Merry Christmas!

Hopefully I can write about this all very quickly! I have spent the majority of my email time trying to send pictures! Maybe I will just write one great thing about each day. I doubt I can do that, but maybe. 

Monday- Many Pday things. Favorite: Giving treats to homeless people on corners. Oh, and Sister Talbert and I came up with a joke...The homeless person's pick-up line, "What's your sign?"

"The Pickle" game on Christmas Eve
Tuesday, Christmas eve!- Recent Convert, Eva's for Christmas movie. Pickle game at the Part-member family, the Coopers.
The Coopers 
Teaching 2 lessons in an hour and a half to Mallory, who is getting baptized THIS coming Saturday! Visiting the 1st Ward mission Leader, the Colemere's- treated like queens! Sister Diederich's- Christmas nativity.
Christmas pageant at the Diederich's!
Walker's- Video of the Savior and listening to the family perform Christmas music. The Anderson's, for dinner. 
The Andersons!
Wednesday, Christmas day!- Brunch at the Jones'.
Christmas at the Jones'!
Skyping the family from the Walker's home. Skyping my brother Matthew, my BFF. Visiting the CareCenter. Dinner in a mansion. Exchanging presents with Cecy, our landlady.
Many other amazing visits all over the stake!

Thursday- Writing an article for the 26th ward newsletter, about Mallory's baptism. Moving heavy things in Cecy's garage.
Elders moving Cecy's things
Going on visits with the amazing 2nd ward Relief Society president, Sister Root.

Friday- Slipping on ice, graciously falling on my bum. Reading the Book of Mormon with our 91-year-old friend. 
Our little 91-year-old friend
My FAVORITE thing about this day is that we found a FAMILY!! I have been praying praying praying for a family to teach and we found them. Miracle!! I love the Lord. 
That night, we went to the Anderson's, a less-active family we've been visiting. They had us over for Christmas eve, but forgot to feed us dessert, so Karilyn invited us over to eat pie and icecream. We weren't planning on teaching anything specific, but the Spirit prompted me to talk to them about being sealed in the temple. The Spirit was SO STRONG! They both seemed very very interested in getting married in the temple and being sealed as a family. Love it!

Saturday- Bingo at the Healthcare center. Cute old people! 
We met Fawn at the Care Center!
Sunday- Day of miraclessss!! Our family came to church! Also, our other new investigator came to church! She texted us before church and said, "I have a question for you. Can I wear earrings and perfume to church?" So cute!! At 9:47 am, she texted and said, "I am getting ready already!" and church didn't start until 1 pm!! Ahh! 
We met with her and then with the family later the day. We officially have 5 people on date for baptism!! Miracleess!!

All is well! Happy New Year! 

"Wow, you have power that fills the whole room."

My goodness, I am exhausted already!
Merry Christmas to all! I can't believe how quickly the end of the year is flying by! It's scary and wonderful and I have mixed emotions about life. I can tell that this email will be a gongshow, and so I apologize in advance! 

Last Monday- Sister Talbert and I spent hours at Walmart, searching for little presents to give to our landlady, Cecy. She is so wonderful and always surprises us with clothes, food, etc. She has basically everything though, so we were trying to think about what we could get her! We decided that we would get her lots of little things, so that she could have more options of things that she might enjoy. We ended up getting her random things that everybody would use, we think! We were wrapping them in the basement and she knocked on her door and we said, "Hey! Don't come in!"
Also, we ate pizza with a wonderful mother and her less-active daughter. 
To end the evening, we went to a nativity display at the church. It was a combined activity with another Christian church down the street. I wish I took pictures, but I didn't! It was so fancy and beautiful. 

