Hi people that I love! :)
Woweee what a week it has been! Ok, New England is officially cold. When it snows it actually gets warmer, its the weirdest thing because I am kind of learning to actually LOVE snow. I also love sunshine though but it is colder when the suns out! Weird, I know. Regardless of the bipolar weather, I have really grown to love Waterville. I thought it would be hard coming from my first area but I hit the point where I was able to look at the people in the ward and just feel complete love for each person! Its a feeling I've never felt before until my mission. It's really taught me how much service does help you to love people. When you serve someone and forget about yourself, that is when you come to have true love for them.
2 weeks ago we started doing service at a senior living center in the adult daybreak program which basically is just a program where adults who have disabilities come during the day and do activities. I love it so much!!! We go twice a week for about and hour at time and the people there are just the sweetest. Their spirits are so innocent and pure you can't help but be happy when you are there. It is the beeest to go there and maybe not be the happiest and leave with a smile from ear to ear. It's the best medicine!
We got to meet so many awesome people this week. We met an 80 year old couple who the missionaries have been visiting here and there for quite a while. They were the sweetest. The husband has a Book of Mormon that he has all the missionaries sign and he has read it all the way through! But they said that they are too old to change religions...but I know we made an eternal connection and I'm sure I'll see them on the other side! We have this thing that we started doing this week called #10410BOB where every night we plan 10 specific people that we are going to contact and invite to learn. And then we contact them during "prime time" tracting hours and if they aren't there or aren't interested we'll box their house out. So we had a goal we were going to get 2 new investigators with this technique...and.... we did!! The first lady we found, we'll call her Mary, we found trying to find a former investigator. Sister Olsen thought that he lived at a certain address but it turns out that he didn't live there so we invited the lady who lived there to learn and she was not at all interested...we knew this man lived on the street we were on though so we tried the next trailer over and asked her if she knew this certain man and she didn't either so we invited her to learn... and bam wham, she let us in right there! We showed her the "He is the Gift" video and she loved it. And she accepted our invitation to come back! So on Friday we taught her the Restoration and she really seemed to understand it and then we introduced the Book of Mormon to her and had her read the 2 last paragraphs of the intro and after she read them, she said, "Wow, I just wanted to learn more about your religion I wasn't expecting this." I know she was feeling the Holy Ghost witness to her that those words were true...she just didn't really know it. So we will be seeing her next week after Christmas :) The other one lives in a tiny apartment in a sketchy part of town, her husband just died but her Faith in God is so strong! She was a potential Sister Olsen and her companion had contacted before I got there so we stopped by and talked to her for a bit...one of the first things she said was "No, I'm not a Mormon and I don't plan on being one"..so I said, "Well, what do you have against the Mormons?" And she replied, "Don't you be doing that to me!" I've got nothing against any religion!" So I quickly apologized and asked her if she'd ever taken the time to learn about what us Mormons believed...and she said, "Well no, not really." So we asked her if she would like to and she said yes! And then she proceeded to tell us about what she believed and we didn't see eye to eye on everything but for the most part we did. She's got a lot of potential I think so I'm really grateful for that. It was cool to see the spirit work on her from the time we walked in and then til we left. Ahh! Miracles are real.
At our district meeting we set a goal to get 10 ITLS in each area per day so me and Sister Olsen really took it to heart this week being the week before Christmas and the "He is the Gift" intiative! So Saturday in order for us to be up on our ITLS we needed to get 29 that day. So, we texted the zone leaders Friday night and old them our goal and then asked them if they would hold us accountable at the end of the day. Whoo, if you want to get something done make yourself accountable, it works. So after 2 1/2 hours of tracting, name-calling, doors shut in our faces, and 22 degree weather we got our goal! And man it felt goooood. We were able to talk to some people with real potential so it was a good day!
This week I have really tried to be of service in the music area and let me tell you, Heavenly Father definitely used me this week! Saturday I got to sing at the ward party and then on Sunday I was playing prelude music for sacrament meeting and the second counselor, in the Bishopric came up and told me that the girl that was supposed to play the musical number in church was sick and then asked me if I could play something in sacrament meeting and before I could even think I said yes! And by this time there was literally 6 minutes until the meeting was supposed to start. So we raced to the Relief Society room and I came up with something that I was kind of working on weeks, before played it through 2 times and then went to sacrament meeting. Lets just say it didn't go as well as I wanted it to....but I did it!
Well, since it is Christmas I wanted to just express my love for my Savior, Jesus Christ. Sunday I was reminded of the fact that everything Jesus Christ did was the Father's will. From his birth to His death and everything in between. He never once did anything out of selfishness. He came here to Earth so that we might live with Heavenly Father again. He did it out of Love... Pure love for His brothers and sisters. And then I realized how much I missed my family...and how hard my mission had been up until that point...and then it all seemed like nothing compared to the Saviors life. It's because of Him I am here and it's because of Him that I can even do what He's asked me to do. And how grateful I am for the opportunity I have to be a personal representative of Him at this time. To proclaim his LOVE AND MERCY. And somehow through it all I am changed to become more like Him. I think one of my favorite scriptures right now is Mosiah 14:5 "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." He has done it all for us. I hope this Christmas you have found ways to more fully Discover Him, Embrace Him, and Share Him. Oh, how I love my Savior. He is Christ. He is Christmas. He is the Gift.
I love you all so much! Merry CHRISTmas! :)