Monday, December 27, 2010


"And no man taketh this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron."-Hebrews 5:4

Hi again!

I already feel like the phone call was soooo long ago, don't you!?

Well, as you can see by the subject, John got ordained to the office of a Priest yesterday. He now holds the Aaronic priesthood! Sister Woodmansee and I had to speak so we were sitting on the stand as President Champaigne asked John to stand and asked for a sustaining vote for him to receive the priesthood. I was smiling soooo big. It warmed my heart to see him stand humbly, so prepared, and the branch supporting him. I don't know if I told you, but we only have two hours of church. After Sacrament Meeting our Branch President came into Relief Society and interrupted and asked if Sister Woodmansee and I wanted to come in to Priesthood and sit in on the ordination. We jumped out of our seats and went in. The blessing was beautiful. John looked nervous. He sat in the middle of the circle and had the hands of a few Melchizedek priesthood holders on his head. President Champaigne acted as voice and blessed him with the strength to perform ordinances and to live worthy to participate in them. Then he blessed him with a building testimony to further prepare to receive the Melchizedek priesthood. I could feel God's love for John so powerfully. I wish you could have been there. After the ordination he went out into the hall and wiped some tears. We were on our way back in Relief Society so I held out my hand and congratulated him. He shook it and said, "You didn't waste your time." I said, "Of course I didn't!" I told him how proud Christ is of him. Then he said he's never felt so good in his life. He said something about not being able to hug us. ha ha. And then we shook his hand again and went back into Priesthood and Relief Society. It was a priceless moment! If that was the only thing that happened over the course of my mission, it would've made it worth it, just to feel his gratitude towards us in helping him receive the blessings of the Gospel! Heavenly Father has blessed me to work with humble, faithful people who love Him and it's made our job so easy as missionaries. I feel so blessed to be here and see John's testimony blossom. He seems to be a different John than the one we met the first week I was here. I am so proud of him and can't wait to see him pass the sacrament next Sunday. I am so grateful he's stayed active and is doing so well. In our meeting with the branch president, before Sacrament meeting, President Champaigne said, "I want John to be part of the leadership of the Branch." Someday he will. I know Heavenly Father led us to him to keep this branch going and be in the Branch Presidency here. Who knows, it could be his calling! He doesn't have one yet... :)

Another wonderful thing happened at church. Diane said the closing prayer in sacrament meeting. There weren't too many people there yesterday, but among the few that came were Diane and John. It's so cool to see them in the congregation. President Champaigne is very impressed with Diane, as everyone is. She loves church! I never thought a less active woman would have this much excitement about coming as she does. It's been three years since she's been active. We've been visiting her weekly, re-teaching her the lessons and rekindling the testimony within her. I love teaching less actives who have a desire to come back because we get to let them find their testimony again by asking questions. Instead of really "teaching" we let her teach us. It's been a neat experience and I've learned a lot in the process. We ask things like, "What do you remember about the first vision?" She's kept all her appointments and hasn't missed a Sunday since we started meeting with her. Please pray for her with us. President Champaigne told us that he has a distinct impression that she has some strengths that we could use in the branch. The spirit was really strong last week when she stood and was sustained as a member of the Branch.

After church on Sundays we work around the church. We bundle up and follow up with potentials and tract. Ohhhh tracting. Sister Woodmansee doesn't like it. Am I weird, I love it. Sweet experiences always come out of it. Sister Woodmansee was talking to our branch president's wife as we were exiting and she's like, "Off to go tracting, my favorite thing." Then Sister Champaigne said, "It's gotta be fun with Sister Zwick cause she always has this huge smile on her face." ha ha. It was funny. Then Sister Woodmansee's like, "It is." We try to have fun. And Dad, your advice is working so well! Our door approaches have been full of invitations to church. We have had more friendly conversations, smiles, and even thank yous coming from the person at the door! It's awesome. I'm going to write you all about the church tour and open house we're organizing. We have been brainstorming and have come up with the coolest ideas. Our branch president was so happy about it. He said, "I already know of three people I'm going to invite." We also have a member who is a radio dj and so we're going to get him involved and publicize it big. We haven't picked a date yet, but we are thinking about holding it a few weeks after the holidays are over, so late January, early February. I HAVE to still be here for it, so I'm going to tell President Bulloch all about it and hopefully he won't transfer me. I have cool ideas for each room in the building and how to involve our members, using their talents and testimonies. So Dad, so inspired to get us thinking about this. Thank you! I had read under "finding" and starred "hold an open house" a few weeks back, but never did anything about it. When you mentioned it, I knew it was inspired and we needed to act on it. We were so suprised to hear how enthused President Champaigne was about it too.

We're meeting with one of our families we're teaching tonight. They are the ones I emailed about a few weeks back, Tammy and Eric. They couldn't meet for a couple weeks because of the holiday season, but we've been praying for them and really hope they've been reading and praying. Eric was the one who offered the closing prayer and hadn't prayed in fifteen years.

A sad thing happened, that guy who we found, Rick, who had a testimony of the book of mormon already and met with missionaries years ago... we went back and he wouldn't let us in. He said, "I've decided to go back to my church." It was a big disappointment, but he has the book of mormon and hopefully he'll pick it up again and feel the spirit that fills the pages.

Well, this is getting long, but CHRISTMAS EVE! We taught a couple great lessons and didn't have to tract :) That night we went to a Chinese Buffet, since we both love Chinese food. Yep, just the two of us. We were the only ones in there at first! ha ha. That night we delivered cupcakes to our friends, the Millers, the cutest Amish family ever. They invited us in and we got to sit around their dinner table with the 7 sons and 2 daughters. The Father asked to offer the prayer on the food. All of a sudden all the kids, even the two year old put their little hands in their laps, and bowed their heads, and closed their eyes. Then it was silent. They do silent prayers! Woodmansee and I looked over at each other and smiled. I was thinking, when are they going to know it's over? All of a sudden the Dad did a big sigh. ha ha and all the little heads popped up. It was the coolest experience, just to sit there around their dinner table, lit by oil lamps, as they ate pig liver (yummmm) and engage in conversation with them. The little girls were mesmerized by my necklace. I know they can't wear things like that and I wished I would have left it in the car, because I felt so bad they liked it so much. We were there for over an hour, got to share with the Mother and Father about our beliefs as the children cleaned up dinner. They're all the hardest workers. One of the sons was falling asleep standing up when we left, in front of a bowl of water that he was washing the dishes in. It was so cute. The boys have this funniest haircut, really short bangs, and a chin length cut (never even). After visiting them we came home, planned, and opened our Christmas Eve pajamas. Sister Woodmansee says thanks, Mom.