Tuesday- Ahh! So great! I wish that I could be Dumbledore and just pull out all of my thoughts and experiences without having to actually put them into words. I'd put them in my Pensieve and you could just watch them... But.. I don't have a Pensieve, so here I go.
We went to visit a Part-Member family. The husband is a non-member (and he's the one who said I would be the first LDS woman bishop.) His neighbor told us that he told her how much he loves us and how great we are, so we thought we'd better keep trying! So we showed up and he invited us in and he and his wife talked to us. After a little while, his non-member brother showed up. He started asking a lot of questions, trying to stump us, and of course we said, "We have all of the answers to these questions! You should meet with missionaries!" Well he kept being a little antagonistic, but the BEST part is that the non-member who we had showed up to see, didn't just sit there. He defended us and actually defended the Book of Mormon! I love to hear the testimonies of non-members! Afterwards, he invited us over for Christmas Eve! So we are definitely going to stop by! I realllyyy hope that I get to teach him the gospel before I leave this area!
Other things that happened that day: Sister-wonderful-Sampson took us to meet her neighbor who had just recently moved out of the stake into the neighboring stake. They were so nice and let us in, and we noticed Restoration pamphlets on their table.. They had already been visited by the elders in their area and were taking the missionary lessons.. Brilliant!
That night, we had a lesson with the younger set of sisters we had been teaching. They are starting to slip because their mom hasn't given them permission to be baptized. Ahhhh! 

Wednesday- Sister Evans took us to meet a Less-Active member who she visit teaches. Sister Evans is so remarkably cute! She lives with her widower father. They are both so nice to us and always thinking of us. Sister Evans brought us a little Christmas present of hot chocolate and winter leggins. On the tag she wrote, "Love Sister Evans and my dad" hahah.
Christmas present from Sister Evans and her dad.. So cute.
Also, that day.. We visited Sister Marriott, an older woman who needs some visits. She talked to us about her memories and let us sing Christmas songs to her.
We also visited Jacob, a recent convert. He is the one who said we lived in "Ohio" before we were born. He has autism and A.D.D, but he is really good. Well anyway, we asked him if he knew any Christmas songs, and he said no. So we asked if he knew 'this song' and sang him a Christmas hymn.. To which he replied, no. Then we asked him if he knew another song and started to sing, and he said, "No.. So stop singing already!" hahah.
Thursday- Sister Talbert wasn't feeling well, so we stayed in most of the day. She slept while I read the Everyday Missionary. It's so good!

Visiting Janine.. She bought us Christmas caps!
Sister Talbert dyeing Jessie's hair in the healthcare center. 

That day, we got a media referral from So we called the person and she was staying in the healthcare center. We later found out that she is a less-active member of the church. We decided to visit anyway. She is 30 years old, very lonely, but she wants to come closer to God and she needs friends. 

Well, we visited for a little while and then she told us that it was her birthday the next day. She said that she wanted to look beautiful for her birthday and so she really needed her hair colored. And then she pointed to a box of hair dye and asked if we could do it! She was basically crying and begging, and so we thought, Why not?! So Sister Talbert played Hair Salon, while I taught her the Restoration...ahah!

Rice Basil... My new favorite restaurant!!
Friday- Day of Chinese food. We ate lunch as a district at a Chinese food, and then a member took us to my new favorite restaurant in the world-- Rice Basil! They had an entire page full of vegetarian options. I got the Soy Orange "Chicken"... Completely irrelevant to missionary work, but important, none-the-less. 
Friday afternoon, I got a call from Sister Zeiner. She is serving in Park City, but she got a phone call from an area we had both served in in Cottonwood... She told me that 
the Amish man from Cottonwood, (the eternal investigator), is getting baptized!!!!! Ahhh! He might be doing it while we are both still on our missions!! Ahhh! The Lord is my light!
Other things: Sister Talbert and I have been doing a musical number of "Hark the Herald Angels Sing"... Sister Talbert sings while I do the Cup Game as a beat! So fun. We are getting pretty famous..
Also, we made ornaments and gave them to a Less-Active family and had them write what they wanted to give Jesus this Christmas. They loved it!

Saturday- Long day! This is the day that I thought of Shane the most. It was a hard day, full of no set appointments, just contacting, trying to find people to teach. It was cold and I was tired. I thought of Shane in Europe, working with the little amount of members they have there, trying to find someone interested in learning about Christ. It's days like Saturday that I really feel like a good ole' fashioned missionary. Working and knocking and no success. We had a few really nice visits with widowed women in the stake. We shoveled a driveway, delivered mail, and sang a few hymns. 
The evening was so wonderful. The amazing, beautiful Sister Walker invited us inside and gave us some much-needed encouragement. She told us that even if we didn't convert anyone for the rest of our missions, us being in Holladay was worth it because we had changed her life. She is an active member with a perfect family and yet, she was expressing how much she needed us... I admit, I almost cried!! I love love love members. Especially devoted, wonderous, missionary-minded members.
That night, we had dinner with the Jensens. Our missionary-to-be friend, Madeline, made us a vegan meal. So sweet.

