Dear Family, March 24, 2014
MERRY CHRISTMAS! I am pleased to inform you that it is once again Christmas in Michigan! It has snowed four times this past week. FOUR. TIMES. Excuse me, but wasn't the first day of Spring this last week? Jokes on us apparently. It was snowing this morning right before we had companion study so we decided that "It Came Upon A Midnight Clear" was an appropriate choice for our opening song. I finally understand why Michiganders never take down their Christmas decorations. We even saw a full blown Christmas tree in one persons house this week. I think my California grown body is starting to reject the winter temperatures and clothes that go with it. I just can't bring myself to wear two pairs of pants, gloves and snow boots in SPRING. My body calendar keeps saying, "It's March/April and that means shorts." The elders in my district were giving me a hard time last week because I showed up to district meeting two weeks ago in a knee length skirt and regular shoes. I'm pretty sure they kept their comments about my pasty white legs to themselves.
Besides the fact that Michigan can't get it's seasons in order, I'm great! I think I had the flu this past week because I remember getting home from district meeting on Wednesday and falling asleep and not waking up until 5 the next morning. I can honestly say that I don't think I've slept for 15 hours in a row before so that was a new experience. I'm doing a lot better now. Sister Anderton and Sister Mortensen were able to get a lot of things done (updating our area book, putting together a map of our area and contacting a lot of potentials) while I was out so it thankfully wasn't a complete waste of the day.
Transfer numero uno just ended! I am on my second transfer! That transfer was an ETERNITY. It can't believe that only a transfer ago I was leaving the MTC. It feels like the MTC was at least a year ago. I think part of the whole time distortion thing is that there are really only three days in a week for missionaries: Sunday, P-Day and the rest of the week. It is really hard to differentiate days so I think that contributes a lot my whole skewed perception of time. Whenever I go to write emails I have to have my planner out so I can look at each day and remember what we did. So. Much. Mental. Exertion. Anyway, here are the changes for this transfer: SIster Anderton is being transferred to Big Rapids (an hour North of here and colder. Take that Brazil!) and we are getting a sister from Mason named Sister Harris. I do not know anything about Sister Harris other than she's been out about a year and that she is really sweet. I am excited to work with her and Sister Mortensen this transfer. I am extremely hopeful that the Spring will thaw out the Michiganders and their hearts and we'll see more success in the coming transfer. The elders in my ward are making some great progress with their investigators so there is the potential for some great things in the Grand Rapids Ward!
We had a miracle this week. We have been trying to visit a less active member in our ward for weeks now. We met with her once and had a great time with her and her four and eight year old sons. She hasn't been active since she started college and we really think that if we can get her to church, it will rekindle a flame. The problem that we have been facing is that she won't let us in to her apartment complex. I think I mentioned a couple weeks ago that everything fell out of my bag but it ended up being a good thing because it delayed us getting to the door and getting there right when someone was coming out so we got into the building and were able to knock on her door. That's how we got in the first time. She missed the appointment we had with her and we've been trying ever since to get in touch with her. Last couple times we've gone the light has been on in her apartment and every time we buzz the apartment, the light goes off. Well, this last time we went we prayed for a miracle. We prayed that somehow we would get into her building. As we walked to her building, I was watching intently, waiting for someone to come out of the building so we could catch the door. No one came. The light in the apartment was on and we buzzed. The light went off. We all looked at each other and knew that we were all feeling/thinking the same thing. Sister Mortensen half jokingly pulled on the door to see if it was open and to our utter amazement, the door opened. We stared at the door and each other dumbfounded for a couple seconds. We had been given a miracle. We'd been given the thing we prayed for. I've reflected a lot on it since and once of the things I have learned from it is that I shouldn't limit the way Heavenly Father can answer my prayers. I was expecting that Heavenly Father would answer my prayer in a couple ways and I didn't give consideration to the fact that He can answer my prayer anyway He sees fit, even ways I haven't considered. I wonder how many ways thus far He has answered my prayers and I just haven't realized it yet. That's a humbling thought. She wouldn't answer her door but we ran into a guy who "just so happened" to be walking out of his apartment when we got there and told us that he'd been to our church in Florida. Wait, what? He liked the church there so we gave him the address to the church here. Then he went back into his apartment. Heavenly Father produces miracles all the time. It's awesome.
Here is the best story of the week: Sister Mortensen and I scare Sister Anderton all the time because it's hilarious. We were having a family home evening lesson with the Johnson Family and Brother Johnson told us about scaring the pants off of his son one night (It involved Trent talking to himself for 10 minutes, Bro. Johnson hiding in a closet and Connor getting so scared he whinnied like a horse and posed like a velociraptor. It was hilarious) so naturally we told them about how much we like scaring Sister Anderton. After our lesson, Sister Anderton had to use the restroom. Once she was in there, Sister Johnson leaned down to us and said, "Sisters, go scare Sister Anderton." We then looked at Brother Johnson and said, "Brother Johnson, YOU scare Sister Anderton." So he went and hid under a table just around the corner from the bathroom and waited. It could not have gone more perfectly. We asked Brother Johnson afterwards what he thought of Sister Anderton freaking out and he said, "I didn't expect it to be so high." Sister Anderton is a good sport about it but yesterday when we went over to their house Sister Anderton made us promise that we wouldn't scare her.
I always don't think I have anything to say about the week but then I look back and realize that I write a lot. Before I go, I want to extend an invitation to you this week. We have been talking a lot with the members about the power of the Book of Mormon. When we read the Book of Mormon, we are reading the words that God has given to the prophets and as God's word, there is power in the Book of Mormon. There is an incredible Spirit that comes as we read the Book of Mormon. I can't imagine a better book to gain comfort, peace, or determination from. I know that the Book of Mormon has the power to touch lives in a way that our words can't so my invitation to you this week is to share a scripture that has touched your life with someone else. It could be a member, non-member, less active or a home/'visiting teachee, just share a scripture with them and why it has meant so much to you. Or even just send a text that says, "Hey, I thought of u. Read D&C 50:40-44". Get creative, be simple. :)
I love you all so much! Have a fantastic week!