Saturday, December 21, 2013

Saying good bye to Hot Springs

I was hoping to stay another transfer in Hot Springs, especially for Christmas, and to help my comp with her knee problems, but I am needed elsewhere.  I am not being transfered far, thankfully, and I will get to come back now and again to Hot Springs for echanges.  I am going to Rapid City, to serve in the the Mt. Rushmore WARD (not branch...weird), and to be a Sister Training Leader.  This is the first time in our mission ( most missions have been doing this since the get go) to have two Sister Training Leaders.  I will be with Sister Ransom, who is on her last transfer before she goes home.  She has been the STL before and so I will get to learn a lot from her.  I am looking forward to learn and to be in a CITY! There is a walmart :)   I'm excited and nervous for this new challenge!   
Anyways, I am sad to leave this area.  Last night we said goodbye to Mervin, our recent convert.  He wrote me the sweetest note and thanked me.  This is just a little part of what his note said, "You are a very special person, always happy.  The place lites up when you're around.  I'll miss meeting with you and Sister Allen. Be happy in Jesus Christ. - An Old Friend Forever, Mervin "  Then he gave us each a rock that is carved into an eagle.  He said the Native Americans believe eagles to mean messenger.  We brought him the message of the gospel.  It was so kind of him and he about had me in tears. He is 74 years old and he said to me, "I am so old, and you are so young, but you have taught me so much. You have had so much experience with the Lord. You changed my life."  Seeing him change has made my mission so worth it.  What he doesn't know is that he is changing me.  I have learned equally as much from him and he has made me realize what in life is really important.  My mission has been the best decision of my life.  I told him Mom and Dad that we are coming to visit him the summer after you get put that on your calendar!

Thank you for all the gifts! I have been spoiled already.  Aunt Heidi send me a TREE a REAL TREE!  Ha, it was awesome! Aunt Linda sent me a whole big package of things...she has been so helpful.  I don't think she has ever missed a week sending me a letter.  I love her for that! Merry Christmas! I CANNOT wait to skype!
Love you!
Oh also Mom and Dad congrats on the baptism! That is SO exciting.  I thought it was so funny about the font not being'll laugh at that one for a long time.  I'm so happy that it went though.  You are already making things happen there. I love you so much.

Thank you Grandma Hill

Our family tradition is to make gingerbread houses at Thanksgiving time.  My grandma sent me a kit so I could still keep up the tradition.

Nine Months

It's hard to believe my mission is half over.  We have Zone Conference tomorrow which I am excited about.  I love that they have us memorize scriptures.  I've prepared a talk about being certain and bold about what we teach.  We have been called to declare repentance like the sound of a trump.   I am going to share 1 Corinthians 14:7-9, but the most important one is 8 which says " For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?" Which means if we don't teach clearly or boldly, how will the investigator know what to do and why they need to get baptized or live the word of wisdom or keep the law of chastity.  We must be bold, clear, and loving when we teach and invite.  Anyways, that's one of the great things I have learned in my nine months out.

Sister J

Thanksgiving Day

Happy Thanksgiving! We had a fun Thanksgiving here in Hot Springs. We spent some of the day with our Branch Mission Leader, the Birkholz's. All of there six children are inactive, which I know must be difficult for them, but they love them no matter what and they have such a great attitude towards it all. Even though we didn't get to share a message with their children while we were there, hopefully we made some sort of influence on them. It made me more thankful that I have an active family. I have a big family of six too, but each of them are active in the church and living the gospel. I feel truly blessed!