Harry Potter stampssss!!
When we got home, we got the mail from the DL... I got a package from home! The most PERFECTLY PERFECT in every way package. Harry Potter stamps were at the top and if those were the only thing in the box, I'd have been set!!! I LOVEEEE you, mom! Thank you for knowing exactly what superficial and goofy things I need! 
This email is soo longggg! Ahh! Quick break to tell about a funny thing I forgot to mention about Zone Conference last week.
The ZLs were giving a training and talking about the scripture that tells us to "Ask, Seek, and Knock".. They asked what it means to Seek and Elder Reidhead raised his hand and said the most perfect thing, "Well.. Harry Potter was a seeker." 
Commercial over.

Sunday- December 22. My SIXTEEN month mark. Wild wild wild. 
We went to many church meetings and heard lots of music and felt the Spirit. One important thing I should mention is the first ward sacrament meeting. At the end of the meeting, the choir invited anyone from the congregation to come up on stage and sing the song Hallelujah with them... Sister Diederich, who I love and adore, tried getting her family, Eva and Charles, Sister Talbert and I, all to go up. Everyone said no except for Sister Talbert, who willingly went, and eventually she dragged Charles up as well... Sister Diederich kept saying, "Come on!!" and trying so hard, but the rest of us wouldn't budge.. Ohhhh my goodness, I don't know if I've ever laughed so hard. Sister Diederich and Charles stood together on stage, looking completely bewildered, while the choir sang harmonies and melodies and crazy things. The whole Diederich family, Eva, and I laughed and laughed and laughed in the congregation. When the song was over, Sister Diederich came to sit down, and her husband said, "You got yourself in WAY over your head." She agreed and said, "I learned my lesson! I am NEVER doing that again!" 
We sat in on a really wonderful Relief Society lesson. Some women stood up and spoke from different women's perspectives. They were all women who would be a part in Christ's life, like an innkeeper's wife, Mary's mother (Christ's grandmother), and Mary. In between speaking parts, the relief society would sing a Christmas hymn. It was so beautiful! The Spirit touched me during innkeeper's wife's speaking part. She said how humble Mary was, how she didn't murmur, how content she looked even though she couldn't get in the inn. Ahhh! How I wish I was more patient! More humble. More kind. Etc... 
We had a lesson with one of the sisters getting baptized on the 4th of January.. She is SO great! We love her! We are meeting with her again on Christmas eve so that she can get through all of the lessons before her baptism. 
That night, a member named MORONI invited us to meet with his non-member friend who he met at the grocery store. So we went to Moroni and Jerry's house and met her. Again, I wish I had a Pensieve!! Basically, she said there were lots of churches that had pieces of the puzzle and someday the Lord would put them all together. I told her that she was right, but that the pieces were scattered during the Great Apostasy, but now we have the fullness of the gospel restored. I bore testimony that the Lord doesn't want us to wander. He wants us to know the truth. When I finished, it was silent. The woman said something like, "Wow, you have power that fills the whole room." ... I love bearing testimony. I love to feel the Spirit working through me! 

This week, I have been experimenting and finding answers to questions through the Book of Mormon.. So far, the Book of Mormon has a perfect record for answering my questions! I LOVE THAT BOOK!
Life is wonderful. Christmas time is magical. Missions are perfect. I love you all!! 
Merry Christmas!
Winter Wonderland!

Christmas things begin!

Christmas things!!
I always have so many things to say until I sit down to write. And then it all disappears. I can hardly remember the week, but I am sure that it was filled with so much goodness because I am a very happy missionary today!! 

