Hello everyone and Merry CHRISTmas!!!!!! It has been quite the week. Much to say, but nearly no time to report on. So I'll just give the highlights :) Maybe it will be long anyway.
Monday night we had a really good lesson with a part member family (this is still in Missoula). The wife is not a member and she struggles with joining the church because she feels like her parents would disown her and reject her. She had a few other concerns about the temple that I think we got resolved but wow it was a powerful lesson. The spirit filled the entire room and her husband (the member) bore powerful testimony and said he hasn't felt the spirit that strong in a very long time. We committed them to read the Book of Mormon as a couple and then to pray to know if it is true. I felt so uplifted after that lesson! Tawnya is a great example of showing her faith and following the Spirit even if everyone doesn't agree with her decision. Love you Tawnya, I'm praying for you!
Tuesday morning we hiked the "M" of the University of Montana. It is shorter than hiking the "Y" at BYU but it was definitely colder. We started the hike around 6AM with Elders Braden, Snell, Burnham, myself, and Sisters Randell and Hoggan. I am SO out of shape! But it was fun and I wanted to make sure I got to do it before leaving Missoula. It was below freezing. :) We packed for a majority of the day and then Elder Burnham and myself went with Elder Braden to dedicate a home of a less-active member. She wasn't living the commandments and was practicing things she should not have been and ran into some pretty bad trouble in her home. After the dedication we told her to start reading the Book of Mormon again and to do things that specifically invite the Holy Ghost into the home.
Wednesday was transfer day in Helena. We drove down in the morning. I actually got depressed a bit realizing that half the people I saw in Helena I would never see again :( It just just kind of hit me, so I said a few goodbyes. Some of the ones I said bye to were Elder Rasmusson, Elder Braden, Elder Burnham, and a few others. Fortunately I can see them in Utah not long from now though! We drove to Butte with the ZL's and I was companions with Elder Perez (a new District Leader) until we both waited for our companions coming the following day.
Thursday was stupid haha. In the midst of the transfer, I had Aunt Peggy's Christmas package with me in the car. Our area was getting a new truck but since the Zone Leaders needed to use it to move luggage the next day, I left my package in there so I didn't have to take it with me to Deer Lodge with Elder Perez. I got a call Thursday Morning from Elder Hill (ZL) that someone had broken the back window of the truck and stole my package sometime overnight in the Stake Center Parking Lot...WHAT THE HECK?!?! Welcome to Butte! The police needed to know how much the package was worth and what was in it so I got permission to call home. It was sweet to hear everyone's voices! It's just too bad it was a sad occasion haha. Jesse's voice sounds so deep! I love how I told Jesse that my package got stolen and the first thing he said was, "That's lame. Someone is getting coal in their stocking." Hahahahaha
Other than that though, I got my new companion, Elder Mathis! He is from St. George, UT and just got out of High School. It's a weird transition going from a Zone Leader the past year and then training but in a way it is kind of refreshing. Elder Mathis is a bit homesick but that is normal. Keep him in your prayers! We found 2 new investigators within the first 2 doors we knocked so thank you for praying for us!
The Elders Quorum President here owns the Dairy Queen. He gives us SIXTY BUCKS A WEEK to eat there. But it's sweet because it helps out financially but also allows us to be seen and talk to people in the store. Hoping to see some fruits and not just fats.
Saturday we had a small miracle. A member gave us $20 for dinner because they could not feed us. We went to "China Garden" thinking it was a buffet all day. We quickly found out it was only a buffet at lunch time. We told the waitress we only had $20 and we could not afford to eat there (it was expensive). She said to order whatever we want and $20 would be enough. :) Blessings!
Yesterday was the Ward's Christmas program and it was so good! Sounds like the one at home was really good too! The talks given were specifically about the birth of the Savior from Mary's perspective, and then from Joseph's perspective. It was SO interesting. I loved it! We sang in the ward choir too haha. We sang, "I saw a New Star Shining," "Guard Him Joseph" and various renditions of Christmas hymns.
I am excited to see you all Thursday! We have permission to arrange skype times before then. What time works best for you? We can do probably anytime between 10 and like 2. We'll check the email around 3 or 330 tomorrow. You can be on if we need to communicate back and forth.
The Temple lights are so sweet! I'll get to see them next year :D I love you and I'll see you Thursday!