Hey hey hey!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY BUG!! And HAPPY LATE BIRTHDAY EESA! I love you both so so much. This week was another great one. First off, for questions to be answered. YES I got your package and I got it Saturday so pre-st patty's day, which was fantastic. Thank you so so much!!! I about died when I saw the headband and wore it all during studies obvi. Also, I hope you had a great st patty's day and you didn't get too many welts from pinches. Even though that holiday is so overrated. To answer Uncle Stephen's question, yes Caleb Baldwin was in the Liberty Jail with the prophet Joseph Smith. They were there from Dec. 1st, 1838- April 6th, 1839 (COLD MISSOURUH MONTHS). There were six men that were sent there but one (Sidney Rigdon) represented himself in court and was actually released earlier than the others, just a cool side note. I am learning so much of the history here I love it! I've never really been interested in it like this before, so this is all new and exciting for me. Oh and I didn't have Aunt Dianne and Uncle Stephen's address.. But I was meaning to write them a thank you note! If they are still staying there please pass the word. But also thank you sooooo much for the gps! We get so lost here and I have no clue what we'd do without it. Our area is HUGE it is insane! K sorry if I repeat info from last week, I can't even remember what I typed because it was so fast and I'm such a spazz with what I send. Our ward roster has about 600 people on it!!! And most are less actives and part member families. So to say there is a lot of work in this area, that'd be an understatement! Last night, Sis Minall and I spent like three hours at the bishop's house just going over the roster, finding out all we can about everyone in the ward. It was so helpful! We got through the h's and will finish on Wednesday! Members here have 12 families on their hometeaching list, INSANE. Dad and Bradent can you even imagine!? Ha it is soo ridonkulous how many people. We are going to focus a lot on visiting those that the bishop recommended visits too. And there are A LOT. Like seriously I'm pretty sure I could spend my entire mission in this area haha. On top of those people, we are meeting tons of people here that are pretty interested! We don't have any "progressing investigators" yet but we just opened this area so we had nothing to start with. We are praying to know who to focus and who needs our time and attention the most!
Let me just say that I LOVE THE LIBERTY JAIL. I feel confident in the basic history, enough to give tours on my own. And that's what I needed is a solid base. I will continue to learn/study as I go but I am also learning a ton from the presentations and all those who pass through this historic and sacred jail. The prophet went through so much for us! He was called of God and he was on the Lord's errand. These men that were imprisoned here were innocent, charged of treason. They were accused of trying to "take over Missouri and overthrow the government" when in reality they were just trying to establish homes for their families and live peacefully. Today, we can learn sooo much from these experiences that took place here. The prophet had such faith and courage even going into the jail. He had no clue when he'd see his family again, he had no clue what would lie ahead for them and all the saints that he was called to lead. What an amazing man! While he was here at the jail, he poured out his heart for all the saints and those suffering and asked "O God, where art thou?" Even though they were treated terribly in that cold cramped basement jail, he was worried about others. He was able to be comforted as he turned to the Lord, just as we can do for anything and everything! And always. Also, it was a place of painful refining for the prophet and these men but they learned a lot and that's how our lives are! We are given trials to be strengthened. And to help others. I love the prophet Joseph Smith and the early saints and all they went through for me and you. Most importantly, we admire and turn to Joseph Smith as an example and a prophet of God, but we don't worship him and many people think Mormons do. We turn to our Savior Jesus Christ, just as Joseph even did. People's beliefs here just blow my mind!!! The majority of the people we have met have been baptist. And some have even said "Well yeah basically the main difference between you and I, is that your church doesn't believe in Jesus Christ and that he died for us and rose on the third day." Literally we have had people say that. I'm like wait whaaaaat? Ha. We most certainly know that Jesus Christ came to this Earth, suffered for you and I and is our Savior and Redeemer. He is the center of our church. I've seen on tv and been told by people that some believe that they just have to be "saved" once. I don't think I ever understood what that meant until I have met some here that share what they believe on that. One lady (She is older and super grumpy, she said she has never opened the door for "people like us" in suits or anything, and that we were reallly lucky that day haha) anyways, she is baptist and we sat on her porch for like 40 minutes talking about our beliefs and she shared some of hers. She told us that she was saved in 1995 and that she could sit on her butt the rest of her life if she wanted to but she knows she has a place in heaven because she was saved back in '95. Literally those words came out of her mouth and I couldn't even believe it! Yes we are saved by our Savior, his grace is always there for us, but faith without works is dead. And we have been commanded to follow Him! We have commandments to follow and we are to be continually progressing. We have had the same concept said more than once here and it literally blows my mind!!! We have the fulness of the gospel back on the earth and it just makes too much sense, I want everyone to understand ha.