Last Pday, the Mulfords came to Holladay! The Mulfords were the directors over the Park City Family Tree when I first served there. They got released last winter and I hadn't seen them for about a year! It was SO wonderful to hug Sister Mulford and to shake Elder Mulfords hand. They radiate joy and light! We went to lunch and talked about the past year a little bit. They are just as marvelous as ever! 
The Mulfords!
I got to talk to Shane last Pday a little bit. He finally left the MTC for France and I am so excited for him! I was talking about him all week long! Everyone asks if I am jealous that he got to go to Paris while I am "Stuck" in Utah. But I could not be more content with where the Lord placed each of us! I KNOW that Salt Lake is for me, and I know that France is for Shane! Plus, I will obviously go and pick him up at the end of his mission and get to experience France for myself!
Other things about Monday.. Sister Talbert and I had a teaching appointment with one of the 2 sets of sisters we are teaching. These are the sisters we have been working with since we got in the area. We had a lesson about bearing testimony and each person in the room was given the opportunity to share the things that they have come to believe and know. It was a nice lesson and the Spirit was so strong.

On Tuesday, Sister Talbert and I started our "40-Day-Fast" by physically fasting. This is my third time doing the 40 Day Challenge, in hopes of inviting the Spirit in more abundance. The idea is to give up any little thing that even if it is not disobedient, might be a distraction. 
During the day, Sister Talbert and I helped an active family move out of their house. We mostly cleaned and washed walls and things. 
In the evening, we went to a Relief Society activity at Sister Ott's house. It was just a little party with lots of wonderful people and so much good food. Those are some of my favorite things!

Wednesday, we had Zone Conference. It was so long, but it was really enlightening. Our zone leaders gave an amazing training and talked about aligning our will with God's. They compared it to the story of Nephi, Laman, and Lemuel, trying to get the plates. The first time they tried, they did it their way. The second time, they used strategy, and the third time, Nephi is led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand what he should do. I want to completely be led by the Spirit and know how the Lord wants me to do missionary work. That's the only way that we can be successful!
That night, Sister Talbert and I watched Mr. Krueger's Christmas! I love it so much!

Thursday, Sister Root, one of the Relief Society presidents, took us out on visits. She is so great!! We tried to make visits from a list of people that we didn't know. We ended up visiting this woman who wanted to come back to church! And on Sunday, we actually saw her at church! 
After our dinner appointment, Sister Neff shared her talent with us and played us some songs on her harp!
Harp woman
It was so completely perfect!!!! I absolutely love the harp and wish that I could play. It was so beautiful! I even recorded her on my camera! haha. 
In the evening, we had a lesson with this amazing girl that we are teaching. She and her sister are taking the lessons, but her sister wasn't there. We talked about Who Heavenly Father is, Who the Spirit is, and How we can feel Him more in our lives. We used a lot of scriptures and had a very good discussion. 
Later, we met the parents of this man that we are going to help to stop smoking. Round 2 with the Stop-Smoking program!

Friday, Sister Talbert and I visited our stubborn non-member. We were planning on dropping her, because she won't follow any of our advice and isn't progressing towards baptism. But we couldn't talk to her about us not teaching any more, because she had to get online and do her "Prayer Line".. She is a "Prayer Warrior".. So we just decorated her tree and took pictures with all of these life-size children dolls that are around her house. haha.
Fake children
On a completely different note, we had a wonderous evening. We went to a mission Christmas devotional! I got to see so many wonderful people who I love! The Jermans from the Family Tree came!
The Jermans!!
And I got to see Sister Willis from Wyoming! And Sister Summerhays! The three of us just hugged and hugged and hugged all night!
BFFs, Summerhays and Willis!
We first had dinner and got gifts from the mission and one of the wards in the area. So sweet! We are so blessed! And then we went to the chapel and heard from this mission president and his wife who served in Japan a few years ago during the earthquake and typhoon. It was such a good presentation. The Spirit was so strong and I really learned how much the Lord is aware of us. He knows exactly where we are and what we need. 

Saturday morning, we went to a Who-ville party. The decorations were awesome. And the special guest was the Grinch! He came riding in on a unicycle. It was so elaborate. We met a few new people and had a nice time.
In the afternoon, Sister Talbert and I painted walls for a member. We love to do service!

