The title of this letter was "I'll be home for Christmas" .... and I fell for it. Haha. Here's her letter for this week! :)
Did my subject trick you?! Haha sorry about the joke, but I really will be home before next Christmas. My official release date would have been in January and was kind of stressing me out and keeping my mind away from what I should be thinking about, so in my interview with President Beesley this week, we decided to pick a date to come home. It will be the beginning of December. He said that he didn't want me to be away from my sister for 3 Christmases, so he's sending me home! I was so relieved and felt a lot more focused on the work after we decided that. :)
This week was a good one. The weeks go by so fast here that I have a hard time keeping track of what happens! But I guess that is a good thing. We taught a TON of lessons this week. 16 to be exact. The mission goal for weekly lessons is 20 and we should be higher than that next week. Miranda was out of town for the last 5 days, so we didn't get to see her as much. We did find a new investigator though! His name is David and he lives on Fort Wainwright. We were there on Saturday to visit a less-active member. David "happened" to walk by right as we walked in and Josiah (the LA) invited him to join us for the lesson. He is such a sweet guy from southern VA. He said the closing prayer in our lesson (which is huge!) and took a Book of Mormon and said he would read it. I invited him to come to church yesterday and he said he would try and make it. And he did! He and Josiah both came to church and he said he really enjoyed it and learned a lot. He also said that he had read his Book of Mormon! We are meeting with him again on Tuesday and are excited about teaching him the lessons.
I had a really interesting experience this week that I would like to share with you all. I think I mentioned in a previous email that we met with a LA who is now a 7th-Day Adventist. We challenged him to Read the BoM and pray about it and we set up a return appointment. Well, we went this week and were completely unprepared for what was about to happen. We walked in his apartment and he and his two other 7th day friends were sitting, bibles and notebooks in hand, ready to "chat" about the BoM. Side note...just the day before, Friday, I had told Sis Gardner that sometimes I worry that I don't have the Spirit with me when I teach, but she assured me that I do and that I am just so used to having it that I wouldn't recognize it being there until it was gone. Fast forward back to the LA...as soon as we sat down and began talking to these people I immediately felt the Spirit leave me and felt sick the entire time we were there (which was over an hour). I told them that we were not there to argue or to bash each-other and that I didn't want anything to get out of hand. They agreed, but continued to put our church down, so we decided to leave. Although it was a difficult time and experience, I am grateful for it. I learned that when we don't have the Spirit with us, we are forced to face this dark and scary world alone.
I also had some really good times and met with my mission president. He is incredible and is really proud of the work we are doing here. Sister Gardner and I are seeing a lot of miracles and blessings in the work every day, and we know that none of them would be possible without strict obedience and willingness to serve with everything we have. And we are striving to do just that. I love the work I am doing out here. It brings me so much joy and is teaching me so much. I can't wait to share with all of you the wonderful experiences we are having!
I hope you all are doing well and are finding true, eternal joy in the lives you are living. If not, find it. It is there and is wonderful.
I love you!