This was one of those awful weeks where not one of our investigators answered the phone. So sad, luckily we were able to use the time to find new people to teach. We met a wonderful Italian exchange student who came to visit Temple Square and wanted to learn more and meet with missionaries. We also met a great family whose neighbors are members of the church and then decided to come to Temple Square to see what makes that family tick haha. The dad is now going to read the Book of Mormon and they are going to meet the missionaries when they return home. So despite us worrying about all of our other investigators, the Lord provided for us to see miracles and we talked with and taught those who came to Temple Square.
This past week was also the very last week of the Christmas lights! I love Christmas time, it's a magical time of the year where so many hearts have been softened. Sister Rajah and I have been able to cover a lot of the Christmas assignments which was lots of fun!
One of my favorites is to be up by the Statue of Christ, we had large groups of families come and visit which was so fun to be able to witness them teaching each other and learning about how they kept Christ in the center of their holiday season. I secretly snatched this photo as they were listening to the lovely narration of the Savior's words found in the scriptures. I sure am grateful for my Savior and His loving atonement that allows us to grow and become more like Him.
Along with the Christmas fun we've had a few meetings with the missionary department, they have basically been fine tuning our teaching skills because next week we are going to be driving down to the MTC to give a group of brand new Visitor Directors, Mission Presidents, and wives a group tour to demonstrate to them how we can still fulfill our missionary purpose even if we are assigned to a visitor center. So that's been fun and exciting. We will be able to meet President and Sister Risenmay though, they will be arriving to the mission on January 15th. We've only heard wonderful things about them and I know that I'll be able to learn a lot from them during the few weeks we'll be able to serve together.
With the new mission president arriving it also means that we have been getting everything ready for President and Sister Poulsen to leave. Really sad to think about but we are enjoying all the time that we have to be with them. This Thursday for Relief Society we are actually going to be surprising them with a special program to thank them. The zones have come together and written different songs and poems that they are going to present to them along with some gifts and a slideshow. Sisters here sure are creative! One of President's favorite things is music and listening to us sing so that will be the majority of it.
Here's one song that the sisters wrote, it's to the tune of "We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet"
And then, here's a poem that a zone wrote together.
We are super excited, we know that they are going to love it! The trick is keeping it a secret as long as possible. :)
I hope you all had a wonderful Sabbath yesterday! It's still my favorite day of the week!
We had our fast and testimony meeting in Sacrament and I loved being able to see and hear sisters from all over the world share about their love for Christ and His church. Sometimes I think of the movie Grinch and how at the end He went through this painful experience where His heart suddenly grew three sizes bigger. I feel like I can relate to him, haha, I mean my experience hasn't been as drastic of course. But with the atonement of Christ, that really can happen to us! He can help us grow our own hearts and the love we have for others can and will grow. It's been a neat experience. It's fun to serve in a place like Temple Square with so many wonderful sisters from all over the place.
So all the amazing sisters is a plus but then when you think of all the cool people who come to Temple Square, that's another plus. Last night as we were up on the square we ran into one of my zone leaders from when I was in Atlanta. He asked us how it was serving on Temple Square compared to when we were in our Outbound missions. I told him that when I was in Atlanta I felt like everyone I taught was the same person, same story, same background, same needs - or almost at least. He agreed. On Temple Square thoughyou'll meet two groups of people from separate sides of the world with completely different needs and backgrounds. I mean yesterday alone I met someone from Texas who knew everything there was to know about the Mormon church and had no interest in it at all but because of how changing her life was, had a hard time believing that God really did know her. Then I met a family from Brazil who were hard core Catholics but knew nothing about the Mormon Church. Using the same scripture for everyone doesn't really work that way here, you always have to make sure you are in-tune with the Spirit so He can tell you what they need. It's fun and exciting!
Serving a mission is the best thing anyone could ever do. For the year of 2015 we were able to reach our goal as a mission of 900 baptisms...we actually exceeded it! This morning we set another mission wide baptismal goal for the year of 1,016 for the year of 2016! I always like to picture Heavenly Father's dining room table - He has a lot of chairs and we are all trying to fill them! Lots and lots of work to be done :)
I love you all and hope you are having a wonderful week!