Sunday, Sister Talbert and I spoke in the first ward. We were speaking with a missionary returning from the Paris, France mission. The same mission that Shane just left for! Woo hoo! I love to speak in sacrament meeting. Sister Diederich, a ward missionary who helped us out with Eva, wasn't able to make it, but her husband sat in the audience and recorded our talks! haha! He sent them to her all the way in New York. I just love them. 
Later, we had a really wonderful lesson with the sister of the sister we taught earlier. Ahh, I don't know why I don't use names! This is so confusing, I'm sure. Anyways. We began teaching her the things we taught her sister earlier in the week- Who is God, the Spirit, etc. We hardly began the lesson when she came out and said, "I've been thinking about it and I decided that I want to be baptized. I just want a fresh start." :-O!! We were so happy!! We committed her to baptism on January 4 and she said yes!! The miracle, though, is that her sister, unexpectedly, came over at the end of the lesson and said she wants to be baptized on the same day! Yayy!!
That evening, Sister Talbert wasn't feeling well, and so I went out with my favorite little missionary, Madeline. We visited Tshering and watched Mr. Krueger's Christmas.
Thsering & her monkey vest!

Tshering sent us home with 3 boxes of chocolates! One for Madeline, and 2 for Sister Talbert and I! I just love herrr!! At church she said to me, "Your skin is very thin. Do you have polio?" hahaha

I have had many moments this week where I have been able to feel the Spirit so strongly. I don't know if it has to do with my 40-day-challenge, fasting from my weaknesses, or if it's some other reason. But I know that the things that I am studying and teaching are true! The Spirit testifies to me over and over! A few thoughts that have come to me this week:
-What if this is the year that the Savior will come? How could I prepare myself?
-Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.
-I will be safe in all of my decisions, if I just ask, 'What would my mother say?' 'What would my future children say?' 
I love you so much! Happy Christmas!
 Tshering's melting snow man!

Homesick… no… just home sick!

Ahhh! What a week! Not very much to update because I was at home sick most of the week!

All during the day on Monday, I was feeling SO sick! Ick! I didn't eat all day and then I started vomiting. Cecy, our landlady took me to Instacare in the evening, and on the way there, I vomited into a bag in her car :( Not fun! They gave me an IV at the hospital and gave me some medicine for nausea that didn't help much. We had the elders and one of their great bishops come and give me a Priesthood blessing.

Tuesday, Cecy's friend, Alana, came over to "babysit" me! Sister Talbert spent the day going out with members and ward missionaries.
Sister Zeiner came to the Valley for some meetings and so she stayed the night at our house! She was my companion all evening until Sister Talbert came home & we were in a trio. I had so much fun catching up with "Zeinee"! 

Wednesday, I still was at home, not eating. Cecy sat on the couch with me all day & asked me her "deep doctrine" questions. It was so funny; she said she knew that her questions wouldn't "shake" me and so she could talk to me about them. She's totally wild; I just love her. At the end of our 3 hour long conversation, she said something to the effect of, "I am so glad I can talk to you about these things. You have a very strong testimony and I know you will not budge!" She said that she knows Sister Talbert and I were sent to her from God.

By Thursday, I was so tired of staying in! Cecy kept telling me that I was not allowed to leave. I decided to stay home in the morning, until Sister Talbert's doctor's appointment in the afternoon, and then I would go out and work! I got permission from the mission president and started reading The Power of Everyday Missionaries. It is so good! I highly recommend it. 
In the evening, we went to a wonderful Christmas party. The primary did a nativity play and it was really cute.

Friday, we had Zone meeting. Went to Great Harvest as a district and got free lunch from some women there! We did Weekly Planning at home. Then we visited this active member family from Sudan. They are learning to speak English and they are SOOO sweet. They are so humble and wonderful. We read the introduction to the Book of Mormon with them in English. The husband loves us! He told me that he wants to take me to Sudan! haha. 
We had dinner with the wonderful Walker family and talked to them about their missionary efforts. They have such great desires to spread the gospel! They gave us a gift of waffle mix and syrup! 
That night, we visited a Relief Society president. She was great. We offered to make her calling easier by making visits to people she hasn't gotten around to seeing. She was grateful for the help! She made so many phone calls to women and set up appointments to fill out agenda for the next day! 