Funny story of something else that happened Christmas Eve--We are really great friends with our mailman ha ha, and have even been able to clear up some of his misconceptions about Mormons. He still has yet to give us his home address, but we left him a Christmas card and box of chocolates in the mailbox for Christmas as we left our house and put the flag up. When we returned home that night we had a letter in the mailbox that said, "Sisters" on the envelope, with no return address. Inside was a Christmas card with two books of stamps and it said, "Have a very merry Christmas, Sister Zwick and Sister Woodmansee! -Your M.M." NICE HUH?

Now Christmas! Santa came! I missed Dad's voice from the family room, letting all of us know. We LOVE the stockings, Mom! Sister Woodmansee has another Christmas in the field (sad) and says she's even gonna use it next year. After singing at the nursing home, ha ha we came back and
it was so great to talk to each of you!!!! I thought the cell phone getting lost was the funniest story, and I could just picture Mom being frantic driving all around looking for it, only to find it all broken. I am so glad it still worked! Thank you for the Christmas presents. Just this morning I looked in my stocking and found the card from "Santa" saying, "Good job this year" with more money! Mom and Dad, THANK YOU. You did way too much. It was the best Christmas ever. My favorite gifts were the necklace with the Forever Family and temple pendant, and the customized calendar from Em and Chad. I've looked through it like a million times, just reminiscing my mission. It's sooooo dang cute! I love it. I want January first to come so I can take down my old calendar and put it up! Thank you Grandma and Grandpa Zwick for the jewelry and warm scarf! I wore it Christmas night in the 8 degree weather! EEEk It's getting soooo cooooooollllddd. We walked around town and delivered Christmas treat plates we made on the 23rd to Less Actives and Investigators, and it kept my neck sooo warm. It's beautiful too. Thanks Grandma Cherie and Grandpa Gary for the money and calendar and thanks Grandma and Grandpa Stevens for the money and card. I feel your love and support every day. I love our family, each of you sooooo much and love that we are promised to live together forever through the blessings of the temple and living the gospel.

Never forget that I love you! Have a Happy New Year!

Love, Sister Zwick

p.s. I'm gonna write out my goals and predictions and mail them to you to seal up to read for next New Years, 2012! Cool that I'll be home with you then! Yay!

I love this quote from President Bulloch's email, "Patience and persistence are two of the noble qualities we develop as we learn to endure circumstances like difficulty, suffering, loneliness, and rejection."

Monday, December 20, 2010

"...every good gift cometh of Christ." -Moroni 10:18

Dear Zwick Family,

Ahhhhhh I get to talk to you on Saturday! I am soooo excited to hear your voices and hear about your lives! It's been way too long! The stretch between Mothers Day and Christmas is a long one.

So I think I'll be calling at lunch. We are planning on going to sing at a nursing home near our house from 10:00-12:00 a.m. So I think I'll call around 9:00 a.m. your time. By that time you're usually done opening presents... although that was when we were younger. Now Matt and Ash probably sleep in. Just plan on 9:00-ish A.M. not P.M. :) It'll be so much fun!!!

Dad, I'm glad to hear your Holy Ghost lesson went well. I feel like I would be so dumb if I didn't come on a mission. I still will be dumb even having served, but I know I needed to come partly to learn more about the gospel and the role of the Holy Ghost in my life. It has provided me with instances every day to listen to the promptings and trust in the Lord and act upon them. Each time I do and something good comes from it, my faith in the Lord is strengthened. I am so grateful for this experience to be led and guided by the Holy Ghost to find people who need to feel the Saviors love in their lives. It is helping me recognize how the Lord speaks to me and what I need to do to be more in tune to Him.

A few neat experiences happened this week by following the Spirit.

The night my former companion, Sister Despain got a call that she was being transferred. I was panicking a little. Our teaching pool was low and I was feeling a little discouraged. I wanted this area to be booming for when Sister Woodmansee got here, and it just wasn't. ha ha. So that night when I was praying I asked Heavenly Father where we need to go to find those He is preparing to receive us. I usually pray for that daily but that night I was just pleading because we had tracted so much that week and it had been 2 straight weeks of not finding any new investigators. I got this thought, "Tract South Water Street." It was instantaneous, right after I asked him where we need to go. I wasn't finished with my prayer, but all I could think of is, "Tract South Water Street." So my prayer ended because I couldn't even think of anything else! It was one of the strongest promptings I've received through prayer. I told Sister Woodmansee about it and on Monday night we tracted South Water Street. When we got there I was disappointed to see that it looked really familiar. I guess Sister Despain and I had already tracted it. Woodmansee and I started again though. We got a few doors slammed and then came across this house and this teenager answered. There was a woman in the background and as we told them who we are she invited us in. She was a young mom and was holding a newborn. There were two toddlers running around. The spirit was really strong and I know she is why we had to tract South Water. She said she'd love to meet with us and her husband was there too. They said they believe in God but have never been active in a church and want to raise their children with a belief. We testified of how it's strengthened our families. They were just so welcoming and they're going to be baptized, I know it! Then they had this 21 year old girl also living there who was listening and we asked if she'd be there too when we came back. She said she would. Tonight we have an appointment with them. We're really excited about them.

Then another cool thing happened. We got a referral from an investigator, Rick. We went to follow up with the referral, and no one answered. For referrals, we usually knock the homes surrounding because the neighbors may be the reason we needed to be in the area. We weren't going to knock the neighbors because it looked like an apartment complex, and we are not allowed to go door to door in apartment complexes. However, we felt like we should atleast knock two. The first one, no one came to. The second one, a young father answered. We asked if we could share a message about Christ with him. His wife came up behind him and said we could. They are really young parents (19 years old) of two twin babies. It was a really good lesson and the wife prayed aloud for her first time ever! That is my favorite, to teach people to pray for their first time and then hear them do it! It was amazing. It was really funny too cause as we were leaving she said, "Well aren't you going to invite us to church?" We didn't bother to even ask because we didn't think they were ready for that yet, I mean they didn't even pray! But we jumped on that and gave them the address of the church and told them a little about it. They weren't there Sunday :( But I bet they'll come next week. We have a second appointment with them tomorrow night.

