Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas Week

What a week. All of our work went home for Christmas, so it was super dead this week. We were still able to teach lessons, though. We have a motto: make it to January. That is when everyone will be back and when other amazing things are happening. In January, we are having our baptisms, important people (people from the missionary department, Bishop Gerard Causse, and Elder Quentin L Cook) are coming to the mission, and there will be more people to teach! Anyways, here's how our week went. And here's to hoping we make it through this next one!

Our Zone Activity last P-day was so much fun. We bought graham crackers, frosting, and  candy, and made gingerbread houses. I have pictures of everyone's house that I will send. After P-day, we had dinner with Fabiola (a less active) and Angel (her boyfriend). We also had a lesson with Alan and Phat, two members of the branch. We were then in charge of FHE. 

On Tuesday, Alan took us to breakfast. We went to a really yummy diner in Milpitas called the Black Bear Diner. It was fun to eat with him and talk. We also had district meeting and did service for the Laytons. We also did contacting, training, and had a lesson with Ali before going to dinner with Colin and his girlfriend. It was so much fun. 

Wednesday was the Christmas Eve party. It was so much fun! We got up early and went over there early to help with set-up, although it was already pretty well set up by the time that we got there. We had a great breakfast that the Laytons put together and then we took some pictures of the whole mission together. We then had the talent show. Our number was cut to save time, but we weren't too upset about that. Sister Bliss sang a really beautiful song called "Would I Know My Savior" by Sally Deford. I got a video of it. We then had a gift exchange by Zones. It was really fun. After that, we had a Christmas Devotional with President and Sister Mella. We then watched a movie! We saw "Ephriam's Rescue". It is by the same guy who did 17 Miracles and has some of the same characters. It was really good. It was so funny to watch it with a bunch of missionaries! By the time, it was all over, it was late in the afternoon! We were all hungry though, so part of our Zone went to get a late lunch. Sister Bliss and I then went to the Institute and had a lesson with Linda. After that, Sister Hill, Sister Lytle, Elder Ball, Elder Methvin, Sister Bliss, and I then had dinner with a family whose daughter is in the YSA Branch. It was fun. The Elders and the other Sisters had to leave, but we were able to stay after dinner for their Christmas program as well. It finally felt like Christmas Eve. It was such a great day!

Christmas was really good too. We got up on Christmas morning and did stockings and gifts. Thank you for the presents! I loved them! We also drew names as an apartment. I had Sister Hill and Sister Hill had me! :D We then had a group study before going to Skype. Skyping with you guys was probably the best part of the week! :D I was so glad to talk to you guys. After Skype, we had lunch with the Laytons, their family, other senior missionaries, and the Elders (the Elders were with us for meals all day). We then did some training before going to dinner with the Chandlers. One of their relatives who was over is a student at BYU and she is studying French! So, we got to talk a little. After that, we went to dinner with the Boozers. That was really yummy too. I didn't make myself sick this time! After that, we came home and went to bed. 
On Friday, I went on an exchange. I was with Sister Lytle again! We went to her area and worked. For the record, it is kind of weird to do an exchange with the sisters who you live with! But, hey, I got to sleep in my own bed. :D Anyways, we did a lot of service that day along with a couple of lessons, training, and contacting. 

On Saturday, we got the oil changed in the car and then went and did service with the Zone. We cleaned up trash in the neighborhood where the elders live. In case you were wondering, it takes four of them to get a plastic bag out of a tree! XD Anyways, we then went to lunch with part of the Zone, trained, and then went contacting at the mall. We walked around the mall and talked to a lot of people and taught a couple of lessons. It was great. We also had dinner with Anna (a member of the branch). After that, we came home and did Weekly Planning. 

On Sunday, we had Branch Coucil and then Church. After Church, we had an incredible lesson with Linda. We are helping her make the changes that she needs to make to be baptized and we are confident that she will make it to her date of 10 Jan. We then went contacting at the mall before going to dinner at the Wright's home. Their daughter, Elise, is in the branch and signed up to feed us. It was so nice to eat in a house! Also, Brother Wright served his mission in Switzerland and Southern France! So, I got to talk to him! I was so glad to find someone to talk to! We then went contacting with the elders (no one was on campus though). After that, we dd training and I passed off Lesson 3! I also lost my nametag (the one they gave me in the MTC). We found the magnet part of it outside the dumpster and we think that it landed in there when I took the trash out. Elder Ball and Elder Methvin looked in there for me (I am too short) and they couldn't find it. I am ordering a new one, and I am wearing one right now (the one that was originally on my coat) but I am sad that I lost that one. 

