Monday, November 30, 2015


Many warm welcomes (FINALLY) to the Christmas season of 2015!! We have long awaited your arrival, and everything that you bring - the lights, the sights, sounds, smells and just the general feeling of Christmas. We are happy you are here!! 

So many wonderful things are happening here in Butler, PA! The first and foremeost being, the church has started a new initiative called "A Savior is Born"! When you guys get a chance, swing by and check it out. There is a whole website and it's going to be amazing and the video will give you chills! It's only two minutes, so that's all it takes! We are busy passing out cards and inviting people to remember the real reason behind Christmas, and letting people know that Christ's gospel has been restored to the earth. What a great time to be a member of His church! 

There are also lots of other wonderful good news things to talk about today! 

1 - WE GOT A NEW APARTMENT! The apartment shopping is over! It's right on main street in the smack center of our area, it's beautiful and wonderful and we love it and can't wait to move in. There is also no mold in the bathroom and I can't tell you how thrilled I am about that. A true Christmas miracle, my friends. 

2 - I learned how to crochet this week!! So basically I'm going to be the afghan queen as soon as I can get some yarn and my own little hook! I will be crocheting afghans and baby blankets up the wazoo! I'l probably start a business! 

3 - it was Thanksgiving this week and for all you lucky chumps who got to spend it with your family, so did I! (In my own little way...) I had the grandest time skyping home and getting things all prepared for my arrival in 30 days and talking to my family and laughing with them and letting them know how much I love them. I have the absolute greatest family in the world. I can't wait to see them and hug their little necks off. 

More about Thanksgiving - it was just an all around wonderful day. We woke up in the morning and drove out to the Turkey bowl in Evans city. When we pulled up in our car, we realized that we were literally the only girls on the field, but we weren't about to let that stop us! We had a super good time playing, and I even made a touchdown! It was so fun. I love it when you step out onto the field and people are all like rolling their eyes, "who invited the girls?" and then by the end they're all like, "Who is covering the sister!?" because you're a force to be reckoned with and by golly you showed them!! Must be a pride thing ;) 

Besides the turkey bowl, we had our lunch/dinner appointment at the Jones' house. It was amazingly delicious, we stuffed our faces until we couldn't eat anymore, and then we went out for a Thanksgiving walk to enjoy the brisk autumn air and to hopefully do something productive to help ourselves feel better about the number of calories we'd just consumed. It was quite lovely. When we got back from our walk, the Jones children played their saxophones for us, and then we all told jokes and laughed so hard our stomachs were hurting. I don't know if any of you have had the experience where you've just eaten so much food that you feel like you're going to die, and then you start laughing so hard that you think you're going to throw up... it's equal parts terrifying and enjoyable. I want to recommend it, but I feel like I shouldn't. Try at your own risk, I guess. 
We also had pie after all the festivities were over because, obviously, what kind of Thanksgiving celebration would be complete without pie? 
I'd like to take a moment and personally thank the pilgrims for creating such a wonderful holiday filled with so many delightful foods. I want to shake hands with the person who first pitched that idea. What a glorious human being. 

So, yeah. Thanksgiving was great. 

We also had a super productive week as far as lessons go. Some highlights from my week were:

1- Bill, obviously. He's doing so well. He got a priesthood blessing yesterday to help him stay strong with living the word of wisdom. He's over a week with no smoking now and we are getting everything set up for his baptism on the 12th. We are praying so hard for him, he's gonna start going to the ARP meetings and we are so excited for him! We had two awesome lessons with him this week, one at the Bonetti's house. We talked about Joseph Smith, and how we all face persecution and times of darkness, but that we just have to stay strong! Then we invited one of the sisters in the ward who quit smoking several years ago to come out with us and they shared experiences and things that he has been doing. I guess he got into an accident at work with a hose and it bruised his ribs and he said it hurts him to breathe and so he hasn't been smoking and he said, "I prayed for help and I guess the Lord has a funny way of helping out." 
He works in mysterious ways, my friends.

