Feliz Navidad! Estoy muy emocionada para la Navidad en Sioux City! This week is going to be very much like Christmas. At the church on Tuesday, we are showing Joy to the World for the Spanish members and investigators. Wednesday we will have our normal Gospel Principles class, focusing on Christ . We are having a fiesta at the church on Christmas Eve with all the families of the Spanish members and our investigators. It’ll be so great! The Bishop is helping provide food and we are getting a piñata. I am also bringing Nanny and Bompy’s treats they sent me…those will be popular! On Christmas day we are waking up and opening presents in our apartment (my family sent me them in the mail, even my stocking Nanny made me!!) , then going to Amanda Gomez’s house to watch her kids open presents and make pancakes. I love that family so much! She is like my best friend. I want all of you to meet her someday. She has a heart of gold and so much love for God. After that, we are going to the Widdisons (family in the ward) to have more breakfast with all the Elders in our zone. On Christmas we will be having dinner with Hermana Florez and with the Brisenos. During that time we will also be calling home to our families! I am way excited to talk to my family. It’s been a long time…I am thankful for the weekly e-mailing, letters, pictures, tape recorders…but the phone will be SWEET! I love my family so much!
This week has been crazy! My companion, Hermana Jenny Madsen finished her mission. We had an emotional goodbye. I miss her lots. She is such a great person and one of my best friends. We will be friends for life! Sonya, Bryan and Bryanna received the Gift of the Holy Ghost in church on Sunday. I wish Jenny could have been there. We love this family so much and have put so much sweat and tears into helping them find their path back to Heavenly Father. We are so proud of the change they have made through becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ. Kianna Lovejoy was also baptized/confirmed on Sunday. It was a great thing! Bryanna asked me if she could get baptized again because it made her feel happy! Isnt that cute? Church was great yesterday! We had fasted with Elva and Reuben in regards to their baptismal date, January 16. They came to church and felt really good about preparing for that date! Amanda has also been fasting to know if the Church is true and if she, Ariana and Andrew should be baptized on January 23. She told me that she felt so much peace and happiness. Yeah! I told her that was the Holy Ghost confirming to her that it is true! She has encountered adversity because some friends and family have tried telling her that Joseph Smith was crazy, he wrote the Book of Mormon, and that the church was full of lies. Well despite all that, she has continued learning because she knows it is of God. We had an AMAZING spiritual experience together on Friday night. I had been making phone calls to investigators seeing who we should visit that night, because our appointment fell through. I had an impression to call Amanda…when she answered she was hysterically crying..explaining to me the troubles her family has been encountering, her relationship with her boyfriend isn’t as strong as she would like it to be, how she wants to be a better mother to make her kids happier…then she had been praying to Heavenly Father to help her with her trials, guide her in the right direction, she had been telling Him if the church is true she would get baptized no matter what it takes, asking Him for a sign to tell her yes the church is true and yes you need to be baptized…Then I called her! We both ended up crying on the phone together…we knew it was a sign from Heavenly Father that she needs to continue growing in the Gospel and be baptized. The Gospel will help strengthen her family and relationships…make her family happier and fill her home with the love of God. We are planning her wedding for the beginning of January and her baptism for January 23. I am so proud of her for her willingness to follow the Spirit and the guidance of God. She is a great example for me!
Omar is so excited about his baptism! I told him about my experience with Amanda and he was pumped! We are still working with him on living the Word of Wisdom and being prepared by February 9.
The Hermanas from Des Moines have been here in Sioux City with me. They are great! Hermana Reese has been on her mission for 2 more transfers then me and Hermana Jordan is in her first transfer. Being in a three some is a bit different, but I am used to it from the MTC with Hermana Taulanga and Nielson (which are doing great by the way! We have been writing and keeping in contact). Speaking of my MTC district, I talked to Elder Holman on the phone! He is doing great. We wished each other a Merry Christmas and he got the addresses of some of my family members to send them a Christmas card. So be expecting that, family.
We have found some new promising investigators! Cilvia and her family, Bitalino and Sandra! We will see how they progress, but we mentioned baptism to all of them and they seemed positive about it. I love the work and helping Heavenly Father’s children receive the blessings of baptism. I have seen how the Gospel of Jesus Christ can transform lives. I am so thankful for His birth and his ministry. I know that the true Church of Christ has been restored to this earth and we have a living Prophet today. I know this because I have prayed about it and received an answer through the Holy Ghost, and the burning in my heart. I encourage all of you to pray to Heavenly Father and ask Him if He has a Prophet on the Earth today to lead His people!
Love you all and have a very Merry Christmas!