I hope that this week has been great for everyone! Sounds like the wedding was wonderful! I'm so glad that I got two new uncles this year! Such a great blessing! Well, today is the first day that I really feel like winter is starting to set in. It's about 40 degrees and very overcast and kind of rainy. One of my MTC teachers said if she could describe Nebraska in one word it would be windy, and I would agree. Especially when we are running. At 630. In the dark. Up hills. Haha it makes for a fun wake-up every day. I have felt really lucky though because I have still not broken out my big coat or gotten really serious about dressing warm! I feel like if we can make it half way through November without snow I will be great! So much to tell you and I feel like I can't focus on what needs to be said, so this email might be a little scattered. Sorry! First of all, thank you so much for the cute package! I loved everything in it- especially the cute note cards and necklace! You are the best. It was waiting for me Saturday morning when we showed up for Trail Center Training, so it sounds like it doesn't take too long to get here! Tell Papa thank you so much for being the most dedicated writer of all time. It is so great to get his letters! This week Training was about fitness and healthy eating, which was so great because most of the sisters here say they have gained between 10 and 20 pounds. yikes. Luckily, I have lost some weight since being out, but I know that I need to stay focused on it, so this nutritionist was AWESOME.
We have been in our area a lot lately (as opposed to being in the TC) which is always nice because we get to see more people and find more people to teach. We dropped Ann yesterday because she won't come to church anymore, even though she says she wants to be baptized. She'll come around, and I have faith that she will be baptized within the time that I am in Lakeview. We have only seen the little family once this week, but they are doing really well! Gary- who we met our first day out- is still doing really well! When we went by on Saturday we made sure he would be at church the next day, and he said yes, and that he bought his girlfriend and his little baby church outfits so they would come with him, so their whole family was at church yesterday! SO great! The ward was incredible after church, and about 15 people came and introduced themselves. The ward is really starting to catch the missionary fire I think! We have seen them really reach out to us, and we have been so grateful for them- especially as we have taken them out with us to teach people. I will talk about that more in a second, but first I want to tell you the MIRACLE we saw yesterday. A couple of weeks ago, Bishop called with a referral that he had received- someone called him about her friend that lived within our ward boundaries. Her friend said she was beyond a golden investigator, so we were sooo excited. Her name is Gina. We called her like 5 times, and left messages, but we didn't hear ANYTHING. Well, yesterday after church, Bishop came up to us and said Gina is here, she wants to talk to you. We went up and talked to her, she hugged us right away, and said that she is sorry we haven't met yet, but she was trying to prepare herself to meet with missionaries in person. She has been taught by sister missionaries in Salt Lake over the phone for quite awhile now! When she moved to Omaha 15 years ago to work as a realator, her first clients were a big Mormon family. They reffered her to another Mormon family and on and on and on and on, and these families became her good friends. Well, she told us this story, and then, almost nonchalantly, said, so I'll be getting baptized soon, I just have to tell my parents, and my parents love Mormons so it's not a big deal! We set up a time to see her this week, and then both walked away super excited!!! We had both- without telling each other- fasted that we would know who is ready to be baptized in November and that we would be led to someone who is ready. SO cool. Heavenly Father is so aware of each of us and will bless us if we humble ourselves and do as He has asked! It was incredible.
SO. I don't think I've told you about Mike Hall yet. He is an older man who lost his wife 3 years ago to cancer. We have taught him 3 times, and last time we took Sister King with us, who we absolutely ADORE. She is this cute Southern woman in our ward who is so much fun, and always wants to go out on teamups with us, which is so awesome. So we took her to see Mike on Tuesday, right after I emailed, and they became friends which was really great. We talked about the Plan of Salvation and about eternal families, and you could tell he felt the Spirit strongly. Sister King invited him to come to the trail center with her and her husband and us on Sunday night, and he agreed! So last night, we took him up there, gave him a tour, and watched God's Plan for the family. If you haven't seen this yet, GO SEE IT. It is worth the drive to your nearest Visitor Center. Plus it is only 10 minutes. Mike left the TC crying. I am so excited to teach him again this week, and set him to be baptized! We absolutely love him.
Someone else we are teaching that I don't think I've told you about is Eli. We saw him last Tuesday after I emailed too! His wife, Nicole, has been a member for about 6 years and they are the CUTEST young married couple. Nicole is really quiet, and Eli is off the walls crazy. They love to do anything outdoors, and Eli loves hats and watches. Sound like anyone I know? Curt? Haha. Eli told us on Tuesday during our lesson that he KNOWS the Book of Mormon is true and that he could never deny anything that is of God, so he can't deny that it is true. We asked him to pray about what Heavenly Father wants him to do with that knowledge, because without action it doesn't do us any good. We absolutely love them, and I am just praying like crazy that he will get baptized soon, and that I can see them sealed while I am still on my mission! How great would that be!?
So after we got home from teaching Mike and Eli last P-day, we came home to a Happy Halloween gift from Sister Hill aka the best person ever haha. She had flowers, a candle, chocolate and a card on a table for us, and she bought me the running gloves that she had bought for Sister Coats and her old companion because it is so cold when we run. In the card was a giftcard for each of us to Target. To top it all off, she asked if we would like to have Thanksgiving at her house! Sister Beach, who is the Stake Relief Society President, also asked if we would like to have a meal at her house for Thanksgiving! The members of this ward are really taking care of us, and I have been so grateful!
The Hill's daughter, who graduated from BYU but is living with them for a few months, got a cat. She looks like Charlie, but is more hyper, so that's fun haha. Never a dull moment on the mission.
I have been thinking a lot about the people in my life that I could have shared the gospel with. I know that if we show Heavenly Father we are willing to share it, He will provide a way for us. This message is for everyone. It blesses our lives SO incredibly much- why would we not want to share that joy with others? So I guess that is the thought that I want to leave with you. To pray about who is ready to hear this message, and then to act on it. Invite them to come unto Christ. Be brave and be bold. Study Preach my Gospel. When we taught Relief Society yesterday, we told them to build their confidence in their Savior, because if they do, they will want to do His work. I know that is true- if we are confident in our message, which we should be, because it is perfect, then we will not be held back by fear or doubt in ourselves. Who is that you will share the gospel with?
This morning I was studying conversion, and Alma 26:35 stood out to me. It says "Now have we not reason to rejoice? Yea, I say unto you, there never were men that had so great reason to rejoice as we, since the world began; yea, and my joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God, for he has all power, all wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and He is a merciful Being, even unto salvation to those who will repent and believe on His name."
Ammon got it. I hope that I can get it like he did!
I love you all to the moon and back! I'm having a good time! Love you LOTS,