Alright, so this email may not be the best because I am racing the clock on this today! I still have to write President, put in numbers, and maybe some other emails and the library closes at 12, so here goes. Dad- as you saw (in Pres. Pitt's weekly letter), we are having another general authority come to see us!!! Elder S. Gifford Nielsen who was the exclamation point seventy in conference!! I am so excited to hear him speak and I will still be here!!!! Woot!! That is so frustrating about the judge from the supreme court who overruled the state law about gay marriages. Dumb!! You nailed it on the head when you said that so much evil is good now! Totally can see it out here too!! I didn't know that Hal Brinkerhoff had died!! So sad!! Anyways, I don't have a lot of time, so if you have questions for me just write them down and then we can talk about it on wednesday!!! I am so excited!!! :)
This week was really awesome!!! We had an awesome dinner and lesson with a part member family and I just love them so much!! He has never been real religious his entire life but is opening up so much with us and just loves us so much!! Last monday we watched the mormon message, 'Lifting Burdens: The Atonement of Jesus Christ', it is one of my favorites so you should watch it if you haven't! The entire time he was so fixed on it and then immediately spoke up when we finished it and started talking. It was so neat to see how he loved it so much and how he really felt the spirit that came into the room during it. You could see that it really touched him and that he really enjoyed it. We are his favorite missionaries and the first missionaries that he has ever talked to, and feels so comfortable around us. He says that he is going to miss us so much when we have to leave. So, we're just hoping that neither of us leave this transfer so we can stay here again to help him!!! :) We'll see what happens!!
Wednesday we had Specialized Training (like zone conference) and it was sooooo wonderful!!! Holy moly I loved it so much and learned so much from it!! I felt like I was writing the entire time and my brain was just trying to soak in everything that I was hearing!! I love President and Sister Pitt so much!!! They always know exactly what we missionaries need to hear and are so inspired!!!! We were combined with the Morgantown zone too so I got to see some other missionaries I know and that was fun! They had a special christmas program after for us all and it was so neat. We saw different bible video clips about Christ's birth and then different missionaries did different musical numbers. Sister Richards and I did one called ' Do you have room' (google it) and I think it was ok!! We aren't the best singers but at least we tried to share our testimonies through that song. People said that it was good so hopefully it was and they weren't lying!! :)
We found some different less actives that we hadn't been able to contact before and it was just interesting and sad to me to be able to get to know them and see why they aren't coming to church anymore. One couple had this huge chip on their shoulder to the church and would always comment about it even when we were sharing a spiritual thought. It was sad to see because from what we got, it just seemed like a misunderstanding, but they blew it out of proportion. Being out here has definitely opened my eyes even more that people are not perfect in this church, but the doctrines of the church are perfect!! We are all human and make mistakes, but that's ok because that is why we have the atonement to help us overcome our faults and weaknesses. It is up to us though to take that offense and let it fester and lead us away from church and the blessings that come from it. To me I just don't get it. Why sacrifice your eternal salvation, your covenants that you've made with God for something that another imperfect human said? We each have our agency and decide how we will act and react to the things that happen around us. For me, it just makes me want to stay firmly attached to this gospel even more when I see the situations that these people are in because they are missing out on all of the blessings that are there waiting for them, if they just remember how amazing this gospel is!!! Needless to say, we were a little bold with this couple because they needed it put in very direct terms. I love this gospel!!
One last experience that we had this week that was quite interesting. We found a man and taught him once and then heard some things from members of the ward and one of our investigators that live around there that he does some interesting things and may not be the greatest. We wanted to give it at least a try though to see if he had changed and give him that opportunity to accept it. The last lesson we had I talked about last week and it was really crazy! No spirit and he was throwing out so much! So, we called (Sister Richards insisted that I call so she wouldn't have to do it! ha!) to just tell him to basically that we were going to drop him. That was the worst phone call I have ever had on my mission because he was exactly what we heard he was. I was being all nice and telling him, and then he basically shot off on all this anti and that was fun. He was saying all this stuff about cults, falsehood, and how he was worried for my soul, that I was brainwashed, and so on. When I tried to just bear my testimony to him, he cut me off and said I had to say that because they make me say it and that I have no choice. It was soooo sad, frustrating, and just ahhhh!!! It was probably the worst anti that I have had out here and it just got me going!!! To tell me that I have to say it because I am brainwashed and that I have no choice just aggravated me! You tell me if I was brainwashed to come out here for a year and a half to spread the gospel if I didn't know it was true. You tell me if I am brainwashed to keep going when I repeatedly get doors slammed in my face and keep going! You tell me if I am brainwashed when I repeatedly have spiritual experiences confirming to me that God is there and that He knows me and loves me. You tell me if I am brainwashed when I have read the book of mormon and have gotten a loud and clear answer that it is true, and that is why I am proclaiming it!! You tell me if I am brainwashed when I can plainly see all of the blessings that I have been given from the church and that is why I know it is true. Because it blesses us!!!! I know that this church is true and that it is truly the Lord's church restored again on the earth in it's perfect form!!!! I know it for myself and cannot deny it!!! Anyway, that's my little rant about anti and that I am not brainwashed! ha I love you all and hope that you have a very merry christmas!!! I love you so much and will talk to you soon!!!