2- AMY AND IAN. Okay we had this super amazing lesson... Amy is a less active member, she has been struggling with the word of wisdom for a long time but she has such a powerful testimony of the church. She recently met Ian and they started dating. He said he was an atheist and wasn't open to learning about the church. But the more she talked about it, the more it made sense to him. So she told him about the missionaries, and he said that he wanted to meet with us. SO WE MET WITH HIM, and it was like one of the best lessons of my mission, I mean they were both lighting up the whole time we were teaching and I came out with my head reeling from all the second hand smoke, but he said he wanted to read the Book of Mormon and that he'd come to church next week, and they wanted to meet with us again. He told us, "I'm not converted, but I'm ready to learn." His heart is going through this tremendous change and it's amazing to see the atonement at work in his life! 

3- Nora! Nora is this adorable little Chinese girl that I love teaching because she literally knows nothing about God or faith or anything. I've never taught the gospel so simply before and it's such a neat experience. We saw her yesterday and we were talking about what faith is and her eyes were just lighting up. At the end, we invited her to pray, and she did! She said it in Chinese. I told her she had to say "Amen" in English though, so we'd know when she was done haha. She's been reading the Book of Mormon and loves Nephi. She is adorable. 

4- Cynda! Cynda is this awesome lady that literally lives right next door to the church. She found out about the church because of a quilting groub and she loves quilting, so now she's pretty good friends with a lot of the ladies. Anyway, we felt a prompting to stop by yesterday, so we took one of her friends and dropped in and she said she's interested in learning, but she brought up the handbook change about homosexual couples and their children. Anyway, she's the first person that's brought it up to us, but we were able to have a really open conversation and it was really good. She said she would like to learn more, and it was really cool! 

5- things seem to be going really well with Perry as well. Last time we saw him, he said he was going to decide on a baptism date and let us know the next time we meet! SO hopefully it's good news tomorrow when we have our lesson! 

There are so many other wonderful things that happened this week, and so many things to be grateful for. I absolutely adore these people that I'm working with. The Hook family has been an incredible blessing in my life - Anthony and Sister Hook are some of my role models. I love the Hoys. Tira and Shana and Shakira and Lamont are the funniest kids in the whole world, they make me laugh all the time. Sister Cook and Sister Critchlow and Sister Demartini and Jeanette and Tiny and all of these people I just love. I finally feel like Butler is my home, and I am terrified of saying goodbye. God has blessed me so much, I am the luckiest girl alive. 

I love Him more than anything!! 
Give thanks for the blessings in your life, and remember the greatest blessing of all as Christmas gets closer and closer - Christ was born, and He lives today!! He is your Savior! HE LOVES YOU! What a joyful message. 

Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas to everyone. 

We'll talk more next week. 

Hermana Bills 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Just so Thankful and Stuff

This week has been absolutely amazing!! 

First off, transfer meeting was great. I got to see so many people that I love. It was a really different atmosphere because none of us were stressing or worried about where we were going, we all already knew... so that was really weird but also nice. No stress. I got to spend time with Sister Duncan which is always a blessing. And, of course, got to see President and Sister Johnson. Love them. 

But anyway, I picked up Sister Wadsworth and we headed back to Butler with the Slippy elders - Elder Perry and little Elder Smith who just came from the branch. We made jokes all the way back. I was so happy. I haven't felt that happy in a long time. 

And the happy just hasn't gone away. Serving with Wads is like a dream come true. We were already super good friends and everything, so there were really no awkward "get to know you" questions. And on top of that, she just fits right in here in Butler. The people already love her, and I'm sitting here trying to figure out how she's only been here for one week? It feels so natural to have her around. It has been so wonderful. 
Unfortunately, the majority of our week has been spent apartment shopping, which is frustrating. I'm super excited to work hard, but our priority has to be finding a new apartment, because our landlord now hates us and we have to be out byDecember 15 - that's like, moved out, deep cleaned, everything. So we're a little bit stressed. But we saw some really good apartments this week (and some really not so good ones) but I think we're really close to making a decision. We have two apartments to look at tomorrow, maybe three. After that, I think we will need to just make a decision. It's weird to be apartment shopping as a missionary and calling all these landlords and explaining to all of them why we're wearing nametage and why we aren't using our first names, etc, etc. haha. It's been good exposure though, I guess? People like us... so... :) 
As usual, we went to Katies this week. The people loved Wads, and I took her up to see the sanctuary. I love it up there, it's so cool. I feel like I'm sitting in the Hunchback of Notre Dame or something. Super legit. 

