Ok seriously, where did 2013 go?! This is craziness. I just got used to writing 2013 on my dates.
Time just flies on the mission. I have no idea how it happens, and it only gets faster and faster as the end approaches... or so I'm told.
Sister LeSueur leaves in two weeks and I am really not sure what I'm going to do without her. Cry I guess. She is so completely loved and adored by every single person here. We'll probably institute a stake-wide day of mourning when she leaves. I hope to one day be able to completely love people as much as she does. She truly has set the course for my entire mission, and I am so grateful to have had her as my trainer!
A ginormous thank you to all who have sent packages and letters this past week!! Your support and love and prayers mean so much to me!! Thank you to Sister Ward, the Kurihara's (seriously that CD is on repeat right now), Leisa W, the Highfill's, Sister Adams, Mom and Dad, and anyone else who I am forgetting to list by name.
Skyping with the family was seriously the best time. Nothing's changed too much since I've been gone :) I love you so much familia!! Sorry if I don't respond to your emails all the time :)
Something Sis. LeSueur shared yesterday stuck out to me: We love to get letters from home, and the scriptures are like little letters from home from our Heavenly Father. I love the Book of Mormon!
Read through the lyrics of Hymn #141. The very thought of our Savior should continually inspire us to be better and become more like Him. I love that hymn!
This week was fully of meetings, tender mercies, member visits, recent converts, youth lessons, and pure exhaustion. I love every single second of it.
We had a fantastic zone activity of sledding last Monday! We seriously live in the most gorgeous place in the world. We were on this hill next to one of our wards, and you could see our whole area beautifully.
(Everything the light touches is our kingdom. What about that shadowy place? That's the Elders' area. You must never go there Simba.)
I had two experiences this week where I truly was able to see how people let the mission change them. I was able to be in a District Leadership Training meeting with Elder Colton, and later in the week I was able to receive a Priesthood blessing from Elder Williams - two friends from freshman year. It is so incredible to see and interact with them as they truly give their all to serving the Lord. I am so grateful for their examples and for all that they have done on their missions.
This week has been rather reflective on how my mission has changed me thus far. I look at Sister LeSueur who heads home in two weeks, Elder Eyre who just got home, Elder Colton who heads home this week, and President Hansen who still talks about his mission years later. They have truly let the Atonement reach into their own lives and change them in the best way possible. I hope that I as I continue to give my all, the Savior will also change my heart and instill in me a continual desire to share the message of the gospel and draw nearer to Him each day.
Christmas Eve and Christmas we spent with lots of members - who also invited investigators into their homes - and enjoyed plenty of food. I'm still recovering from that. The members here are absolutely incredible. I cannot praise them enough. They are so generous and loving - Mueller Park is seriously my home now. We went caroling on Christmas to all of the Stake Presidency and stake leadership members. They are such incredible people and so willing to reach outward to others! I love being here at this time!
Lastly, yesterday was crazy. We had three young women's lessons and a young men's lesson. I was thrown to the wolves and sent to teach a combined young men lesson all by myself while the other two went to a young women group. Advice for me on teaching young men in the future? Nathan? I think it went well. The young men asked some awesome questions about getting ready to serve. Something we did in both lessons (that I helped with at least) was give them a sheet of paper and have them write down 2-3 things.
Challenge: pull out a piece of paper and do it, too!
1. Think of a non-member or less-active friend and write their name down. Pray for that person every day this week.
2. Write down one thing you will do to bring them closer to Christ this week.
3. (for Young Men's lesson) Write down one thing you will do this week to prepare yourself to bring others closer to Christ.
4. Sign and date the piece of paper. Then put it in your scriptures or another place where you will see it every day!
My time is up. Know that I love you all dearly. This gospel is true! Miracles happen when we act in faith and pray for people by name. Expect miracles. Look for the hand of God. And remember the love our Savior has for you.
Also read 3 Nephi 11-27. Christ's teachings are just amazing.
3 Nephi 22:7 especially hit me this morning. The Lord truly has our needs at heart and if we look for them, we can see tender mercies every single day.
Ezekiel 36:26 The Bible talks about a change of heart, too! :)
A thought from this past district meeting: When we sit down for our daily or weekly planning, we aren't just planning to change someone's hour or day or week; we are planning to change their eternity.
I love you! Keep smiling!
With JAMPA - the cutest and smartest nine year old ever - on little Christmas Eve with her grandparents. She was baptized earlier this year and is absolutely amazing.
Zone Christmas Breakfast at an old Mission President's home
Zone Sledding Activity
Love the Bountiful Temple!
Post-Sledding ... We found a matching plate! haha
I am the tallest one of the group
So Sister Smith and I played Sleigh Ride... except she hadn't played it in 9 years and I don't know the top part. 'Twas fun.