GOOD NEWS!!!! I am now receiving President Day's weekly emails and this is part of the email that he sent this week!!! I am SO excited!!!!! Hopefully our visas can come soon!
STATUS OF OUR VISA WAITERS
I have received notice in the past couple of days that the paperwork for 15 of our visa-waiting missionaries has been finalized and forwarded to the consulate. We hope the paperwork on the other 13 missionaries will be put together and submitted quickly as well. Keep prayer for quick results.
Thank you so much for the letters I got through out the week and the emails I got today! I appreciate them all so much! Thank you so much for your support and the love I receive from all of you!
So today being a holiday, we are emailing from a member's home. :) Everyone in the ward that I am serving in is so friendly and kind!! Here's a run down of my week:
Tuesday (Jan 13): Tuesday morning we had another lesson with our investigator, Cami. She is slowly progressing but still has multiple questions about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. We talked more about the Godhead because she believes in the Trinity. After our lesson, we were able to go down to Transfer meeting. I still have the same companions, Sister Grant and Sister Cook but I had to go down to sign some more visa papers. Here is the crazy thing about transfer meeting, Monday night we received a text from the Zone Leaders and they asked me if I lived in China and if my first name was Samantha. After talking a little bit, they told me an Elder in this mission knows me and it ended up being Elder Despain!!!! I called him on our way down to Colorado Springs and he remembered me from China! They moved home about 2 years before us we figured out...so...That's like 10 years ago!! I remember getting his high school graduation and his family Christmas cards every year. He was also going to Transfer Meeting so we were able to meet up and talk for a bit. He is already almost done with his mission! I believe he said he has been out for about 20 months! His family now lives in Oregon. I totally didn't recognize him though. I'm glad he remembered what I
looked like. haha. It is crazy how small the world is! From living in China I have made so many connections! It is insane.
Mom, I got your letter also on Tuesday. Thanks so much! I definitely needed that :) Alexa--I love your picture and letter you sent! It's so cute! Hopefully I'll have time today to write back :)
Wednesday (1/14): Wednesday we had weekly planning which pretty much takes up our entire morning. After weekly planning, we were able to go help Sis. Sorenson prime her basement. She is getting ready to finish her basement and priming was the first step. It was really fun to talk to her a spend a little time getting to know her better. We were supposed to have a lesson with the Germono family after but they called and cancelled on us so we will have to try and go over another time. We were able to do some stop bys before our appointment with the Goss family and dinner appointment with the Gearhart family. The Goss family has a cute little 4 year-old girl who kept telling me I looked like Elsa from Frozen. (I'm assuming she meant Anna because of my hair)..but..It was super cute.
Wednesday night we had an appointment with Sis. Hayes. She is a less-active who wants to get back to the temple this year. Our lesson with her was phenomenal. What we have decided to do is start from the beginning and re-teach the lessons. We brought Sis. Melville with us and she added so much that helped Sis. Hayes. Sis. Hayes has been through a lot in her life--especially the last couple of years. She was baptized in 1997 and has a daughter who is currently in her Freshman year at College. The Spirit was so strong during the entire lesson and we invited her to pray again like Joseph Smith did. She expressed to us, in tears, her fears that she has about coming back to church. Sis. Grant was so prompted and shared 2 Timothy 1:7. (Look it up!!). She explained how fear comes from the adversary and if we turn to the Lord, He will be able to help us overcome fear. It was just what she needed to hear. She accepted our invitation to come to church with us this Sunday. Lessons like the one we had with Sis. Hayes are reasons that make me so grateful I decided to serve a mission! I know this is the work of the Lord. I am so grateful for the Spirit. If it wasn't for the Holy Ghost, we wouldn't be able to teach what others need to hear.
Thursday (1/15): We had another lesson with Cami. Sis. Goss was able to come with us. We taught one of the commandments and mostly talked about the chapters she read in the Book of Mormon. She has sciatica (I hope that is how you spell it) so she has basically been on bed rest. She was able to read all of 2 Nephi and the first 4 chapters in Jacob. There were a couple things she questioned but she is learning a lot and remembering a lot of what she had read. She is also reading the Bible in chronological order this year so she did a lot of that reading as well. Cami is still trying to figure out who the Book of Mormon is written by. We were able to bear testimony but knowing that she will have to find that answer out for herself. For lunch, we went to Subway. We all forgot to pack a lunch but it was a miracle because we were able to talk to the worker, Jake. He saw our name tags and asked us what church we went to. We were able to give him a Mormon.org card with our number on it. He seemed really interested in learning more about the gospel.
Later Thursday evening, after our dinner appointment, we were able to go over to the Gonzalez families home. They have two sons currently serving--one in Japan and the other in Chile. They are such a neat family! They are very talkative and we have a lot of fun talking to their family.
Friday: Friday we had district meeting. Elder Wasden (district leader) brought the Ward Mission Leader from his ward, Bro. Hill, who talked to us about working with members and how hard it is for some members to accomplish the tasks we, as missionaries, give members. He mentioned the book, The Power of Everyday Missionaries. He said it is a great book on how to become great Member Missionaries. I heard that it is really good. I invite you all to read it! We were able to do some more stop-by's and we tracted a little bit. You should all be happy for me...I talked three homes in a row. We were handing out these Relgious Freedom Forum handouts so it made it a little easier to bring up that first. I guess there is some legislative that could possibly be passed in Colorado to limit religious freedom or something like that. This event is actually mostly being put on by the Catholic church but is going to be in the Stake Center. Tracting is starting, little by little, to be less frightening. I remember the first time we tracted--my first day out in the field--and I honestly thought I was going to have a heart attack :)
Saturday: We went on exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders. Sis. Cook and I went to Glen Eagle. It was a really slow day but we were able to play soccer with a big group of individuals from India! I guess the Glen Eagle Sisters came in contact with them about a month ago and they have become really good friends. They are all here on work assignments from Fed-Ex or UPS (I can't remember). I don't have soccer skills like Bryan but it was really fun and it was some good exercise. Saturday night we had dinner with the Billings and had a good conversation with Sis. Billings. She is the Young Women's President and we talked about how we can better help her and serve the Young Women.
Sunday: Sunday is such a busy day in the mission! Church was great. 3rd hour, we were able to teach the Young Women. The leaders asked us to talk about how to answer their friends questions. We had appointments with a couple families in the ward and a less-active family. We had dinner with the Bishop and his family. Sadly, our appointment after dinner was cancelled and we can't tract or basically do anything outside after dinner/dark so we went home and got a couple things done. We were also able to have some journal time to catch up which was really nice! Overall, it was a great day.
I am glad everything at home is going great. I love hearing everything!
Lachlan--congrats on winning the Pinewood Derby! I am so proud of you!! Your car looks awesome!
Marissa--My prayers are with you to pass your driver's ed test! haha. Keep studying hard!! I hope everything is going well with singing and everything. Any new word on The Voice tryouts?
Alexa: Thanks again for your letter! I loved reading it and the picture you drew is so cute! I miss having sleepovers with you!
This upcoming week we are really busy with appointments! Our ward mission leader is on fire! He is so dedicated to his calling and in helping us succeed.
Thanks again for all the prayers! I love you all so much!! I hope you have a great week!!
--I chopped off a lot of my hair on Friday night. I was really sad but it was so damaged on the bottom!!
--Bryan, I was able to meet Sis. Couch at transfer meeting! I guess Elder Poulter had emailed her too to look for me! She is so cute!
All of us visa waiters (except one) in the Colorado Springs, Colorado mission signing our visa papers! It was like a little family reunion when we all saw each other! It was so fun!