I just love how the Lord is leading us to couples, families! That is truly what is going to build this little branch in the ways it needs. Sister Despain and I couldn't find any families, but Sister Woodmansee and I have found 3 couples in just a week! I don't know why, just being obedient to the promptings of the spirit I guess, and maybe now they're more prepared than they would have been a few weeks ago.

I love this quote by Julie B. Beck. I have it hanging on my study desk: "The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life." It helps me remember to listen.

We invited 3 people to be baptized this week and no one committed. It was really annoying. But they just don't feel "ready". One, Don, has been investigating for over a year and has read almost the entire Book of Mormon, but won't admit it's true. We ask, "Don, do you believe that through Joseph Smith, God restored the priesthood?" And he says, "Well, nothing tells me he didn't." So he admits that it's not not true, but will never say it IS TRUE. We haven't given up on him though. After we invited him to be baptized on the 1st of January he said, "I can't commit to that. I don't think I'll be ready by the 1st. But I've been considering baptism." So he's been considering it...

We didn't set Allen with a specific date but we just asked him if when he knows these things are true if he will follow Jesus Christ's example and be baptized. He said yes. He's the one we met and taught over Thanksgiving dinner. He's been reading the book of mormon and right now is praying about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.

I'm trying to be patient with people. There are a few of our investigators who have received answers, say it's true, but won't get married to get baptized because of the welfare system. They won't get as much money from the government if they are married compared to what they get individually. Totally taking advantage of the system. So they have been fun to work with ;)

Well, I have to get going. Thank you so much for the Christmas packages, Mom! Oh so funny- I got one from G&G Zwick with popcorn balls! The tradition lives on! Send all the Zwick cousins and Aunts and Uncles my love at Little America on Christmas Eve. I'll miss that.

Merry Christmas! Talk to you soon, I love you!
Love, Sister Zwick

P.s. We love the Amish Nativity! Thank you!

And Stace, I can't believe I'm missing your wedding tomorrow! I love you so much and don't forget about your best friend out here thinking about you and Andrew! I hope you got the gift and letter in time! Congratulations, girl! I love you!

Monday, December 13, 2010

"To Preach My Gospel by the Spirit, even the comforter which was sent forth to teach the truth." -D&C 50:14


How is everyone!?  I love hearing from you each week.  The blessing of email!  I don't know how missionaries lived off handwritten letters.  Although, I am getting those from you too!  Thanks for your letters this week Steph and Ash.  Steph, I'll email you a picture of me wearing the sweater you sent me for my birthday.  I love it and wore it yesterday under my suit coat at church.  Thanks so much!

Oh my, this old guy just whispered in my ear as he was walking past, "I wish I could type that fast.  I have the Columbus system, two fingers and then I find and locate the key."  Gotta type fast so we have time to do all our little Pday errands!
This week has been AMAZING!  Seriously, the best!  Tuesday night after we emailed, it started blizzard-ing.  Sister Despain and I rode with the Malone Elders and Elder and Sister Rasmussen (a Senior couple in Malone) into Utica to spend the night at the mission home.  It was a long 3 and a half hour drive because of the snowy roads, but we made it safely!  Three new Elders were also sleeping at the mission home and were already in bed when we got there.  Sister Bulloch said they were exhausted from leaving the MTC at 4 am.  There were only Elders coming in this transfer.  We haven't had a Sister come in for a few transfers :(  But we are getting one sister next transfer, mid January!  Sister Despain and I slept in the same beds we did about a year ago when we slept at the mission home the first night here in the mission.  It almost made us cry that time has gone so fast.  It was like De-ja-vu being there together again.  Sister Bulloch treated us to some cheesecake and President was cracking jokes and stuff.  He looked at the clock and it was past 10:30.  He was like, "The mission president is keeping you up!"  He stopped his stories and we all went to bed.

The next morning we ate breakfast with the new missionaries and got to sit in on the New Missionary Meetings for the new Elders.  I learned so much from it and I've sat in that same meeting a few times already as a new missionary and trainer.  I was reminded of a few things though.  One thing I like that President said is, "There will never be another time like this in your life.  There will always be other demands in life, but right now you can devote all your time, talents and interests to the work of the ministry."  I wish I had my notes with me and I could quote it a lot better.  But every time I hear him say that I am reminded of what a blessing it is to be here.  I love serving the people of New York and want to remember these experiences forever and not take any for granted.  A few hours later all the missionaries getting transferred met in the mission office (which is about a 1/2 mile away from the mission home).  It was fun to see other sisters and sad to hear the departing testimony of my first district leader and a zone leader who was my zone leader for 9 months of my mission.  They are awesome missionaries and friends.  We all ate pizza, I hugged Sister Despain goodbye (so sad because we don't know when we'll see each other next), and then Sister Woodmansee and I got in the Rasmussen's durango with Elder Daniels-Brown and Elder Blanchard (a new Elder) to come back home to the "Narth Country!"  That's how people speak up here.  SOOOO HICK!

Sister Woodmansee was really shocked when we drove on the dirt roads to some of our investigators.  ha ha.  But we have "Daniel" our British friend (GPS) in good company.  He leads us safely through places that look like the middle of no where.  Elder and Sister Johnson (the former Senior couple) sent the GPS to Sister Despain and I as a Christmas gift!  Nice huh?  It's helping with miles and it was a blessing because I really don't like reading maps.  Our area is about 2/3 or St. Lawrence county (HUGE).  Sometimes she says, "Where did President Bulloch send me?"  And last night we were talking about our branch members.  It's like the office, but a branch.  There could be a movie of it.  They're the funniest people.  I love them.  As we were talking she's like, "I feel like I'm stuck in this small little town and can't get out."  It's awesome.

Saturday night there was "freezing rain" which means, it raining ice.  It was a loud night and the roads were slick Sunday morning.  Members kept calling us to see if we had church.  It's like they wanted it to be canceled or something!  We still had it.  Our branch president said, "We'll be lucky to see 8 of us here including you and I."  I was kind of bugged thinking, "Where is his faith!"  But didn't say that.  We were happy to have 18 in the congregation, four being missionaries, but still, we were so pleased!  I was kinda worried at first because it was Sister Woodmansee's first time seeing the branch and I wanted them all to come.  It was a good number for the weather conditions.  

