Today is the last day of 2013. Whoa. I spent a good majority of it on my mission. It's been a good year. Also fitting, it's the last week of the transfer. Week 6! Next week I'll start my 8th transfer. Getting up there. I hope I'm changing as fast as I should be with all the time I've spent on my mission. Anyway...
It was great talking to you guys last week! I was super blessed and it didn't make me trunky. We just went right back to work. I was way blessed with gifts. I got a lot of love. =]
This week we taught Heather the law of chastity and included the prophets counsel about tattoos and piercings. Heather has some good sized tattoos, not that it's a problem, and some piercings on her face. She said that they're part of her since she's had them for so long and said she'd pray about it. The next time we saw her they were out! She said she was talking to someone about how they were such a part of who she was, and then it was pointed out to her that she wasn't that person anymore. She's okay having taken them out. Plus, way back when on our very first visit with her and she accepted a baptismal date, we told her extremely briefly about the word of wisdom because she has to live in 7 days before her baptismal date. We just barely found out that she was a coffee-adict and she stopped the very day we just mentioned not drinking coffee. Heather is so solid! She can't wait to be baptized and receive forgiveness of her sins. She is so ready for this Pray that Satan doesn't attack her too hard this week. Also, she brought her mom and her cousin to Ashley's baptism. Her cousins' name is Nikka, and we're teaching her a little bit now, too. Whoo-hoo! We read Moroni 7 together and I was really touched by this verse:
Moroni And what is it that ye shall ahope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have bhope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life ceternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise.
I loved focusing more on Jesus Christ this Christmas than I ever have before. Christ is so great! And He has such love for us. I'm grateful I got to celebrate His birth as a missionary. =]
Another really great person we've been teaching is Nella. She's returning to church. We had a lesson with her yesterday and we read the talk "The Power, Joy, and Love of Covenant Keeping" from the last relief society broadcast. (last one EVER now that they're general women's meetings) She really loved it. She's been trying to repent and come back to church for a long time and she keeps slipping and doing the same sins she repented of. Before she had the attitude that she knows she should change, but now she's saying she's never doing it again because she wants Heavenly Father to be proud of her. And she's doing things differently now. She's reading her scriptures every night and praying night and morning on her knees. She is really getting it. She said she was reading 2 Nephi 2 and she understood that because of the fall we need Jesus Christ to redeem us from it. It was really a tender meeting. I love the gospel!
Ashley's baptism was awesome. The spirit was there. She was confirmed on Sunday and now she has a temple recommend and she's going to the temple to do baptisms for the dead on Thursday. She's really excited.
Well, I love you all! I hope 2014 is as great for you as it is for me. (and I'll be on my mission for the majority, so it's going to be awesome!)
The gospel is true! Read your scriptures, say your prayers, and go to church! It's spiritual armor.
p.s. You better believe I'm going to have root beer floats tonight. Too bad I don't have Blue Bells homemade vanilla, though.
pic 1 - Another church sign on the street I live on. We thought this sign was so silly until other missionaries took a picture by it. Coo, huh?
pic 2 - my district on the day after Christmas, which was also Elder Casey's birthday.
left to right: Sister Palmer, Elder Arntsen, Elder Hill, Elder Bittner, Elder Casey, and myself
pic 3 - Ashley's baptism!!!! Sister Palmer, Ashley, Kadi (amazing fellowshipper!) and myself.
pic 4 - a bunch of ward members after Ashley's baptism
starting from the back going left to right: Tori, Kristi, Tom, Melissa, Chris, I don't know, Brandon, Jake, Boone, Stan
front: Heather, myself, Sister Palmer, Krista, ASHLEY, Kadi, and Emily
pic 5 - Ashley with her FIRST EVER TEMPLE RECOMMEND! She is so excited.