Dear Family and Friends,
Oh my, SO much happened this week, I hope I can remember it all.
This week I am so grateful for the tender mercies of the Lord. These transfers brought a lot of big changes, and it's been hard, but I know the Lord is watching over me because of the many miracles and tender mercies we have seen this week.
This week I was transferred from Lakeville to North Minneapolis. Hna Hanson, who was my companion for three transfers in Lakeville, is staying to train! I am so excited for her, and I know she will be an amazing trainer and continue to keep Lakeville going strong.
We had a great last few days in Lakeville, all still without a car #isurvivedthedeerattackof2017. On Tuesday, one of our STL's, Sister Bunting, had to go to the mission home for the day because shes' going home in a few weeks, so we were in a trio with her companion, Sister Grover. Basically, 3 sisters + 2 areas + 1 car = PACHANGA!! (giant party) We had such a great time and saw so many miracles. We weren't able to get a lot of appointments, so we were just going by the Spirit. We stopped by to try to see Orlando, the 9-year-old who got baptized way back in July, and as we pulled up I remembered that it was his birthday that day! Luckily we got some cookies from service we were able to give him. We knocked, and his mom was home, but told us Orlando wouldn't get back to school for another hour or so. We talked to her for a few minutes, the somehow the bus schedule was different and Orlando got home right then so we got to have a quick lesson and say good-bye.
That afternoon we were stopping by a referral for the other sisters. and he wasn't home. The house next door had a few cars in the driveway so we decided to go there. We knocked, and a guy came to the door, and Sister Grover started to share a Book of Mormon with him, ad after a few seconds he said "I'm sorry, don't speak English" So Hermana Hanson and I immediately picked up and shared a Book of Mormon and set a return appointment with him in Spanish! It was so cool, and it was the exact place we needed to be, and the exact referral we needed to stop by so we could find him.
Saying good-bye to everyone was really sad. As we said goodbye to the Lopez family, Manuel, who just turned 8 and got baptized in October, stood at the door as we left, calling out "Don't forget about us! Don't forget about us!"
So Minneapolis is great! It's REALLY different. In Lakeville we had a branch, and we were the only missionaries who covered it, and here it is a ward, and we have 3 sets of missionaries and a senior couple, so a lot bigger, and a lot more people and things to get acquainted with.
My new companion is Hermana Hopkins! She is from Logan, Utah, and she plays the piano and the cello, and she loves musicals too, so this transfer is gonna be full of Christmas music, and we are really excited. She just got out of training, and she is already doing an incredible job.
We do an amazing service project here where we volunteer at the Minneapolis Veteran's home! And it is one of the new highlights of my week. They are all just the sweetest old men, and are so excited to have us there. This week we help them put up Christmas Trees and decorate the place for Christmas. Two of them just sat and watched and were making jokes so we dubbed them as the two guys from the Muppets who sit in the balcony and heckle at everything. And when I was talking to one of them, he told me his mom's birthday is on January 7, the same day as my birthday, and it was definitely a tender mercy that just made my day.
So yesterday, before church I was feeling pretty overwhelmed. Just a plethora of members, and coming into an area with really low numbers, and we're planning for this giant Christmas activity, and I have literally no idea what is going on so I feel like I can't add a lot of help. We were waiting to go into our coordination meeting with the rest of our district, when Elder Stacey, of the Area Seventy, walks out of the room where we were waiting to go into. He said hi, and asked how we were doing. When he found out we were just going into our coordination meeting, he asked if he could join. So we had our district coordination meeting with a member of the seventy. He asked how the work was going for a little bit, then he said "Well, do any of you have any questions? About life, about missionary work that you've ever wanted to ask a seventy? Now's your chance" And we were able to talk to him, about how to help our members, about how to help the many people who get baptized and so quickly fall away. And he talked about the problem we have with seeking perfection, and comparison and how we are supposed to use the Atonement. The mark is inachievable without the grace of god. And he implored us to stop being so hard on ourselves, we are on a mission, and we are doing the work, and we shouldn't expect perfection, and promised us in those moments when it is so difficult, and we may feel like we have failed, that right then God is especially aware of us and he is listening and He is answering our prayers. Before he left he told us "I know it wasn't an accident that I was here today and needed to come into this meeting, because some of you needed to hear this" and I know I was definitely one of the people who really needed to hear that.
The tender mercies of the Lord are real, sometimes he changes a bus schedule, sometimes he sends a referral, and sometimes he sends a member of the seventy to talk to you as an answer to your prayers. God is taking care of his missionaries. I am so excited for the many wonderful adventures ahead in Minneapolis.
I am so excited for Light the World! We are inviting everyone to participate, and participating ourselves, and it has brought me so much joy, and it has echoed President Uchtdorf's words in the Christmas devotional last night, that the happiest times come, when our lives are full of love because Christ is love. If you haven't seen it yet check it out on mormon.org
I hope you all have a wonderful week!
4572 58th Ave N, #276
Brooklyn Center, MN 55429