The spirit has led and guided us this past week.  A few days ago this woman was getting in her car and I had this thought, "You HAVE to talk to her."  She was about twenty feet away so I started running.  lol.  I was like, "Excuse me Maam.  We have a message we'd love to share with you, centered on Jesus Christ..."  She's like, "I have to go to work."  "Well, can we come by your home at a better time?  What's your address."  Then she said, "1823 Knox" or some number.  We planned it in Thursday and her husband, Rick answered the door.  He said they were just leaving.  We asked if we could see them Sunday night.  We set a time with them to return.  So last night it was our only set appointment.  We were really looking forward to it in between tracting.  Rick happily invited us in.  He went on to say he met with Elders 15 years ago, has read the entire book of mormon and knows it's true!"  We almost set him with a baptism date right then.  We've been kicking ourselves all morning about not setting him.  He's so prepared.  Rose was interested also, but Rick is more prepared.  We talked a little and then watched the Restoration DVD.  He was crying and said, "I wish that would happen to me.  I want to see God.  I can feel his presence, but I've never seen him."  We testified of the role of the Holy Ghost in helping us feel closer to Heavenly Father so that we can see him again.  Then we talked about church.  He committed to come next Sunday!  He's our next baptism, I know it.  He's living the word of wisdom.  We were like, "Why didn't those missionaries dunk him?"  We came up with the conclusion that it's because Heavenly Father wants us to feel the joy of seeing it.  ha ha.  He talked about blessing Rose and how he lays his hands on her head when she's sick.  He has everything but the proper authority.  We shared with him more about the priesthood power and how it was restored and asked if he'd like to have it.  He said, "I would give anything to hold that power."  It was a golden lesson and he is a golden investigator!  The spirit was so strong.  We're excited about him and his wife.

We also found a family this week!!!!  Tammy and Eric and Jalynn (their 2 year old).  Eric prayed at the closing of the lesson and hadn't prayed for 15 years.  They have some barriers but we know with fervent prayer for them, the Lord will soften them and help them receive a witness of Joseph Smith being a true prophet and the Book of Mormon being true.

Sister Woodmansee and I are trying to stay warm.  She's so cool and fun to be with.  I've already seen reasons of why the Lord sent her here.  She is relating really well with our investigators and they love her.  The other night we were laughing so hard about this Amish man (who sent me a letter :/) and she said, "This is the most fun I've had on my mission."  It'll be a wonderful transfer.  She's so down to earth, from Lehi, Utah.

Cool news, Kennedy and Adalena (the Brazilian couple I met in Ithaca) got baptized last weekend!!!!!  I am so so happy for them.  I just wrote them this morning congratulating them.  Also, Elder and Sister Wood the Senior couple in Ithaca and I keep in touch.  The just wrote me about Amanda Le.  This is what they said:
"Amanda Le is still happy and doing so well.  She will be leaving in January.  What a blessing she will be when she gets to China and her husband, daughter, and friends are able to feel of her happiness and she can share the gospel with them.  We are planning to have her here for Christmas Eve and she will be at the home of a ward member on Christmas Day.  She came to the Christmas Devotional and as we were taking her home, she said that this was her first Christmas.  She is so excited and loving the feelings of Christmas.  The ward has really been faithful in welcoming her and fellowshipping her."

I love Amanda, and think about her every day.  She will be such a light to her friends in China.  

One more thing: Diane (the less active we ran into last week) came to church on Sunday.  Her first time in years!  Also, we felt inspired to drop in on a former investigator, Dora.  We committed her to church, she came, and she wants to start meeting with us again!!!!  The Lord is blessing us so much!  We don't deserve it!  We are planning on setting 4 baptismal dates this week.  I know you pray for me and I can feel it, please keep those we're teaching in your prayers as well.  I hope that's not too much to ask.  I miss you all so much!  Thanks for all your love and letters.

Thanks for the twelve days of Christmas, Mom.  I can't wait to start opening!  And I also can't believe you have facebook!  You're so cool! :)   

I love you!
Love, Sister Zwick

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

"The sweetest and most gratifying experiences you will have will be when you submit to the will of the Lord and follow the promptings you receive...

