Thanks so much for all of the birthday wishes! You too Rachel! Well to start out I will tell you about my birthday, then I will tell you about the week! This morning I woke up, cleaned, got my breakfast in the oven (German pancake--not enough eggs for Swedish...), showered, got a little ready then pretended to be asleep while Sister Choal came in singing happy birthday all crazy like! You'll like the video. Sister Choal is a hoot! But yeah, we then proceeded to open presents (because you always do presents before breakfast of course!) and I want to thank you so much for the wonderful presents you gave me! I really really really do love the gifts. I am actually wearing the red sweater right now. Can I tell you how nice it is to wear a sweater that has color?! It's wonderous! I LOVE them. They look really warm, which I REALLY need this week. It is a cold week and the wind cuts through you like crazy. It's always fine until the wind blows. I hate wind. Ha, can I just say? Anyway! Today is actually one of the Elders investigators 22nd birthday as well! So we are going to go share cake together! She might become our investigator soon ha, she speaks Spanish and English so they have been teaching her, but she really likes us, so we might both teach her. So we will see what happens. But yeah! We are going to have cake with her, and then we will go to the church and play volleyball, and have in impossible day where we do impossible things! (Like eat 16 saltines, eat a piece of bread in 1 min., and eat a tsp. of cinnamon, and so forth) then we have dinner with Sister O'Leary, and after that, a lesson with Brian! So we have a good day ahead of us! We are going to lunch for my birthday tomorrow. I think we are going to Texas Roadhouse, so yippee!!! I love steak. Thanks so much mom! It's going to be a good day today.
So this week was really good in the fact that we were able to gain a lot of less active members trust, as well as other members! On Tuesday the Helms came out with us and we went to see 4 different people. OH! Sedonia had her baby on Tuesday! She named her Stella, and oh goodness she is so cute. Ah! But, we went to see her with the Helms, and then to see her Uncle Robert (a recent convert), and he had been in the hospital for a while because he had an infection because of his diabetes. Also, his blood sugar went to like 400! SO HIGH!!!! It was crazy. After that we saw another recent convert who is awesome! His name is Gary Ray and he is going through a lot right now, but he has so much faith! He will definitely make it though. After that we saw the Brock's, and she just had a major eye surgery and can actually see now! YAY!!!!! It's exciting. We were able to have a really good lesson with her though.
On Wednesday we were able to go tracting for....basically 5 hours. Then we went out to Folsom! We were able to see the Andersen's and have a lesson with them. Can I just say how much I love them! The Andersen's are a family who are less active. They used to be REALLY active. They both served missions in Scotland (along with our ward mission leader), and were really active in the ward until 2 of her relatives died in tragic motorcycle accidents. We are working with them to get active, and I guess they haven't really trusted missionaries in the past. They would come over, just sit there (not very social), not share a spiritual thought or pray or anything! Granted, this is according to them. But while we were there, we were able to laugh and talk and Vernal, UT became the butt of the joke that evening. All rednecks are from Vernal now ha, ha! And it was even better because Brother Andersen has a Danish accent and it just sounds that much better ha, ha! But we shared a spiritual thought, and said a kneeling prayer with them, and it was really good. After that, they said they were impressed with how we actually did that! It was just really neat to hear that, because we weren't member chilling, and we had a purpose, it was neat to see how obedience brings blessings and can help you gain the trust of the members!
Thursday night we had a really good lesson with The Helms, Haley (their niece), and Sean (Haley's boyfriend). We had a deer sausage jambalaya ( I love it! ), and then we had a special lesson on The Restoration. It was really neat. Haley is less active and we hope to get her active and help her and her boyfriend gain a testimony of this gospel. We are really excited for them.
Saturday we went over to see Madelene (she is the one who's birthday is today, and the Elders are teaching her). The Elders had asked us to go and see her, so we did! We went over there and we were able to get to know her, her concerns, and the things she really likes about what she has been learning. We had a really good lesson, and we were able to clear up a lot of things. I think we are going to be teaching her along with the Elders. It's going to be different, and I'm not sure how this will work, but she REALLY likes us and trusts us now. Ha, she is even feeding us next Tuesday (she hasn't fed the Elders yet, WAH HA, HA, HA!). But, we are excited to help the Elders with her. She is a really neat woman. She has 2 beautiful little children who are just adorable! Alex is about 1...maybe a little older, but he just crawls around and has the cutest little smile. Carol is 3, and she has SO much energy. But, she is still super cute. But yeah!
Friday was Zone Conference, and it was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO long. It started at 10, and went until 6. But it was really good. I mean really good. President gave instruction, and can I just say he is definitely inspired, and goodness I love him! Then we had a lunch and did a White Elephant! Sister Choal and I got suspenders and a princess watch for the gifts we gave. The suspenders were a hit, and the Elders really thought the watch was funny. It was a fun white elephant! I got candy and mardi gras beads, and Sister Choal got a massive lollipop! It was fun. Then after that there was a Christmas program that Sister Woods put together, and then a REALLY long testimony meeting...probably 2 1/2--3 hours. There were 3 zones there, and that is quite a bit of missionaries. We all bore our testimonies, and it was just REALLY powerful, and the Spirit was so strong in that meeting. I want all of you to know that I do know that Jesus Christ is my Savior. I know that he lives, and that I am so eternally grateful for everything he did for me. I know that he would have died even if would have been for only me. He would have still done it. I am so grateful for Jesus Christ. I am grateful for the relationship I have gained with him on my mission. I am grateful for the love I feel from him every day. I know that he loves me, and that I am a daughter of God. I know the Atonement is real. I really do. He is there constantly with his hand outstretched. Waiting for us to reach out and take his hand. I love this gospel. I know it is true. I would DEFINITELY not be here if I didn't know it. I love you all and am so grateful for such a wonderful family. Thanks for all you do!
Oh, and mom, don't worry! Sister Choal and I laugh a lot! It's just at silly little stupid things, and none of them are of major importance ha, ha! So don't worry we have a lot of fun. She is probably one of my favorite companions :D I love her so much!
Sister Stacy Earl (Guess what! It's my birthday!)