Despite the cold, it has been a beautiful week full of miracles. This has been such a wonderful week. :) I don't even know where to begin
JR: our dear friend has been off and on and up and down. He is really prepared and so he is receiving a lot of opposition. Who would have thought? ;) His girlfriend's dad, isn't a huge fan of us and he keeps talking to Jr and telling him that what we are telling him isn't true. We went and read Alma 36 with jr. After we were done, we asked him what he thought about it and he told us that he feels like Alma is kind of like him because he has changed and is changing from his old ways. He told us how he feels like he wants to argue and defend when this man is telling him this stuff. He said...I just feel like it isn't a lie and I feel God's love and the spirit when I talk to you all. It was so beautiful to hear. He wasn't able to come to church but this week we will get him back. He promised that he would really start putting in the time reading. :)
Johana: Formerly known as Juana. Could I say Miss Prepared. Her Boyfriend, shane is like the best example ever! We went over and had pizza and watched the restoration movie and taught her about the restoration and tithing. Shane bore the sweetest testimony about being obedient to the commandments even if we don't understand why and acting in faith knowing that God will bless us. Johana had seen him writing a check for his tithing and was surprised at the amount that it was for. After talking to her about it and shane's testimony, she was like okay. I am going to ask his parents the blessings they have received. :) She told us that she wants to find a new job so she can go to all the hours of church. She promised about reading and praying about to see if Joseph Smith who restored the Church of Christ and the Book of Mormon to see if it is true. She came to church with Shane and his family in the english ward for the 1st hour and we have a cita with her this week. She is so awesome. She told us that she talked to her parents and they are okay if she gets baptized. This week we will be extending a date! :) YAY!
Andra: We have been trying to put our names in different stores, and community places for service during this time of year and also through the year to come, and we dropped our card off at the local library. We received a callmorning from this lady named Andra. She said that she was interested in meeting us as well as wanting to buy a copy of the Book of Mormon. We went over to the library and had a little chat with her. She told us how her Granddaughter who lives in Utah is dating a member of the Church and she wants to learn more about us. She said that she has seen wonderful changes in her as they have been dating and that he and his family are just splendid. She wants to meet with us again and they said when they come to Utah in may they are going to give me a call and we are going to get together. :) She was so excited to know the Book of Mormon was a free gift and just really loved talking to us. I really loved it too. The neat thing is that we prayed before going to drop off our card and asked that good would be able to come from this act. When we sort of got denied from doing service or any help right then, I was a little bummed but then just a week later, look what happened. It is all about in His timing. We just have to wait and trust in his plan. :) It was so special to see that He had a bigger plan waiting all along. :)
Stephanie: I had been feeling for a few days that we needed to go see Stephanie and see how she was doing. I wanted to invite her to the Christmas Devotional. We went over and she was just getting home. She invited us in and she told us, well I thinkwould be a great day to go to church. We were like yeah? She said, yes, what is your schedule like? We said of course. She said oh hermana rife, I have something for you. We were black shopping and I saw something that I wanted to give to you. She was so kind, and who knows how she knew or why she thought of me but she bought me a perfume set from Victoria's Secret. I was getting low on the perfume I brought on my mission and I was like I will have to restock when I get home and then she gave it to me. It was so sweet. She also gave a bottle to Sister Durham who was on exchanges with me. She is just so kind. I love her. morning we went to her house and she followed us to church. It couldn't have gone anymore perfect. Hannah her daughter, who reminds me so much of Josie Anderson, and her other daughter Alexa, and her baby Kaylor. They had a really neat meeting with a young woman who is deaf who signed her talk and someone interpreted it, the young women did a musical number with chimes and then a member from the stake. Stephanie loved it. To top it off, her daughter Alexa knows like 5 girls in the ward and they are her friends! Stephanie said she is going to go back and a few families offered to do family nights to us and introduced themselves. We are going to be passing her over to the sisters but it was so sweet! :)
Alma: The Bishop's neighbor that we are teaching is doing really good. This is her second time at church with us and she is really loving it. She said that she's reading the book of mormon. It is just so neat to see a friend of one of the members. We are going to teach themwith the Bishops family and I think we are going to try to extend a date! :) I am really excited about them.
