April 21, 2014
Dearest Family & Friends,
I'm pretty sure that was the mission home address. We are technically "supposed" to send mail through there but it takes longer to get where we are. Thank you for my package!!!!! It was delightsome to open it and see (I'm thinking it was Allisina's) creative collage beaming out at me. I played that ball-popping game with Sister Zebley, one of our Sister Training Leaders who was my companion for a day during exchanges, and it got pretty intense to the point of one of our neighbors getting annoyed (ahem, whoops). But she never knew it was us, so...Thanks for the GPS! I still have to program it but it works here! Yay! Thank you for every other content you sent me including the basket and CD's and cool toothpick things :) Yesterday for Easter, Sister Anderson hid all of my eggs (she stole my idea dang it) and I still haven't found 3 of them :) I am so grateful for her. I hope that I can show her and my new companion my gratitude by following their examples of simple acts of service.
Yay Cathy!!! I am so happy for her and her willingness to share what she knows to be true! I am so thankful for the strong Spirits that make up our family and that through the Savior, we can all bring our fellow brothers and sisters back to the fold of God and be together in the eternities! Such a miraculous thing :) I'm reminded of a quote from Stake Conference: "Preach the gospel, and occasionally open your mouth." What we do speaks much louder than what we say. But it is what we do that encourages people to soften their hearts and ask questions that will grant us the opportunity to open our mouths.
Rosa got baptized!!! Cute Elder Schvaneveldt baptized her and, since he's leaving this transfer :'( Elder Hubert is going to confirm next week.
Stake conference yesterday was phenomenal! (It was 80 degrees btw) During the Saturday session, they asked all the missionaries in the congregation to stand and sing "Called to Serve" and then the rest of the congregation stood and sang the last verse with us :') That night, the Stake Prez asked selective youth to share missionary experiences with everyone. It is amazing to see the stamina and courageous strength of the youth in the church; at that age, there was no way that so many of our youth could stand and bear such prolific testimonies of missionary work. Children have to be taught younger and younger the standards and commandments of the gospel because Satan is targeting them younger and younger.
So...EVERYONE knew where they were going and who their companion was yesterday except me. I was excited to hear Elder Wise (my twin's companion) is replacing Elder Schvaneveldt, he is hilarious. Sister Anderson is getting transferred to Brookfield!!!! I will still get to see her every Monday at sports and Tuesday's during District Meeting!! Woohooo!!!! I just found out my new companion is Sister Silcox who I don't know, but I think she came out with Sister Anderson. At least I don't have to train! knock on wood. But it's going to be weird being the leading sister of Waukesha...still gotta learn where I'm going and who everyone is :)
This week's exchange was an inspired and blessed one! Sister Zebley helped me push myself to extend bold invitations without relying too much upon what my companion would say first. I am grateful for the opportunity I had to lead out discussions and found that the Spirit also encouraged me to bear testimony more strongly in precedence to these bold invitations. The Spirit was so strong when we committed Derek to be baptized. It was only our second meeting with him (Sister Zebley's first) and we read many scriptures out of the Book of Mormon that related to his views on things and just the fact that the scriptures confirmed what he already believed was further testimony to him of the truth of the restored gospel. He said that it makes a lot of sense to him and even feels like he can relate to Joseph Smith, trying to discern truth and know which church he should be baptized into. I was so happy when he accepted the commitment to work towards baptism and so far, Sister Zebley and Sister Hurst have met with him and are continuing to meet with him in hopes to acclimate him to the YSA Branch.
We met with Willy by himself at the library because Sister Loutensock and Nikki couldn't make it, but I found that teaching him separately allowed us to focus more on HIS needs rather than Nikki and his needs combined in one. Last time we met with all of them he was rather quiet, but one-on-one we found that he was more comfortable asking his own questions. He had never before inquired of the Lord for anything and we committed him to pray with real intent and we read more from the Book of Mormon with him on this matter.
Elaine is the cousin of Janice, a less-active, who lives in Chicago but was visiting and interested in the gospel when we were prompted to contact her on the street. She read with us from the Book of Mormon and we told her we would contact the missionaries in the Chicago area to come teach her.
Upon meeting with Dee, she sort of dropped us, because she didn't want to start the cycle of getting to know missionaries and then having them cycle out again. But, we were able to meet with her again and show her the "Because of Him" video and discussed some key aspects of the gospel that she and her friend Deb had regarding their perceptions of Mormons. It was a very successful visit and I hope that we will be able to continue building upon a gospel-related foundation with her instead of a purely friend-based one.
We committed Lamar to a baptismal date! He has gone to church once and loved the Priesthood Session, saying he felt a lot of peace (since he struggles with ADD and bi-polar disorder). We taught him and his live-in girlfriend Annie (who has some special needs herself) the GOJC and read with them from the Book of Mormon and cleared up some questions Annie had about Joseph Smith. I hope that Lamar is fully committed to keep learning and keeping appointments with us and that Annie will keep sitting in with appointments, too.
You all are MY light in a dark and dreary world. Stay positive and remember that the Lord qualifies who He calls: if we have a desire to serve Him, then we are ALL called to the Work.
|Sister Gonsalves and Sister Weaver|
Sister Anderson's new companion
and a awesome mish!
|Sister Weaver & Sister Reed|
Ashley Alvarez look-alike
who Sister Anderson
|Elder Wisombe, Elder Kimzee,|
Elder Hubert, Elder Schvaneveldt,
Sister Anderson and Sister Weaver
|Just cheezin' it up.|
Final district meeting.
We all cried during testimonies.