We also went to do therapeutic riding on Saturday. It was freezing, but we groomed Ally and side walked with William and he sang old McDonald, as usual. I absolutely love that kid. He has the best memory in the world, and cares so much about people. If someone isn't there, he asks about them and makes sure they're okay. It is the sweetest thing. He makes me smile all the time. Those kids are angels. 

Bill isn't doing so well... we're super worried about him. We had a lesson with him on Saturday, he was feeling really sick. We help him finish painting his house and then we talked about revelation through church attendance, and he noted a couple of times where he'd come to church and felt the spirit really powerfully and knew what they were teaching was true. I think it was really good for him, just to realize he does know how the spirit feels/speaks to him. We were over at his place with Sister Allison and then our dinner appointment called and cancelled, so we decided to go out to eat all together, it was super fun, and we actually ended up meeting this guy who is actually a super less active member of our ward and we gave him our number so that hopefully he can start coming to church again! That would be awesome. 
But anyway, Bills came to church on Sunday and had to leave halfway through. He wasn't feeling very well, but we didn't hear from him all day and we were really worried. I thought he was dead somewhere on the side of the road. But I guess he just slept most of the day. We told him to go to a doctor but he said he didn't want to... *sigh. Men.

We also saw Lamont this week - he's doing awesome and he still wants to go on a mission! So that was good news. He always keeps me updated on the walking dead!!  But yeah he sprained his ankle playing volleyball so he's on crutches. Lame. But his mom sat down with us and said that their whole family might start coming to church and that would be amazing! So I'm crossing my fingers. 

We also saw Jeanette and Tiny this week. They are some of my favorite people in this world. Jeanette is so crafty and selfless. She is making me this big afghan - she makes them for all the sisters. They seem to be doing well. I love spending time with them. Hopefully some of their charity and faith will rub off on me!! :) 

I was talking with Sister Wadsworth last night and I was just like talking about how hard it's going to be to leave my mission because there are so many people I love out here. They mean everything to me. Like... okay. Sometimes I think my heart is this big patchwork quilt with all these little pieces, and each one of the little pieces is a person or a place or a memory. And I think that the patches of the investigators or less active people I've worked with are gold because I think the Lord took the patches off of His heart and put them on mine. Because I love these people like I've never loved anyone or anything else. I didn't even know love could be this strong!! I would do anything, give anything for them. I know it's not my own love, I know it's His love. It's a crazy feeling and I think about saying goodbye to those faces and saying goodbye to this place and my heart just hurts at the idea of it. I know the Lord will help me and I'll be okay, but sometimes it's just a painful thought. This is my home, I love PA with all my heart. This mission has meant absolutely everything to me.

I got this email from my mom the other day that said, "thank you for your service and sacrifice." and I laughed out loud and thought, "what sacrifice?" Seriously, can someone tell me where the sacrifice is? I come out here, my family supports me, I get to see these amazing places and meet these amazing people. God has taught me to love so powerfully, he's helped me grow to become more like Him... there are so many blessings he's just poured into my heart, my cup literally is running over. Where is the sacrifice? This is the most worthwhile thing I've ever done with my life. I love being a missionary. 

I'm seriously just so grateful. And I'm grateful for my wonderful support group. I have so many people (including each of you) who do so many things for me, and I don't know where I would be without you!! Thank you!! 

And thank the Lord! 

Happy Thanksgiving. 
If you aren't the turkey, give thanks!! 

Hermana Bills 

Monday, November 16, 2015

THE FINAL COUNTDOWN dodododo dododododo dodododo dodododododo do dododo dodododododododooooodooooooooo dddooooo

