Happy Anniversary! Hope you saw my shout out on Facebook! Wow 24 years and still going strong :) Thank you for your example of what a quality and equal marriage should be like! You are both AWESOME.
We had a pretty good week. Other than last p-day which didn't. The zone leaders have a new rule. You have to call them if you are coming into town, explain why, and THEY decide if it is a good enough excuse to leave our area. Even for groceries. Stupidest thing I've ever heard. Us outlying areas have absolutely nothing to do. Must be nice to have 3 companionships nearby to hang out with, a walmart, and all these cool places to visit. So last p-day we did absolutely nothing.
New Years eve was pretty good though! We spent the majority of it at zone leader training. The highlight of the day was actually a lesson we taught to a new investigator. Last week, we got a call from the mission home with a self-referall from a lady in our area. Olivia, a girl who currently is attending BYU Provo, is a non-member but works at the MTC as an investigator...she gets paid to investigate! How cool is that! Anyway, she is actually getting baptized this month. Her mother who lives in Bigfork, has a chronic illness of some sort, and Olivia told her that the Elders could provide her with a Priesthood blessing. Her name is Sondra.
The kicker is, Sondra is a devout Atheist. Absolutely no belief in God whatsoever. She is entirely comfortable with the idea of no afterlife, evolution, and being made of Carbon (in her own words). She has never hoped for a God, but would like to know about it, if there was one. So it is difficult for her to find an answer to a prayer when she has no faith, or even a desire to believe in God. BUT, she said she would accept baptism, should God answer a prayer. She has already read the Book of Mormon. She is also one of the nicest ladies I have ever met. Definitely the kindest Atheist that I have ever met. We gave her a blessing of healing, the spirit was strong, and we are hoping she felt it as well.
For New Years Eve we were allowed to stay out ALL THE WAY till 1030 :) Party animals I know. We only saw like 4 fireworks and celebrated by playing a board game called Catan haha. On New Years day, we spent it slitting and stacking wood (again), and then had another lesson with Sondra on the Plan of Salvation. It was a tough lesson because she is so scientific and uses logic instead of faith. But...we committed her to be baptized on the 18th of this month. Should she receive an answer. Accepting a baptismal date is an act of faith. It is comforting to know that now it is reliant on the Lord and her willingness to keep commitments. We encouraged her to pray specifically for humility to accept the message. I used the analogy, "If I asked you what 2+2 is, but I knew the answer was 5, would there be a point to me asking you the question? Even if you would be right?" She understood that she had been praying for the number 5. Her protective walls would not allow her to exercise faith in a God. So be praying for her to make her date of January 18th!
On Thursday I bought Anne a new Maul for breaking her other one haha. It probably looked suspicious for two Elders in suits to be carrying a maul into a gift shop, but oh well. Elder Pakrer took a sweet fall on the ice Thursday too. Kind of funny haha. Walking around downtown (it's one street), we went into a shop called, "Creative and Native." It has "Lamanite" merchandise :D We tried talking to the store owner about it. He wasn't very interested, but he couldn't go anywhere so we gave him a run-down on the Book of Mormon. We were the only ones in the store. Later Thursday night we ate at the Harris' who made us homemade Cafe Rio....SO GOOD. I had a burrito and four tacos haha. Afterwards we had a discussion with Sister Harris about the blessings of the Priesthood. One being that their baby daughter would be blessed that Sunday :)
Friday we walked around quite a bit. In a small town called Ferndale. The snow was pouring down most of the time, so we were drenched. Finally we came to a house looking for a Debra. She is inactive and not interested anymore, but she let us in for hot chocolate and we had a good discussion. I guess Bishop Bunker is her daughter's principle! She drove us over to our dinner which was at the Eddington's. Had a super good discussion on having one's Calling and Election made sure.
Saturday was sweet. We spent about three hours shoveling snow downtown. We were done and started heading back to our truck when a man asked if he could "bother us for a second." Of course! Bother us all you want! We went over to where he was and he actually offered us a paying job to shovel the walkway of his business while he was away on a business trip. He owns a firearm store (go figure), and we were actually talking to him while in his wife's clothing shop. We told him that we would not accept payment but would do it for free. He said he wouldn't agree to that. So, we left him our number and he left us with his. A few minutes later, we went back to the shop where only his wife was. We explained that we thought of a way they could pay us. We said, "we will happily shovel while you are away if you will let us share why we are out here. Just give us 30 minutes of your time to share the message we have. You are no obligated to accept it, but that would mean a whole lot more to us than any money would." The wife said, "...why not?" And said she would give us a call :) Cool huh?!
Didn't I show you that website scriptures.byu.edu? It is SUCH a cool website! I showed it to Brother McCann, and we read a lot of the Journal of Discourses. Brother McCann and I have some cool conversations. But yeah, that cite is incredibly helpful. And you got a copy of We Believe huh? It is SUCH a cool book! And much more accurate than McConkie's Mormon Doctrine because it has several different scriptures and quotes. I love that book! Thanks for getting it for my birthday!
Well I hope you have an awesome anniversary and a great week! I am doing well and things are looking up in our area. We are teaching 5 devout Catholics I realized yesterday. Pretty sweet. Love you all!