 I have the BEST family!  You guys are soooo awesome!  I just opened my email account and had 16 new emails wishing me a Happy Birthday.  Thank you all so much for all you said.  I don't deserve most of the things you said.  Thank you Grandma and Grandpa Stevens for the money and birthday card.  I loved the card of the boy stuffing sunshine rays into the envelope!  A year ago I was there in Florida with you.  It's definitely cooler here but I'm so happy to be here serving people who are going to forever be my best friends.  Thank you Grandma Cherie and Grandpa Gary for your card as well.  Both of your cards got here yesterday as well as your package Mom.  Perfect timing!  Grandma and Grandpa Zwick's card came today.  You all said the sweetest things.  It means so much to have your love and support.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!
This week has been so wonderful!  The Lord's hand is in this work.  I love feeling it daily.  Sunday we tracted near the church and came across a woman who's sister is LDS.  She said she felt such a powerful spirit in Salt Lake City when she visited Temple Square with her sister and said she still remembers that feeling.  On her doorstep we were able to bear testimony of the Holy Ghost and how He speaks to us through our feelings and witnesses that something is true.  She agreed, and then we asked if we could read some of the Book of Mormon with her (she said she had a copy) but said she was busy and wanted our phone number and that she'd call us.  Usually when they say that, they don't.  She talked about eventually joining the Mormon church, but just "not yet."  She said she's catholic, just not practicing.  I really hope she calls.
People keep calling us canceling because of the "busy-ness" of the season.  It's sad.  We have a message that tells the reasoning of the celebration!  But those who are keeping their appointments are doing really well.  We met with Allen twice since I last emailed.  He's the one who we met on Thanksgiving.  He is just LOVING it!  We taught him the Plan Of Salvation yesterday and he had questions about original sin and we read from 2 Nephi 2 about the Fall and then in Moroni 8 about children not being accountable for sin until they know right from wrong (at age 8).  He agreed with all of it and was like, "I never agreed with the thought that we were born sinful."  Teaching the POS is one of my favorite lessons to teach.  Especially teaching the Atonement and how loving and forgiving Christ is.  It's so important for these people to know that God isn't mad at them for their mistakes and that we can change and apply his atonement to our lives and feel clean from any guilt or shame.  3 Nephi 9:14 has become my favorite scripture.  I like to share it with less actives and while teaching the atonement.  It says, "Yea verily I say unto you, if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life.  Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me."  Wayne and Patty listen in and I think we might pick them up as new investigators again too.
We had a miracle occur Sunday.  Do you remember in like October when I emailed you about that woman we came across, Diane?  We were originally looking for a former investigator, and knocked on the door of where the former lived, and she answered and said she had just moved there from Georgia and was a member of the church?  Okay so we knew God led us to her that day.  Well, I never told you but we went back and her boyfriend was bad mouthing us right as we stepped onto their property.  She was just looking at us in silence.  I could seriously feel her spirit screaming at him to stop.  ha ha.  But she didn't dare say a word.  We knew she had felt the spirit but he wasn't letting us even talk to her.  So we told him we respect his opinion and looked at her and reminded her that she has our phone number and to call us if she wants to meet.  We walked away saddened because we knew without a doubt that she had felt the spirit that day we met her, she was crying when we bore testimony and we could feel Gods love for her so strongly.  Weeks have passed and Sunday we were in Morristown, about 50 miles from her home in Heuvelton.  We were in Morristown to meet with an investigator there, Maggie.  Maggie had told us she was moving out of her apartment, #1 into apartment #6 and so to go to #6.  We went to apartment #6 and no one came to the door.  I was like, "Sister lets go try her old apartment, #1, maybe she hasn't moved out of it yet."  So we walk to #1 and knock and guess who answered the door!?  DIANE!  The same Diane from Heuvelton!  She had moved into Maggie's old apartment.  Right when she opened the door Sister Despain and I said in unison, "Diane!?"  She was so open to us and was like, "Girls!  Come in, have a seat, get warm!"  I was thanking Heavenly Father for leading us to her AGAIN.  She went on to say that she left her boyfriend and that he wasn't a good influence.  She said he hated life and her children too and she couldn't live like that.  She said, "I was looking for your phone number.  I wanted to get in touch with you and have you come by but lost it in the move."  There were still boxes all around and we helped her unpack a little.  Then we watch the Restoration DVD and when the spirit was there took the opportunity to ask her if she believes Joseph Smith is a prophet.  She said yes and started tearing up.  We bore testimony of the Book of Mormon.  She said she's been reading it and wants to come back to church.  Now we know it was her boyfriend holding her back, and she's finally away from him.  It was a mission miracle I will remember forever.  We told her how much Heavenly Father must love her to lead us to her a second time.  We love her too!  We couldn't have found her without the spirit leading us to her door.  She said she doesn't even have a P.O. box set up yet.  The spirit had been working on her and Heavenly Father led us to her again.  It's nice when things like that happen.  It reaffirms the reality of God's love for all of us individually and He doesn't want any lost sheep.  She'll be a wonderful woman in the Branch Relief Society.
K time is almost up but I just wanted to share what we did on my birthday since I know you're wondering, Mom.  We taught some wonderful lessons and went out to dinner with a recent convert family.  They are so wonderful and are getting sealed in Utah next summer.  They invited Sister Despain and I to it.  Sister Hacking, one of my former companions found them up here.  We went to this place called Dixie Lee.  It's kind of like KFC.  Then we drove to say goodbye to some people... Sister Despain is getting transferred!  It's so sad.  We have loved being companions.  We are traveling to Utica tonight to sleep at the mission home because Sister Bulloch wants to have a sleepover.  jk.  It kind of seems like that.  She doesn't want us having to leave at like 5 am tomorrow, so we're leaving tonight instead and then I'll be getting my new companion tomorrow at the Transfer Meeting.  She's a newer missionary and is coming up from serving in Syracuse.  Em, thanks for the breadsticks.  So we didn't get in until 9:30 last night.  After we planned I opened my package and gifts.  We were getting ready for bed and I was doing some dishes and outside the kitchen window saw a car drive up.  We didn't know who it was!  Sister Despain answered the door and a man said, "Is Tia there?"  I was like, "Who calls me that up here!?"  I went to the door and it was a pizza hut delivery man with breadsticks from Emily.  Thank you em!  We enjoyed them and are still enjoying them!  It was such a good surprise.  
Well, I have to go but thanks again.  I had the best birthday ever, testifying of the Savior and the reason we have all that we have.  There isn't a better way to spend a birthday.  I love being here.  Have a wonderful week!
Love, Sister Zwick   
p.s. it's super snowy here! :)
p.p.s. We went on exchange with the neighboring sister's area, Watertown.  I stayed here and Sister Cox came and worked with me.  She's grown so much!  She's an awesome missionary.  It was really fun.


Monday, November 29, 2010

"Neither take ye thought beforehand what ye shall say; but treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given...D&C 84:85

