My dearest family,
I hope yinz had a wonderful Thanksgiving!! And ate lots of good food...I sure did! For lunch/dinner, the elders, Sister Simpson and I went to the Myers house. They had SO much good food. It was delicious!! I ate until I was *stuffed*. After that, we went to Bishop's house to have more pie. Ha ha, it was great! And he made banana creme pie for us (at our request). It was really good. we also....got to play their pinball machine (it was way cool!!), air hockey, and foosball. I am basically the foosball queen. Ha ha I actually was a lot better than I thought I would be! #surprise It was so good to be with wonderful people and families spend the day with them. (It's crazy to think I was here in Pennsylvania for last Thanksgiving too! I don't know how I feel about that or what to think about that... also. Where did the month go and where has the last 14 months gone?!? Time is flying way to fast...)
Being Thanksgiving, of course I took the time to think about many of the blessings God has given me, many of the things I am grateful for. It is so hard to even begin to put into words what I am grateful for. "My cup runneth over" (Psalm 23:1).
I am incredibly grateful for my Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ. They have done more for me than I could ever say, and more than I could ever know. I am eternally grateful for Them. I am incredibly grateful for my mission, for the time I've been able to be a missionary. I can't even describe it. My eternity will be so different because I have spent this time on a mission here in Pennsylvania. The people I've met, the companions I've had, the experiences I've been apart of, the Spirit I've knowledge I've gained, how my testimony had grown and been strengthened...I am beyond grateful. I am also incredibly grateful for the dearest family and friends I love more than you know. You have been a huge support to me and I can't tell you how much I appreciate it. I am so blessed to have so many incredible people in my life. I love you so much!!
Monday-Tuesday we exchanged with the Washington sisters. I got to be with Sister McDonald which was awesome! She is an amazing missionary--she's a natural!! We taught a less-active lady and talked to her about tithing and she is going to start paying it! She is in such a tough financial situation, it's amazing to see her faith to start paying her tithing. I know she will be so blessed for it! I'm so excited for her to see the miracles that come from obeying this commandment.
Friday-Saturday the Wheeling sisters drove up to blitz our area. I was with Sister Jacobson again and we had an awesome time!! She is absolutely wonderful--such a sweetheart and such a good missionary. How did I get so lucky to work with so many incredible sisters?!
During the blitz, we were super excited to share the new Christmas initiative...wait. Hold up.
HAVE YOU SEEN IT YET?!? IT IS AMAZING!!!! I feel the Spirit SO strongly *every* time I watch it.
So. We went to visit this lady we had OYM'd one day outside of her house. (PS if yinz don't know, OYM is "open your mouth"...and you just walk up to them and start talking to them. ) Anyway. This lady's name is Donna. It wasn't the best time for her, but she invited us in and we talked to her for a minute. We were going to just leave but I felt like we needed to show her the new video "Light the World". We asked if she had a few minutes for a video, and she said she did. We sat on her couch and showed her the video. She just cried though the whole thing. We talked about it afterwards and she said her heart felt heavy, but it also felt light. She was thinking about the people she's lost, and I was able to testify to her that the message we have to share can help her so much. It was such a sweet moment and she appreciated it SO much. (She even wants to share it with other people! #gemstatus )
One of the potential investigators that was in the area book was Anthony. Sister Jacobson and I went to see him, and he was home! We had tried a few times, but hadn't caught him any of the times. Anywhoozers, we talked to him, and found out he's been reading the Book of Mormon! He is also really trying to find the truth. We taught him briefly about the Apostasy and Joseph Smith and left him with a copy of the pamphlet. I am so excited to teach him more!
Yesterday, a sweet 8 year-old in the ward was baptized. And guess what?! Sister Starr (Tanya) came!!! It was wonderful. Sister Starr is still praying to know if she should be baptized on the 17th. She is still at times feeling overwhelmed and nervous. Please please keep her in her prayers...that she will receive answers to her prayers and be able to feel peace through the Holy Ghost.
So, this is more on the random side, but Sister Simpson I introduced me to a song that has become my new favorite. I just wanted to share a few of the lyrics with you:
From the love of my own comfort, from the fear of having nothing, from a life of worldly passions: Deliver me, O God.
From a need to be understood, from a need to be accepted, from the fear of being lonely: Deliver me, O God.
From the fear of serving others, from the fear of death or trial, from a fear of humility: Deliver me, O God.
And I shall not want, no, I shall not want. When I taste Your goodness, I shall want.
It is called "I Shall Not Want" by Audrey Assad. I love how it is a prayer to be delivered from all the natural tendencies and insecurities we have as mortal human beings. And it's a statement that once we taste His goodness, we won't want anything else. How beautiful is that? It's something that has come up a lot in my studies lately. I am learning so much about the natural man inside of each of us and what we can do to overcome it with the help of the Savior. As such, I am doing all I can to deepen my desire to only want what God wants for me.
Along with that, I found the verse in the scriptures that uses "I shall not want". It took me to Psalm 23 which I absolutely love:
"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. ... Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. ... Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over."
It is worded so beautifully--and that is really the only way I can describe my gratitude: my cup runneth over.
I hope you have an incredible week and continue to see all the bounteous blessings God has so mercifully bestowed upon us. Remember who you are-a child of a Heavenly King!! 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)
All my love,
Me and Sister McDonald found quite an interesting door sign!
Was an intense game of pinball!
With the Reyes family!
With Bishop Snow and his family!
With Sister Jacobson at Oakmont Bakery
home of the famous doughsants! :)
home of the famous doughsants! :)
Thank You Ritz's for bath and body plus chocolate!
After decorating the Ritz's Christmas tree!
Elders cleaning the font!
Me scrubbing the floor with my make shift mop
in my socks! #facepalm
in my socks! #facepalm