Alma 29:9

"I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yeah, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy."
Alma 29:9

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Officially Old!!

Dearest family,

So as of this week I'm officially an old missionary. Um, when did that
happen?! I'm still in denial...

Oh my goodness, thank you so much for the sweet sweet package!!! It
was an absolute ray of sunshine during a really hard week. Transfers came
and then my nine month mark came, and I was just sad. But then your
adorable hump day package came and it was just this ray of sunshine.
Thank you for everything, I can't thank you enough. I absolutely
loved all of it. And I think I have enough treats/snacks to last me
the next nine months...😉😂 It was perfect.

Hitting my half-way mark has caused me to reflect a lot. I know you
told me in your cards it wasn't something to be sad about, but I'll be
honest, those days leading up to it were rough. I didn't want it to
come because...I just didn't. I didn't want this amazing experience to
be half-way over. More than anything though, I now feel this prodding
to keep going, to work harder, and be better. I don't have much time
to do and complete all the Lord needs me to here in Pennsylvania. So
far, time has flown, and I'm sure it will continue to pass by quickly.
These have truly been the best nine months for my's to the
next nine months!!!

HOLY CANNOLI BIG NEWS. On Thursday we got an email from President that said:

"A significant change is coming to our mission next week. On July 1,
there will be a change in the mission boundaries.  The Chambersburg
and Lancaster Stakes/zones will become part of the Maryland Baltimore
Mission on that date. All missionaries currently serving in those
zones will therefore become part of that mission."

WHAT. I was in shock. Still in shock. We are losing some great
missionaries and it's sad to watch them go. I gotta say though, I'm so
glad I am safe. 😅 If that were me, I would be having such a hard
time. Grateful I'm safe (for now) in Beaver! 😜

So I can't remember if I mentioned this in my last email, but we
currently aren't teaching Cathy anymore. It was so sad to see her make
that decision. I hope that she'll come around and we'll be able to
teach her again, but for now I'm leaving it in God's hands.

Jared has also kind of been MIA. We would try and pop in on him and it
was never a good time. We finally got a hold of him on the phone, and
he said he was really busy and couldn't set up a time to meet. I asked
him if he was reading the Book of Mormon, and he said, "Nah, I'm just
talking to Jesus. And He tells me the truth." Okayyy....haha it was
interesting. Bless his heart.

Highlight miracles from this week:

- Erin (investigator): we taught her twice this week! And it was so so
good. We taught her about the gospel of Jesus Christ and had a
wonderful lesson. Later in the week, we finally got to meet and teach
her kids, Eli and Maddie. We read from the Book of Mormon (1 Nephi
4--great and eventful chapter to read with them for the first time,
haha 😉😂), and we taught them the Plan of Salvation-story form, and
it went well. We are really super excited to start teaching them along
with Erin. We committed them to start reading the Book of Mormon and
praying together as a family every day, and told them how much we know
it will bless them in their lives. It made me so happy!!! However, the
dumb adversary is placing roadblock after roadblock preventing them
from coming to church. Believe me, they want to be there. Please pray
that she and the kids can make it to church!!!
- Brianna (recent convert): Remember our recent convert, Brianna?
Well, we FINALLY got to meet with her and we had an AMAZING lesson.
After asking a lot of inspired questions and talking to her and
listening with love, she opened up and told us some of the trials
she's been facing. I haven't been where she is, but I could honestly
feel the heartache she has been experiencing. I was crying with her,
and she got up and came over to give me a hug. I just sat there
hugging her and she continued to cry. I haven't felt a connection like
that with someone since I met Erin. I just hugged her and told her it
would all be okay. We talked about the importance of coming to church
and reading from the Book of Mormon, promising her that if she would
do that, things would get easier. Her circumstances won't necessarily
change, but she will be made stronger to be able to endure. I think it
finally started to click with her. It was the biggest miracle. So
grateful for God's hand in all things.
- Milly (less active): Milly is a miracle. Yesterday was the fourth
Sunday in a row she's come to Sacrament meeting. She's doing so well!!
And it's amazing!! We had another wonderful lesson with her last night
about trusting God. We sang "I Feel My Savior's Love" for her and she
loved it. I could feel God's love for her (one of the best things
about being a missionary), and it was beautiful.

I couldn't possibly tell you all of the amazing miracles that happen
each and every week, but let me tell you: THEY ARE SO REAL. And it is
the most amazing thi to witness them each and every day. I feel God's
hand so regularly, even when everything seems to fall through. I feel
Him more tangibly now than I ever have before. My prayers are
different now (in a good way), because they have truly become my
lifeline. He is the only One I can turn to, rely on, and trust 100%,
because He hears the silent and vocal pleadings of my heart and He
understands perfectly. Even when I have moments when I am surrounded
by people and feel terribly alone, I know I'm never alone, because He
is always right there.

Well, family, I love you more than words can say. I can't even express
my gratitude for you and how blessed I feel to be a part of this
family. It is one of the biggest blessings. Thank heavens I'll have
yinz forever. 😉 Distance really does makes the heart grow fonder, but
I'm realizing how blessed I really am. Thank you for being all I've
ever needed and loving me unconditionally.

Make it a wonderful week!! I LOVE YOU!!!

"Keep loving. Keep trying. Keep trusting. Keep believing. Keep
growing. Heaven is cheering you on today, tomorrow, and forever."
(Elder Jeffrey R. Holland)


                                                         HUMP DAY-9 MONTHS!!!!

Bruester's Ice Cream Outing-BIG Smiles :)

Here's Jenna with our Trio!

Milly and Me - Love her!

Collette - friend of Annette :)

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