My dear family,
It sounds like Thanksgiving was so fun! Thank you for the emails and pictures! I can't believe you even had a table dedicated to writing the missionaries in the family. Thank you so much! That is so nice. I feel bad because I still haven't replied to some I got from the family reunion and now all the little cousins had to write me again without having received a response to their last letter! I'll be replying this time! It looks like the fun of Rock Band never dies. It's so funny because in every bunch of pictures I get, I can always count on one being of the family playing rock band! And Emily and Ash always have the microphone! ha ha.
Speaking of singing, Sister Despain and I sang in church yesterday. We sang "Come Ye Children of The Lord". We blend really well. I feel like I'm singing with Ash or Steph when Sister Despain and I sing together, so it's really fun. We sing while we tract, drive to appointments, and while we're cleaning on Pday. It's like I'm living with one of my sisters. I forgot to tell you that at Zone Conference we sang "For the Beauty of the Earth" acapella. The Elders bailed and it ended up being she and I singing a duet. President and Sister Bulloch really liked it though. That song reminds me of Little Women. I think they sing it at Amy or Meg's wedding or something. We almost didn't do it because it reminded me of that!
This Saturday night we will get a phone call from our Zone Leaders letting us know if we are staying in the area or getting transferred. I'm pretty positive I'll be staying since I've only been here a few months, and Sister Despain has been here since May. That means this upcoming Pday is on Tuesday (Dec. 7th), not Monday. You can expect an email on Tuesday instead of Monday.
I had the most memorable Thanksgiving! We got invited to Wayne and Patty's house for dinner. They are former investigators and live on a farm out in the middle of Lisbon. They live in a run down home that they are putting a lot of work into and it's coming along well. They love living out in the country and use a wood burning stove! I feel like I'm Laura Ingles on Little House on the Prairie whenever we're at their place. They raise turkeys, chickens, cows, you name it! It smells great. ha ha. We were over there a few weeks ago and Wayne pointed out the windows to his turkeys and said, "I hope they're enjoying their last few days." I was like, "What?" He's like, "That big one there is named, Thanksgiving." I couldn't believe it. We had already accepted the invitation to eat there prior to this too. After we left I told my companion that I'm nervous to eat there and wish we had gotten invited somewhere else! I've just never had to eat something I once saw living! She has grown up on a farm though and just laughed.
On Thanksgiving Wayne said that he brought the turkey to the butcher and as he was driving home he almost turned back around to get him. So I wasn't the only one sad about it. ha ha. It ended up being 28 1/2 pounds! Patty said it barely fit in the oven and she had to but it in at 3 am. I ate some of it though and it tasted good. Wayne held up a picture of the turkey's face when we were eating though!
So Thanksgiving morning was really cold. We worked here in Ogdensburg in the morning and visited some less actives. I was trying to pretend like it was just a normal day so I could keep my thoughts here and not drifting to home. We went over to Wayne and Patty's around 2:00. They had invited all of their friends from Alcoholics Anonymous. There were about 6 people there, plus Wayne and Patty, their 6 year old daughter Brittney, and us. We had been praying to have a missionary opportunity there and even as we were getting out of our car, said one last prayer. We walked in and were so happy to see they had invited so many friends! We knew they'd ask about our name tags :) Most were sitting on the couches and we went around and introduced ourselves. One of them there, Allen, had been there the last time we went to see Wayne and Patty. He was outside chopping wood and we met him then. We were glad to see him again. Before dinner he said, "So what do you do all day?" We told him we invite people to follow Jesus Christ and find more happiness. He then asked how long we're here for, where we're from, etc. I knew Heavenly Father was answering our prayers! We said a prayer and they didn't have a table set up, so we just ate in chairs and on the couches in the living room. Sister Despain and I were on a couch and Allen sat to my right. He is from Upper Malboro (spelling?) Maryland, near DC. We found some common ground there and talked about Owings Mills, the Inner Harbor fudge shop, and the Oreoles, thanks to Em and Chad. Then I asked him if he had seen the Temple in DC. He lit up and was explaining how it just pops out of the trees on the beltway. He asked if all our churches look like that. I explained the difference between temples and churches. Then just asked him about his belief in God. He said, "The older I get the more I'm realizing things just don't happen by coincidence." He went on to explain how he felt like someone was really helping him feel of his potential through recovering from alcoholism. It was an amazing discussion. He had all the right questions! I got to teach him the plan of salvation and I tried to emphasize the atonement and how we all have this feeling of wanting more and sometimes we turn to alcohol or whatever it is but finding Christ and feeling his love fills that void. We talked for almost an hour. Sister Despain was talking to another guy about our beliefs too. We had our book of Mormons open and it was just like we had planned it or something, and really hadn't! Near the end Allen said, "I really like all the things you're saying. Where do I go to start coming to church?" We gave him the address but then told him that we can meet with him and teach him more. He agreed and we left him with a conference ensign and a Book of Mormon. We're meeting with him on Tuesday at Wayne and Patty's. Something else he said that was cool was, "There is something about you both. I don't know if purity is the word, no, it's more of a spark. You have this spark about you and I've only met a few people in the world with it. But both of you have it." We thanked him but told him he can have it too and it comes from following Jesus Christ. I realized that most of the other people were listening to Sister Despain and my conversations and so we turned to the rest of them and asked all of them what they believe about God. We started teaching the Restoration and the spirit was there. I love seeing the look in people's faces when they are touched by the spirit. It's like their spirit is just yearning inside for the truth! It was the best Thanksgiving ever. Big bummer though-- Allen lives in the Elder's area! So we're going to teach him but if he progresses he'll have to go to the Potsdam Branch and be their baptism. It's all for the same purpose, but it would just be cool for him to attend the little branch here. They need him.
We were so grateful Heavenly Father blessed us with the chance to share the gospel over thanksgiving dinner! We were talking about it afterwards and Sister Despain and I both admitted that we were nervous for Thanksgiving. We didn't want to be homesick. I was nervous about eating the turkey too. It was like God knew our desire was to focus and blessed us with people to share His message with. It was quite the memory. I will always remember this Thanksgiving.
I have a couple more cool experiences from this week that I'll have to handwrite home about because I'm out of time. We found two amazing new investigators. It has been a couple weeks since we've found a new investigator so we were so excited about it. New investigators are the lifeblood of missionary work! People have questions that the Book of Mormon can answer. It's like finally they are receiving answers. That's what this gospel does. It brings light and understanding to our lives. I am so thankful to be able to help people find those answers and let them know that God is there waiting to respond to them.
Thanks again for your emails, prayers, love and support. You are the best! Have a great week. Stay warm and drive safe in that snow! I love you!
Love, Sister Zwick