Let me tell you how our investigators are doing...

We had to drop Kyle's date. We haven't seen him in about two weeks and he won't be ready by this weekend. He has just been working a lot with the holidays, and couldn't meet.

Linda is doing really well. She has some struggles, but we are working on them. This week is the week that she is making all of those changes that she needs to make. We are so proud of her. 

Jose is out of town, but he will be back before his baptismal date. We are confident that we can teach him everything before he gets baptized. 

We couldn't meet with Elsie this week. 

I think that that is all for here. I need to send some pictures too.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Call

What an exciting day!!  Sister Sara Palmer was able to call home at 10:30 this morning.  We were able to connect the computer to the TV so that we had a good view without all having to huddle around a computer monitor.  Bre is home for Christmas break so we were able to have all of us in on the conversation.  It was so good to hear her voice, see her smiling face, not to mention the various expressions she makes, her tendency to start singing French "hold" music when the video cuts out, (which it did a few times), and to see the way her face lights up when she is excited. She is doing well, and wishes everyone a very Merry and Blessed Christmas.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas!

I hope things are going well for everyone. This has been a crazy week and I better start typing now or I'll never get it all in plus pictures!

On Monday evening, we had a lesson with Jose. We taught him about the Ten Commandments and some of the other commandments (chastity, obey and honor the law, etc.). He agreed to do these things. We love him so much. We then went with the Branch to FHE. We went to Christmas in the Park. Basically, there is this big park in downtown San Jose where they set up all of these Christmas things and you can walk around and look. It was so fun. My personal favorite was probably when we all went into this house and talked to Santa. We even got a Branch picture and then a picture of us four missionaries with him! :D The Branch also wanted to carol to him and we sang "Joy to the World". After FHE, we also set up our baby Christmas tree. I was SO excited!

On Tuesday, my roommates (Sister Hill and Sister Bullcreek) moved out and our new roommares moved in: Sister Hill and Sister Lytle! So, I am living with Sister Lytle again. On Tuesday night, we went with the Branch to the temple. They went to do baptisms and we took Linda with us to the visitor's center. It was so much fun. We heard the Christus message (which I LOVE), watched their little presentation on the Family (Sister Bliss and I cried), and then watched The Restoration again. It was awesome. I love the Oakland Temple! :D Linda loved it too; she really felt the Spirit. I just wish it hadn't been raining so hard. It took us two hours to get there and then we couldn't walk around on the grounds because of the rain. 

On Wednesday, Sister Bliss and I went to the Institute building with the elders to welcome the new missionaries (like what they did for us 6 weeks ago). about 20 missionaries went home and we only got 8 in this time. Only 4 of them were from the Provo MTC, only 2 of those were sisters, and neither of were called to speak English. The mission is shrinking! We then took them all contacting. I went with a Tongan speaking sister and Sister Bliss went with a Spanish speaking sister and we went contacting on campus. It was great. We then said goodbye to them and went on our way to do missionary work. On Wednesday night, we taught Carmina. She is a recent convert in the Branch. We had dinner and taught Elsie. We taught her about The Restoration and invited her to be baptized. She said yes, should she know that these things are true! :D We really like her. She is so nice. Kyle wasn't there, but we were able to call him later and check on him. He's doing well. He just had to work. After Elsie, we met with Ali, another recent convert who we love! After that, we came home. 

We had a slow Thursday. Almost all of the people we planned to meet with cancelled on us! We had district meeting, and that was really fun. We then had lunch and waited for Samantha (a recent convert) to show up so we could teach her. She was running late and Sister Bliss and I fell asleep waiting for her. We woke up to Elder Layton taking a picture of us! We then worked on service for the Laytons until Samantha showed up. We taught her and did more service for the Laytons. We even called the elders to help us with the service. After a few hours of service, we all trained together (Elder Methvin is the same "age" as me. He is still in training). We then went to dinner with Guy and Ali. They took us to a really nice restaurant! We then went for ice cream and came home. It was really fun. 

