So Winter means Christmas and it's almost here!! Ah!!! Tony and Rhonda already said we could come over Christmas day for lunch with their family. haha Even though one of their family members doesn't really like Mormons. They are so awesome!!! But first I gotta ask how you all are doing!? Are Christmas preparations crazy or what?
Nichole!! I need a pregnant picture :) haha Can't believe you're fourth kid will be there soonish. I think I need a list of everyone's birthdays so I can keep track of how old you people are. haha
One of the Less active ladies we visit, Janet!, is super duper sweet. She runs her own day care and all the kids love her. She said that she can see a light in Mormon's eyes in general and said she'd come to the ward Christmas party, but unfortunately didn't make it there. We gave her another copy of the Book of Mormon though and she wants to start reading it again :) It's a powerful little book that is for sure!! I'm still working on knowing where things are so I can whip them out when the time is right.
We talked to Matt Simmons on his doorstep again. haha We haven't ever been able to set a real appointment with him so we haven't been able to bring anyone with us. Izak wasn't there cause apparently he works on an oil rig somewhere for 2 weeks then comes back for a week. Crazy schedule. But we gave Matt a Restoration pamphlet and he pinned it up on his wall because he was excited to have a picture of Jesus. haha "You got to read it first Matt" we told him. haha pretty funny though.
A little about the Jensens (the members we live with) They are awesome!! Sister Jensen reminds me of Grandma Harston honestly. She knows an incredible amount about the gospel and has an unshakable testimony. Sister Tycz and I had some questions about Jesus Christ's atonement and the other worlds that He created and also about what things we do after we die. It was a long conversation but my mind is much clearer now :) I'm learning so much everyday it's AWESOME!!! one hour of personal study just isn't long enough anymore. haha
Tim, one of our investigators committed to go to church!!! (which unfortunately was cancelled, we were devastated, but !) He is super nice and interested in learning more which totally surprised us because he's covered in tattoos and looks kind of rough. I just proves to us again that anyone can be ready for the gospel!!!! We can make a judgment that makes them live their life without even knowing the fullness is here! Scary thought. I know without a doubt that this Gospel blesses individuals and families. it fills you up in ways that no food or addiction ever could. It sustains me and buoys me up. And I still have sososososooo much to learn.
During zone training this week they scared us all half to death. They said that the Mission President had sent a voicemail that he wanted us all to listen to saying, "The prophet has just made a change. Since there are so many missionaries coming out now on missions, their shortening each missionaries' mission by 6 months." Everyone was really somber and Sister Tycz started crying immediately. I just kept thinking, it's not true, it can't be true. And FORTUNATELY it wasn't. It was a serious eye opener though. Time is precious!! We got to use every minute like it's the last week of our mission and time is running out. Sister Tycz and I had just been talking the day before about how we only have 10 transfers left! Time is going too fast and my training will be done by next week. My goodness, it also showed how much I love being out here! It's not always super exciting, and not everyone is home or wants to talk to us when we knock on their doors, but it is absolutely worth it and I wouldn't trade it for anything in this world.
For example, these are the moments every missionary loves. Tony and Rhonda came to the ward Christmas party!!! and members of the ward came up and said hi and welcomed them too. we were hoping some members would come and sit with us, but that's ok. Tony even knew a couple people from a place he worked at many years ago and also one from high school. It was priceless when he shook Jo Zabriskie's hand and said do I look familiar to you? she was at a loss til he said he was Tony and she said Tollet?? Yep! haha The last couple days Sister Tycz and I went over to Tony and Rhonda Tollet's to help them set up their Christmas tree and such. We got to teach them the Plan of Salvation which they said really made sense to them. The next day we talked with them and they were laughing about how I know all the old movies and TV shows and Sister Tycz knows all the new ones. baha (Glass Bottom Boat, the Carol Burnet show, etc. They know them!) We taught them about Joseph Smith and the Restoration and showed them the 20minute video about it. I could definitely feel the Spirit and I think they did too. They're Methodist and said that our religion believes a lot of the same things, but where we're different, we're really different. haha They love us and we love them SOOO much! They've both said they're adopting us and tony said he worries about us walking the streets when there are bad people around, even in Emporia. So sweet. I've attached a picture of them by the way :)
Also, Katrina, I don't know if you remember my password, but could you accept Rhonda's friend request for me on facebook? That would be sweet :) And I got your package!!! yay ;) and I didn't even open it yet although you're killin' me, you're really killin' me. hahah THANK YOU!!!
I also got the letters that family wrote at Thanksgiving which was super fun to read. :D LOVED it!!!
The roads are skating rinks here. so pretty but kinda iffy. haha But our investigator Debbie gave me some of her boots that she doesn't fit anymore!!! So sososoo thoughtful, I was about to cry it was so nice of her. plus some DELICIOUS homemade bread. oooh so good.
My goal this week is to learn more about the Atonement and make our visits more effective. We just love them so much we have to know how everything is going with them that we end up staying too long. haha But I just started Jesus the Christ and I'm super excited to read it when I can between studying the scriptures and Preach My Gospel. I know that The Atonement of Jesus Christ is real. That He came to this earth. I read 3 Nephi 19 this morning and it really made me rethink my own prayers. It talks about Jesus Christ praying for the people. Christ just thanks Heavenly Father for the gift and blessing He gives to the people. He wants them all to enjoy the blessings of having the Holy Ghost which is truly an amazing gift from our Father in Heaven. I love feeling that in my heart, and Knowing truth because of him. In verse 34 it says, "Nevertheless, so great and marvelous were the words which he pared that they cannot be written, neither can they be uttered by man." That really made me rethink about how wimpy my prayers sometimes are, like please bless me with this, and please bless me with that. Yeah we do need help sometimes, but our focus should really be thanks and praying for others and their specific challenges and needs. It adds to the definition of forget yourself and go to work. I know prayer works!!! I pray for our investigators often, that they will pray and recognize the answer they get to their prayers. I know this is the truth because I can feel it. Just like I can't describe what salt tastes like, I can't describe what the Holy Ghost does for me, but I am thankful that he helps change my heart and will to align with my Loving Heavenly Father. (Also see Matthewand take note of the word WITH. I'd never noticed before that the people didn't get to Jesus' feet by themselves)
Love you all and hope things are tooooo crazy around the Christmas season. Everybody stay warm!! Taylor told me it's supposed to snow there. Burr!! I'll let you know about transfers next week if we're even going to be transferred (I sure hope not we got more work to do!) haha
-- Love always and forever
-- Love always and forever