I did get your letter with all the fun Olympics stuff! That sounds like a really great activity and I was glad to see there was such a big emphasis on the investigator FHE :)
That is so exciting that the 16th ward is having so many baptisms!! And I am very excited for Orchid :) Tanya's letters have been great. I really enjoy getting them, I just don't always have a ton of time to write back, but I am hoping to get to writing her back one of these days! Just let her know in the mean time, that I really appreciate them. How are the Elders finding people to teach and baptize? Are they knocking doors? Or are they member referrals?
Naperville is a tough area for finding on our own. We NEED the members involvement to get anywhere with these people! They are so busy and suspicious that they rarely open the door for us, and if they do they are interested. Those that say they are interested just end up not being there when they tell us to come back. So we need the members - badly. The last three baptisms the 2nd ward had were all member related and we're thinking the only way we're going to get another 3 is if we can get referrals from the members and start teaching them in their homes. The great thing about this, is that the members are already SO GOOD at talking to their friends and neighbors about being members of the church! They invite them to church and activities, and they aren't shy at all about letting people know they are Mormon. Now we just have to figure out how to take that willingness to share into finding people to actually teach. It's hard not teaching anyone right now.
Brother O..., the Ward Mission Leader (WML) in the 2nd ward is working on a really great program right now to get the members more involved and ready to share the gospel. He wants to do a dry run in April of an event called "Meet the Mormons" where they use mormon.org style videos to talk about what it means to be a Mormon and really let people know that we focus on Jesus Christ. Then, once the members know what the event is actually going to be like, they'll be more willing to invite their friends (and they'll know what to tell them about it) because they will already know what it's going to be like and they won't have to wonder if anything crazy is going to happen! We're really excited about it and we're hoping the 3rd ward will want to join as well. Right now we're thinking we'll have workshops and things after the presentation to help the members set up profiles on mormon.org and other things to help prepare for the actual event, but we aren't sure what all of the workshops should be. Any ideas?
Sister Sorensen and I volunteered to do the musical number at our Zone Conference in March which happens to be on my birthday! She has a beautiful voice and we have a lot of fun singing together. I'm a little nervous though because the last couple months my voice has been acting weird... It sounds like I have a sore throat all the time, but it's not scratchy at all. My doctor asked me about my speaking voice because she noticed the scratchy sound. It's like there's something in the middle of my throat that my voice has to get over every time I sing. I can still sing the low notes, and I can still sing the high notes, but I can't sing the ones in the middle. It is very annoying. See what you can find out about weird voice changes like the one I described? That would be great if you can find anything for me to even ask about.
The doctor said I also have mono. Awesome, right? I don't feel like I have mono though, because I'm not super exhausted, but the test came back positive so I guess that must be right. All the heart tests came back negative, so that's good at least! There were a few elevated numbers of some enzymes in my liver and my thyroid, but the accompanying antibodies with that particular thyroid elevation were not present so they aren't sure what's going on there. She is having get more bloodwork done on Wednesday to re-test those things. We'll see what happens!
about the pictures:
1) We went to a baptism in Prestbury (S. Sorensen's last area) and all the Sisters sang a medly of I Need thee Every Hour and When I am baptized and some Tongan song. The little boy Julian was one of Sister Sorensen's recent convert's sons.
2) self explanatory... this is just awesome.
3-5) The 3rd ward had an Iron Chef activity on Saturday and we were the judges. The rule was that everyone who made something had to team up with a less active or a non member. It was really fun. The prizes were chef hats with the label of what category they won. They also had some cool silhouette decorations on the walls.
I love you lots and lots and lots!
Ich hab euch lieb!
Schwester (Sister) Hatch