Friday was another slow day. Our morning was taken up by Advanced Orientation. That is when they take all the missionaries who have been out for a transfer and have another orientation with them. It was fun to see all the missionaries who I came out of the MTC with. After that we had lunch and then ran errands before going to MCM. After MCM, we went to dinner. We ended up going to the graduation dinner for one of the members of the branch. He just graduated with his Masters in Electrical Engineering. After that, we went home. 

On Saturday, we went and did service before teaching Jose. We taught him more commandments. It turns out, he is not going to Mexico, so we have more time to teach him. He is doing really really well! We then had lunch and some training before we taught Linda. We had an amazing lesson with Linda. She is really struggling with some things right now, so we had to change gears and teach based on her needs rather than the lesson we had planned. She is really having a hard time with this change, and she is getting a lot of harassment about it from people close to her. The elders gave her a blessing and we set some goals. We weren't able to see her on Sunday because she was working late on Saturday night. I hope that we see her again soon. We then went to meet up with some other elders in the mission. Sister Bliss is singing at the Christmas party that we are having as a mission and she asked one of the elders to play piano for her. So, we met up with them and they practiced. Sister Bliss is an amazing singer and Elder Davis is an amazing pianist, so it is going to be a great performance! Our little missionary choir is singing too. We then went to dinner. We ate at a member's home and it was super fun. They have two dogs (pugs) and they are the sweetest, dumbest dogs I have ever seen. We also ate gumbo! It was so yummy. We then came back and went contacting with the elders. We contacted a good amount of people and taught some lessons! :D While we were out, we saw a rabbit just sitting on campus and the elders wanted to catch it. I wish I had had my camera and could have taken a video of these elders trying to catch a rabbit! 

On Sunday, we had an amazing Sacrament Meeting. It was mainly musical numbers in honor of Christmas. Sister Bliss sang, the Branch Choir sang, a girl played the cello while her brother played piano, and another girl played the violin. It was beautiful. We then had lunch and did some training with the elders before going to see Ceidy. I lead the lesson and it went really well! :D We then had dinner with the Jepsons. In the car, Sister Bliss and I made a bet on what we were having to eat. I won. :D After that, we came home and did our weekly planning. It went really well. I am starting to feel less stressed about companionship inventory. 
Don't worry about me for Christmas. We have three dinners for Christmas day and a dinner for Christmas Eve. We won't be all alone. I am hoping that President will send us more instructions on how the Christmas schedule will work. I am betting that is what is sitting in my inbox... Anyways, I am really excited to talk to you at Christmas. It will be great! :D

Love you lots!

Monday, December 15, 2014

End of First Transfer!

I survived my first transfer! This transfer was only five weeks because they didn't want to be sending home missionaries on Christmas Eve. So, this next transfer will be seven weeks to make up for it (it ends on 1 Feb). Unfortunately, this is Sister Bliss' last transfer. She goes home on the 4th of February. As far as actual transfers go, only one companionship from our zone got transferred. Sister Bliss and I are still in Washington Square.This week has been a wet, busy week. I forgot my planner though, so this will be really jumbled and probably less detailed.

One of the fun things about the end of transfers is that you get a new planner. I don't know if all missions do this, but we decorate our planners. For my first transfer, Sister Bliss had made my planner, but this time, I made my own. We cut pictures out of the ensign (or print them off of lds.org), glue them to the covers, and then put tape over the top of it. I am going to send pictures of my new planner because I love it! :D

On Monday, we went with the Branch to the Christmas Creche exhibit. It was really nice to see the Creches again (and not as a volunteer).  I don't really have much else to say, as it was P-day...

On Tuesday, we met with Jose and he set a date! JOSE IS GETTING BAPTIZED! All of our progressing investigators have baptismal dates now! (Kyle is 3 Jan, Linda is 10 Jan, Jose is 17 Jan). I hope that everyone keeps their dates. Jose is leaving to go to Mexico this week though, so we have to meet with him a lot before then to get everything in on time. We suggested he change it to the 24th, but he really wanted the 17th. So, we'll make it work! :D I also got to try a yummy treat called Mochi. It is an ice cream ball wrapped in dough. It is really yummy! On Tuesday night, Sister Bliss and Sister Hill had some Sister Training Leader things to do, so Sister Lytle and I got to be companions for a while. We got home really late and I saw that your Christmas box had showed up! I didn't have time to open it untilWednesday morning. 