Monday, November 22, 2010

"Because I have been given much I too must give" Hymn 219

I can't believe it's already Pday again. I feel like I was just here at the library yesterday. Time is going so fast and I'm trying to "enjoy every minute, every second" like Dad urged me to do at the MTC curb. I wish I could just stop time and be able to serve as a full time missionary my whole life. I love the people of New York! I've been thinking that I'll move back up here to Ogdensburg next summer and be a member missionary and help the Sisters out. There is so much work to be done here. Transfer calls come not this weekend, but next. Sister Despain has been here since May and started crying last night because she wants to see more happen here and doesn't know what else to do. She's an amazing missionary though and has worked miracles here! I love her so much. She has given so much to this area. I just reminded her how baptisms are a poor reflection of doing our best. It talks about knowing if we are a successful missionary in Preach My Gospel, and the first thing it mentions is following the spirit and feeling it work through you to the blessing of those you teach. She's so in tune and has blessed lives up here. Whether or not they choose to use their agency righteously is not up to us. She feels like she's going to be transfered. She said she's going to write President Bulloch and tell him that she and I could stay companions here forever. I feel the same way. Not because I love serving in the area itself, but just because this tiny branch has so much potential and we want to help the Lord build it up. I don't think I could leave either, not having seen it grow. But I have to remember the work is going to continually move forward, forever. We think it'd be so fun to spend Christmas together again, just like the MTC. Two in a row! Like we're siblings or something! This past week was cold but I try not to think about it and just focus on the people. I learned that last winter, and it works! John is doing great and told us that his baptism was "the most important day of his life"! We taught him about Priesthood and Auxilaries on Wednesday. It was really cool. We could sense his feeling of inadequacy to hold the priesthood. But atleast he's humble! It reminded me of Elder Uchtdorf's talk from October General Conference. "Pride and the Priesthood" and that the power withdraws itself once pride creeps in. Throughout my mission I've seen how nervous people are to recieve the priesthood. It's been good to see though because they recognize it as something sacred. We taught him about the different offices and responsibilites and blessings that come from serving as a priesthood holder. We specifically told him how he can bless the lives of the members of the branch by contributing in an office. The highlight of the lesson though was his closing prayer. He prayed for "President Thomas S. Monson" to have health and strength and continue to direct the church as he does. Afterwards in the car I was like, "Sister Despain, he prayed for the prophet! And he got the name exactly right too." She's like, "I know!" It was so cool! I love hearing someone we teach develop their own love for and understanding of God's chosen prophet! He read through the April Conference Ensign and really enjoyed it, so now we're going to give him the October one. Other news: Zone Conference was on Friday. I think I said it was Thursday in my last email, but it was Friday. It was wonderful to see President and Sister Bulloch and the other missionaries in our Zone. He told our Zone, "This is the mission field as it really is." We are all serving in these tiny branches. He said our emails and stories invoke memories from his mission in Montana, serving in a little branch there. He testified of the uniqueness of the area making an impact on his testimony and love of service forever. He said, "The members needed us, we knew they needed us, and we were able to bless them and they blessed us." I know exactly how he felt, because we feel that way. I've realized how important church attendance is and how we each make such a valuable contribution. I'll be forever grateful for what I'm learning here, and I know the Lord needs me to learn even more. I found out that Ogdensburg is the smallest branch in the mission. :( Not for long though! Heavenly Father has led us to people who now have testimonies, but just huge barriers such as marriage, paralization, that keep them from being able to meet the qualifications of baptism. We are praying so hard for them. Currently, no one we are teaching has a baptismal date. We are planning on setting two this week, and praying that the date will push them to make a couple significant changes. The theme of Zone Conference was "Increasing our Faith through Obedience, Diligence, and Sacrifice." We have twelve in our Zone and President said it reminded him of the first twelve apostles who were sent to Europe. We read a lot of the counsel the Lord gave to them in the Doctrine and Covenants. My favorite verses we read were D&C 64:33-34 It says, "Be not weary in well doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great. Behold the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind; and the willing and obedient shall eat the good of the land of Zion in these last days." I love it because it talks about laying a foundation and these little seeds we plant every day, even when it feels like not much is coming from them, all goes towards that foundation. Just bringing people to the next level of conversion. I'm going to try to memorize that verse so I can recite it when I get discouraged. Ha ha. At Zone Conference, President Bulloch brought us out in the hall and there was a weight hanging by a rope from the ceiling. He asked an Elder to sit in this chair and hold the weight next to his chin and then to release it like a pedulum. He gave him some rules first though. He said, "Now, you shouldn't push it because then it will come back and hit you in the face. But if you stay still right from where you let it go, it will swing back and come short of hitting you because of friction and gravity. Then he said, you cannot move." So the Elder did it and he moved backwards, because he was afraid of it hitting him. President said, "Elder, why did you move?" And he's like, "I was worried it was going to hit me." Then President said, "Do you trust in the gravity and friction working?" And he's like, "Let me do it again." So President said, "What's happening here? His faith is increasing because of his experimentation on being obedient." He did it a second time and didn't move, and just as President Bulloch said, it didn't hit him in the face. So then President is like, "Sister Zwick, do you trust that this works?" I knew if I said yes, he'd make me do it, and if I said no, he'd make me do it! I was doomed either way! So all the Elders were laughing and I looked at Sister Despain, so scared! I already have had braces twice. I was so nervous it was going to hit me in the face. Luckily I didn't get hit. The whole purpose of the demonstration was to show that "Faith is the substance or assurance of things hoped for" -Hebrews 11 and confidence in the doing. We discussed doubt and fear and how they oppose faith. And how when we doubt in an outcome, it can cause us to not do what we have been asked to do. So President said he's been praying and asking Heavenly Father, "How can I strengthen my faith in the Lord and how can I help my missionaries strengthen their faith in Him?" The answer he kept receiving is "the righteous use of agency." So, obedience. He told about his setting apart and that Elder Scott repeatedly said, "Trust your missionaries." We read in the scriptures about being compelled to be humble only sometimes produces repentances, and how in the same way, being compelled to be obedient, only sometimes produces obedience. He told really cool stories about receiving his answer, to help us strengthen our faith. He's the best story teller! Regarding obedience though he shared that quote that says, "When obedience ceases to be an irritant and becomes our quest, it is in that momtent God will endow us with power." He talked about the power being faith. And we do what is right because we want to qualify for the companionship of the holy ghost to touch the hearts of the people, not because we have to. And so he said, "If I want you missionaries to have greater faith, I've got to give you greater freedom." He did away with the "extra rules" the former mission president set in stone and said only the white handbook applies now. He knew there'd be casualties, but he wants us to have the opportunity to listen to the spirit more and when we're compelled we receive the lesser blessing. He told a story about his daughter begging every Spring Break to travel to Mesquite with her friends, and every year he told her "No." But her Senior year he and Sister Bulloch prayed about it and felt like they should let her go. He said "I came out of my bedroom with the best seminary teacher speech I could come up with, with all the reasons it is a bad idea to go, but let her make her own decision. It didn't take more than a second for her to get on the phone to her friends, 'I can go!'" But the next day he got home from work and she should have already left. She was sitting there in the house though! He asked her what was wrong and if she wanted to talk. She said no at first but then said, "Why does that happen? I was all ready to go. My friends pulled up, and a voice said, 'don't go'. I tried to ignore it, but it came again, 'don't go.'" President Bulloch said he told her he was proud of her for listening to the prompting, but the next morning they found out why. She got a call from one of her friends from the Las Vegas jail! They had met up with some boys and the cops arrested all the girls and guys there because of some drugs the boys had brought. He said, "If I would've told her not to go on the trip, I would have deprived her from the most testimony building experience of her life." Cool huh? It reminded me so much of you, Dad! I've been in that position so many times with you I feel like! ha ha. He talked about how he can't dictate righteousness and that it's a choice and he hopes we all are obedient so we can have greater faith and qualify for the companionship of the Holy Ghost. Zone Conference has made me think about why I live the rules. Is it because I love the Lord and want to qualify for the spirit so it can touch the people here, or is it because I feel forced to? I feel like I do it for the spirit but I can always do better at being 100% obedient. There are rules I do keep because I feel like I have to. I'm praying to see the positives in them and to have a desire to keep them not because I'm compelled to but because I love the Lord. It was one of my mission goals, to be exactly obedient. So this Zone Conference was a good reminder. I also have been thinking of things I can sacrifice to more fully give my attention to the people here. Like mail, only reading it Pday, etc. Thursday night Sister Despain and I were invited to a Potsdam Branch Relief Society Meeting to give a presentation on Preach My Gospel. How to use it in scripture study, family home evening, and how we're going to use what we learned from it in our future. I think it went well. The ladies were really appreciative and said they enjoyed it. Three of them I talked to were married to non-members. I have such a respect and admiration for them! They are so strong and were so interested in how to use Preach My Gospel in their home to help not only their children, but their non-member spouse. Wow. I don't think I could do it. These converts are amazing. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. THIRTY are going to be at our house? Mom, you're amazing. You are so nice. I'll think about all of you. Annual Zwick Tennis Tourny happening? I hope the weather isn't too bad and you can do it again. My bet is on Dad whipping everyone into shape. I'll be writing a letter home about our plans for Thanksgiving. A couple who is investigating invited us. Thank you for your support. I am so grateful to have you as my family! I love you so much! Have a Happy Thanksgiving! Love, Sister Zwick

