I thought it might be appropriate to start my letter off with this.... I am the master of pancakes. Haha. I LOVE PANCAKES!!!! I am so addicted to them. Like daddy's cookies, how he went on that splurge for a while and made them over and over again until he got it down to an art? Yep. That's me with pancakes. And it only took one try to make the masterpiece. They are divine. I guess you will have to wait a little while before you can try them yourselves!
Anyways, thank you for the letters! Jared, your Christmas present idea for your roommates is so sweet! I love it. You are awesome. Good luck everyone with your finals these next couple weeks! I will keep you in my prayers. You will all do awesome! Finals are happening for the university students up here too so it makes it a little difficult to schedule appointments haha no one has the time right now. But anyways, congrats Michael and Kara on the wedding! JASON AND TARYN!! ARE YOU ALIVE?!!?
This week was so awesome. I had my first Zone Conference with President and Sister Scott! Best thing ever. It was themed around Christmas as well as the Doctrine of Christ. Afterwards, I felt spiritually and physically drained, the spirit was SO STRONG!! Such a pump up :) That night after we got back, we had a lesson with Kazem and it was AMAZING. Our minds were so clear and the spirit was so strong. I know it came from the preparation and insights we received from President and Sister Scott and the Assistants. I LOVE getting to role play with other missionaries and see how they teach, what methods they use. It's always a learning experience.
I was called and asked to help coordinate a musical number for the conference and I was asked to play the piano. So GREAT!!! Saying that we put the song together just before the event (they sang "Joy to the World") it sounded pretty darn awesome :) I am proud of my missionary buddies who sang.
So this week was filled with lots of ups and even some downs and it made me so happy. The day after Zone Conference was a day of what seemed to be little or no success. All of our appointments fell through, no one was home, no one on the street was wanting to hear our message.... not much seemed to go well.... And yet I was so happy :) So grateful for the fact that the weather was amazing. So grateful my companion and I were teaching powerfully, and able to get some exercise from walking. So happy thinking that we were unable to see the fruits of our efforts, but we were able to plant seeds and that is SO IMPORTANT. Everyday, no matter what comes with it, every day brings something that we can be grateful for. And no matter what the day brings, when you are on the Lord's errand, you are happy. And that is the truth for missionaries out in the field and disciples of Christ at home, school, work, and ANYWHERE!! Do not allow yourself to dwell on the negative. Rather, focus on the positive, smile, laugh, and see how many amazing hidden things the Lord has given you throughout the day.
I love the schedule of a missionary. Waking up at 6:30, getting a GREAT workout (I'm getting nice and strong haha), having personal and companion study, and training! Such a great way to start the day. And I LOVE MY DAILY PLANNER!! Boy oh boy do you get attached to that thing when you are on a mission. I dropped it about a week ago and could feel the world collapsing around me. Haha not really, but I am pretty grateful we found it that's for sure.
Mother, I still eat bananas. A LOT OF BANANAS. And Sister Mendenhall and I have gone through two things of peanut butter this transfer haha. Every meal includes peanut butter and bananas.
So D.... is doing amazing. He won't be ready for baptism on the December 29th because of the rate we are going with the lessons. But he is progressing so much!!!! Every lesson is a powerhouse spiritual experience. He has such a desire to learn, and he comes with question after question after question. I know that I am on the Lord's errand and that He is helping me with the simple fact that I have been able to ANSWER QUESTIONS. I have never felt that I have been good at explaining things. But when you have the spirit with you as you speak, and you rely on it to help you - it is the greatest thing in the world where you respond to a question and you see that person's eyes widen as they say "Oh my goodness that is amazing!!! That makes so much sense!!" Experiences like that tend to make you smile :)
We just found out a couple days ago that M.... and L....'s father does not want them to be baptized. We were so sad when we found that out. But IT IS NOT THE END!!! Sister Mendenhall and I are confident by the power of the spirit that all things will work out. M.... and L.... are progressing too much. We have been preparing ourselves to meet with their father and talk to him about the situation - meaning that we are preparing to share with him our message so he can come to understand its importance. We are confident and excited. And a little nervous :) haha it's the greatest.
Our ward is amazing!!! I love these people with all my heart. The strongest lessons are those that happen in a member's home. And so many people in our ward are willing and happy to fellowship our new friends into their home and their lives. M.... and L... went to mutual this Thursday. K.... has gone to dinner with the Kelly's and everyone has been inviting him over to their homes. D.... has women in the ward stopping by her house, taking her shopping, driving her to all the activities. I LOVE SEEING IT!!!! Oh my goodness I am just so happy right now. YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW HAPPY I AM RIGHT NOW (I am saying this with fists clenched and a huge smile haha)
D... was going to be baptized next Sunday!!!! But she will be gone..... so D... is getting baptized on December 22nd!!!!!! We have been getting all the last minute plans going with talks, musical numbers, the Works! And D.... is excited! WE are excited! She is so ready. And two of her kids have been coming to church with her, and they both said they want to start taking the lessons!!! ETERNAL FAMILIES!!!!!
We are teaching a girl named K.... She is 17. We met her on the street one day on her way home from school. We asked her what it would mean to her if families could be together forever. She told us it would mean a lot, because her father passed away several years ago and she hopes she can see him again. That was a few weeks ago, and we have been teaching her ever since. She is amazing. She has such a desire to learn. She came to church yesterday!!! She enjoyed all of it except for Sunday School.... we went in about half way through and they were listening to a song. A very interesting song about who knows what... And passing around fruit... and half of the youth were playing on their phones.... haha the teacher asked if we wanting to add anything so we got up and taught a lesson. But other than that church was great!!
Well, I love this work. I love my family. I love prayer. I love the Book of Mormon. I LOVE MY SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST!!!
Thank you all for your advice, letters, and prayers. I am so happy the Lord sent me to Canada. I hope I do well enough in my letters to help you get a tiny glimpse of what I am experiencing here. Let me know what I can do to improve my letters! I love you all and am praying for you!! Keep your standards!!
Also, it isn't too cold... yet. We had that bad week of snow, and the last couple of days have been a little colder, but I think the real fun will begin this week. I better get some real gloves and tights :)