Hey Crazy Cats!!!
How are all of you doing? I miss you! I love you! Never forget that!!
So seriously, this has been one of the most exciting weeks on my mission yet. SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED AND SO MANY SURPRISES!!!!!!!! I literally don't even know where to begin.
First off, CONGRATULATIONS TO MY SISTER-IN-LAW KELLY!!!! I found out last Monday after I sent my last e-mail that she recieved results from her tests. HER TUMOR HAS SHRUNK!!! I was jumping for joy and now all the members of my ward out here know the good news:):) I love you, Kelly!!
Second off, I recieved my winter clothes this week THANKS MOM AND DAD!! I'm roasty-toasty now!! I've just got to buy some thermal socks while I'm out today... the wind picked up pretty bad last night. Have a mentioned how much I dislike wind? And I thought I disliked it in Utah.... uhhhh now it's even worse. Welcome to Iowa.
I also now have boots!! A wonderful member in our ward in whom I love so much works at the Kmart here in town, she used her discount to get us some boots, so I'm ready to go pretty much for the winter! Which is good because we're expecting snow this week.
Update on the health of the area:
Monday night we went over to a members house for dinner and Angie informed us that Lanny, an elderly man in our ward was in the hospital. His heart was having pauses and they needed to shock it to get it back to normal, but it ended up getting worse.. later throughout the week though, we went over to Lanny and Ramonas house to see how there were doing and Lanny was happy as ever!! SO much energy! They had taken him off of the meds that he was on and found out that that was what was causing the pauses. So he's feeling like he's 30 again!
Yesterday, Sunday, we went to church and was informed that an active couple in our ward had an inactive daughter that had passed away in the morning from a heart attack. All the testimonies were so amazing. The worst part? This father had asked us about 2 months ago (before I came to red oak) to go and visit this daughter. She used to be a super strong member and then she just lost it. He wanted us to go and visit her, but she lives in a town that's about a half hour away from us and we had never gotten the chance. And now we can't... that was a hard realization. :(:(
This morning we got a call from one of our friends (she reminds me SO much of grandma zuech. Her house just feels like home) informing us that her son-in-law had a heart attack this morning and was being flown to Omaha for tests. He is in investigator of ours and we just saw him two nights ago. So we're waiting for updated info.. :(
Lots of crazy stuff going on....
Okay, so cool stuff. THIS WEEK WAS ZONE CONFERENCE. BEST HALLOWEEN EVER!!! It was allllllll the way in Sioux City. Like 3 hours away from Red Oak. We drove to Glenwood so we could ride with the Glenwood sisters and then they drove us to the Trail Center parking lot where you're never going to guess who picked us up to give us a ride to zone conference..... PRESIDENT AND SISTER WESTON!!! Haha so the four of us sisters got in the Weston's car and rode with them the other 2 hours to Sioux City. Holy cow it was a blast. I love President! He is SOOOO intimidating and Sister Weston is like the sweetest person on planet Earth. The whole way to zone conference he was quizzing us on how well we know Preach My Gospel. And can I just tell you, he has like the WHOLE thing memorized word for word. CRAZY stuff. We all felt stupid. But it was so good and he was giving us all these cool insights while he was driving.
Then we got to zone conference. AMAZING!! It was so good to see so many faces! All the trainings were SO inspired and so many prayers answered. For lunch we had soup in BREAD BOWLS!!! I love bread bowls. And LOTS of candy-- ummm it's halloween, what else are we going to have?
After conference was over, we had to wait for President to do all the stuff he had to do because he was our ride. So we played some bball in our skirts in the gym with Sister Weston. We all jumped in the car and started heading home and the Pres asked us if they could take the 4 of us out to dinner... HECK YA!! So they took us to Chilis on Halloween night. We went it in and RIGHT off the bat our waiter asked us who we were. Pres told him what we were doing and he was all "Hey, i've been to a mormon service before! When I was in the army!" And by the time we left, we gave him a BOM and had him all set up with the Elders in his area. It was so funny. President is the best. We told him how our area was going and he said "Well, if the Lord wanted you to have baptisms, He would have sent you to South America!" Haha
So then we headed home! But it gets better.... we got a text while we were in the car from our zone leaders that said "Hey Zone! We have a temple trip TOMORROW!!! Meet at the temple at 1!" WHAT?!?! Zone conference with pres and a surprise temple trip? Yes, it has been the best week ever. We spent Halloween night with the Glenwood Sisters again and they took back off to Florence. We got to the trail center/temple early so we decided to get on the computers and get on lds.org. I wanted to test my luck with FamilySearch.org.
Before I go further, I want ya'll to know that growing up, my parents ALWAYS told me that we didn't have any pioneer ancestors.
You know how TV and entertainment and everything now adays pretty much TELL you what to believe??
Well... I was looking down my grandmothers line and I decided to click on a random ancestor. Her name is Sarah Jenkins James. Someone has done a lot of work and her whole story is posted under her name. I got to reading about her when I realized she was born in Wales, and died in Providence, UT. ..... So i looked further! She had joined the church in Wales, sailed across to america and left from FLORENCE, NEBRASKA with the 9th handcart company where they settled in Providence. Here I am reading this and I'M SITTING IN FLORENCE, NEBRASKA!!!! I have pioneer ancestors and it was TOTALLY spirit directed that I found Sarah Jenkins Jones-- my great great great grandmother. I was running around the trail center telling all the sisters and senior couples my discovery and saying "I KNOW WHERE I CAME FROM!!" hahaha they all probably thought I was crazy:):) (The thing I miss most about serving at the trail center is seeing all the sisters and senior couples 24/7:(:(:( ) It was so amazing. The spirit in the trail center is the BEST and it is totally holy ground. I knew then that this was part of the reason as to why I am serving in the Nebraska Omaha mission. I love the pioneers <3 They are my ancestors..
Lesson from this? ALWAYS FIND OUT FOR YOURSELF!!! Don't believe what the world says (unless it has to do with the Word of Wisdom and dangerous stuff.. then it's just common sense) But discover things for yourself! That's what we, as missionaries get to go around and tell people to do. WE know that this gospel is the truth, but you get to FIND OUT FOR YOURSELF!! And that's one of the greatest gifts that our Father in Heaven has given us. Don't take my word for it. You can read the Book of Mormon and pray and ask GOD and Feel and understand it all for yourself.
Anyway, this week was like a total mini-vacation. I don't feel like we've been in our area that much, but now coming back, we're realizing how much work needs to be done and we're prioritizing the activities that we're involved in so that we can make the best of our time. Our schedules are always SO FULL!!!
Saturday, we had a baptism!! So do you remember that last baptism I told you about-- the one from the Elders that happened about 5 weeks ago? Well, his mom came to our ward from Mason City Iowa to get baptized here in our ward. SHE IS AMAZING!! I love her tons and she wanted our ward to be a part of it! We got to meet with her senior couple missionaries from the Des Moines Iowa mission-- they are from Las Vegas. I love chatting with other missionaries <3
I love you guys.... SO MUCH and this work IS led by amazing leaders and people who are inspired by GOD. Heavenly Father is in charge and if we're just obedient, and if we're searching for Him, He will show us the way. I love the people in my area and I pray for them everyday-- and I also pray for you because I love you all. Thank you for your love and support!! Letters are ALWAYS appreciated as I don't have much e-mail time. Especially when I write novels like this... haha
Stay true!! And as my cousin cole once wrote on my pillowcase.. "LIVE IT UP THE LORD'S WAY!!" No effort is wasted <3
P.S. Happy B-day to Shayla this week! Love you girl!