Well, the saying goes that when it rains in California, it pours. It's true! And instead of snow for Christmas, we'll likely get rain. Oh well, I don't really mind so much. Aside from the fact that I'm the junior companion so I get to stand in the rain and back my companion out of the driveway.
Yay, daffodils! Did I tell you there's a huge amount of hydrangeas here? except they're all blue. it's weird.
Yesterday we had a meeting about the new curriculum for Sunday School next year. Have you had much time to look at it or hear much about it? It's really cool! The comparison we've all made was it's like the flip-chart missionary discussions way back in the day to Preach My Gospel. Much more like teaching people, not just lessons. It's going to be awesome! Something the Bishop said yesterday was the new outlines for the lessons in church is designed to give the youth of the church as many spiritual experiences as possible. I'm excited for it, and I think it'll be a really great change. The transit will be strange, of course, but we'll all get the hang of it soon :)
Another Christmas idea, if you haven't sealed it shut yet, is to send me a copy of your testimonies! I would really enjoy that. Also (this doesn't have to be done for Christmas; it can be sent later if you don't have a whole lot of time) - Mom, I'd really like a copy of your conversion story! As many dates and names and events as you can remember. I don't know I could accurately put it together if you'd asked me; I just know the part about you wanting to go to a school that had values, and then the search for a Book of Mormon in regular bookstores... haha. That'd be fun to read, especially on my mission :)
Is it selfish to ask for more mail for Christmas? Ward, friends, all you peepsicles out there reading this? My companion gets a lot so I'm honestly a little jealous <_< but, y'know. There's that. (Thank you, Sister Flinders & Sarah! Your card made my week!)
Final random thought - have you asked the missionaries what they're doing for Christmas??? You could have them over in place of me and Craig! CHRISTMAS! Our ward out here spoils us rotten, and I hope that the Sisters out there are doing good too. Have you found anyone for them to teach?? I want them to be taken care of!
COOL STORY! *brick'd* This week there was an investigator we went to go visit to see if she was still progressing, had prayed about being baptized, etc. We went in and talked to her, and she said she got a bad feeling about being baptized (and she was being pretty stubborn about it). We realized we needed to stop seeing her since if she wasn't progressing, we weren't fulfilling our purpose. We left a short message and when we eventually were walking to the car, Sister Ripplinger looked at me and said, "Well, I guess we have to trust that the Lord will put someone else in our path who's prepared." He always does, y'know? But not even five minutes later we got a phone call from Elders in another area with a referral! We called her and she was almost jumping out of her seat to get to church, and she was reading the Book of Mormon and was loving it! We were both blown away that Heavenly Father blessed us that quickly with another person to teach!
Another great thing this week was I finished the Book of Mormon! Again! :D The challenge for the mission was to finish it in 85 days, but I just love the Book of Mormon so I read it faster. (In 21, to be precise.) It's been a really great experience and I'd recommend it. That morning before studies, I prayed and told Heavenly Father that I was planning on finishing it that day, and that I expected and experience from the Holy Ghost to know if it was true. (I don't think that's too much to ask, do you?) When I finished the last few pages I had, I knelt down and prayed, "Okay Heavenly Father, I finished. I already know it's true - I've always known it is, but help me to know again, just for myself, that it's true. Help me experience something." I waited for a moment before President Weston's voice floated across my mind, saying "Pay very close attention to how you feel." So I did - I felt the presence of the Spirit deep in my heart, a comfortable, light pressure almost. It started small, and as I focused on it the feeling grew bigger and bigger until it seemed to flow throughout my whole body. It was like the feeling you get when you drink hot chocolate after coming straight inside on a blustery winter day - Mmm! And then the spirit seemed to keep going, emulating through the whole apartment and leaving me feeling giddy and like I couldn't stop smiling. The Book of Mormon is TRUE! And I have such a testimony that if we ask Heavenly Father for the truth with the real intent we're going to do something with it, the heavens won't be constrained from helping us experience something!
It's been a great week! There are TONS of opportunities waiting around us, but we have to be the best we can to be able to be trusted by our Father in Heaven to take those chances when they come to us. Don't be afraid of sharing the gospel!! What's the worst that could happen??
I love you all and I'm so grateful for your prayers! I feel their influence in my life and I know that He is blessing you for blessing me! <3