|Shoveling snow with Sisters Flora (left) and Gonzales (right)|
January 13, 2014
Thanks for sending me wonderful letters, even when I didn't get the chance to write you back last week. I am going to try to update you on everything from the last 2 weeks . . . hopefully I don't leave anything out!
What a whirlwind couple of weeks. It has been amazing here. Frigid, but amazing. I love my new companions so much! Sister Gonzales is my co-trainer. She is from California and we have been out the same amount of time. She has a very calming and peaceful attitude and I love working with her. Sister Flora is our trainee. Sister Flora is an absolute joy to work with. She has the happiest bubbliest attitude and is truly on a mission for the right reasons! She is from St. George, so the weather is a bit of a shock for both of my companions. It's a shock to me too, so I can only imagine how freezing they must be. Poor Sister Flora arrived here on like the worst weekend too! But she has been really positive throughout the whole thing so I am really impressed.
As far as the weather goes, it has been a little bit crazy. We had a huge snowstorm last Sunday and then Monday morning it got down to -30 degrees with the wind chill. Our P-day was "canceled" so we had to stay in the apartment for the day which was nice and relaxing. We got a call at 4 that said we were allowed to go out and we had to get our P-day activities done before 6. It was pretty stressful but we decided grocery shopping was more important than e-mailing so sorry I wasn't able to write last week. Tuesday was pretty cold as well. We weren't allowed to be out tracting that day. Members kept sending us texts that said stuff like, "The life expectancy outside right now is 10 minutes! Don't you dare go out!" It made us pretty freaked out. So we visited members and less-actives, but after that it's all been back to normal. I did start noticing my toes were hurting pretty badly though and turning red and the skin was turning thick. I had a member look at it and he said I had a mild case of trench foot. If you want to be sick, you should Google pictures of it. Mine isn't very bad at all and it's starting to get better because I caved and bought some winter boots (thanks grandma and grandpa for the Christmas money!) but it's kind of a fun battle wound from the cold weather. It's started to warm up a little bit and we figure if we can survive last weekend, then we can survive the rest of winter easy-peasy.
The work has been good to us. We are still trying to find new investigators, but I have faith it will happen this week! Our mission president told us we should start using family history more in our area since it is a more wealthy area. Our ward mission leader made these awesome pass-along cards with family history fan charts on them so we have been introducing those to people and offering to teach them how to make them and the doctrine behind family history. People are much more open to that so we are excited to see the miracles that will come from it! Also we may have found a Chinese family to teach, so you can only imagine how beyond excited I am for that.
We had a little miracle happen that really showed how God's hand is in the work. We got permission to go to the library later that week so Sister Flora could e-mail her mom and let her know she is alive! As she was sitting at her computer, she asked to see Sister Gonzales's name tag so she could make sure she spelled her name correctly. The lady sitting next to her asked about the name tag and said she took lessons from missionaries in Nigeria. Sister Flora invited her to come to church and learn more and she accepted! I was sitting in a chair close by and reading my scriptures as we were waiting for Sister Flora, and it was really amazing to watch the whole thing unfold! People are being prepared, and God prepares a way for us to find them and for them to find us.
Our investigators are progressing slowly but surely. Jaszzameen hasn't been able to come to church these past 2 weeks but hopefully this week she can. The weather is really bad for her joints because she had double knee replacement surgery a while back. We watched the Joseph Smith movie with her this week because she still doesn't know if Joseph Smith is a prophet. She was amazed at how much opposition he faced. It really made me think of how much I have taken Joseph Smith for granted. He sacrificed so much. His trials and sacrifices always make the work here seem a little easier. I know that strengthened her testimony, but keep her in your prayers!
The word "truth" has been on my mind this week. It all sparked from reading John 8.
Ultimately, everyone on earth is searching for the truth. Every person in this world, whether they realize it or not, is searching for that thing that will set them free from the trials and the burdens of this mortal life. This led me to another scripture in Alma 9.
Christ is FULL of TRUTH. His is the message every person is searching for. Christ is the only person who is able to set us free. When we know Christ, we have a chance at liberty in this life as well as eternal life in the world to come (John 17:3). I am really grateful for leaders in the Church who have encouraged me to find truth for myself. I know the search for truth is the most important quest we can be on in this life. I know my search for truth has led me to know this is the only true and living church upon the face of this earth. I know the Book of Mormon is true as well. Finding these bits of truth truly has made me free!
Sorry this is probably all over the place, but I love you all! Have a wonderful week!