On Wednesday, we had a lot of lessons. We met with Fabiola again. She was doing better this time. We also picked up a new investigator! We had been trying to meet with this girl named Elsie. When we were at Institute dinner, a member of the branch came up to us and said that one of our investigators had come. Needless to say, we were very confused, but followed him to see a girl I had never met before. It was Elsie! She is from El Salvador. She was taking the missionary lessons, but had to stop. We were able to teach her and set up an appointment to meet this upcoming Wednesday. Yay! We also taught Kyle. He seems to be doing better. We also taught Joshua, a member of the branch. He is struggling and asked for a lesson. We gave him some encouragement. I also got to try a yummy treat called a cronut. It is a croissant that is fried and shaped like a donut. They are from Jack in the Box. Yummy! 

On Thursday, we had Zone Training Meeting. That took up a lot of our day. It was also the day we were supposed to have a superstorm. We thought that it hadn't come, until a member of the branch showed us pictures of what was going on elsewhere in California (there was flooding on the highways). We have had a lot of rain this week! I would ask you to send me my rain boots, but they are not very professional. Oh well. Hopefully the rain will stop soon. That evening, we taught Linda. We taught her about The Ten Commandments, including obeying and honoring the law and the Law of Chastity. It went really well. We only have a few commandments left to teach her.

On Friday, we went to this really awesome Thai restaurant and I got to have yellow curry. So good! I forgot how much I like it. Dad, if you are ever in San Jose, you have to try it! :D On Friday, Sister Bliss had more STL things to do and I was with Sister Lytle again. We went to MCM and had a lesson with the Branch Mission Leader, Sachin. After that, we went home and Sister Lytle and I did what we could for planning. We then ended up having to go to bed because our companions didn't get back until after 10:30

On Saturday, we started teaching a recent convert who the elders had been teaching. Her name is Carmina. I hope we will be able to meet with her more. We then went to a baptism. One of the elders' investigators, Jessica, was baptized. We invited Linda to come, so she could see what a baptism is like before she is baptized. She came and she really liked it. She said that she really felt the Spirit. It was a great baptism. 

On Sunday, we had Church and taught Jose more. Linda also fed us dinner. She is so nice! Sister Bliss and I then went to the outgoing fireside. That is a fireside that they have at the end of transfers for all of the missionaries who are leaving. We really wanted to go because the missionary who trained Sister Bliss, my "grandma", was going to be leaving. It was a really neat fireside. All of the missionaries leaving bear their testimony, as do some recent converts, Sister Mella, and President Mella. After that, we spent a lot of time talking with the missionaries who are leaving and seeing other missionaries who we don't get to see very often because of where they are serving. It was great. 

Today, we are going to finish our P-day errands and go to FHE with the branch. We are also meeting with Jose again. And guess what? We're getting a REAL Christmas tree! Sister Bliss is against fake trees and was shocked that I have never had a real tree or lights on the house. So, we're going to buy a tree and lights! :D 

Well, that's about all for here. Sorry if this one isn't as detailed as the others. 

Love you lots!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Busy, Busy, Busy

Hello everyone, 

This has been a really crazy, but really good, week. To give you an idea, I was on two official exchanges this week and two unofficial. I have hardly seen Sister Bliss. When we sent in our numbers last night, we had to use her planner because I haven't really been in the area! We also had that music fireside thing I mentioned in my last email and other things. Here we go!

I wrote you about P-day. We did our errands and then went to the Zone Activities where they played games at the Institute building. I sat off to the side and wrote letters. That night, however, we had dinner at home (the member feeding us had to cancel) and then went to FHE. Most of them played a game called Murder, but those of us who didn't want to play played Uno. It was intense. We then left for the exchange. I was with Sister Black. We actually stayed with her and her roommates our first night in the mission (while the elders slept at President Mella's house). It was so good for me to have an exchange with a Sister who had been in the mission for a while (Sister Black is the same "age" as Sister Bliss. They both have just a couple of months left). 

