I can't believe it is Christmas time already. That came so fast. This past week was such a good week. Some of the most uplifting and spiritual experiences of my mission!
Thanksgiving was so much fun. I had my very first deep fried turkey... and I must say it was really pretty darn good. One of the best turkeys I have ever had. But the best part of Thanksgiving was while we were at the Graves, we all went around and said what we are thankful for. And Brother and Sister Graves both started crying and said how grateful they are for the gospel, and for us missionaries and for how we have blessed their lives and their family. It was one of the sweetest experiences. Even the younger kids said how thankful they are for us and it just made me so happy. I am so thankful for them and for them letting me be a part of their lives. I am grateful that God put me here to meet them and to be with them. I honestly know that they will be a part of my life forever. Nothing makes you love someone more than helping them change and improve their lives. It makes me want to do it for the rest of my life. We also spent some time playing Monopoly... yeah I decided I am never allowed to play that game with humans again. I am way too competitive. JoDee said "I didn't know missionaries could ever be so mean." I guess I found what makes me evil. And I didn't even win. Scam. hahah
And Sunday was Sam's baptism!! IT HAPPENED! And it went a billion times better than I ever even thought that it could. It started just so good.. and we went to the room for the actual baptism.. and I wish there were words to describe how powerful the spirit was. It was incredible. One of the happiest moments of my mission. And after, while they changed, I got to bare my testimony, and Sister Heckert (my old companion) bore her testimony.. which was also such a neat moment. It was really amazing to see how much she has grown while I was companions with her. She is amazing. It is just cool. But then JoDee bore her testimony.. and oh man I wish you could have just been there. She was crying (and if you saw her 2 months ago when we met her... she was hard and just totally different), and she said "I have never felt the spirit as strong as I have today seeing Sam get baptized. I am so grateful. And I know that this is true." and it was the most sincere and powerful testimony I have ever heard. I will never forget it. And then it got even better. Sam bore his testimony... and he went up there with tears in his eyes.. and said he was so grateful to be baptized.. and so grateful he can having the Holy Ghost and be with his family for forever.. and then he started crying and said "When I came up out of the water... .. I couldn't tell you a single thing I have done wrong in my whole life." It was the sweetest, most powerful thing. I can't even do anything justice because there really aren't words. But all I can say the gospel is so true. Seeing how happy their entire family was.. just changed my life. That is what this is all about. Helping other families come together and be together for eternity. And I got to see a glimpse of that. And I just feel so blessed!
So that was the highlight of the week. It was too good.
But some other cool things happened too! So basically we had like 1 day to be regular missionaries because of Thanksgiving.. and then we had a meeting in Cleveland.. adn then we were at the visitor's center. Anyways so Saturday we were out in our area.. and we were trying to see this lady named Sister Leyde that we go visit. Well she was in the hospital.. but she got moved. And NO ONE knew where she was. We literally called like 20 people and no one would answer and we could not find her. I was losing my mind. And we were just praying like crazy that we would find her... and we would get so close and then no. So we decided to go see a member who lives in these apartment... and we pull up and I had this really strong impression that we needed to go see this former investigator named Tina. (Well I thought her name was Cindy... and yeah it wasn't so lets just that led to a very awkward moment that I don't even want to type haha) any who.. so we stop by Tina. She lets us in.. but is very like visibly annoyed at the world. And we start talking to her for a bit and she starts doing a bit better.. and then she said "I don't mind that you are here. But can I ask... what made you even come here today?" and I told her that our other plans fell though and for some reason I felt like we needed to stop by. And then we asked her why she thought we came.. and she said "Well to be honest.. I have been really depressed lately. More depressed than I have been in a really long time. And last night it was so bad, and I prayed to God and asked Him to send someone for me to just talk to. And now you guys are here."
WE WERE STRAIGHT UP LED TO HER. How insane is that. And the craziest thing is right after we left her... we were able to get a hold of Sister Leyde and find out where she was. So God literally needed us to go see Tina. And we couldn't find Sister Leyde until we had. And we were able to just talk to Tina and help her and now we are going to start teaching her. But man God answers prayers. And He really cares about His children. Honestly that was just too crazy. And the best thing ever. I LOVE feeling like God is just using me to help other people. Nothing is as satisfying. It was so cool.
And it was a miracle to find Sister Leyde. That has actually become the like constant quest. Because yesterday we went to visit her at the nursing home... and she was gone from there again. Luckily we found her at the ICU at the hospital. She was so grateful to see us. She got a blessing the other day and she said "I have been in so much pain.. and once they laid their hands on me I felt better". Miracle number two thousand.
ALSO yesterday we had mission conference INSIDE the Kirtland Temple. Coolest thing ever. No other mission in the world gets to do that. And there is nothing better than being with 200 missionaries inside. I feel like it is a little taste of what it would have been like to be there back when the saints sacrificed their lives to build it. And even though we don't own the temple anymore.. the spirit is still so strong there. I love when we get to sing "The Spirit of God". It always makes me think back to when I was a little girl and I loved that song.. and now I am here on a mission inside the temple singing it. I never in a million years would have thought I would be here doing this. I am just really grateful that God had a mission planned for me. It has definitely not been easy at all, but it has been so worth it. I have learned more about what is important and how to be happy and just what really matters than I ever thought I would. I thought that I was coming on my mission to help other people... and I am.. but I never really realized how much it would help me. I can't imagine the rest of my life without the knowledge that i have gained while I have been here. I can honestly say that I know Jesus Christ lives and that He loves me and that I know doing what He has taught is the only way to be truly happy.
Also, we had dress rehearsal with the singing Nuns on Sunday! The performances are this weekend. I bet you all wish you could see. It is just funny because we literally are the only ones under the age of 70. But it is a pretty fun experience. I tried to get some footage on my camera without being caught not singing... I am excited to see how it goes. Stay tuned for that one.
Okay and funny story. So this senior couple the Robbins are basically our best friends and the other night they took 4 of us sisters to get ice cream.. and we are there eating and they had a calander of their flavors for the month. And Elder Robbins (who is this oldie) was like " I need to circle the ones I like so that I can know when to come back" and so he starts reading them to himself.. and he is circling every single day. I was laughing my head off. I love them and I love that they love ice cream so much. They have us over every Sunday night for ice cream too. They always say that ice cream can fix all our problems.... it has worked so far.
So I probably should go eat some more right now.
Well I have to go! I hope you have a great week! I am grateful for all the love and support.