Hello, hello! :)
Monday-- We played Zone Sports and it was super fun! :) We had dinner at the Sargeant's that night and shared with them the Christmas video from this year and last year, He is the Gift. It brought back so many memories from serving in Tehachapi and Bishop! It really hit me while watching that video that, Christ is truly the greatest gift.
That night we had a lesson with Brian in the Fortner's home! :) It went soooooo well! We talked about quitting smoking to which Sondra and Mike were the BEST help! They were amazing. They both bore their testimonies that prayer was the biggest thing that helped them stay quit. He concluded or lesson by telling us that he was going to smoke his last cigarette that night! :)
Also that night, we realized we didn't buy any toilet paper... and we were completely out. hahahaha so for this entire week, we have been living off of the toilet paper we gathered from the church anytime we were there hahaha and also survived on the mercy of the ward members letting us stop in to use their bathrooms hahaha. Don't worry, that was the first thing we bought today at the grocery store! ;)
Tuesday-- WE GOT TO GO TO THE TEMPLE WITH THE HUNTERS! :) It was such a great experience. It was the most comforting and calming experience in the temple. If I could live in that place I would. I never wanted to leave!
We stopped at In-n-out on the way home! Love that place so much. Sister Holmstead is also equally obsessed with it, so it works out well.
When we were walking into the church building to go to splits, we met some kids walking their dog in the parking lot. We talked to them for a bit and they said they would love to learn more and come to church. They live super close to the church! Their names are Savannah, Clayton, Haven, and Haylee. Salem Palmer came to splits that night! He is so awesome!!! :) After we came back from visiting people we had a short lesson with Salem and he committed to be baptized on December 26th! Woohoo! :)
Then we went over to the Fortner's for a lesson on Eternal Marriage with the Bey's and them! It was awesome. Brother Bey is their home teacher, so things are going sooo well with them!
Wednesday-- We meant to knock on Sister Dickerson's door, but ended up knocking on the wrong one! A woman answered the door and we taught her the Restoration and she said she had been wanting to get involved into church again and lots of other amazing things, that made Sister Holmstead and I look at each other with amazement. God always places us in the right spot at the right time! Her name is legitimately, Holly Wood. :) hahahaha so awesome.
That night Savannah and clan came to mutual! We walked with them and introduced them to everyone there and it was awesome.
Brother Bey went with us to check on Brian to see how he was doing, but we didn't catch him. We only caught his roommates. We taught them the restoration really quick, but they weren't interested! Oh well. One day! We let them know that Brian quit smoking, and they were super happy about it! haha we told them to support him, since he would need it.
Sister Shimmins then came with us to a lesson at Sondra's! We taught about missionary work and service in the church and it was great. :)
Thursday-- Sister Rush came out with us to a few lessons, but they all fell through and didn't work out. But, Mike and Sondra always make our day and come through! :) We had a great last lesson with them. Sondra went to go help Nixynn with something during the lesson. When she came back she had taken out all of her piercings! She was GLOWING! :) she told us that it was time and that she was ready! The change we have seen in her is INCREDIBLE. I can't even explain it. I love her so much!! :)
Mckenna McMullin came with us to a lesson with Salem! It went so well! He told us his favorite band is the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. And then we began to tell him to not feel pressure from us to get baptized sooo soon, and he told us that the conversation about baptism was going on for far too long and it was about time he got baptized haha. He said, "In the beginning was the word, the word was baptism." Hahahaha oh how I love this kid. He's so rad.
Then we went over to Sholanda's and she told us she wasn't interested, she said that it isn't for her, but that she would always keep our number if she changed her mind. It was so sad. But we were going to have to have that conversation with her sooner or later..... she wasn't keeping her commitments. So that was sad, but it had to happen.
Friday-- I had to prepare a talk for District Meeting and it was about relying on the Spirit. While I prepared it, I came to the realization that the times I've been happiest on my mission (and in life) is when I was worthy of and striving to follow the Spirit.
We went on exchanges with Stockdale sisters! We were all from Idaho, so that was pretty awesome! :) We had fun and learned a lot from one another.
