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!

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