Well kids, today officially marks the beginning of my last transfer as a full time missionary for the Lord. I can't believe it. Milestones, people. I don't really feel trunky... I mean part of me is definitely excited to hop on the plane and come home and see each of you. But really I just feel super motivated to work so hard and to do what the Lord wants me to do. A lot is going to happen in these next 6 weeks, and I still have a lot of growing to do. So I'm excited for that. 
First things first. Transfer calls came Saturday night and Sister Welch is headed to Monongahela and you will never believe who is coming to be my new companion.
For those of you who are like, "Should I be excited by that name?" the answer is a resounding YES! Sister Wadsworth is flippin amazing! She was in the megafamily with me last transfer! We literally had sleepovers and just played and had fun every single pday and now we get to be companions so it's gonna be every single DAY. 
So that is amazing. 
Also, if you're wondering, "where, how do you already know where Grapejuice is going and who is coming to Butler?" the answer is: someone finally decided to listen to my ideas and change the way transfers are done! 😉 haha no, just kidding. But for reals, way back in the day when I was on the MLC I brought up the fact that transfers are stressful and we talked about ideas of how to improve it and now, finally,months later, it's finally for realz. They decided that to help transfers go more smoothly, that they'd tell us on Saturday night 1- who is getting transferred, 2- where they're going and who their new companion is, 3- who their replacement will be in their current area. Then, once they give you all that information, they send you your transfer logistics and expect you to look at them and make sure that when you show up to the transfer meeting on Tuesday that you know what the game plan is. 
Long story short, I am super pleased with the new way they're doing transfers... Especially since it's the last time I'm really gonna be affected by a transfer since I'm pretty positive about where my new area is going to be next transfer ;) haha. 
But anyway, I have a TON of stuff to tell you guys so I've got to move on. 
As far as weeks go, this one was pretty fantabulous. Monday we had a huge pday with a ton of missionaries up in Slippery Rock and we emailed and went bowling together and then played frisbee and then indoor soccer and we all had dinner together and it was awesome. Then I got to go on an exchange with Hermana Busath who is my granddaughter (cause I trainer Hermana Landa and she trained Hermana Busath so... #missionlingo) but anyway it was just the greatest blessing. It felt like catching up with an old friend, it was amazing. 
I don't know if I'm mentioned it too much... I know I like to stay positive when I can... But this transfer has just been so hard for me. For lots of different reasons. In a lot of ways, I'm grateful it's over. But I'm also so grateful it happened because I learned so much about myself in the process. But anyway, it was just kind of a nice escape - to be able to head out to Franklin and to see some new faces. It was such a fun exchange. 
Our goal going into the exchange was to pass out 2 copies of the Book of Mormon and to be more courageous in street contacting people. So that was our mindset. We taught a bunch of lessons and it was awesome. 
One good experience - we went to see one of their investigators. They had a set lesson with him and everything, but he wasn't answering the door. So we were headed back to the truck when we saw this guy walking his dog, and we decided to go give him a Book of Mormon. He said he was pagan but that he would read the book. His dog was psycho. Then we headed back to the truck, and their investigator was standing outside the house looking for us! So we went inside and sat down with him, and he had a bunch of friends over and so we just started preaching the word to all of them. And he had a pretty wicked sweet testimony of his own, so he was jumping in just saying how what we were teaching was true and stuff. Super rad. And all the while, more and more people just kept coming through the door and they all had questions and were super interested to know more and we ended up giving out a bunch of pamphlets and three Book of Mormons! So then we had four for the day! It was a super legit lesson. 
Oh, but funny story from that... So when we walked in and sat down, the guy was like, "oh, let me turn on the light" and he flips the switch and this red and black light turn on and he's like, "dangit, we forgot to change the party light." hahaha he told us how the night before they'd had a super big party and I was dying it was so funny cause here we are, sitting in this living room with a bunch of legitimate gangsters and one of them just lights up right in front of us and we've got this party light on... Super funny. 
Anyway! The other really cool story is Danielle. It was getting just about time to head back to Butler, and we were trying a couple of less actives and things just weren't working out. When we were knocking on this one door, we noticed a lady right across the street smoking a cigarette and talking to a little girl. So we went to talk to her. Anyway, long story short... We ended up having this super amazing gospel conversation and she actually had a substance abuse counselor who was a Mormon and she had always wanted to learn more, plus she had just moved to town to be a live-in nanny and she was looking for a church to attend and we were like, "We can help with that!" and it ended up being really amazing. I need to call Hermana Busath and see how things went with the return appointment. She was super cool! 
When we got back from exchanges, we had dinner with the Beers, they wanted to take us out to eat. It was super amazing, they're the nicest people ever. I love them with my whole heart. My biggest desire in this area is to start teaching Lisa because I absolutely just adore her. So hopefully something happens. 
We met another cool family this week, they're Messianic Jews and they told us that they're pretty happy with their religion right now, but just based off of what Mike was saying about how they found their religion and why they decided to go there, he's looking for the restored gospel. We were respectful and had a good conversation and Sister Adduru (our team up) threw down about the Book of Mormon and encouraged them to read it and find out what's inside and they both agreed. They're the cutest little family. Mike and Karie and Elijah and Asau and Isabella and their little dog Cookie. So I think we might invite them to the Christmas party or to come play volleyball with us on Tuesdays or something. We will see. 
Some more exciting things that happened this week:
1- I got to teach a lesson in Spanish this week to our investigator Neftali and it made me super happy. I love teaching in Spanish, I wish Neftali would just move to Lancaster and get baptized in the branch because the members would love the heck out of him! 
2- We got to have dinner with the Adduru family and they made us delicious curry and they have the absolute cutest kids in the world, especially their little girl, she was so funny. She was trying to convince her dad that she was sick so she could get some medicine and he said that she didn't sound very sick so she needed to show him that she was sick and she said, "Well the cough isn't here right now so how am I supposed to show you?" And she was just the sassiest little girl. It was so funny. 
The Adduru kids burying their cat!
3- We had a great lesson with Bill. He's struggling again because his dogs both died and he's been having some family problems and so he's been smoking a little bit again. It's kind of sad but we know he's gonna be okay and some day he's gonna make it to baptism. He still comes to church and Book of Mormon class every single week. This week he was like, "I just want to get baptized so I can get up on fast Sunday and bear my testimony about the church and the Book of Mormon." And we were like, "oh Bill! You don't have to be a member to get up!" And his face just lit up and he looked so happy like all of his dreams were coming true. Super precious. 
But anyway, that about sums things up for this week. 
Honestly, I am just looking forward to these next six weeks so much, and honestly to these next couple of years of my life. The other day I was sitting, kind of kicking myself for how I've fallen short in a couple of things these past couple of weeks and I was just letting myself get really down. Honestly, this transfer has been one of the hardest transfers of my entire mission. But at the same time, I have learned so much about myself and about Jesus Christ through it all. I have been so blessed. But I couldn't help but feel disappointed in myself as I looked back on all of my shortcomings and the times where I felt that I could have done better. And then one of the wonderful members of our ward got up the other day in Relief Society and gave this wonderful lesson, and there was a quote in there that I needed to hear so much. It said, "God cares a lot more about who we are and who we are becoming than who we once were."
That hit me like a ton of bricks, and that is why I am choosing now to look forward and not back. I can't change what happened in the past, but I can allow it to make me become stronger and better. He knows who I have the potential to become, and He's going to help me get there, but we have to be looking forward if we want to get there. Like my coach always taught me, you have to be looking at the rim before you take the shot, or you're not gonna make it in. We have to look forward to our goals to be successful. That's what God asks of us. He doesn't care about when we fall short as long as we get back up and keep moving. Christ has paid for our mistakes, He loves us. He wouldn't want us to get down on ourselves. 
So to those of you who are struggling, just remember that you matter so much to God!! He adores you and He has a perfect plan for you. He knows you can make it, and I know you can too!! 
I love you guys. 
Hermana Bills

