This week has been great! I absolutely loved being able to do a three-way call on Christmas with my family in Idaho and Bryan in the Philippines. It was so good to see all of you and be able to talk to you!! I'm glad everything is going well!
Family, It's crazy that you got so much snow that Church was cancelled?!? That has never happened before! Dad, it's nice of you for going and plowing everyone's driveways! I'm sure that took forever! Marissa, I am sorry you got the flu..that must be awful! Hopefully you will be cleared up soon!
Here is the rest of the week after Skyping on Christmas...
As you know, I was Skyping during our dinner and when I was finished, I walked out and Elise Wilding (from Idaho Falls) was there!! She just got married this past year to Tyler Atkinson and we were at his parents home for Christmas dinner! She graduated a year before me from high school and is currently at BYU-Idaho. It was so good to see a familiar face from home! She told me that Will Whitman and Reagan Murdoch are engaged and also that Jessica Hansen and Tyson Dennert got engaged a couple days ago! That is crazy!! Tell them congrats from me! As I mentioned on Skype, there was also a possible investigator that came to dinner at the Atkinson's! His name is John and he has 2 children-a boy and a girl. He was very talkative and we got to know him very well! We read parts of the Christmas story from 3 Nephi 1 and gave him and his children a Book of Mormon. They told us that they would read it. We are hoping to get another opportunity to teach him soon. He seemed pretty interested and Bishop Atkinson was very helpful in explaining to him how much the gospel can bless him and his children. I love referrals like these because families know best when their friends are ready to receive the gospel.
There is a family in our ward from England. They have lived in Colorado for the last 3 years. Friday night, we were able to have dinner at their home. Bro. Reynold just got back from a business trip to Shanghai, China! I told him that I used to live there and we talked a lot about the culture there and about the different places to go a visit.
Saturday we had a first lesson with a new investigator! Sis. Cook and her previous companion contacted her on the street one day when she was taking out her trash. Her name is Melissa and she is the sweetest lady I have ever met! She is very open and has a lot to talk about! She has three children-Brenna (14), Jeffrey (12), and Benjamin (10). Her husband and her moved their family out to Colorado about 3 years ago. She is a Sunday School teacher for her church and her husband, Randy is Jewish. The lesson we had was just with her and a little bit with her son, Jeffrey. He has a case of autism and his extremely intelligent and has so much to say. Our lesson went a little long because he had so many different stories about school and friends that he wanted to tell us. Melissa said that is was weird that he was telling us his stories because he is normally extremely quiet around strangers. It was really neat. Our lesson went fantastic. We taught the first lesson, The Restoration. The Spirit was definitely there. All the hard hours where we got rejected at doors all were worth it for this one lesson with Melissa. The coolest part is that when we asked her how she would feel if she knew that there was a living prophet on the earth today and she said, "Well, that would make sense!" We went on to explain that there is a living prophet at 12 apostles to lead and guide Christ's church! When we also taught about Joseph Smith and the First Vision, she said she had this very peaceful feeling. We gave her a Book of Mormon and she seemed very excited to read it. She is started her own company and she is opening/starting distributing on January 17th so unfortunately, she can't meet with the missionaries again until January 24, 2015. I hope she starts to read the Book of Mormon and feel of the Spirit as she reads from its' pages.
The work here in Colorado is pretty difficult. There hasn't been a baptism in the area I am serving in in over a year. Most people are very against the church here or already have their own faith. Knocking doors is probably one of the scariest things I have ever done...but...I'm slowly getting used to it. But, I love what I am doing. I definitely is not easy. But I am learning and growing so much. The members here are fabulous and they take such good care of us. We got several presents for Christmas from many members--which was a huge surprise. Bro. Jenson (the one that talked to dad) has taken me under his wing and has really made sure I am doing great and praying that I receive my visa soon.
This week in personal study, I have read in Alma about all the missionary experiences that the sons of Mosiah had. Sometimes missionary work is extremely challenging and you feel as if you are not making a difference but I love in Alma 26:27 where it says, "Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success." No matter where we are in life, the Lord is there to comfort us and give us peace. I love how the Lord promises Ammon and his brethren success if they listen to the promptings of the Holy Ghost. I feel like this can be applied much to all of our lives. Listen to the promptings you receive and let the power of the Holy Ghost lead and guide you to do all things!
I have loved this past week! I have loved being able to experience the first part of my mission in Colorado Springs. It's kind of funny because many ask me why my name tag is not in English..I tell them and most of them say, "Oh, I'm so sorry that you have to wait in Colorado." I always tell my companions I don't understand why they say this because I know this is where the Lord needs me to be right now. I have already learned so much and I have met some life long friends!
Thank you so much for all the emails and keeping me updated on the events occurring in your lives! It means so much to me!! I love and miss you all SO much!! Have a great week and stay warm!!
P.S. Remember that couple that I told you about on Skype that has served 5 missions as a couple? Two in Taiwan, one in the Cauayan, Philippines mission, and now in Colorado Springs? If you look at the picture of the zone, they are the ones on the far left right in front of Elder Diepeveen (from my district in the MTC).
My Mission President and his wife, President and Sister Rehm, are the ones in the middle on the chairs.
My companions and I with Santa at Zone Conference on Tuesday.
My current Zone.
My companions, Sister Cook & Grant delivering some Relief Society handouts in the snow on the 26th.