Thursday, January 1, 2015

Turkey and Tinsel

Yay for holidays! I love them so much. I love families who let missionaries come over and be part of their family traditions. Thanksgiving was such a blessing to me. I was worried that it would be hard to be away from all of you on such an important day. But I was blessed with the confirming witness that I'm still in the right place. I need to be here with these people. And I am so incredibly blessed! 
We were able to spend Thanksgiving with two wonderful member families that I love. At the first home, we ate, played catch phrase and scattegories, and then ate some more. I did the dishes for them just as I usually do, and then we talked about Jesus and all of our blessings and went to our next appointment. The second family was incredible as well. We ate. They had extended family over that I'd never met, so I got to make new friends. I love that.  Then we played the Great Del Mootie (or however you spell that). That made me a little bit homesick. Grandma will be happy to hear that I was Del Mootie for 3 rounds in a row!! I was also low scum... but we won't dwell on that. They played a really fun way, where if you are ever the low scum you have to get a sticker on your face. Haha it was so funny! They had these "babies' first achievements" stickers. We were all laughing so hard. It was great.
Then the elders entertained us all with some magic tricks! It was awesome. Elder George told me he'd teach me how to be a magician. So prepare to be amazed! 
The elders shared a thought about love and service and then we all went home. It was a great day! 

The whole rest of this week was very busy as well. We were able to break the record for lessons taught in this area in one week! We were en fuego! It felt so good to be out working so hard. Training is hard because you're in the house all morning! Our schedule looks like this:
6:30: Wake up, exercise
7:00: get ready 
8:00 personal study
9:00: companionship study
10:00: training
11:00: lunch
12:00 language
That's every day! I can't even imagine how much more work we could get done if we didn't have those extra two hours of study. I love them, though. They make for good companionship bonding time. 
But anyway. Just out here breaking records! :) Super fun.

I love sharing my testimony with people. Hermana Landa and I set a goal during weekly planning that every single time we leave the house, we won't come back until we've received a potential investigator or a new investigator. Whether that's a referral or someone we OYM and they say that we can give them a call and teach them... we've got to feel like the work is going somwhere before we go home. It's been incredible to see the Lord's blessings for us. Literally every time we walk out of the house, we've been able to find at least one person. 

The other day we were sitting in the library updating our progress record. I was making simple conversation with the woman sitting next to me, trying to think of a nonthreatening way to share the gospel with her. Little did I know that the Lord had everything under control. As she stands up to leave and I start feeling a little disheartened because I hadn't said anything, she quickly turns around and says to me, "I'm sorry if this is weird, but I've just got to tell you. I don't know you at all, but I see so much of our Savior Jesus Christ in you, and it's so beautiful."
And at first I was just choked up. I couldn't even get myself to say thank you. But somehow the Lord grabbed the words from my brain and put them in my mouth and said, "hurry up and speak!" So I invited her to take the lessons with us. She said yes. It was so awesome. I still get emotional thinking about it.

Another cool experience was at church yesterday. This member that we'd never met came up and told us how she'd been less active for many years, but now she was going through a divorce and wanted to come back to church and have her daughter be baptized. 
How often does that happen?
I asked her if there was anything that I could do for her, expressed my love, gave her our phone number, and set a time to meet with her and her daughter. It was so wonderful! I love the Lord's blessings.

This whole process is such a miracle. We're working very closely with the Lord on that one. 

This week we were also able to go on exchanges. It was the first time that I stayed in Lebanon for an exchange! It was interesting. I felt so much pressure! "don't look bad in front of the STL's..." It was a great day! We met a man named Jose on the side of the street, had a prayer with him and helped it to feel and recognize the holy ghost. We were also able to help a less active member realize that missionaries are normal! and pretty fun, too, sometimes! 
It was a good day :) 

On Wednesday we finally got snow. It's all melted now, but it was so beautiful coming down. These big fat flakes... ugh. So pretty. I made like 5 snowmans. (yup. That's grammar!) We had a snowball fight during district lunch. I totally dominated (just kidding, my aim might have been slightly off target...)
We were able to find someone to teach while we were shoveling our driveway. It was super cool! I love mission stuff. So cool. 

Lots of good stuff happened this week. Hermana Landa and I started this thing where the first thing we do when the alarm goes off in the morning is to say one positive thing about each other and then to pray. We just kind of have this attitude towards each other. It's never destructive or anything. We get along really well. I love her. I just think that our companionship needs more positivity, that's all. So we've been doing that. She's complimented things that I never even noticed about myself. It's really been a fun experiment. I've grown to love her even more through this as well. We have so much fun and we're working really hard.
I'm so blessed to be out here.

I love December. Happy December everyone. I'm so excited for this opportunity to share Christ's gospel this Christmas season.

Thank you for all that yinz do for me!
Love you guys!

-Hermana Bills 

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