Thanks so much for the emails! I sure love you guys and think of you often. Mom, I meant to thank-you for the money you put on my card, that was so nice of you! I was able to get a nice new sweater (the one I was wearing in the "Best Mission" picture) and I got a pair of sweater tights, they are saving me in this cold weather, I'm so grateful! :) I sure appreciated that, and your cute letter- I love the stationary with the bikes. It hits home haha. :) I always love the cute pictures, I feel like I get to be with you guys for a moment as I look at them! Rachel looks so gorgeous in her Homecoming Dress, and I think I remember meeting Colton, he sure looks like a nice guy. He's the one from the "Fancy Date" right? How fun :) I love the one of Andrew at the Regan's home, he's so cute!
So some fun things that have happened this week.. Yesterday at church we were talking about how we can use social media to share the gospel and they showed this clip, and Sister Scharton was the talk show host! It was so cool! :) A few days ago while Sister Strong and I were eating lunch we were talking about our fun roommate stories from last year, and Erika Bishop was one of her roommates! How fun is that?! The world just keeps getting smaller and smaller.
Also, as always, I have a weekly joke for you guys!
There were several battle ships out at sea, a new German Commander was put in charge of making sure all the ships were doing well. A Russian ship called in and said, "We're sinking." "We're sinking" and the German Commander said, "What are you "sinking" about?" ahah :) ~ That's another of Sister Knowlton's jokes.
Anyway, I loved hearing about all that's going on at home, Michie sounds like a neat lady, and Andrea too! That was so neat to hear about the blessing she received, and that even though she's been through so much she's still so strong! That breaks my heart to hear Brother Swim is struggling... I'll definitely keep him in my prayers. Thanks for sharing the story about Ryker's blessing, that was so touching to hear. I sure love reading your emails, I'm so grateful I have your love and support while I'm out here, it seriously helps me get through the hard times, knowing that you are all there for me.
Well, this has been an incredible week! Although we weren't as successful "number wise", so many small miracles happened here and there. I was devastated to hear that Max relapsed, and we weren't able to visit him all week for safety reasons...We have been praying all week, and I had a special fast for him... As we sat in church yesterday, we looked back at our ward mission leader and his family, (Brother Peterson- our ward mission leader is his home teacher) and at the end of the row sat Max. I was overcome with emotion! Max made it to church! He's been in the hospital under close watch for days... During the meeting I was so grateful the speakers focused on the Atonement, and how God loves us every step of the way throughout our lives journey. I felt the speakers had been inspired as they had prepared, and I felt they were speaking to Max. I was so grateful! As we talked to Max after the meeting, he said, I'm so glad I came, every time I do I feel something special here. I'm amazed that although he's been through so much, he desires to change, and he's working towards it.
This week I have gained so much insight, President Mullen challenged us to start a spiritual boot camp- we read "The Divine Companionship" by Jeffrey R. Holland. Although it was written for missionaries, I think it applies to all of us. He said that as missionaries, we always need to have our 3rd companion with us. The Holy Spirit, and to make sure we always give him time to teach with us. The way we can always have the Holy Spirit to be with us is to live the commandments we've been given. It's been a bit of a struggle for me, because I have a whole new set of commandments to keep. I need to wake up at 6:30a.m. and although I may be tired, study all three hours. It's not always easy, as President Mullen read 1 Nephi 3:7 he said, I know the Lord has provided a way for us to keep each and every one of his commandments. As we do this, we have The Holy Spirit, to be with us daily. I know in your lives, you can have God's divine guidance, and comfort to be with you on a daily basis if we strive to do the things he asks of us. I know that if we read our scriptures and say our prayers daily, we will be able to feel God's love, have his direction and comfort daily. This is what brings true fulfillment.
My favorite part of being a missionary is that I get to promise blessings from our Heavenly Father. As those we teach follow the things God has asked of them, we know the promised blessings that are in store. I love telling them, as you read the scriptures- God will bless you with Guidance and Direction in your life. As you strive to go to church- God will bless you in your efforts, and make a way possible for you to go. I love being able to promise- Heavenly Father see's your efforts, and he has great love for you, and he wants to bless you. I have a testimony that God does love us, and he's just waiting to shower us with blessings, and all we must do, is the things he's asked of us. I have a testimony, that as long as we do our best, and only care about what God thinks of us, we won't be swayed by the world, we will stay strong. I know that true joy comes in doing Heavenly Father's will. As we know we are following his divine plan for us, we will feel so much joy!
Anyway, I am so grateful for our Savior Jesus Christ, and to know we have a Heavenly Father who has a divine personalized plan and purpose for each of our lives. I pray for you guys everyday, and hope you have a wonderful week!