I spent most of Tuesday with Sister Black. We had our exercise and our study and then went to serve at the Almaden Community Center. They have a lunch for people and we helped serve. It was really fun. We then came back home and did training before we went and visited some people in the ward. It was fun, even though we were out in the rain. It rained a lot at the beginning of the week! We then had dinner with a new family in the ward. They were really fun. We then had another lesson with a member of the ward before exchanging back. It was a great exchange and Sister Black and I are now good friends :D

On Wednesday, we had a more relaxed day. I believe you asked me what we do for exercise. We go to the Institute Building and run around in the gym, stretch, do whatever we want. Or, if we're not feeling like going over there (ie. one of us isn't feeling well) we exercise in the livingroom. After exercise we have breakfast and then do our studies. This time, we also did training before going to District Meeting. At the end of District Meeting, we had an ugly sweater picture! I will send you some pictures. Sister Bliss and I have great ugly sweaters! :D We then did service for the Laytons by decorating the Institute Building for Christmas. It was really fun and I have some pictures of our hard work. on Sunday (yay). Institute dinner went well. The Laytons take such good care of everyone. I love them so much. After dinner, we taught Kyle about The Plan of Salvation. He seemed really interested and asked great questions.
We also helped them prepare for the big dinner that night. Before dinner, we had a lesson with a less active named Fabiola. She is struggling with some things and wanted to talk. We helped her get a priesthood blessing and encouraged her to talk to the Branch President. She texted us a few days later and said that things were going better. She also came to church 

On Thursday, we had a song practice with the Elders for the fireside before teaching Jose. We taught him about The Plan of Salvation too. We plan to continue with it the next time we see him. He seemed to understand it. We really like teaching him! We then had our exchange. I was off again with Sister Lytle in Alum Rock! We went with most of the Zone to service at Lake Cunningham. We were cleaning out all of the tree limbs that they had cut down at the entrance to the park. We have some good workers in our Zone! We were there for three hours! We then went and trained. The Elders were supposed to help with that, but they were really late, so we did most of it on our own. We then went contacting, and I had to contact in Spanish again. Later that night, I asked the Hermanas who live with Sister Lytle and her companion (Sister Hill) the best way to say things. They said that what I was saying was good, and they taught me a better (and easier) way to do it. We then went to dinner at a member's home and did service for them. We then went and taught an investigator named Kristin about the temple. After that we taught some Chinese investigators about missionary work. It was really fun. After that, we came home and planned before going to bed. 

On Friday, we did our usual morning routine (exercise, personal study, companionship study) and some training before going to Roosevelt to serve. It is like the Almaden Community Center. Bre, you would love it. They have their lunch and then move all the tables aside and dance. While we were there, Sister Bliss called and said that her leadership meeting (which she was with Sister Hill at what we were waiting for to end so we could exchange back) was going to run late. She asked us to go teach Linda, which we had planned to do together, while they were in this meeting. So, Sister Lytle and I went and taught. Thankfully, Sister Bliss and I had prepared this lesson earlier and I had decided to look over it that morning! I filled Sister Lytle in on everything we knew about Linda and we taught her. It went really well. I have felt like I was being lead by the Spirit, and teaching by the Spirit, but never like that. It was amazing. After that, we exchanged back and had to run to the fireside in Morgan Hill. It turns out that this thing is huge! They have groups from all over come and sing. We sang our numbers and Sister Bliss said that we sounded really good (she was conducting us). We are going to do it again for the Mission Christmas Party. After that, we went home and planned. It was a crazy day!

Saturday was crazy too! We weekly planned that morning, as we didn't have time to on Friday (that is the usual day that we do it). We then had lunch before leaving for Palo Alto. In Palo Alto they have a Creche exhibit. They have hundreds of nativities loaned to them by members of the Church and set them all up in the Church building for people to see. They have nativities from all over the world! It is a HUGE deal. This year was the 27th year of them doing it. Look it up! We were there as volunteers. Meaning, we were assigned to a room and wandered around. We were to make sure that no one touched the creches and that we could answer any questions that people had (a lot of people of different faiths come to this). We are going back there with the YSA for FHE and I am so excited to go there as something other than a volunteer, so I can look around at all the different ones! We then came back and had dinner before going and teaching Ceydi. I really love teaching her. We then had a mini-exchange. Sister Card wanted to go to a baptism in her old area, but her companion needed to sing in a Christmas party, so we exchanged with them. I went with Sister Card to the baptism. It was great. We then exchanged back when it was over and went home. 

