It has been just a short week but it seems like it has been a long time since I emailed last! Weird! My sense of time out here is so warped except for the fact that I only have 12 weeks left! That is a scary thought and one that I don't like too much about being reminded of!! Thanks for the emails although they both seemed really scattered and short! Thanks for writing me though! I don't get like any mail at all anymore so it's nice to get emails! That's cool that you tried to find Sister Fisher! I can't believe that she is done tomorrow!! Crazy but so exciting for her! Will you send me pictures of her that are put up on facebook? I would like that! Thanks for the one of Kylie! It was cute! It sounds like you all are going to have a great family reunion this week and that you will have lots of fun without me! I am sad that I am going to miss all of that time that you have together but at least I will be in there in spirit! ha Oh, dad. I don't like saying this but do you know when my homecoming will be? I would really like for Lindsey and Kellie to be there for it this time! The sunday before the wedding?? Want to see if that can happen! :) Thanks! Mom- thanks for the info about Christmas and when you will be traveling and stuff. I will talk with Sister Richards and we will try to figure out what we will do. We have no idea what our plans will be this far out so I will keep you posted when it gets sooner about when I will call. Also, can we go to the blue lemon when I get back sometime? That sounds really good! :)
So, it has been a short week but we were able to get soooo much done and have so many amazing experiences!!! Since my first transfer here we have been trying to get a hold of a less active woman and her non-member husband to help them to come to church and become converted to the gospel. They are super hard to get a hold of because they never answer their phone and they very seldomly answer their door. We have been able to talk to them a couple times on their front porch which has been good but nothing else. It has been funny because it's always been me when they open the door with a different companion! haha Their yard has a lot of big trees in it so it was absolutely covered in leaves everywhere! We asked them if we could rake their leaves but they always said no. So, we just decided that we were going to do service for them anyway by raking their leaves one day and hopefully get to them in that way. We came by one day and raked all of their leaves into piles and started putting them in huge bags. Our piles were never ending though!! We eventually ran out of bags and sunlight so we had to stop for the day. Later that night we got a phone call from a number we didn't know but it ended up being the husband saying that he had gotten home from work and all of their leaves were raked up. He asked if we knew anything about that at all?! haha You could tell that he was so appreciative and in a way at a loss for words. He said that they wanted to take us out to dinner because of what we did, so we planned that. On Saturday we got more bags and recruited our zone leaders to come help us, so we finally finished getting the leaves and it was just crazy because we had soooo many bags of leaves that we had lined up for the garbage man. I felt so accomplished!! That night we met them for dinner and they were just so excited and happy to be there with us. They said that no one has ever done that for them and it made them feel so loved. They said the least they could do was to take us out for dinner because we had slaved away at raking up their leaves. They then said that they would love us to come by whenever and talk to them and share a spiritual message with them, so we are so excited!! That experience strengthened my testimony so much about the power of service!!! I had seen things throughout my mission like that, but this one was just a wonderful experience to be a part of. Their hearts were truly softened and opened up to us because we did service for them. They are more apt to talk to us because we took time to show them that we love and care about them! Service really does open doors and I love it!!!
One other really cool experience pertains to a woman I briefly talked about last email. Remember that day that we were in Flemington and the first woman on the phone was like 'I can't talk now but please come back'...we went to go see her yesterday. She is just the sweetest thing and was in desperate need because we were there for an hour and a half while she just talked to us, and told us her struggles. She has gone through soooooo much and I feel so badly for her because of all that she has gone and is going through but I know that the Lord sent us there because she needed us and the love that we showed to her. She just started crying immediantly when we got in there and she said she didn't know why but she felt like she needed to share all of this with us. She was having terrible days both days that we came by and she recognizes that it's a sign from God that we were sent to her to help her and uplift her. She loved everything we were saying, said she was going to start reading a lot of the book of Mormon that night, and is determined to come to church on sunday. It was just so cool because she was saying that she knows we are from God because she was so happy and smiling last night and felt at peace because of what we did. As we were saying a prayer with her we were holding hands and I felt like I just needed to squeeze her hand during a specific part of the prayer, so I did. She squeezed it back and immediantly started crying. It was a really neat small moment to show her that she is loved and cared about by us and her Heavenly Father as well. That whole experience has just made me even more grateful for having the Gospel of Jesus Christ in my life because it is such a huge blessing that we have!!!! Do we really stop and think about how much of a blessing it is to us?? Being out here has opened my eyes up to soooo much and has taught me that there is so much sadness, trials, and no peace because we don't have the gospel in our lives. I am so grateful for it and for the love that our Savior has for each one of us no matter who we are or what situation we are in right now! We are all children of our Heavenly Father and He wants us to be happy and come to Him and partake of all of the blessings that He has for each one of us!!!!
Friday was a very miserable day filled with pouring rain all day long which was so annoying, but we got a lot done that day because we were able to have a lot of lessons. I love the investigators that we have and for the members that take such good care of us and help us in anyway! Yesterday I was soooo cold and wanted to just go curl up in a warm blanket and not do anything, but instead we were outside so much trying to find people to teach. We were in the wonderful coldness that 17 degrees brings! By the time we were done I really couldn't feel my legs anymore and I thought Sister Richards was going to have hypothermia or something. She was shivering and shaking so much!! It is going to be a fun winter up here!!! haha Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven...so true! We are seeing so many blessings and miracles, but we are having to give up things that we are comfortable with to help those around us who are in need! I love it though and couldn't be happier serving those around me! I love being a missionary even if it is hard sometimes!
I love you all!! Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!!