Temple: We were able to go to the temple and I was able to do baptisms and confirmations, and the other ordinances for not only my Great Great Great Great Great Grandmother, and the first person I found on Family Search, but also for about 10 other people. The spirit was strong as I did the work for Clarissa Clara J Quilliams. :) It was so special. I love the temple and the power I feel inside. It is really so sacred and a blessing that we have the chance to help our family members and feel of the Love of our Heavenly Father there!
Carlos: Because of His work visa, he didn't really know what day he would be leaving. They just tell them and then they all have to get their stuff and leave. I had a feeling one night, go visit carlos. So we went. As we got there, he was walking outside and got this huge smile on his face, he said. Hermanas I am so happy you came. I was hoping you would come, because I just found out I am leaving like right now. It was Such a good miracle. I think that it was a strengthening testimony to me and as well to him that Heavenly Father listens to our prayers, but also to our hope and desires. :) We were able to share our testimonies, encourage him to stay firm and sing para siempre Dios este con Vos. I love him so much. He is so sweet and has been a very special person to know in the mission. I will miss him a lot but it was the neatest thing that could have happened.
Alicia and the Tamales: Last night for the Devotional, we invited all the members to invite someone to the devotional. We decided to have a little get together afterward. We made some oreos, and pumpkin muffins and then we were going to have hot chocolate.night, Hno Ramierez told us that he ordered some Tamales too. I was thinking in my head...okay that doesn't really go well with the whole sweets and hot chocolate thing but its okay. Who doesn't like Tamales?!!! So we had been inviting everyone too. We especially wanted Alicia to come because she hasn't come to church yet...let alone to the church. I was really hoping she could make it and then when we called her yesterday she said, hermanas i am out on the street and i don't know if i can. I was like a bit bummed but i told her i hoped she could make it. We texted her and told her that if she couldn't come at 7 that at 8 we were having a Tamales and treats, thinking well at least we could do a church tour. About 30 minutes into the devotional, I see Alicia waving at us through the door. My heart jumped. I almost jumped out of my seat to go hug her. We waved her over and she came and sat down. We were THRILLED! It made my night to have her there. She enjoyed the devotional and then told us that for the last hour they had been driving around trying to find Tamales because she was having the biggest craving for them. After she got the text with the Tamales she told her husband, I am going to this thing. She said it wasn't just because of the Tamales but that that was what gave her the final push. This morning we were talking about it and I was like Hermana Hill...Who do you think gave her that craving and Who do you think put the idea into Hermano Ramierez's head to buy Tamales. Heavenly Father couldn't have planned it any better. I know it was a little step but it was a big one for her. She met the Bishop, a few members, had a church tour and felt the spirit of the church, watched a beautiful Christmas Devotional and got her Tamales. :)
I know that this work is true. I am so grateful for every moment I have on my mission. The good and the bad. I know that this Church is the Church of Jesus Christ. I know that God lives and He loves each one of us and has a perfect plan for each of us. I know that through the Atonement of Christ we can be healed from pains, strengthened in Trials and Freed of our burdens from Sin. I love my Savior and I am so grateful for this time of year to celebrate him. I love the song A bleak mid Winter...President Monsen even quote him..."What can I give Him, poor as I am. If I were a shepherd, I would bring him a lamb. If I were a Wiseman, I would do my part. What I can give, I can give. give to Him my heart." That is all, He really wants. He wants us to be faithful and true and really be His followers, in word, thought and deed.
I love you all very much and I am grateful for the special family my Heavenly Father has given me and for all the blessings that he has provided me with. I am a lucky and loved daughter. I am reminded of that daily. I hope you all have a beautiful week! Take care. Remember who you are and to who you belong to.
Off Finding the 10s of 1000s.
Con Amor, Hermana Rife
Hermana Hill and Kynsie at the Temple
Hermana Hill, Carlos and Hermana Rife
"He is so sweet and has been a very special person to know in the mission. I will miss him a lot."