Monday, November 24, 2014

November Find a Family Month

Trade off with Sister Spendlove in Atlantic Beach
New card.

Our Christmas Tree!

Part of what I ate on my trade off with Sister Egbert in Dunn Ave at a Chinese Buffett. (Octopus)

The wedding announcement of the couple from the YSA that Sister Fife and I totally called would get together! Marissa is Pete Weber's step daughter. I love these two and am so excited for them!
My name tag in Arabic
We usually have some catchy theme for the month's focus.  This month President decided to call November Find a Family Month... which is not catchy at all, but that's what it is!

It was a crazy busy week!  Monday we had that big storm with the tornado warning (don’t worry we are all safe--no tornados here).  Right after p day we had a trade off with the Sister Coordinators (our leaders).  We were surprised when they said I was staying in the area with Sister Blotter, who is from Michigan.  Usually the companion that has been in the area longer stays.  We had a dinner appointment with the Browns.  Their power was still out and so Brother Brown had pulled out his Coleman stove and made chicken and dumplings over an open flame (which Sister Brown was not thrilled about having in her living room...).  He tried to make biscuits but they were pretty doughy.  So part way in to dinner the generator blew out and the lamp went out.  We were left eating by candle light and Brother Brown went to fix the generator.  Apparently last time that happened he lit himself on fire so Sister Brown was telling him to be careful the whole time as we ate in the dark.  It was a hilarous situation!  Dinner with the Browns is never dull!

Tuesday morning was Ft. Caroline's district meeting.  Sister Kloepfer and I were supposed to present a training from Elder Soares's MLC, but seeing how she wasn’t there I got to do it alone.  I wasn’t as prepared as I would have hoped mostly because we assumed Sister Kloepfer would be staying in the area.  So with some last minute planning and alot of inspiration it all came together.  The Zone Leaders were not going to be at the meeting either because they were going to inspect apartments with Elder Schmidt.  THEN who shows up but President and Sister Craig.  Gratefully the Zone Leaders gave me a heads up that they were coming.  My training went well and I had a lot of fun giving it.  I love teaching!  President Craig gave me some very nice compliments afterward.

After the meeting President pulled out the new cards!  They are absolutely beautiful!  The church has a Christmas online event coming up.  You can go to to see the new video they have put out.  AND the back of the card says' "Discover the Gift. Embrace the Gift. Share the Gift."  Sound familiar?  They either saw our Discover the Book event last spring or two people got the same inspiration this year!  We are so excited to get on this event!

Wednesday we went to Dunn Ave for our district meeting.  It was really great!  Elder Payne gave the training I had given the previous day.  It was fun to see how he presented the information and what he focused on.  Right after the meeting we traded companions with the Dunn Ave Sisters.  I stayed in Dunn Ave with Sister Egbert.  Sister Egbert is from Utah, but her mom is from North Caroline and Sister Egbert has the cutest Southern accent from her!  We had a good day visiting some investigators and less active members

Meanwhile, back in Arlington, Sister Kloepfer and Sister Morrill were going to see a struggling member.  Sister Kloepfer got distracted by some pretty Christmas decorations and didn't realize she hadn't followed the gps all the way.  They walked up to the door of a house that looked a lot like the members but as she knocked on the door she realized it was the wrong one!  A man answered the door and laughing at the situation. Sister Kloepfer explained who they were.  The man invited them in where their family was sitting around the dinner table.  They all gathered in the living room and the sisters taught the restoration.  Their last name is Quick and they are so prepared for the gospel! 

Thursday we traded back companions and Sister Kloepfer and I went to clean for Sister Beverly.  It is the sadest thing to see the state she lives in. She can hardly clean for herself and so her apartment becomes a mess really quickly.  

That night we also went and had a lesson with Angel and his family.  Then we noticed the lights on at Sam's apartment so we stopped by.  Sam wasn’t home, but his wife, Marina and their 2 year old daughter were.  She was so sweet and invited us in.  There is still some language barrier but her English is getting a lot better.  She told us about the village she comes from in Syria.  It is mentioned in the Bible 3 times and Jesus Christ himself taught there.  It makes me sad that even desendants of those taught direcctly by Christ have lost truth over the years.  We showed her the Bible video of Jesus being baptized.  She loved it and told us about seeing the River Jordan.  It was a really neat experience.  She showed us her Arabic Bible and translated our name tags into Arabic the best she could.  I love knowing that Dad served part of his mission in Lebanon and even learned some of this beautiful, old language.

Speaking of the Bible!  Today is International Bible day!  Go on Facebook and post something you love about the Bible and include the hashtag #BibleCelebration.

Friday we finished up weekly planning before going on yet another trade off with the Atlaantic Beach Sisters.  I went to their area with Sister Spendlove.  It was a good trade off and we were able to have some really good conversations about the work.  We had a great golden hour tracting where we taught two lessons, got a new investigator, and set three return appointments! 

Saturday at noon we had a service project. An Elderly man donated his home for missionaries to live in so we were cleaning and fixing it up.  It was really fun!  We traded back companions there and then Sister Kloepfer and I drove back to Dunn Ave for interviews with President Craig.  Sister Craig and Sister Winter (our new mission nurse) and Elder Winter (he works with cars and iPads) gave trainings and President tapped us out one at a time to meet with him.  I just love the Craigs so much!  

Right after the meeting Sister Kloepfer was able to see one of  her recent converts who was in the building to baptize a little girl.  Another amazing thing that happened Saturday is that Kristen was baptized!!!!!  Remember the twins I taught in the YSA?  The Assistants have been working with her and she was baptized on Saturday.  I am so excited for her!

Saturday night we held a church tour with the Elders.  We invited investigators, recent converts, and less active members.  The Elders recent convert, Lee, and the Quick family came.  Brother Dains and his boys were at the church playing basketball so they joined in and bore powerful testimony.  It was an amazing experience.

Sunday we waited anxiously for the Quicks to come to church, but they didn't show up.  Angel and his mother did though!  We had lunch with the Dains family, studied, went to choir practice, and then went to visiting people.  We stopped by the Quick home to see what happened.  Sister Quick told us she had a lot of concerns about the restoration and she needed some time on her own to read the Book of Mormon.  It was so hard to hear they didn't want to learn more at this time. It was especially hard for Sister Kloepfer who found them and felt she had such a great connection with them.  We ended up going back to the Dains so Sister Kloepfer could get a blessing.  It was a rough week.  Between two Sundays we dropped two families we knew could be baptized.  We just have to remember God has great things in store!

Thank you to everyone who has been sharing with me how they see the Lord's hand in their lives!  It's been fun to hear your testimonies!  I have definitely seen the Lord's hand in my life over the past year.  I know that this work cannot happen without him. I know the enabling power of the Atonement is real--I have experienced it more this year than ever before.  I am grateful for every person who has been placed in my life--both at home and those in Florida.  I know His hand is in my life because I feel as though each area I have served in has been just for me.