Hello again. Thank you everyone for the fun birthday surprises! It was a good day and I ate soooo much that I wanted to be sick. We had an FHE with 3 of the families in the ward and it was fun. We played Do You Love Your Neighbor. It's a game where you sit in a circle and someone is in the middle and asks to one person Do You Love Your Neighbor? You can say yes and the people on your sides have to switch places before the person in the middle steals their seat. Or if you say no you have to say "But I do love...(everyone with brown hair) and everyone has to switch chairs and the person in the middle has to try and grab a seat. It was fun! Sister Shumaker made me a cake...red velvet...it's still sitting in our fridge...we've been on overkill sweets, so we haven't even dived in yet. I want to today though, it looks appetizing :)
This morning we went strawberry picking with Sister Book. She is the lady who owns the house and lives below us. Her daughter Macina came too and she brought a friend Juliette with her. Juliette is a funny lady. Sister Book brought her because she has been talking to her about the church. She committed to come to church, but she is a believer in the gift of tongues, but not in the same way we believe if you know what I mean. It was sooo fun! We picked strawberries, peas, and cauliflower. They have all these produce fields out in the country, so it was so pretty to see the country. There were some huge houses out there. It was east of us somewhere. I think it's called Pungo or it's near there where we went.
After email we are going to go get our nails done. Yay! Thanks so much parents. I am excited about this and so are the other sisters.
We have a new investigator named Jessica who is just great. A lady from the Sanbridge Ward called us and told us about her. They have a mutual friend from N.C. where Jessica is from. Her husband just deployed on the Truman (and so did a bunch of ward members), so she has been bored and lonely. She is 20 and just got married in December, no kids. So we called her and she came to Bible Study with us last night and loved it. She is very smart and said she feels that she's been in the dark for awhile and is excited to learn more. She has the thickest accent. She is from a small town at the base of the Appalachian (sp?) Mtns. in N.C. I'll have to let you know more about how that goes.
Last Saturday we had the annual ward picnic and I got to play some softball!!! Yay! Well it was a few adults and a bunch of kids, so we sort of played. But it was sooo fun. The picnic was a good time. One of our investigators showed I guess but it was at the end and we were on the field. And we had this less active family come and they had a good time. Ward picnics at a park are a good activity.
Yay! Shekaylia was baptized last Saturday night. It was such a good baptism. Sister Jacob sang I Know That My Redeemer Lives and we had some great talks. And then she was confirmed on Sunday!!! Her dad came to both events, so hopefully he'll come to church with her again.
So on Sunday we had a member lesson with the mother-in-law of one of the recent converts who went less active. I've been asking about her since I got here and apparently it was weird when they went less active with the other sisters, so there hasn't been any contact for a few months. So when we were at this lesson we hear someone stop by and talking in the other room. And what do you know, but the recent convert shows up. We ran into the other room and she was happy to see us. She wasn't sure why missionaries stop coming, so hopefully this chance run-in will help her to come to church again soon. Her daughter turns 6 soon, so we are going to help her decorate on Friday.
I have 2 quotes for you. The first is by President Harold B. Lee on testimony. "Testimony isn't something that you have today and you keep always. Testimony is either going to grow and grow to the brightness of certainty, or it is going to diminish to nothingness, depending upon what we do about it. I say, the testimony that we recapture day by day is the thing that saves us from the pitfalls of the adversary." I like this quote and it makes me think of before my mission and also about after my mission and asking the question "Am I working day by day to strengthen my knowledge and testimony?" I found in my reading this morning these 2 verses: 3 Nephi 26: 9, 11 and I thought they were great. Sometimes we have to search (study not just read) in order to gain greater knowledge.
The other quote is by President Boyd K. Packer. "True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior. The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior." I LOVE this quote. I've taught a couple of women over the last few months that say they are amazed at how much more patient they are after they started reading their Book of Mormon. They've noticed their tempers don't flare as easy and they relate better to others and their kids. How cool is that?
Well I love you all and hope things are going well. I know that as you put God first in your life everything will fall in to place. If you don't know this for yourself, then experiment and try it out. Alma 32:27.