We were walking to go to someone's house that we knew, and across the street was a woman. So I told Sister Alderman, that we should go talk to her! So we did! It could have been weird, but we were just so excited to see her and talk to her! She was going to get her daughter from the bus stop so we offered to walk with her there! We talked to her all the way down the street and began to teach her about the Restoration, then we got her daughter went back to their home with them and finished teaching them that lesson! It was so amazing! She is super prepared! :) We invited her to the Christmas Party that night as well as Sondra's baptism and church, but she didn't end up coming to any of them. We'll get in touch with her asap!
We then stopped by Brian's and asked him how everything was going! He said he hadn't smoked for 4 days!!!! SO LEGIT! He said he felt happy!! We helped him clean out his ash trays and cigarettes in the flower beds and everything. He threw away his last pack of cigarettes and it was glorious!
Our ward Christmas party was that night! It was soooo good! They had an awesome music program! Sister Holmstead played a piano piece and we sang in the choir! So many friends of the member's of the ward came and Savannah & clan came and loved it and so did Salem!!! :) Mike and Nixynn came, but Sondra wasn't able to make it. We got to talk with everyone and had an awesome time. We shared A Savior is Born video with everyone there and bore our testimonies at the end of the program of our Savior and that we need to share the gift of the Savior with everyone this Christmas season. The spirit was super strong. This ward is amazing!
After that we went caroling to the Mayfield's, but they weren't home, so we sang to one of their neighbors and the mom LOVED it! She was freaking out because no one ever carols anymore. :)
Saturday-- We helped out with Sister Rudd's homeless feed she has every year! It's in the heart of Oildale, where there are a lot of homeless people and a lot of poverty. It was amazing seeing what people donated for it! Us and the elders helped serve all of the food and it was super amazing! We had a really great time, and it was touching being able to serve in the community like that. Really neat experience!
Then we went to the church building and prepped for SONDRA'S BAPTISM!!!!! :) IT WAS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!! Mike bore his testimony afterwards and it was so powerful! Their lives have been permanently changed for the better, for the rest of eternity! The Ostberg girls were also baptized and we had the chance to help them get ready for that. It was so amazing! Words can't describe it. After teaching Sondra and knowing her and seeing the change take place, it's changed me forever, and I am so grateful to have been a part of it.
We then went caroling with the elders in the ward that night and it was super fun!
Sunday-- WAS THE MOST CRAZIEST BUT MOST AMAZING DAY!!!
I felt like I was drowning in blessings.. hahaha here's the run down of what happened at church!
-->Haven & Haylee came to church, but they came early, so the ward that meets before us invited them to join their primary for classes and everything, so we couldn't find them haha! But we soon figured out what had happened and got them in the right places. They have no knowledge of anything gospel related or anything spiritual, so we explained a lot to them through out Sacrament meeting.
-->Sister Rudd had a friend from camp come! Her name is Poppy and she just moved to Bakersfield. She texted Sister Rudd and asked her if she could go to church with her! :) She is going to be at the Rudd's for Christmas so it will be fun! We talked to her after church and she told us we could send missionaries to her apartment! :)
--> Salem came! :) He is such an incredible kid! He loves church and was begging the elders to let him ride bikes with them to a lesson. He ended up going with them later that day! He's such a champ!! :) He's going to do great things.
-->The BURTON'S CAME! Sister Burton, Kaylle and Kyle all stayed for all three hours!! :) So amazing!!
-->I saved the best for last... SONDRA WAS CONFIRMED!!!!!!!! :) YAYAYAYYYYY! HAPPY DAY!!!! She was so happy--ecstatic!!!!! SHE GLOWED!! :)
That night we had lessons with Salem and Kaylee and Kyle! Things are going well!
After reflecting the amazing week full of miracles and blessings we have had this last week, I was reading the scriptures and some conference talks in studies this morning, and I came to a conclusion of how I feel right now. No other words can describe how I feel, other than the lyrics from one of my favorite hymns:
I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me,
Confused at the grace that so fully he proffers me...
I marvel that he would descend from his throne divine
To rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine,
That he should extend his great love unto such as I,
Sufficient to own, to redeem, and to justify...
Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!
That is my testimony and I feel so blessed.
Hope you all have an amazing week!
Love you all. :)