Look at the new hairstyle Sister Bliss gave me
Sunday was amazing! I filled out the Progress Record for the first time to take to Branch Council, and Sister Bliss helped me. We then had Branch Council and Church. Linda came again too! After Church, Sister Bliss and Sister Hill had another meeting so Sister Lytle and I were back together. We had another lesson with Linda, just answering her questions about what had happened at Church today. She then told Sister Lytle and me that she had decided on a baptismal date!!!!!!! We decided not to tell Sister Bliss, and have Linda tell her later that night. We then had Break the Fast. Yay! Sister Lytle and I then taught Samantha, a recent convert. When Sister Bliss came back, we had a lesson with Alan, a member of the Branch. It was so hard to keep my mouth shut about Linda! We then had the Christmas Devotional. It was so good! After the Devotional, Linda told Sister Bliss. She freaked out! :D I told her that I knew and she was annoyed with me ("You knew and didn't tell me?!") but I explained that Linda had wanted to tell her and I was forgiven. :D Linda is getting baptized on January 10th! LINDA IS GETTING BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!!!!!! After that, we had dinner with the Stake President's family (his daughter is in the YSA and asked to feed us). We then went contacting with the Elders (it was dark) and then came home and did our numbers and planning before going to bed. 

Today is going to be an awesome day. I have to run though, or you won't get any pictures :)

Love you lots, 


ps) 3 Nephi 11:15

Monday, December 1, 2014

Pictures - Episode 2

 My Zone with Elder and Sister Layton

Sister Bliss straightened my hair

Sisters Bliss and Palmer at the Zone mini golf trip.

Zone Activity - Ping Pong

 Sisters Palmer and Bliss 

I got Bible Bashed!


Another exciting week in San Jose. Let's get started, shall we? *grabs planner*

Monday was an important day. An insurance guy came to look at the car and recorded the damage (barely anything). We then finished cleaning (we try to clean our apartment once a week) and I emailed you. We also went grocery shopping and then we had do go meet with Sister Hansen. Sister Hansen and Sister Bliss are both in charge of some Christmas fireside that some of the missionaries are singing at. A few missionaries from three different zones are to sing. Elder Ball, Elder Methvin, Sister Bliss, and I are representing our zone! The fireside is this Friday.We then went to the mission office and then to a Zone Activity. For the Zone Activity, we went to Golfland and played mini-golf. It is owned by a member and free to missionaries! It was so much fun. 

Once P-day was over, we taught Jose more about the Restoration. We showed him the DVD of it and he seemed to understand that better. We also had a member with us named Shane who helped give insights from when he joined the Church and how he came to know that Joseph Smith was a prophet. Yay for member-present lessons! We then met our new investigator, Linda. Let me tell you about her. On Sunday, when we were driving to a dinner appointment, a girl called us. She said that she used to be a member of the branch and asked us to teach her friend Linda. So, after dinner, we called Linda and set up an appointment to meet on Monday evening. Linda is amazing. She just hit her one year of sobriety and she knows that God helped her stop drinking. She is looking to change her life. We taught her about the Atonement and hope. She really liked it. 

We were then in charge of FHE. Because of the holidays, there weren't many people so one of the FHE coordinators asked us to take everyone contacting. Towards the end, I met my first "Bible Basher". I asked this young man if he wanted to go to church with us and he asked me which denomination I was. I told him that I was LDS or "Mormon". That's when it all went down the drain. He told me that we worship Joseph Smith. I explained that we don't; that he was a prophet. He then asked if I had a Book of Mormon and then if I had a Bible. He then attacked me for saying that the Book of Mormon helps explain the Bible. He said that we devalue the Bible by placing it on the same level as the Book of Mormon. Sister Bliss, who had missed the beginning of this while she was talking to someone else, came to the rescue. She asked the man if he had read the Book of Mormon and he said that he had read parts of it. He then asked if he could see my copy of it. He assured me that he wouldn't abuse it and I handed him my copy that I use in missionary work (my triple copy). He flipped through it and was impressed that this one didn't have a "white Jesus" (referring to the pictures). There was then some conflict about "white Jesus" and Sister Bliss was able to say that we really needed to go. She offered to shake his hand, but he refused, saying that he wouldn't say "God bless" to people who don't believe in God! I was able to stay calm until he walked away. Then, I was completely shaken up. I did, however, not want to end the night on a bad note, so I screwed up my courage and invited a woman to church. She sounded interested and I gave her the information. I haven't seen her since, but she made my night so much better. What a blessing!

