My dear family and friends!!
Bryan: Sounds like you had a great week!! It is crazy that you are already done with another transfer! Have a blast in your new area! I will definitely be praying for you to find those ready to receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Marissa!: Congrats on passing your written drivers test! I am sure proud of you!! The family letter also talked about the lessons you have been having with Crystal and the missionaries!! I am so proud of you! You are such an amazing missionary! Be sure to send me pictures of her baptism in February! I also want to wish you luck in Los Angeles this weekend! Sing your heart out and have so much fun with mom!!
Lachlan & Alexa: Looks like you had a blast at the Jazz game with dad! Keep having tons of fun!
Here is a visa update from my mission President in Taiwan, President Day:
Continue to pray for our missionaries who are waiting on their visas. Fifteen of nineteen have had all their paperwork sent into the visa office and we are now waiting for the final decision. The other four missionaries need to send in one more document before the Taiwanese government can consider their visas. We are anxious for their arrival.
As for my week in Monument, CO:
This week was pretty good. It went by extremely fast. I feels like I was emailing home yesterday.
Tuesday, January 20, we were able to have a lesson with Cami. We brought our ward mission leader, Bro. Cook, with us and he added so much. We mainly talked about conversion. We shared the Mormon Message, The Refiner's Fire, and all shared our conversion stories. Cami also shared her conversion story and it was really neat. Cami is continuing to read the Book of Mormon and looking for truth. I hope she decides to come to church soon.
On Tuesday, we were also able to meet with a less active in our ward. Her husband is currently traveling for work and will be gone for a month. She is just a neat lady. She continues everyday to read and study from the Book of Mormon. She shared, in tears, how she is planning on sending her son a Book of Mormon in the next package that she sends to him. He is currently in rehab receiving help overcoming some addictions. She has been through many surgeries in the past couple months and the pain she has been in is what has been keeping her from coming to church.
We had dinner with the Reynold family. They are the family from England. They currently have a son serving in Washington D.C. and returns this July. Sis. Reynold says the time has flown by. We were also invited to attend Young Women's tonight. Sis Goss brought her neighbor who teaches Pilates classes and we had a class. It was not only fun talking to Heather, the instructor, but also getting to know the young women in the ward.
Wednesday, Jan. 21, we received 6-8 inches of snow. Because of the snow, the mission parked our cars so we couldn't go anywhere. Luckily, Wednesday's are Weekly Planning days so that filled our morning and I was able to get caught up in my journal in the afternoon. Sadly, we also had to cancel our appointments during the day but we were able to get rides to our dinner and night appointment.
Thursday, we were able to go out to Area 2 and stop by some less active individuals. Unfortunately, none of them were home. We don't get out to area 2 very much because it is so far away and there are not very many members in that area. Area 2 is the wealthiest part of my area and the people we have come in contact with are not exactly ready to learn about the gospel. After, we were able to go to the Castle home. We helped Sis. Castle a little bit. She is due with their 4th baby the beginning of February. She asked us if we could play a game with her kids and so we played Chutes and Ladders. It was really fun and the Castle kids were a blast to play with.
We had dinner with the Carpenters. Bro. Carpenter is a pediatric doctor for the Air Force so they have lived all over the world. She made this sticky toffee pudding from England for a dessert and it was SO good! They are a fun family to talk with their kids are geniuses so when they start talking about chemistry or something, they lose me...haha.
We had an appointment with the Gaddy family after dinner. Bro. Gaddy is not a member but his wife is. I can't remember if I had talked about them before. Bro. Gaddy comes to church each week with Sis. Gaddy and stays all 3 hours. He has taken the lessons multiple times in the past. He is so neat to talk with and says that he likes having conversations with us..so that's always a plus. Last time we met with them, we asked Bro. Gaddy to think about his testimony and what he believes and to share it with us the next time we met. Bro. Gaddy is very educated and thinks very deeply. Thursday night, we mostly discussed the meaning of the word, 'testimony' and a little bit about what he believes. We always laugh with him because he has given a Book of Mormon away and he also told us tonight that he gave a Plan of Salvation pamphlet away to one of is coworkers. Ha. Sis. Gaddy has a daughter out on a mission right now in Chile and Bro. Gaddy has a really good relationship with her. She answers a lot of his questions and is a huge support to him.