Monday, November 9, 2015

Just Chinchillin

Hello all,

What a pleasure it is to be writing you all again. I can't believe
another week has come and gone. They are flying. It's insane.

This was just another average week in the life of a missionary. Well,
we had interviews with President Johnson this week, so that was
unusual and great. He just is an all around stellar guy, he always
knows exactly what I need. He let me go very last and our "15 minute
interview" seriously went for about 30-45 minutes. And before my
interview with president, I got to have one on one time to talk to
Sister Johnson about some of the things I've been struggling with and
she is an absolute angel. She gave me ideas on what to do and just
talked and listened to me. She had the best suggestions and I'm super
excited about starting them up this week! After she helped me, I asked
her what was the hardest thing about being a mission presidents wife
and she was able to talk to me for a while about some of the trials
and struggles that she's gone through, and I told her how grateful we
all are for her and how much of an impact she has on us and so that
was a really good talk, too.

And, of course, my interview with President was marvelous. I know that
one of the reasons I was sent to serve in this mission was so that I
could meet President and Sister Johnson. They have seriously done so
much for me, they will never know the impact that they have had on my
life. But, since it was my last official interview with President, I
tried to let him know to the best of my ability just how much it meant
to me to be serving in their mission and how much good they were
doing, and how all the sacrifices they had made would be worth it
because, even if they didn't change anyone else's life in the whole
world, at least they changed mine (D&C18:15-16). It was a good talk.
We were laughing and laughing and crying and laughing some more. I'd
write about all the awesome things he said about me and how I'm
basically the best, but I wouldn't want you guys to think I was
boasting, so I'll spare you those details 😉. No but really, he gave
me just the best advice ever for how to finish strong and what to do
to prepare to go home and stuff and I just felt so much love and
comfort. I am so grateful for the Johnson's. Just really grateful.

