Monday, December 1, 2014

The first of December..

Well hello everyone!!! Happy Holidays!!
Can you believe it is DECEMBER already??? My dearest friend Kaitlin goes home this week... HOLY COW, Nevada has sure been blessed. I remember when we were taking our mission pictures together and packing her! Good times:))
LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL!!!! "The Best is Yet to Be"- Elder Holland
This week has been excellent! I still feel like I don't know many missionaries out here in Omaha after being out west for so long... but that is okay!!
Sister Crist goes home next week, that's crazy sad...
And sorry I'm writing late today... WE WENT TO THE HENERY DOORLY ZOO!!!!! It was such a GREAT P-day!!!!
Had an awesome lesson/service with our Investigator Carol this last week. She's the 84 year old. Her husband is like 6 foot 7 inches, but has scoliosis SO bad and so he hunches and stands up at about 5 foot 5. We went to go and see her and Al, her husband was trying to put out the Christmas decorations. He hasn't seemed too interested in our lessons when we go over, but we got to go out and help him put up lights (which is INSANELY FUN by the way, as a missionary) and we helped them put up their Chrsitmas Tree and his heart softened SO much. He even offered to give us some of their canned peaches! We had a great lesson with Carol and we're still working on her getting to reach baptism on Jan 3rd. She's just been Methodist most of her life and is afraid of change. Pray for her and Al!:)
We had a CRAZY CRAZY lesson with one of our Returning Members-- Melissa and her VERY Less-Active Mom, Annette. Oh gosh.... I made the mistake of just simply asking Melissa how she enjoyed church last week and she brought up some issues that she had with some of the comments that were made in Relief Society. Which, I have to admit, the comments made me a little uneasy too... so we talked it out with her and then Annette walked in as well and was going off on how judgmental and hypocritical the members of the church are. They weren't arguing, but were just being REALLY loud, so I whipped out my ensign and read a quote from President Uchtodft about how the church isn't for perfect people. It's a place where we ALL go to improve. And all of a suddent Annette told us all these reasons of why she stopped going to church. She said she recently had a dream and when she woke up, she knew God was telling her that the Mormon church is where she needs to be, but she was offended a lot time ago and won't go back. I just bore testimony about how it broke my heart that she was allowing what a couple people did 10 years ago keep her from enjoying the peace and blessings from living the gospel. We actually didn't make it out of that house until like 10:15.. curfew is at 9 or 9:30... but we just didn't feel like we could leave at the time. It ended up ending really well though and she committed to reading the Book of Mormon again and we just left EXHAUSTED. So that was exciting!:) It had been a long while since I've had to defend the church in that intensity. It was really neat. Sister Tourtillott was awesome and we left feeling pretty good with how things went.
We got to help one of our members decorate her outside and put up her Christmas tree this week! She is over the activities over at the trail center for the holidays and right now the HUGE FAMOUS GINGERBREAD DISPLAY is happening in the basement of the Trail Center. EVERYONE around here knows about it and we spend a lot of our contacting time inviting people to see the HUNDREDS of Gingerbread Houses that are made and displayed by members of all the wards in the Omaha/Council Bluffs communities. We get to FINALLY go see all the gingerbread tonight because our ward choir (we're singing in the ward choir) is performing at it tonight. SO YAY!!!!!! So excited:)
I got my package from Mom and Dad (THANK YOU!!!) Y'all are too sweet:):) That video is INCREDIBLE by the way. Everyone needs to watch "No ordinary Shepherd"!
Thanksgiving was SO great!!! We went Thursday morning with a family from our ward whose daughter just got back from her mission in France like 2 weeks ago. We went with them to a big school in downtown Omaha to help deliver a BUNCH of Thanksgiving dinners to people in need. The school was PACKED with people from all over the city to deliver these dinners. And OUR WARD ALONE had the biggest group their to help. It seemed like our whole ward was there. It was so awesome! We went up to the front to check in, and the ladies were all. "Oh, you're from "the church"-- you're good, you can go ahead in." It was too cool:) WAY TO BE SERVICE ORIENTED!
We went about 2 hours before our dinner to the members house we were eating at. She's a single lady and her mom was there too. Her mom has cancer really bad and this is probably going to be her last holiday season, we LOVE Pauline <3. So we helped the daughter cook all the meal! The turkey was DELICIOUS! We learned how to make some super interesting Sweet Potatoes and green bean casserole and all that good stuff! It was SO GREAT helping with dinner and helping to clean up. (I'm sorry mom, that I didn't love helping as much when I was at home... hahah)