Monday, November 15, 2010

"And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased."-Matt. 3:17

What a priveledge it is to invite people to come unto Christ and witness them change through repentance and utilizing the Atonement in their lives! I just love this so so much. All week we were anxiously awaiting the baptism on Saturday. These baptisms seem to be like the biggest events of my life, and it has nothing to do with me. It's just like all we do every day and night is prepare people to reach this point; it's so very exciting for us missionaries and for them! So yes, John was baptized on Saturday! It was so so beautiful! I so wish you all could have been there to see John and feel the spirit there. There is such a special spirit at baptisms. I could feel God's love for John very strongly. I know He's so proud of the decision John made to enter into the first covenant of baptism with Him. And this is only the beginning of his journey of becoming more like the Savior through making and keeping covenants. So I'll tell you a little bit about our day Saturday. It was adventurous, let me tell you. About a week ago Sister Despain and I went to the church to check out the font and figure out how to fill it. There were bugs in the font and it definitely needed a cleaning. There hasn't been a baptism in the branch since March. So we decided to go to the church early Saturday a few hours prior to the baptism to clean the font and make sure it was all ready for John's baptism at 1:00. When we got there we put the plug in and turned on the water to give it a good ol' rinse. As we waited we finished our companionship study and in the background heard the beautiful sound of the water filling the font. Loved it! After our study we walked into the room to make sure it was full enough before we drained out the bugs and it looked full enough. Sister Despain said, "Okay let's drain it!" And I gasped! "Guess what I just thought of!" Her hands covered her mouth and she's like, "Oh no!" We burst out laughing and she said, "Who wants to go swimming!?" So there I was, getting in a white baptismal suit, commando! Ha ha. I went into the dirty water with flies and hardened worms floating in it, to pull the plug. It was kind of fun though. I got out quickly and we made sure it was thoroughly rinsed clean before we filled it again for the REAL thing. When it was about 3/4 of the way full I went to feel the water with my foot and it was scorching hot! So hot that my foot turned bright red. As you can tell, neither of us have filled a font before, and no one in the branch knew how! In our last areas, we served in the same ward as our District Leaders and they always told us they'd take care of filling the font, as they lived around the corner from the church. But we're alone up here! We were too afraid to mess with the gages in the box and didn't know which one adjusted the temperature, so we decided to pour cold water in the old fashioned way! We got our pitchers and walked about 20 times from the kitchen sink to the baptismal font. With prayer and effort it reached perfect temperature and we were dry, changed into proselyting clothes, and the font was full by the time John and the other branch members arrived. When John got to the church he kept saying, "Is it hot in here?" He was all nervous! He looked so good when he came out in his white! I think I was smiling my ears off. It almost brought me to tears just to see him finally at this point. He sacrificed so much of his old lifestyle to get here. Before the baptism he was standing in the hallway with his head against his hands and against the wall just crying and we think praying? We didn't really want to interrupt. One of the Palmyra temple Elders (Elder Guthrie) who are on assignment to attend our branch and help us reactivate performed John's baptism. Since the font is small, after the baptismal prayer, John had to kneel and then lye down into the water. It was so cool! Both of the members who we had giving the talks decided they couldn't come participate last minute, and so Sister Despain and I ended up giving them on baptism and the Holy Ghost. The ordinance was just really good and the spirit was present. Sunday, John walked in with his scriptures in Sister Despain's scripture case (which she gave him). Earlier in the week she said, "He just loves his scriptures so much that I want to give him my scripture case." And she did at our last lesson with him before his baptism. As we were saying good bye to him after the lesson he was like, "I'll see you at my baptism, and if I'm not there, you'll know what happened." I said, "What?" And he said, "I died. That's the only way I'm missing it!" Ha ha. In that same meeting he said, "It's going to feel so good to step into the water knowing I've apologized to everyone I've ever hurt." He's really repentant and humble. He's shared a lot with us and the Lord has softened his heart through the weeks. I love seeing people change for the better! Elder Sherwood (another Palmyra temple Elder) confirmed John in sacrament meeting. The branch president and a couple members were in the circle. The blessing was given by the spirit and the words were so fitting. And since it was fast and testimony meeting John got up and bore his testimony! Can you believe it? His first Sunday as a member! He's going to be such a strong priesthood holder in this little branch. We know Heavenly Father answered our prayers and led us to him. He was always so willing to accept any commitment we gave him because he loves the Lord. I just have such a strong testimony of finding through tracting. You hear it's the worst method, but it's one of the only ways to find, and John, someone so strong came out of tracting! We are hoping we can find more like him. I know they're out there. Something he said in his testimony I will never forget was, "I finally feel close to Jesus Christ and I will never turn my back on Him again." I just want him to stay converted forever. Well, I will attach some pictures. We have Zone Conference this Thursday. We are really looking forward to it. The first presidency changed the frequency of Zone Conference and interviews. They are now only held once every other transfer. So it feels like we haven't had one in so long. Sister Despain and I and two Elders are doing a musical number in it. I'll let you know how it goes. I love you! Love, Sister Zwick