Monday, September 29, 2014

Week 31

Hello Family!

I am emailing you from the car, actually. The laptops are plugged in the church kitchen and we have a long extension cord allowing us to email from the laptops in our car so we don't have to sit in the rain. The Elders and we were helping the Wastarts move around noon today so that threw off our emailing schedule. Of course Elders and Sisters can't be in the church building at the same time, so we are outside. :) It looks kind of silly, but it works. 

Well, I've had a great week this week with investigators.  I have been unusually happy, actually. :) We had the best first lesson ever with a girl named Lydia this week. She is from Kenya, actually, and is going to school here. She is so cool!!! She had so many great questions for us. I just know she's going to read the Book of Mormon and know it's true. I am way excited about her. :)

We also had a breakthrough lesson with Quintesa. She and Lydia will be my first blacktisms, haha. (That's assuming all goes well with both of them! Which it should. Sister WIlson and I have a motto to expect great things, much like Kohl's).  Well, the trouble with Quintesa is she has no one else but us to tell all her problems to and she has been going through some really hard times with depression and money problems, and other drama, and hasn't put forth the effort to grab hold of the opportunities we are extending to her. This has gone on for a while.
 One thing that really impresses me about Sister Wilson is she is willing to "take one for the team" with Dominique, Quintesa's rather wild 3 year old son who is starved for constant attention. He has a really nasty cold and likes to come up to us and cough and sneeze on us without covering his mouth. And play in our bags, oh and comb our hair with his fingers. Blegh. Obviously I have to work on my tolerance in this regard. He is a cute kid and all, and I love him, but I have a hard time with this. Watching general conference with them will be... super rough. Gen con is precious. But if that's what it takes to get Quintesa to watch, then that's what we will do. Anyway, our breakthough lesson happened because we brought Sister Wesner with us, who babysat Dominique so Quintesa could pay attention and we could both teach (instead of having one of us entertain Dominique and the other teach).  Quintesa told us she had an eye-opening experience and feels like she is ready to be baptized. Hooray! Of course, we had to have a talk with her that this will require effort and as much as we love her and want this for her, we can't make these changes for her. Otherwise we have to stop teaching her. That was a hard discussion to have, but it was well-received, I think. We will just have to wait and see if she's going to put forth the necessary effort to read and come to church. We are hoping for the best! :) 

We run a family history booth sometimes on Saturdays at the Farmer's Market. It was gorgeous weather outside (we dressed super warm this time!). Highlight: a creepy guy bought us giant apples. Sister Wilson didn't eat hers, thinking it was a creepy apple, which it might have been. I ate mine, though, and I have to say it was creep-a-licious. Best apple ever. :)

We also had a returned missionary come back on Saturday from Korea. That was exciting! He bowed to us a little bit, on accident, and had a bit of a challenge thinking of some English words. But it was fun to see what missionaries are like when they return. :) 

 I loved the Womens Broadcast, by the way, especially Elder Uchtdorf's talk!!! I had no idea what a life hack was. :P But I was very impressed by his talk and his umbrella analogy. He is a funny man! :) I'm sure Mom greatly enjoyed it,too. I thought of you, Mom! :) But in all seriousness I greatly appreciated how he testified of God's love for all of us (which is especially easy, it seems, for us as women to overlook) just as we are. It was very powerful. 

Thanks to my wonderful mother, we now have some fabulous music to listen to in the car! We have been listening to Lamb of God, which is spectacular and features a solo cello, who represents Jesus. Awesome!!!!! :) 

What I have gotten into lately are conference talks. SIster Wilson calls me a talkoholic, haha. If anyone wants to send me a talk, please feel free! I love them. :) I found a really awesome quote about fasting, but I left it at home so it will have to wait until next week. Anyway, I read a really great one by Elder Bednar this week called "Clean Hands and a Pure Heart."  I was very impressed by it and want to share a quote:

 "Hands are made clean through the process of putting off the natural man and by overcoming sin and the evil influences in our lives through the Savior's atonement. Hearts are purified as we receive His strengthening power to do good and become better. All our worthy desires and good works, as necessary as they are, can never produce clean hands and a pure heart. It is the Atonement of Jesus Christ that provides both a cleansing and redeeming power that helps us overcome sin and a sanctifying and strengthening power that helps us to become better than we ever could by relying only upon our own strength. The infinite Atonement is for both the sinner and for the saint in each of us." 

Throughout this talk, Elder Bednar cites scriptural evidence of the fact that there is actually a difference between having clean hands (the sanctifying aspect) and a pure heart (the strengthening aspect). There are two parts to what the Atonement does for us. See Mosiah 4:2, Mosiah 4:26, Moroni 10: 32-33, Alma 13:12.  I love the example in Alma 13:12 because it shows that this transformation from good to better, happens to ordinary people like you and me.  

I  believe with all my heart that these things are true, that the Atonement is far more infinite and far-reaching than you and I can ever imagine, and that it is a tremendous source of power for not only redemption, but for a mighty change of heart, a true transformation to become more Christlike.  I have seen it work in small and simple ways and I enjoy learning all I can about it. 

I love this work and I know it is true!

P.S. I heard a good joke today. What do you call it when Batman skips out on church? Christian Bale. Ha! 

P.S.S. I'm SO excited for General Conference!!!!!! The Kakushke's, my favorite family in Oshkosh, are taking us out to lunch in between the sessions. Hooray!!! :) 

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