Anyway, moving on.

Some updates... Bill is doing great. We had an awesome dinner with him
this week... He texted us the other day and told us he was eating a
fried bologna sandwich and I just felt so sorry for him that he had to
go through that cause, you know... ew? So, we set up dinner and a
lesson with him and the Bonetti's (cause her food is always on point,
and we thought their family would be super good to fellowship him),
and I mean, yeah we expected it to go fairly well, but it ended up
going waaay better than we originally planned. Cause here are the
caliber of people that we were having dinner with... We mentioned in
passing how Bill is quitting smoking and stuff, and how it's been kind
of a struggle but he's staying strong, and then Brother Bonetti just
jumps in and tells this incredibly heroic tale of how when he was
first learning about the church, he wanted to get baptized but he
couldn't quit chewing tobacco and he was trying so hard but he kept
slipping up, and one day he got down on his knees and begged the Lord
for help and went a couple of hours without chewing anything but then
he had to give up because he was craving too bad and he took a dip and
put it in his mouth and he said it was the most disgusting thing he'd
ever tasted and he spit it right back out, and he couldn't get the
taste out of his mouth for three days straight and he never took
another dip again and now he's a baptized member in Christ's true
church, and gosh dangit if God can do it for Brother Bonetti, he can
do it for you, Bill! And I think there were even a couple fireworks
that went off and we definitely all burst into applause and there
couldn't have been a dry eye in that room, folks. There's just no way.

So yeah, that was pretty awesome and I think highly motivating for
Bill. He went seven whole days without a cigarette which is
stupendous! To my knowledge, that's the longest he's gone in 35 years,
which is seriously just incredible! He's the best. Unfortunately, on
Friday his dog Mercedes passed away and he was really sad and stressed
out and so he smoked a cigarette. But then he texted us and we talked
about it and he's right back on track to get baptized on the 21st now,
so that's gonna be amazing! We were over painting his house again on
Saturday, doing the second coat and starting on the ceilings. He seems
so hopeful and happy, just a little frustrated. His big question is,
"why do you guys expect me to be perfect before I can become a member
of the church?" He talks about how every other church will accept you
and let you get baptized no matter what your sins and follies, etc.
how it seems backward in his mind that he's working so hard and wants
to be a member so bad but can't because of one addiction he can't
quite kick. So that's what we're helping him work through right now.
Honestly I feel like he's one of my very best friends in this area.
He's a little old sassafras so we get along really well and he just
loves the church. Yesterday,  as we were sitting down, about to start
Gospel Principles, the teacher welcomes him to the class (because he's
an investigator). Bill tries to explain how he's not really an
investigator, he's just working out some minor kinks in order to
become a member haha but the teacher keeps on insisting that he's an
investigator since he hasn't officially been baptized and whatever.
Anyway. Finally he asks if Bill would say the opening prayer and Bill
says yes, and haha he almost had Sister Welch and I rolling on the
floor laughing. He stands up and starts the prayer and everything is
going well, and he asks for the Lords help and spirit to be with us so
we can understand the lesson and feel of its truthfulness, and all the
sudden he's like, "although I guess I'm an investigator... But I'm not
really investigating anything because I already know it's true."
hahahaha it was so dang funny. I just about gave up the ghost right
then and there.
So yeah, that's Bill.

Also, Perry is doing decently well. For a minute we thought he'd
broken up with Dawn but now we think they're back together? I think
officially the Facebook status says single still but... who knows. He
came to church and I think he's still hoping to get baptized. He's
just gonna have to have that conversation with Dawn and we don't know
how she's gonna react. She's studying right now with the Jehovahs
witnesses and isn't exactly open minded to our religion, and we don't
think she'd be thrilled about Perry getting baptized?? Anyway. I don't
want to publish their whole relationship in this email. The short
version of the story is that we know Perry is gonna join the church
some day because he knows that it's true. We just don't know when it's
gonna be. Hopefully something will work out. Maybe Dawn can get
baptized, too?? Idk.

