How is everyone doing? All is great here! I cannot believe it is December already. I've heard time outside of the mission stands still and I am experiencing that right now. I feel like it's September!!!! It was pretty weird how on Dec. 1 we had a little frost on the grass when we went running. Suddenly the weather got a little chillier. But it's already warmed up again though. The running joke is that if you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes. That's so how UT and AZ are too!
P-Day is an awesome day never to forget. Why you ask...because Sis. Cox and I went and got free massages!! It was awesome and can I just say well needed too. There is this lady that we met who is an instructor at a tech college and she was telling us how we could get massages for free. Okay, twist our arms. So we called our Zone Leaders and asked and they said we could. It was sweet!
The sad thing about today is I went to apply for my VA driver's license. They punched a big hole in my AZ one :( I need to figure out how that will work with residency though. I think I can get a change of address form and fill it out... So in 7-10 business days I will have a new driver's license...only a temporary paper one for now.
Sis. Cox and I spoke in church on Sunday about Christ. I tell you what, it's much easier coming up with a talk on the spur of the moment now than it was before! Writing talks is not something we have time for, so we kind of just got up there and went for it. Pres. Hansen spoke as well, so it was a sweet sacrament meeting to have our investigators at. I cannot tell you how nice it was to not hold my breath hoping that the talks aren't crazy! Bishop spoke in the 3rd hour and it was amazing. He said that the Lord will keep giving the ward new members for as long as we can care for them and handle it.
Thanksgiving was so fun! Thanks for the video you sent! That was cute. I loved the Turkey song Ashlyn!!!! And I am so glad Tyler did his letter B thing. I thought of it a few weeks ago and couldn't remember exactly how it went. We did our weekly planning session that morning and then went to the Hamilton's. We cancelled all of our other appts.! We ate some good food...including sweet potato souffle!!!!! Yeah! Thanks mom for sending the recipe. It was a HUGE hit. Bishop really liked it and Sis. Cox could not find the words to describe it. She just kept saying WOW! WOW! It was hilarious. Then we hung out for a little while and then went bowling. We bowled with 2 of the Hamilton kids and then one of their friends. We bowled different ways each time. We did the "slide" and wow, I have a sweet bruise on my knee. Who knew I got old and couldn't do a sweet bowling slide very well?!?! Haha. But we are for sure going to have to make bowling one of the new T-Day traditions. It was so fun!
We have been working hard and really fighting against anti material. It seems that everyone we teach gets anti within 5 seconds! It is horrible! Apparently anti-Mormon stuff is preached from the pulpits here. I had no idea. I think it's so weird. But that is one of the best ways for Satan to attack our investigators. Because our stake is having such a push right now (reading the BoM and fasting, etc.) for the rest of 2009, Satan has really been working hard. We've had investigators in the hospital and family members die and get sick and all sorts of weird stuff come up to keep them from coming to Church. Bishop once said that he'd hate to be related to an investigator right now. It's sad, but true. Everyone we teach has something really dramatic happen in their family. But it's so obvious - it is because Satan is trying everything he can to stop them from doing good things that will bless their lives.
We just got into contact with one of our less active families yesterday. They are so amazing and really do want to come back to church. They have had the worst luck throughout the year, so they really need the blessings from coming to church. They used to have a nice house and lived a normal life. Then he was out of work and came to Newport News for a promised job, which fell through. They put all of their belongings into storage and firgured they would move all the stuff to their new house. But because the job fell through, they had no money. So everything in the storage was auctioned off including personal stuff like photo albums. They've been in and out of dumpy long stay hotels and he picked up smoking again. She found work, but he still hasn't because he's overqualified for everything. He works in mental health for adults, so a lot of those jobs have been cut recently. They've got 2 or 3 kids...not sure. But 2 are of baptismal age and have not been baptized yet. They said they will be at church Sunday and then we'll meet with them Sunday afternoon and again Monday night for FHE...both at member homes. They are such a cool family that ran into some serious back luck. But they've been humbled in a way that they will be rocking members once they are consistent. We are excited for them, so look for future updates. They are the Ellis family...
Well things are great in NN! I hope with the holiday season we are all looking for ways to serve our fellow men. Cody-it sounds like your family's ideas are awesome! I can't wait to hear about how it goes.
Making this suggestion has been on my mind for a few weeks, so I'm just going to suggest it. Ways to serve your local missionaries: 1) meet their investigators at church and invite to take them to classes 2) tell the missionaries that you would be willing to have lessons in your homes 3) ask the missionaries when you can go with them to lessons (don't worry...it's not scary) 4) invite recent converts, less actives, or investigators to your house for dinner, FHE, etc. (this is even cooler if you just did it without the missionaries.) 5) invite your non-member friends to ward activities or a dinner at your house (and tell the missionaries, of course!) I don't know who will take these suggestions, but these are great ways to serve the ward. Retention is a big job and missionaries come and go, but the ward stays around. If they get the HT, VT, and fellowshipping they need, new members will be more likely to stick around and keep developing their testimonies. The first little while is hard for them because they are completely changing their lifestyle. Imagine a life totally opposite of you and then think of the process it takes to go from that to where you are now. Crazy eh? Okay, done now.
Well I love you all!