Hi family & friends!
we volunteered at Liberty Hall, which is the historic home of Joseph Smith III! It was so cool. We helped decorate for Christmas, and it was just really sweet being able to walk freely around this historic house - the only time I've been places like that, I've had to follow a tourguide and not touch anything. This time I got to go wherever and sometimes HAD to touch things to move them around with the Christmas decorations! It was fun. And we met Shannon's mom and sister there...because welcome to a small town haha.
I need to not let fear creep in and just keep having faith! I love reading Alma 26 and remembering how Ammon and his brothers had to go through a LOT before seeing success - and I love how the Lord comforts them and says "I will give unto you success." Because we do all that we can, but in the end, it's the Lord who gives us success - we are just instruments in His hands. And He doesn't want us to get discouraged!
|The Sisters in the Oskie Zone - Sis. Dixon and Sis. Paul (in Pella)|
Highlights of the week...One of the young men we teach is awesome! He keeps his commitments and we had such a good lesson with himnight. We went through the first 2/3 of the Plan of Salvation (stopped right after the Atonement) and the Spirit was really strong, and he was really excited because he told us that we answered every question he had come with that he had been thinking about that week! He was like, "I guess prayer works!" And he said that when he reads the Book of Mormon, he feels good and peaceful - unlike he's felt when he reads any other book. Ahhh!!! I think I said this last week...but he wants to get baptized in Idaho, where he's from, but it will be so cool for his friend. He has a friend in Idaho who's been a huge help because he's someone he trusts, and he pushes him to go to church and to keep meeting with us :) And he did come to church!!! Yay!!! I think church can be a little overwhelming the first week, but I think it was good overall and that he'll keep coming. We're excited.
|Oskaloosa (aka Oskie) Zone|
Sis. E and I had some fun times playing violin and piano together!! We aren't technically supposed to bring instruments, but Sis. E was allowed to in Nauvoo, and then had to bring it to this mission because she couldn't leave it in Nauvoo, so she double-checked with President Jensen and he OK-ed it :) So we've had fun using that for service! We played together (me on the piano, of course) at the nursing & rehab center. We had four songs from her book that we had practiced during lunch, but when we got through those and still had a lot of time left, we played out of the Baptist Hymnal that was sitting on the piano haha. Did you know that the Baptist Hymnal has "Come, Come Ye Saints" in it? I did not! Haha! We also played in Sacrament Meeting! We played "Come Thou Fount." Sis. E is amazing! (also a violin performance major, so that makes sense haha). Afterwards, Bishop Bair asked us if we'd play again at the memorial service that was taking place after church, so we played "Be Still My Soul." So fun! I got such a high from performing again haha. "Come Thou Fount" definitely displays the violin more and the piano part is really simple, but "Be Still My Soul" has more piano part and a little piano solo, so it was fun both having a turn like that. Bishop said I'm an "amazing pianist," which made me feel good. It was just fun playing something NOT in the hymnbook haha.
Osceola District (I seriously struggled with these names at first haha)
Zone training meeting was really good. When I first got there I was a little stressed, and during the "spiritual prep" time felt like I should study Preach My Gospel Ch. 1 My Purpose, because I was just feeling the need to refocus and go back to the basics. Then guess what the theme of Zone Training Meeting was? My Purpose! So sweet. I loved it. We learned about how our purpose is to INVITE and then to HELP - not just hope! We practiced how to help our investigators to keep their commitments to read the Book of Mormon, pray, and attend church. I really felt uplifted by it :)
|we didn't have any success in the country, so we took pics with cows instead...and it was SO windy!!|
|night was sooo frigid...so naturally we took a picture after arriving home :)|
As far as random happenings go, we found a frog on the road and tried catching it (to no avail), I really enjoyed looking around at church and realizing that at least two or three of the men were wearing cowboy boots with their suits! It's also the close of yet another transfer - we haven't gotten our "transfer doctrine" yet, but at this point in the calls, we're assuming we're both staying. We'd be so sad if we didn't! And we better because I already decorated my new planner and wrote "Lamoni" in it haha. Also, the only other area in our zone with sisters is being closed (totally a shock to everyone!) so we'll be the only sisters in our zone!
Basically, I'm really grateful for this gospel! I'm so grateful for the Atonement, for forgiveness, for prophets, and for modern-day revelation. I'm grateful for temples and my family! I'm grateful for Bishop Bair and this wonderful ward and for President Jensen and this awesome mission! I'm grateful for the Spirit and the way it touches people's hearts. I'm grateful for all you and your love and prayers! I love you all so much!