also- the new member is doing absolutely amazing as well.
Friday was pretty slow. We just did some service and some planning and a little bit of contacting. Nothing too crazy.
Saturday we made lunch for our recent convert Janet. Isn't she just the cutest? She is doing well but getting a little old. I think she really appreciated our visit.
Also- haven't been able to get ahold of Sally and she wasn't at church. Hopefully we will be able to see her sometime this week.
Overall- we had a great first week of 2015! We for sure met a lot more drunk people on the bus than usual. But that's ok. It makes for good stories to tell you when I get home.
I had been thinking a lot about the New Year and read Elder Holland talk called "Remember Lot's Wife." If you haven't read it, it is definitely worth a read. Especially at the beginning of the new year. Basically he talks about the council that Christ gives us in Luke 17:32:
That is kind of some interesting little advice. If you remember, Lot's wife is the one that was commanded to leave Sodom and Gomorrah and not look back. But, Lot's wife looked back and became a pillar of salt. Elder Holland goes into a lot more detail about why this is so important, but this is one of my favorite quotes from the talk.
"So, as a new year starts and we try to benefit from a proper view of what has gone before, I plead with you not to dwell on days now gone, nor to yearn vainly for yesterdays, however good those yesterdays may have been. The past is to be learned from but not lived in. We look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences but not the ashes. And when we have learned what we need to learn and have brought with us the best that we have experienced, then we look ahead, we remember that faith is always pointed toward the future. Faith always has to do with blessings and truths and events that will yet be efficacious in our lives. So a more theological way to talk about Lot’s wife is to say that she did not have faith. She doubted the Lord’s ability to give her something better than she already had. Apparently she thought—fatally, as it turned out—that nothing that lay ahead could possibly be as good as those moments she was leaving behind."
I hope that you all have had an AMAZING 2015 so far. You are constantly in my thoughts and prayers and I love you very much. Until next week!
PS- I will see you this year! :)