Saturday, we were party animals. We went party hopping to 3 ward Christmas parties. We drove in the snow. We started singing Christmas carols during all of our visits.

Sunday, Sister Talbert and I got to speak in the Care Center branch. All of the old people were so friendly and sweet. 
That afternoon, we visited with a less-active couple who are preparing to get sealed in the temple in two weeks!! We are so excited to start working with them! 
We went to Bishop Doxey's for dinner and watched the Christmas devotional with them. 
Afterwards, we went to Tshering's and visited with her.

What a wonderful season! My testimony is growing stronger each day. I love the Book of Mormon with all my heart. It is the foundation of my testimony. I have witnessed the truthfulness of that book each time I read it! The Spirit testifies to me that it is from the Lord. We are so fortunate to have the restored gospel. If we accept the Atonement, Christ will lift us higher than we can lift ourselves! I love my family. I love my friends. I love these wonderful Utah citizens. I love Jesus Christ. I know that all things are given to us according to our faith. I pray and pray and pray to strengthen my faith every day. I want to find those who have been prepared to receive the gospel. 

Thanksgiving week

I feel like I have very few things to update about, but there have been such great and wonderful things in the past few days!!

Our new best friend, Turk!
Thanksgiving was wonderous! We spent the afternoon with Bishop and Sister Jones. I love that beautiful couple! It has been said about Bishop Jones and I that "he has met his match," i.e, I am just as sarcastic and witty as he has a reputation of being! 
We played games and snacked for a few hours and then went to a family in the 3rd ward, the Clawsons. They had a lot of family over and it was so sweet of them to invite us, but a little overwhelming! By the end, Sister Talbert and I were exhausted of food and talking to people. We went home and did absolutely nothing on the couch! We went to bed the earliest I've ever been on my mission! It felt so nice! 

Friday, we got a text from Eva that she was in the Hospital!! She wasn't feeling well and had to get some X-rays and things... But before we could even ask, she sent us a text saying, "I'm still getting baptized!" Ahh! I love her!

Saturday was a wonderful, gongshow, perfect, busy day! We started the morning in Bishop Jones' office. Bishop and Brother Colemere, our Ward Mission Leader, gave Charles (Eva's husband) the Priesthood! A beautiful sight!
Afterwards, we went to Temple Square with our other investigator and her member husband. She has progressed a lot! She goes to church every week, has a calling, Hometeaches with her husband, and has been reading the Book of Mormon. 

That evening, we had dinner with some members and the non-member grandpa was there. He was telling us that he completely believes that Church is true but will wait to be baptized when he is dead. It made absolutely no sense. We asked what was stopping him from being baptized and he said that it never fit into his plans. I asked, "What are you doing tonight? The font is filled! Will you come and be baptized tonight?" I was completely avoiding looking at his daughter, because I could tell that she was horrified! hahah. Sadly...He didn't get baptized, but that would've been an amazing story, hey? 

With Eva and Charles
After dinner, we went to the church for EVA'S BAPTISM!! Yayya! It was a wonderful evening! She was so nervous and the water and baptism because she has really bad knees and Charles has a bad back. We assured them that it would be fine. When it came time for the baptism, Eva had to go under FOUR times! Ohh, poor Eva! But Sister Talbert and I stood on the side of the font right there and gave her encouragement all throughout! Every time they thought she went under, she had an elbow out or some other part of her. They ended up having another man go into the font in a jumpsuit and help her go under and come back up. Oh my my, what an adventure! She was so clean! 

Sunday: Eva's confirmation. The old directors from the Family Tree, Elder and Sister Mulford, called me!! I LOVE THEM! That night, we went to the "Messiah" production with Cecy. It is a choir/orchestra performance. 

Well.. I don't know what else to say! I love my mission. I love the Lord. We are finding a lot of potential investigators but somehow, they are all situations that we need to be "patient" with. So that is what I am working on.. My patience. 
Love you all! Happy HOLLADAYS!