What a crazy fun week!
For New Years all of us missionaries got together and had a party! It was fun. We went to the institute building and played ping pong and drank sparkling cider and played some pool and catch phrase. It was really fun to be with friends. All the missionaries here are like family. I love them all so much.
Ready for a crazy story.... New Year's Eve morning our whole district (all 12 of us) went to help a lady from the English ward move all of her stuff. I feel bad saying this, but, I have NEVER seen a house more disgusting. She had been living in that house for years and hadn't thrown a single thing away. A hoarder. I have a huge fear of hoarders too, so that made it worse! And then on top of that she had 4 long haired cats. 4 of them!!! There was cat hair EVERYWHERE!!! It was nasty and the whole place smelled like cat pee. I was 100% disgusted. We were there for 2 hours boxing things up and putting them in a U-Haul, and we barely packed up her kitchen and one corner of her living room. We left after two hours because (as some of you may know) I have allergies to cats, so my throat was pretty much sealed shut, my eyes were red and swollen. I was sneezing ever 2 minutes and then I would cough the whole time because I couldn't breathe. It was horid. We came home and I took a Benadryl and slept for about 2 hours. What an adventure! Maryanne, I will never complain about the animal hair in your house ever again. haha
I went on exchanges with Sister Jensen On Tuesday. I learned a lot from her. We had a lesson with Sun. She is from Shanghai and has learned about the gospel while she has been here. She is super sweet. Her testimony is so strong. While we were there she told us how she is really excited to go back to Shanghai and share Jesus with all of her family and friends. Really cool! We also taught this crazy family. Holy cow!! that was my very first experience teaching them and they are sooo funny! I couldn't believe how much they talked. Their dad, Larry was a hoot! Exchanges are always a blast.
The Lord blessed us this week with 12 new investigators. We have 3 families that we are now teaching, and I am super excited. We are seeing the fruits of our obedience throughout this past little bit that has been hard. It is really cool to see. This area is about to explode. At ward council this Sunday, our leaders told us the goals for the group. They said that they want this group to be a branch by the end of this year. That means that they want 8 active endowed melchizedek priesthood holders, 60 active members attending sacrament every week, and 1 family to go through the temple. Right now the group's sacrament attendance is really low, so this is a big goal. We have 2 baptisms planned for the 30th of January (Rosi and little John). We will need to work hard and get the members very focused on missionary work as well. We have a lot of people already in the church, but that are less active, so we will need to work hard with them. With this vision that the bishopric has, I feel really motivated to do everything I can to make it happen and bring them to Christ. I don't want to hold anything back. Hermana James and I talked to our "group president" Brother Johnson and he told us that the trust between him and the missionaries and also the missionaries and the members is the best that it has been for a long while. He knows that we are doing hard work and he wants us both to stay. We really would like to stay also. We find out if we are moving or not in 2 weeks. I really feel like there is still a lot of work for us to do. We can start this group's year off strong, so that when other missionaries come in there is a strong base and the vision of our leaders can be accomplished. So we are ready to work hard!
Oh! another really cool miracle! Bartolo called us from Mexico!!! We talked to him for a little bit. He said he went to church in Mexico on Sunday and loved it! Woohoo!!! He said he found the elders there and that one of them is from Utah. (haha not a surprise to us, but to him it was amazing) Then he let us talk to his mom. His mom told us thank you for changing her sons life. It was amazing to be able to talk to her. Bartolo is doing amazing.
I have come to learn through that and through other experiences this week that if we just keep looking forward and keep our focus on Christ, we will be ok. The rest will come. As I have been praying and studying and working as hard as I can, I have felt the love of God and I know that with him and with the help of Christ I can overcome all things. I am excited for this new year to make new goals and keep walking on the road back to my loving Heavenly Father. I love you all so much and wish you a HAPPY 2016!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is all the sister missionaries at our New Year's party :) so much fun! Cheers!
This is Sun! She pulled out a selfie stick when I asked if I could take a picture with her!!!
sooooo funny!!!! I love Asians!
Sun, Me, and Sister Jensen :)
My fear of hoarders is real... it is so scary... this car was just sitting there and I ran... far away!
Hna James and I happily doing the Lord's work!!!