Thank you SO much for your letters last week. They were perfect. I laughed - and cried. And it was great. Thank you for the advice and the words of comfort and love.
Last week I got a new pair of shoes. Don't worry, I didn't spend any money. A less active Philippino lady in our ward gave them to me. Haha. She said she had some shoes for me that she thought would fit me, because they didn't fit her, and I was thinking okay... Sister R...... - you are TINY. How could a pair of shoes intended to fit you possibly fit ME? And what on earth are they going to look like?? This woman is 84 years old mind you. And not that 84 year olds can't look good, but usually they don't have the same kind of shoes as 21 year olds... So the next time we went over, she had the shoes out. And they were Clark's - which is the brand of ALL the shoes I bought for my mission. And they were cute! And they fit perfectly. And I'm wearing them right now :)
And speaking of Philippinos... today Sister Stewart and I learned how to make Shanghai rolls (basically egg rolls) with another Philippino sister in our ward. It was super fun. She took us to the Asian grocery store and we mixed the meat and veggies and rolled them and fried them and then ate a TON! It was great. And they are surprisingly easy to make. I'll send a few pictures.
We have a new investigator! His name is Paul. We think his tendencies are possibly the affects of being an alcoholic for many years...? He's been sober for about a year and half though and doing great. He wants to devote his life to Jesus and we are excited to help him in that journey. I think the best way to describe him, is to say that he is childlike. He's hard to keep on target, and to get a straight, simple answer from, but he is completely devoted to God, so definitely worth the struggle of teaching. He calls us all the time. Seriously like 4-5 times a day. But he LOVED church, and he called the other night to say that he knows the Book of Mormon is true! yeah, he's great :)
So... random side note... but have you ever seen frost on the INSIDE of a car?? The other morning, we went out to start the car, and all the inside windows were completely covered in frost. It was the weirdest thing! I didn't know that could happen, but I guess that's what happens when you live in a humid place...
Yes we had our big storm! And it was like the Chicago winter I have been expecting. But then it got warmer again and turned into more of a Boise winter. It has been raining today and most of the snow is melted. Last week it was 8 degrees outside and it snowed all day. We had a Zone Meeting in Joliet on Friday which was when we got hit hard with the snow, so that was an adventure. We got there fine, but by the time we got out of our meeting, there were like 4 inches, and by the end of the night, there were probably 8-10 inches. The weird thing is that the snow is so light! I guess that's what happens when it is SO cold. The snow doesn't stick together at all because it's so frozen that there's no real moisture to it. And then it just blows everywhere. It makes shoveling both easier and harder...
[This is from my letter to President Doll this week, but I decided to just send it to you as well, so that a) you know a few of the things I'm feeling/thinking about right now, and b) I don't have to retype it]
A few "other" concerns: 1) I have been struggling to figure out how to share with people on the doorstep that our doctrine of eternal families is unique. It seems that most people we talk to already believe that they will be with their families again. While I know that we are unique because we actually have the AUTHORITY to make that happen, I don't know how to gracefully share that with people on the doorstep. Any ideas?
2) I feel like I'm not feeling the Spirit as much as I should be - or not following it enough in my teaching. I can't decide if this is because I have gotten "the hang of things" a little more now and so I am falling into the trap of leaning on my own understanding, or if this is because I am used to having the Spirit with me so much now as a missionary, that I just don't realize I'm following it. If that makes sense... In retrospect I can see things that I did and said that were definitelyprompted by the Spirit because it turned out to be exactly what that person needed, but I don't ever FEEL like I'm following a spiritual impression. I'm unsure if the Spirit is guiding my ideas for what to teach next, or if it is just me following what seems most logical.
3) There is so much to pray for!! How can I possibly do it all? I was reading this morning in PMG chapter 4 in the section about praying with faith because I was wondering if perhaps I was trying to pray for too many things for my investigators and our companionship and my family and friends, and I think if anything that made it worse, because then I read about even MORE things I should be praying for. But when do we ever have enough TIME to pray for all that? and still get to bed by 10:30?
Well I think that's about all for now... I LOVE YOU! And miss you - but not in a distracting way.
Vielen, vielen Liebe!
Pictures: 1) the weird geese statues everyone has here... and a lovely display of the array of clothes they give them. 2) you know you're in a missionary's apartment... when the dresser looks like this :) 3) our deck after the storm. 5) the finished egg rolls