Monday, November 18, 2013

One Transfer Down! Thanksgiving and Christmas in Spring!

 Hey there my favorite family! Como le va?
This week has been a good one! Definitely ups and downs, but that's life right? But overall it has been incredible and I am continuing to see miracles every single day.
To answer your questions...for Thanksgiving a family in our ward, the Hales, has invited all the missionaries from our ward over to their house for Thanksgiving Dinner and I am so grateful for that! I don't know what it will be like, but I'm assuming it will just be regular Thanksgiving foods. This family is great too, they have the cutest kids and they are people that are always striving to do good. So I'm excited for that! We also have a big ward activity this Friday for Thanksgiving where anyone and everyone is invited! So that should be a great finding opportunity for us as missionaries! So if there's anything different here in Texas than our traditional Thanksgiving dinners at home I will be sure to let you know! And wow, thank you so much for that surprise! And give Lance a big thank you for me too! It really came at the perfect time. The day before had been a little rough for me and it was just that extra little dose of love that I needed, so thank you! We have been enjoying the treats and making yummy sandwiches and everything! So thank you thank you thank you! I am so lucky to have a family that is so involved and supportive in everything that I am doing, I know I can always count on you all!
As I said, this week has been so great. I've had my moments, but the goodness and mercy of the Lord always triumphs. Always, always, always. And it's amazing to me the way that He helps us too. I was reading in 2 Nephi 4 and it was exactly what I needed to hear. Needless to say, I was humbled a bit. I just went to to copy and paste the scriptures into the email and then realized that it would be way too long, so I'm going to have to trust your word that you will read it all right? Start in 17 if you don't want to read the whole chapter. So Nephi I would say is having a bad day. We all do right? But what I am amazed at is that he doesn't dwell on it! He recognizes what upsets him and he does what he can to fix it! He rejoices in the Lord and shows his gratitude for the things that he has been given...recognizes the good in all things. He knows to turn to the Lord when opposition and adversity comes. He then talks about all of the incredible things that the Lord has shown him, and the Lord's mercy for men and he says: (really read all the way to 35 okay?)
"O then, if I have seen so great things, if the Lord in his condescension unto the children of men hath avisited men in so much bmercy, cwhy should my dheart weep and my soul linger in the valley of sorrow, and my flesh waste away, and my strength slacken, because of mine afflictions?
And why should I ayield to sin, because of my flesh? Yea, why should I give way to btemptations, that the evil one have place in my heart to destroy my cpeace and afflict my soul? Why am I dangry because of mine enemy?
 Awake, my soul! No longer adroop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the benemy of my soul."
That was a lesson for me! Why was I letting my soul linger in the valley of sorrow when I have seen the incredible blessings and miracles that the Lord has put before me?! Ah, wow I feel like I was just slapped in the face. haha Reality check right? I just can't believe how selfish I was being. I see so many incredible things happen every single day through the mercy of the Lord and here I was being so ungrateful for them because I was focusing on the things that were upsetting me. So yes, I was humbled through that and I am working on fixing that every day that I live. I really am so grateful for the Lord and for how He helps us recognize our weaknesses and how we can make them stronger. I love my study time!
And for the experience of the week...Sunday (yesterday) we didn't have a single appointment planned. Nevertheless we planned the night before and had faith that the Lord would help us accomplish what we needed to. We were contacting over in some apartments and I felt like we should go visit a menos activo that was in those same apartments. It was kind of weird though because I knew that she worked Sundays and wouldn't be home. But I told Sister Driesel what I was thinking and she said that she was thinking the same thing. So we figured we should probably go if the Lord was telling both of us. And I am so glad that we did. We knocked on the door and her daughter and her ex-husband Carlos who was there with the kids answered the door. He is also a less active member. He began asking us where our church was and we invited him to the ward activity that we have this upcoming week. We asked him if there was anyone that would benefit from hearing our message and his little girl said I do! She took us over to another apartment to visit her sister in law, but she was on the phone and couldn't talk to us at that moment. So as we were walking back to the other apartment we asked the girl when the last time was that she read in her Book of Mormon. She said she hadn't for a long time and we said "well do you want us to come read with you right now?" She agreed whole-heartedly! So we went back to her apartment to sit outside and read with her. Carlos walked out and said, "You weren't going to invite me?" haha so he joined us too! We read in 3 Nephi 11, always a good chapter, and he began to tell us a story about finding someone's wallet and returning it to them. I didn't really know what the significance of the story was, but this is where it gets good. He was saying that when you have lost something and can't find it, how great the feeling is when you find it again. He said that he had been thinking about that and then we knocked on his door, and said he felt that same feeling as we were sitting there reading the Book of Mormon with him and his two girls. I know that he was able to recognize again the happiness that the gospel brings, he had found something that he had lost for awhile. And how happy he was that he found it! I am so grateful that we followed the promptings of the Spirit and I know that there really are divine appointments that God helps us have when we are worthy, and show him our desires and efforts through the work that we try to accomplish.
I am doing great and am so excited to start my second transfer here in the Woodlands! Hermana Driesel and I are both staying here, and all the missionaries in our ward are staying the same too. I am so excited to begin this next transfer! As I look back I can already see how much I have grown and improved just over a short six weeks. I know that it is all because of the Lord and I am so grateful for His continued guidance and help throughout my life. I hope that I can continue to progress quickly and grow to be the missionary that He knows I can become.
I love you all and hope that you have an incredible Thanksgiving. When you go around the table talking about the things that you are grateful for, you can speak for me and tell everyone how grateful I am for the experiences that make you stretch and make you grow. They definitely are not easy but it is so worth it in the end to see how much you've changed. Ah man now that I say that I have so many other things that I want to say I am grateful for. Tell them all that I am grateful for their support and love too, and just for families! Tell them thanks for being a great extended family, I feel so lucky to have so much family that loves each other and gets along so well! So yeah, I should probably stop there or else it will never end. Love you all sooooooo much! Love love love love love! (sorry Tay, I'm copying you)
Hermana Hoj
                                           A Lunch for Hermana

                                        Teeny Tiny Bananas!
                               A present from one of our investigators

A little taste of home!
Thank you Lance Howell and The Store!

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