Family & Friends!!
First off, BRYAN! I met someone yesterday who just returned home from the Cauayan, Philippines mission! I asked her if she knows you and she said that she never met you but that the area that you are serving in, Bambong, is an amazing area and missionaries really want to go there! She said that the mission is wonderful and that she learned so much there! She also talked about how much she misses the people! Your pictures with all the little kids is adorable!! I loved reading through your email and looking at the pictures you sent! Love you!!
Sadly, Thursday, we were stuck at home...our car is the lightest thing..it got stuck in the driveway and we live many miles away from our area...it was snowing and we received about 6 inches of snow...but, other than that, I had a blast!
Some elders in my district found a couple people in our stake who speak Chinese. They set an appointment up for me with Bro. Savage last Tuesday night. I was able to talk to him and I learned a lot about studying the language. We talked pretty much the entire time in English (yes, he's a talker) but if I am here for a while longer, he said to call him and we can set up an appointment for me to teach him a lesson.
This week, we have been focusing on visiting less-actives. Most don't let us in, but yesterday we saw a miracle! We went to visit the Fitt family. Sis. Cook has been in this area for 4 1/2 months and she said that they have never let us in. We were able to talk to them for about an hour! They are very open about church. They have 6 kids. One of their sons returned from a mission a couple years ago and one son is a junior and talked about wanting to serve as soon as he graduated high school. They are a cute family and hopefully we will be able to continue to help them come back to church.
Saturday we had exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders. Sis. Cook and I went to Glen Eagle and Sis Grant stayed in Jackson Creek. We had two baptisms to go to on Saturday. The first one was an 8 year-old girl who is in the Glen Eagle ward and the second one was an investigator that Sis. Cook taught a couple months ago and moved. It was so neat to attend a convert baptism. Her name is Brook and she has been through so much in her life. The Spirit was so strong and she was so happy. She has a cute little one year old daughter. I was so glad I was able to meet Brook. I hope that she continues to grow and learn more about the gospel. On Saturday, we were also able to teach a recent-convert for the Glen Eagle Ward. Her name is Giselle and she has the sweetest Spirit. The gospel has really strengthened her life and has helped her overcome some pretty hard challenges in her life. It is neat to see, even though I don't know these people very well, the changes that have been put in their lives because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They are so happy. It makes me so blessed to have grown up in the gospel and now being able to share the knowledge that I know to others around me.
The neatest part about Saturday, was our dinner appointment. The family, the Kingrey's, have changed my life forever. They just moved out to Colorado about the same time I got here. They moved from Arkansas and have experienced so much in their life. Do you remember the huge tornado that occurred on April 27? There was a neighborhood that had completely been destroyed in this tornado. Bro. Kingrey was about 4 hours away on a business trip when the tornado happened and Sis. Kingrey, their two children, and I believe her dad, were at home. When the tornado came through, their house was completely flattened and they had lost everything. They were all severely injured, their 6 year-old son and the grandfather were carried in the Tornado. What was the neatest part is that they had barely moved to the area a couple months before the Tornado hit. They moved their because they had a prompting. They had no idea why. After they had met their neighbors Sis. Kingrey had an impression that they were there to help their neighbors. They were somewhat older--no kids at home anymore. She felt as if the husband was going to pass away sometime soon and that they were going to be able to help the wife cope with the loss. In the tornado, the husband did end up being killed and the Kingrey's were able to weep and sorrow with the wife. It was such an amazing story of being in-tune with the Spirit and listening to the promptings. Sis. Kingrey still has some hard days remembering what she went through and even though they lost everything, they have been humbled and have learned so much from their experience. I am an awful story teller but their story was in the Church news and their family was pictured on the front. I learned so much from them about how things don't matter. Family and the Gospel do.
To see more of their story click here:
On Friday (sorry, I am like all over the place...) after District Meeting, we spent the entire day helping a family from Albuquerque, New Mexico move into their new home in the Monument Ward. We also met a guy from Hong Kong in a neighborhood where we were trying to visit some potentials. He wasn't interested in learning about the gospel but he was really nice and said he could read my name tag...haha.
Lastly, New Years was really fun. We had dinner at the Lovejoy's and we made sugar cookies with them. Bro. Lovejoy had to work till 8ish so we were able to spend the night with Sis. Lovejoy. She loves missionaries and loves sharing her missionary experiences she has. The ward members here and so kind and loving! I love them all so very much. I feel like I am getting connected with the ward. I am recognizing faces and being able to relate with many. It's funny because whenever is see Bro. Jenson (the one that called you), he always asks me about my visa and says that he will call dad and tell you a script to tell the Travel Office..haha. In all, I love Colorado. The people here a so nice. I am looking forward to the next week and hope that we can make some progress with the investigators that we do have. We weren't able to meet with any this week but we have some appointments this week!
I love how much I am learning and the experiences that I am having on my mission! It is crazy how much I have already learned!!
Love you all!! I loved reading the family email! It sounds like you are all doing great! Have a great week!!
Sugar Cookies with Sis. Lovejoy.
At Brook's baptism. She is the one somewhat in the middle with the Maroon dress.
Splits with the Sister Training Leaders, Sis. Tarr, Sis. Cook, & I.