It was wonderful to talk to you and see you on Sunday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Starting January 9th our preparation day will be moved to Mondays. So I have one more Wednesday (the one where Sister Brown goes home and I get a new companion) and then I will be writing on Mondays. So get your letters in by then!
Have you ever heard of having chili with noodles?? Because a couple of weeks ago, someone mentioned it "spaghetti chili" and then TWICE this week, we had chili with noodles. It sounds super weird, but it's actually pretty good.
Friday I went on an exchange with the Wheaton Sisters. Sister Fossett came to Woodridge to work with Sister Brown, and I went up to Wheaton to work with Sister Nielson. IT WAS SO COOL!! We had an awesome day together and had a really cool miracle. We were working in a little neighborhood, not having much success, but so is life. We got to the end of the second streeet and turned around to work the other side, rather than continuing around the corner. When we completely finished both of those streets, we decided to start working on the next street at the top of where we had started from originally. At the first house of this circle, we met a teenage boy who told us that they weren't interested and so, as was our practice, we left a Joy to the World card, and continued onward.
As we were finishing our loop, a man came out of one of the houses we had already knocked on and asked us if he could offer us anything warm to drink and said that he was interested to know more. We didn't recognize the man, and realized that it was because we had never met him, but had only talked to his son. He invited us in and we sat down with him and his wife and ended up having a 40 minute discussion with them about the Book of Mormon, why we are here on missions, prophets, and what it means to truly follow Christ. IT WAS AWESOME!!!! Sister Nielson and I were both able to bear powerful testimony about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, and why they are so important to us, but that we do not worship them.
Sister Nielson, who is also going home next week, said afterward that she has been waiting her whole mission for one of those experiences where someone calls them back because they have decided they want to know more. They were both really nice, and it was a great experience to be able to answer so many of their questions, and to be able to do so by bearing testimony.
A while ago, we had planned to teach Don about obedience, and following the Prophet, but that lesson never actually turned in that direction, so we didn't give him the Book of Mormon Ensign we had planned on giving him. Yesterday we met with him, and were finally able to teach that lesson. Sister Brown still wasn't talking much, so it was mostly on me - a little intimidating I admit. I felt impressed to ask him about church on Sunday and dig a little deeper into his feelings about that, and we had a really good discussion about that and what going to church is meaning for him and Rose. From that discussion I was able to discern further some concerns that I previously knew about, but hadn't connected to this topic of following church leaders, which I was then able to use in talking about following the Prophet. Then, after we gave him the Ensign (which, by the way he totally loved and thinks is the coolest thing ever - he loves when we give him new things to read and new ways to research and learn about the church) and he had looked through it briefly, he said "You know, this is really what I needed today..." AH! And then I realized why we hadn't been able to give it to him two weeks ago like we had planned - because the Lord knows him, and knew that he would need it more today.
Last night we had dinner with Sister Beyler (her kids are all out of town with their dad this week, so she has the house to herself). Sister Brown was exhausted from being sick, so again, the lesson would be pretty much on me. I was thinking about it all morning, but I was struggling to know what we could share with her. It would be different because all the kids wouldn't be there, and we really wanted to share something that would help strengthen and uplift her. As I was pondering on the matter, and praying to know what on earth we could share with her, I had the thought to look at a letter from President and Sister Doll which they had given us for Christmas with some quotes by Elder Holland. I got out the page and began reading the quotes. The Third one seemed like it would be a good direction, and Sister Brown agreed, so we decided to share that with her. In the quote, he talks about how the best missionary work we can do, is to just be a good example of a happy and faithful Latter-day Saint life. And that's TOTALLY Sister Beyler. She is incredible.
Anyway, we got to her house, and she had invited her mother over for dinner as well, who is not a member. I got a little nervous, because our message was directed very specifically at Sister Beyler and the awesome example she is of "happy and faithful Latter-day Saint life", and not geared at all toward having a nonmember present. Sister Brown didn't seem to concerned though, and I didn't know what else to share, so we just went forward with it. As we were driving home, Sister Brown said she was glad we had still shared the quote, and I was too, because it led to a really great discussion, and it was nice to let Sister Beyler know how great we think she is and what a good job she is doing, even though things are really difficult for her family right now. And then as Sister Brown and I talked about it, I realized that as we had talked about earlier, we don't need to worry - the Lord has it all under control. I shouldn't have been nervous just because her mom was there, becasue the Lord guided me to that quote, and HE knew that her mom would be there, even if I didn't. And if we had known, we probably would have shared a completely different message.
I love you all so very much! And thank you for your prayers.
The Lord is in control. He is watching over all, and we just have to trust him and give our worries over to Him.
Love, Sister Hatch