I know I bragged about how awesome my comp was last time, but to confirm, she is still amazing!! I am so grateful for her. She is leaving April 19th and I don't know what I'm going to do without her so we aren't going to talk about that. A couple random new facts about her, she was a convert at 20. She is a vegetarian, loves working out. She is the funniest person you will ever meet, super bold and straight up which I admire. Also, she's going straight to London to live with her mom for awhile after the mish, then she'll probably go to Utah. She's had a lot of companions from az and I am going to convert her to the az ways. Hope you don't mind if I volunteer our house if she's ever in the area. You will love her she is awesome!!!
Last week we met this guy named "Guy" at taco bell. He ordered the doritos tacos and got regular and was debating to go get them exchanged. I told him that's a ripoff you need the dorito, so we got talking. After he got his tacos, we kept talking, sis Minall asked about his family and he basically poured his heart out about his daughter that's struggling (people tend to open up to missionaries it's like the tag has some magic or something). And he told us a lot about work and everything else. He noticed my tag and asked if we were latter-day saints and I told him yes sir! His mom used to meet with some elders and he got super excited. He wanted to know more abotu the BOM and we told him a lot abotu our beliefs. He asked where he could get one for himself to read and was SHOCKED when we gave him one to read, he was super stoked. Sadly he lives out of our area but I feel grateful to have planted a seed and for him to hopefully accept the gospel and share it with his family.
Elder and Carrol. We came back to check up on Elder's reading and what he thought of the Restoration pamphlet. His wife answered and we got to know her for awhile. Elder came down and invited us in for dinner! We were able to spend the evening in their home and share more.. Mostly we got to know them a lot and we were hoping they'd come to church but they didn't.. We will definitely go back to see them soon.
K so more on this POOR lady Shirley in our ward. Oh my goodness my heart breaks for her!! She is 77, got baptized last year. Last summer she tripped at the temple and broke her neck and messed up her poor little face! She will be in the brace the rest of her life because she's too old to do surgery. She lives by herself and none of her nine kids go visit her.. It is very hard for her to take care of herself but she makes it to church every sunday! She is such a strong woman and has such faith. We went to visit and first off side note, she has like 10 cats and my throat felt like it was going to close up ha. So just know I really love this lady because there is hair everyhwere, she can't vacuum or clean her house and we are going to come over this week to clean for her. She is so positive too! She's always like well you know it could be worse! And she loves visitors.
Our ward mission leader is Bro Moyle who is awesome! K guess how insane! His little bro is best friends with my home teacher in st g (LEXI- LUKE!!) HA. Also, he just got engaged to my friend Bri in st g which blew my mind cause I found out through them. Anyways, we meet with him weekly with the elders and got more organized and such. They have the cutest kids and let me just tell you that it was the first time that my heart like broke not being able to hold kids. Their daughter skye kept coming over to me the entire time and asking me to pick her up and I wanted to cry! I miss holding babies and playing with kids but it's all good, I'm doing somthing much more important right now. Like Idk, saving some salvations. But really! There is so much to do and so many people that need our help! Last night was hilarious.. we went to dinner at a members and first off there backyard was some sketchy woods like insane/haunted. It was pouring ice (not rain, snow, hail. ICE) and we ran inside. There were 7 kids in that family, all under the age of 13, all homeschooled, and we ate our sabbath day din on a beach towel on the tile floor. They're moving soon because they don't have enough room for their family ha. I loved them. I love all these people our here it is such fun getting to know them!
We are working hard here and enjoying the journey!! Sister Minall and I basically have the same brain and have a blast all day long. We get work done so quickly because we agree on basicalyl everything and mesh our ideas together. We are also like real funny. We live in the attic in our house and on the way up our creekidy stairs there is this huge landing with like raaaandom junk. I will take a pic next week for a visual. But we surprise each other with presents from the junk landing. We took the creepiest doll from there and hid it in sis Lewis's bed and tucked her in real good. It was so funny. Also, sis minall just found out that fruit by the foot is not really the most accurate way to measure a foot......hahahah
I love you all so much!!!!! Please write me letters. They help me so much you have no idea! Stay strong and I will see you in like a year and half.
PS the pictures- this house we tracted at was INTENSE it had dolls and chairs and jewelry and plants and insane stuff covering the front lawn. So enjoy that. Also, I am praying for all of you! Every day. And grandpa get better please I love you so much!!! Oh and Kella and Devina you better write me as soon as you find out boy or girl!! So exciting!