This week we also visited with Roberta, Jeanette and Tiny. It was
Roberta and Tiny's birthday on Wednesday, so we went over and spent
some time with them. They're working on getting things cleaned up and
sorted through since Joe passed away. Jeanette has been struggling but
Roberta seems pretty resilient.  They're good people, they'll make it
through. We are just trying to do all we can to be there for them.
We saw them Saturday as well, since it's our "Evans City day" and
that's where they're parked, so we swung by to check in. When we got
there, they were trimming some bushes out back, but Tiny seemed worn
out and Jeanette seemed frazzled so we took over and started making
them laugh and feel a little better. Jeanette is an absolute wiz at
genealogy - she can do anything for anyone! So she was doing some of
that for Sister Welch and I and she made us little turkeys out of
yarn, and she also is knitting me an afghan because she's always
serving people. They're both amazing, I love them to death. They treat
us like we're their own kids. I always wonder if I'm actually doing
any good for any of these people, because I feel like I'm always the
one who comes away feeling better when I'm trying to serve them...

Anyway. We also did service for our "investigator" Lisa, and Michael
(her son-in-law) was there to help. He is super cool but smokes a TON.
We were painting her front room white and it was really fun. A lot
easier than painting Bill's house because she actually had rollers ;)
haha. She was really nice and Michael paints professionally and said
he would hire us so that was a nice bonus!!

Other than that, we made our regular appearance at Katie's kitchen!
This week it was tuna noodle casserole... Took me right back to the
good ole days working at pal lunch in Hanover... Tuna surprise every
time. Haha it was making me nauseous, so we went out and helped
arrange the produce and cut up the cantaloupe. There was a cute little
Girl Scout troop that came in to help out, so we kind of just bossed
them around and made some new friends and it was pretty fun. I always
have a blast at Katie's. Those people seriously feel like family.

As far as service goes, the only other thing I can think of that we
did this week was that we helped out at the youth talent show. We had
originally planned for me to sing some sort of song, but I halfway
chickened out but also halfway lost my voice with this dumb flu going
around and so instead I cracked a couple jokes, we played "chopsticks"
as a duet, I made a goat noise and then Sister Welch actually played
something worthwhile ;) the audience got a pretty good kick out of our
little impromptu show though. So at least it was a crowd pleaser. You
guys shoulda been there, haha. But yeah, there were actually some
seriously impressive talents. One guy got up and played the bagpipes
which rocked, someone else played the trombone, and another kid played
the saxophone... Two of the youth put whipped cream on their hands and
slapped it into the air and caught it in their mouths and that was
pretty neat. It was a great show, we have a pretty stellar ward out

We also met the Clark family this week and I just fell in love with
them. That was another family that I just clicked with super well.
They had us over for a dinner and I seriously could have just talked
to them forever, they were so funny and nice. Karla even started
talking to me about some things I could do to help me get ahead in my
major when I start going back to school, so that was awesome. She said
her dad sells lab equipment for the kind of stuff I'd like to go into
and she offered to let me come by and give me a tour some time and I
totally want to take her up on that! So, more exciting things to come!
They're another less active part member family, so maybe something
could happen there? Her husband didn't seem interested at all though,
so maybe further down the road.

Another fun dinner was with the Hendrix family. They had us over for
a western PA specialty - hot sausage. It was SO. GOOD. I was dying! I
loved it. And then like not to mention the fact that they had a
flipping pet chinchilla! Like you guys! They literally had a pet
chinchilla named PIKACHU. And I was dying because they let us hold it
and they told us all about chinchillas so basically I'm an expert now
and it was one of the most legit moments of my entire life so I did
not leave that dinner appointment disappointed like you guys. A real
live chinchilla living in their house. This is not real.
But it was.
And there are pictures to prove it.
And then plus on top of the whole chinchilla nonsense they had hot
sausage and chocolate cake!! But honestly PA just has some of the best
foods ever, like Pittsburgh salads and pork and sauerkraut on New
Years and I can't wait to bring all these things home to you guys and
make you love them like I do so yinz get pumped n'at.

I love this place, I have the best life. I have the best mission.
Everything is awesome.

Transfers are next Tuesday. (Not tomorrow, like 8 days Tuesday.)
I can't believe it's my last transfer.
I am wiggin out.

Anywhoozies. I'll catch you hosers next week.
¡Besos y abrazos!

Hermana Bills