Friday, we had district meeting in the morning. I was asked to give the devotional. On Thursday, I read the talk from President Monson entitled, "Guided Safely Home." It is from the Priesthood Session of this last General Conference. I LOVE the quote:
I love this quote because it reminds us to follow the example of Jesus Christ. He came to this earth to not only atone for our sins but to also leave us with an example to base our lives off of. I love how all over the scriptures, especially in the New Testament, Christ says, "Follow Thou Me." I invite you all to find one thing in your life that you can change or work on to follow the example of Christ better.
After district meeting, we did some stop bys and visited with the Billings. He is a chiropractor and he adjusted our backs. We were able to talk more to Sis. Billings about how we can help her and the Young Women in the ward. We had dinner early tonight because there was this huge forum tonight but it worked out great because Sis. Grant had this extreme pain in her mouth and we were able to get an appointment with Bro. Lovejoy (a dentist in our ward) for her after dinner. Because of this, we had to cancel our night appointments but it turned out great because we had an appointment with the Castles to work on their Family Mission Plan. When we called Sis. Castle, she answered so fast and said something like, Oh my goodness, I am so glad you called. I totally forgot you were coming tonight. I am actually on my way to the hospital to hopefully deliver our baby. ha. It was crazy. We were at her home yesterday and today her baby was born. Sis. Grant has infection under a cap in a root canal. Bro. Lovejoy gave her some antibiotics and some pain killers to get rid of the pain. We spent the rest of the night taking care of her and going to Wal-Mart to get her some food she can eat.
Saturday, we went to have our 2nd lesson with Melissa but she wasn't home. It was kind of weird because a couple days ago when we confirmed with her, she said she was all set and that one of her children, Brenna, had an all day speech tournament. She is really hard to get a hold of so we hope we will be able to catch her home soon to see if she still wants to take the lessons or not. :/. We went back to our home for lunch and additional study and Sis. Grant's medicine put her to sleep. We spent a couple hours doing some study while she slept. It was a pretty slow day...but that's okay. I was able to read a lot of the Book of Mormon.
We had a couple member appointments Saturday night. We were able to meet with the Relief Society President, Sis. Smith, and discuss some needs in the ward. We had dinner at the Rivard's home, a role-play with the Jones family, and an appointment with Jenn. The Jones family is so cute. Both Bro. and Sis. Jones served missions. Bro. Jones in Guatemala and Sis. Jones in Italy. They have three kids, Ky (7), Finn (5 or 6) and Bre? ( almost 2). We taught them the Plan of Salvation. We have a fun diagram we lay out when we teach and the kids had a lot of fun. Ky is so smart. He knew all the answers to our questions. It was the cutest thing, we asked him why he wanted to get baptized this year and he told us, "So I don't have to do it later." haha His parents just laughed and shook their heads. Finn was also really cute. Bro. Jones asked Sis. Cook to say the closing prayer and Finn said, No, and pointed to me. He wouldn't let anyone else say the prayer but me...I don't know why, but he was really cute. Also, when we were getting ready to leave, he came up to me and gave me a hug, high-5, and rocks. He then ran into their living room and in full sprint came running to give me a high-5. This happened about 3 or 4 times. It made my day!
Jenn is also a member in our ward. This weekend was her kids' dads weekend to have them so she was home alone. Her fiance, Shane, was living in the same apartment as her but when we got there Saturday night, she was waiting for us on the stairs and the first thing she told us was that Shane left yesterday afternoon and hasn't returned. This has happened once before I came to Colorado and was gone for 2 weeks and then just appeared again. Jenn was pretty calm about it. She was more worried about what she is going to tell her kids when they come back from their dad's home. Being the expert marriage/engaged counselor I am (not), I gave her the advice of focusing on her 3 beautiful kids, school, and herself. I told her to not worry about Shane or trying to keep a relationship with him. She agreed and said she was done with the un-stability in her life. We shared 2 Tim 1:7 with her and talked about relying on Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
Sunday was very busy. Most of our day was filled with church, ward choir, and correlation. We were only able to stay a Jenn's for a little bit Saturday night so we went back to spend a little bit more time with her. We had dinner with the John family. They have 9 total kids. Their youngest three, 7, 5, & 3 are all adopted. They are so cute and the story behind their adoption and life is funny and also incredible. When I have more time I'll share.
Sorry, I wrote a lot today...haha hopefully you got all the way through it..if not, that's okay too!!
Overall, this week was great! I am so grateful for the time I have to spend on my mission! My testimony grows daily as we work to try and bring others unto Christ.
I love you all so much! Have a great week!!
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."
Sis. Grant and I on Wednesday.
Me in all the snow.
Selfie: Sis. Grant, Sis. Cook, and I.