On Tuesday, we had service at Veggilution (it is a farm where people can volunteer). We worked in the field and I was covered in mud. :D We then went to the Institute Building for lunch and then I went contacting with Sister Lytle (Sister Bliss and Sister Lytle's companion are the Sister Training Leaders and they had a meeting to go to). The elders were nice enough to go with us because they knew about what happened last night (we have fantastic elders). We then had some training before interviews with President Mella. We talked about my Bible Basher and other things. We then had a lesson with Samantha about the plan of Salvation before going to the Packards' for dinner. They are the nicest elderly couple! They invited us over for Thanksgiving too! We then did more service at a craft night. A girl in the branch got married this weekend (29 Nov) and we helped make paper flowers for the reception (so frustrating). 

On Wednesday, we had a short lesson with Jose. He is waiting for a sign that The Book of Mormon is true (he is more accepting of Joseph Smith as a prophet than he was before). We talked to him about faith and signs. I think it helped. He went out of town for Thanksgiving, but we hope to see him again today to set up another appointment.

We then had District Meeting. During District Meeting, they do what is called a Spotlight. Where a companionship sits in the front of the room and everyone says nice things to them. It is really awkward, but nice too. We also watched the new "He Is The Gift" video. Have you heard about that and what all the Church is doing? They really want to get the missionaries involved! Check it out (christmas.mormon.org)! We then had another lesson with Linda and taught her about The Restoration. The elders had given her a copy of The Book of Mormon and she had begun to read it! She was very receptive (to the point that Sister Bliss and I were amazed). We then went contacting and taught three lessons on the street!

We then had a very interesting "lesson" (more of a discussion) with Mohammed. I mentioned him in my last letter. It was Elder Ball, Elder Methvin, Sister Hill, Sister Bullcreek, Sister Bliss, and me talking to Mohammed and two of his friends. They don't seem very interested. That is to say, they were just being nice listening to us. They love Islam and they want to stay Islam. And that is fine. The way I see it is that we cleared up some misconceptions and were able to talk about what we have in common. So, if they ever decide that maybe Islam isn't what they want (long shot, I know) then they will remember that we have similar beliefs. I also found a way to break the language barrier. During the "lesson" I felt that I needed to ask them what languages they spoke (they were struggling with English). So, afterwards, I asked. One of the men spoke French! I explained to him in French that I speak French as well and if we ever met again, I would be more than willing to help him translate things into English by going from Arabic into French first. I doubt I will ever see them again, but I was so glad that I could offer to be his interpreter should we ever meet again. 

We then had institute dinner and another lesson with Kyle. He is still working on his issues and we are doing the lessons with him over again. He seems much more interested this time! :D

Thanksgiving nearly killed us. We didn't do much in the way of missionary work because you can't go contacting when there is no one to contact! We did however make sure to share messages with all of our dinners. You read that right. We had THREE dinners. We had dinner with the Laytons, the Packards, and the Boozers. I was so sick at the end of the day! But, it made them happy, and we didn't want to say no. I have learned some tips for what to do when you have to eat a lot in one day, so I won't be as sick next time. We have leftovers in the fridge too. 

Fridays are really slow for us because all we really do is weekly planning and have MCM. We did, however, have a lesson with Ceydi (a member). I love her so much! We also had training. Sorry, not a super interesting day.

On Saturday, we had our usual study and training before going contacting. We taught two lessons on the street and got some referrals to send to other missionaries (usually we're the ones receiving referrals since we cover a YSA). We also had a lesson with Linda about The Gospel of Jesus Christ. We then did some new member visits and went to the wedding reception. We stayed at the reception for about an hour before going to dinner with Carolyn (a member). We then came home and I was able to be certified to teach The Restoration! Basically, as part of training, you work on being certified to teach the lessons (knowing the chapter headings and what to make sure you teach about each one). I did it! I can teach the first lesson! :D Saturday was also my "one month". I almost missed it with everything going on!

On Sunday, we had no branch council, so we got to have a longer companionship study. We also had two investigators at Church! Kyle and Linda came! We tried really hard to make them both feel welcome, especially Linda. We ended up teaching Linda a lesson after Church because she had questions. It was great. We then had a song practice with the elders and did training before going to dinner at the Melvilles. We then had a lesson with Colin and Michael (all three of them are members of the branch). We then came home and had planning before going to bed. 



3 Nephi 5:13