This mom and daughter had one of her co-workers and their daughters family come to dinner. The mom of the co-workers family was from Texas. Her name is Lynette!! HOLY COW!! it was a TOTAL miracle!!!! Where Lynette lives in Texas, they just had a new LDS chapel built about 3 blocks from her house and she's recently had some Mormon ladies keep stopping by her house. Before we even talked to her on Thanksgiving, I overheard her say to our member that she was thinking of going over to one of our services. I had the opportunity to sit alone with her at the table as we were eating pie, and she totally just opened up to me and started telling me all about how she's looking for something solid and sure in her life, and right then and there, on Thanksgiving, I started talking to her about the Book of Mormon, she said she had just received one a few weeks ago. I started talking about Joseph Smith and by this time, Sister T noticed that we were deep gospel talking and came to join me. We taught her about half of the restoration and she was getting SO happy and excited. She said that she wasn't too excited to come eat Thanksgiving at a strangers home, that she and her kids really needed to get on the road, but she knew then why she needed to be there. Because God needed her to meet us. It was the BEST!!! We asked her to be baptized once she finds out the truth of this church and gospel for herself and committed her to meet with sisters when she gets back to Texas, and she said YES! She gave us all her information so we can stay in touch. So that was the GREATEST Thanksgiving ever! I am SO thankful for the guidance and placement of our Father in Heaven and in His plan for each of us. Lynette was such a miracle.
AAAAND---- She had a daughter named Nya.... *Tender Mercy* for my dearest friend Nya back in Kearney!! <3, Girl, you are still in my heart always!!!
It was my mommas birthday this last week, and Marissas!! SO HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! We celebrated by going to the TEMPLE!!! The first time in like 7 months!!! It was SO great!!! I never ever ever ever want to leave the temple <3 While we were in the celestial room, President Weston comes up to shake my hand and he says "what are you doing here??" Hah, I looked at him sooo confused like "umm.... aren't I supposed to be here??" And he just smiled and laughed saying that it's been a while since I'd been in the temple. It was the most peaceful and wonderful feeling to be back!!!! MAKE THE TEMPLE A PRIORITY!!!!!
When we walked out of the temple, we went to go stand in the trail centers parking lot, and WHO would walk out of their car but the WARENSKI'S from Yankee Hill!! Heavenly Father NEVER ceases to amaze me!! Turns out the Warenski's (one of my favorite families in the Yankee Hill ward) are moving to Virginia in like 2 weeks and it was SO lucky that I got to see them!! Guys.... Heavenly Father loves us...... it's not a joke. He loves you and knows you and always places miracles and surprises in your path!!
I got to share the story of my sister-in-law Kelly this week!! We're teaching a lady in the nursing home who is friends with the member that we ate with on Thanksgiving  that has cancer. It was a wonderful lesson. And although they are both struggling with something SUPER hard, they are some of the happiest people I've met. Reminds me a lot of my sister-in-law and brother. Positivity is key and they are amazing examples to me!!
The Fergusons came and took us to Breakfast this week. They are my life-savers and mean so so so so much to me!!
And one of our investigators is set for Jan 31st! She's just waiting for her fiancé to get back from the army in Cuba so they can get married, and we're needing to go through all the lessons with her again-- that is Amanda. She's so fun! If y'all feel good about something... GO FOR IT!! If the spirit is telling you to go for it, go for it!!
Sad story... I lost my camera case this week..... it had 2 full SD cards in it:(:( I'm supers sad, but I've prayed SO hard to find it and I feel ODDLY at peace ever since I lost it!! So it's either going to turn up, I know it can! Or it's okay that all my pictures are gone. Keep praying that I'll find it! I NEVER lose things like this!! I know the Lord is bringing that peace upon me!
The sunrises have been INCREDIBLE this last week!!!!
And Guess what..... the WHOLE Checketts family was in town this week for Thanksgiving! So I finally got to meet with Gus and Nancy and Nancy has given us updates on a lot of those that are Less-Active members that live around here! It was so fun to see them this week and Nancy said she wants to come on team-ups with us when they are back for Christmas. It's seriously been like a GIANT family reunion!!!!
My awesome companion just gave this guy a He Is The Gift passalong card.. and they are looking up RIGHT NOW!!! #newinvestigator. I love watching her do that:) MISSIONARY WORK ROCKS!!!!
Have a terrific week! Hope y'alls weather isn't as crazy as ours... it got up to 70 degrees this last week #NOCOAT. and the next day it was 14 degrees not including the wind chill. Nebraska Weather.... ROCKS!.
The zoo is incredible!!!!!!!!!!!! Hopefully YOU don't all smell like monkeys... haha
We even teach lizards about the Book of Mormon!!
Also... we have a stalker.. and he just walked in the library... HAHAHA (don't worry though, it's really okay!) So I guess I should go!
Love you!!
Sister Checketts

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