Monday, January 19, 2015

Last Sunday none of our investigators showed up to church, bummer.
But!  There was a couple there that I have never met before.  Come to
find out the husband is a less active member and the wife is not a
member.  They found the church on their own and came!  We quickly
swept them up and took them to our Doctrine Principles class.  The
Elders ended up getting their info and setting an appointment for
Tuesday.  Well on Tuesday Elder Rogers was home sick so they asked us
to go to it instead.  Awesome!  Their names are Mareike (from Germany)
and James (from Haiti).  Mareike (pronounced Mariah but with a "k"
sound in it.) has been living in Phoenix Arizona of all places for the
past few years and James had been in Mesa for the past two.  They got
married this past summer and moved out here!  James joined the church
when he was 18 but has been inactive the majority of his life.
Mareike doesn't have much of a religious background in her life but is
very open to trying and learning new things.  She is very supportive
of her husband.  The best part is that during the whole lesson James
was testifying to her of everything we were saying!  He has such a
strong testimony of the Book of Mormon.  After the lesson, we ate a
Haitian dinner James had prepared.  It was delicious!  They said they
plan on feeding us every time we come over.  They are so sweet.

We went to court this week for the stop sign violation back in Nov.
(Sister Russell didn't come to a complete stop at a stop sign and we
got pulled over) That was... An adventure.  Oh Sister Russell, she was
freaking out the whole time. Hahaha  We had to wait for this huge line
to all get checked in and then go wait in the court room for the judge
to come in.  I had never been to court before, or even in a court
room.  It was cool to see how the court system works.  When we got
checked in, some official lawyer man told us that if she pleas guilty
for a jaywalking violation the price would be reduced and she wouldn't
have any points on her record.  But the stop sign offense was a $300
ticket and 3 points.  That is what I don't understand.  We did not
jaywalk, so how can we all of a sudden switch our offense to that and
get off like that?  I don't know, maybe that's just my naive
government side speaking.  Well that's what we did.  When the judge
came in we had to wait for her name to be called, she walked up to a
microphone in front of everyone, the judge explained her case and then
said she would pay $150 and have no points on her record.  The end.
Took a long time for all of that to happen, but that was it. But hey,
I only have to pay $75 now.  That's nice.

Yesterday church was amazing and we had a billion dinner appointments
(That never happens!).  Mareike and James were at church and a lot of
fantastic lessons were given for them to hear.  After church we went
to a member, Sister Kovalys house for a late lunch (chicken soup).
Went from there to Bishop Pegueros house for dinner (lasagna!), and
from there to Sister Tessels house for beef stew and rolls.  We were
suppose to go to Ambers house after Sister Tessel but she ended up
canceling.  Which was not good, but my stomach was glad because they
always feed us food too.  I'm not complaining about people feeding us,
this was just the first day other than holidays I have really
experienced the over eating missionary problem.  We don't get fed too
often, the missionaries in the Spanish program experience that
problem.  Also, we are not really teaching anyone who only speaks
Spanish so poor Sister Coleman isn't getting much practice with her
Spanish.  Maybe when I leave she will get a spanish companion.

It finally snowed here only to get washed away in a ton of rain a few
days later.  It's getting cold!  This was Sister Colemans first big
snow storm, she was so excited.

It's been a great week.  We were able to exceed all our goals and to
get new investigators!  God is so good to us, we never could have
accomplished any of that without His help.  :). Well I love you all
and hope you have a fantastic week!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Tis the season to #SharetheGift

This week was amazing!  Christmas really does bring a special spirit.
Pres. Monson explains how I am feeling perfectly: "As we SEEK Christ,
as we find Him, as we follow Him, we shall have the Christmas spirit,
not for one fleeting day each year, but as a companion always." A lady
I talked to on the street told me that she acts differently this time
of year.  She is much more likely to talk to people on the street
(like me she pointed out) and look for opportunities to help others
during this season.  It seems like people are much more open to
hearing about the Gospel now than they were during the past four
months of my mission.  Miracles really are happening and it's because
people are taking the time to remember Christ!  Everyone can feel of
the difference the Christmas season brings, I just hope we can all
strive for that all year round.

Transfers were on Tuesday but thankfully I get to stay in Lynbrook
another transfer!  This one will be for seven weeks instead of six so
I will be here at least until the end of January.  We had a Zone get
to know you activity because of new the new transfer.  So we got to
meet all of the new people in the zone.  That was fun.  In my little
district, all six of us are "zebra pools".  In other words, each of
the companionships have two different language missionaries.  Elder
Hart was the only one to leave our district this past week and he will
be deeply missed.  The Elder that replaced him is from Washington UT.
It's a small world when you are Mormon and from Utah...

We met with Amber this past week and taught her the Gospel of Jesus
Christ.  The lesson went really well and she is now reading in Mosiah!
 We invited her to be baptized and she said she wants to learn more,
but eventually yes.  Yay!  She is awesome and I love getting to know
her better.  Amber is one of the sweetest people I have ever met.  She
made Sister Coleman and I our own Christmas gift basket filled with
all kinds of treats, hot cocoa, a mug, a mini stocking (with a K on
it!) and cute card.  She is so thoughtful, I love Amber!

We had a ward Christmas party on Saturday which Mayra and Allison came
to!  We have been teaching Mayra and her daughter since October, this
was the first thing they had come to.  The first ten minutes she was
here almost everyone came up to her on their own and introduced
themselves.  It was so great!  The party was a blast!  They showed the
Nativity video, we sang Christmas songs, ate delicious food the
members made and then Santa came!  All of the kids got presents.  They
were even prepared enough to have one for Allison.  It was perfect.
Mayra has kind of been swaying back and forth lately about how she
feels about the church, so I'm really glad she made it to this.  At
the end of course, there was dancing.  :). This ward LOVES to dance.
It was a great night, I love these people and they inspire me so much.

The members have us all booked for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
They are so good to us.   So far this Christmas is one of my most
memorable ones.  I love caroling, sharing He is the Gift and helping
others to remember what this season is all about.  I hope all of you
take the time to remember our Savior and have a wonderful Christmas as
well!  :)