Oh my word, I have never seen this much snow in my life! I think I said it was getting warmer in my last email, and I spoke too soon! On Tuesday evening it started snowing and didn't stop until yesterday afternoon! Schools closed, buses closed, and us missionaries went out to work :) It was so fun though. It sounds cold but we just layered and layered. We looked ridiculous, slapped on our nametags and went out. I'm going to send a picture or two. It's so awesome, the snow was past my knees on Friday! I wore snow pants under my skirt. Everyone is saying Ithaca hasn't seen this much snow since 1996. I guess it's an every 10 year snow fall (the big one) and it came a little late. Sister Hacking and I totally thought we'd be getting a call to stay inside. We didn't, and at first we were like, "What!? Are we seriously supposed to find people to talk to in this weather?" But we braved it, and were obedient and got out the door right on time every day and surprisingly found so many new people to talk to because they were outside shoveling out their car. We found it as a good tactic to talk to people as they shovel out their car and walks because they can't really run away. ha ha. We also had a few good service opportunities. The snow isn't bad, it's the wind. When the wind blows and there is freshly fallen snow, it all comes in your face. Friday night was so windy. We were just laughing and hiding our faces in our scarves. I asked Sister Hacking if we're allowed to wear snow goggles. She said, "Sister Bulloch had a missionary ask if he could wear a ski mask and she said, 'Are you kidding me? People are scared enough when two strangers knock at their door." So I guess the answer is no. ha ha.
Tracy's boys (Joey, Jimmy and David) have been in and out of the hospital with a really bad flu, even on IV's. They finally were home this weekend and well enough for a lesson. Their baptism (Joey and Jimmy's) date is set for March 20th. They are really cute and soaking things up. We've had to be awfully creative with our lessons to help them stay interested. It's been fun to teach with hands on activities. But they have a cat named fluffy and it means EVERYTHING to that family. On Saturday during the lesson it just jumped on my back as I was sitting on the floor and it attacked me!!! It was so scary! I was screaming and stood up and ran. The dumb cat! The boys and Tracy and Sister Hacking were laughing really hard. Ha ha.
Dah is a progressing investigator as well. She is 17 years old. At first we were teaching her family, but they don't want us to teach them anymore. We heard through the grapevine. However, Dah loves church and comes weekly with her friend June See who is a really strong member. We teach Dah at June See's home. It's neat to see June See bear testimony to Dah. I love how June See isn't ashamed to share her testimony with her friends. They're cute girls and can't wait until Sister Hacking and I are able to come visit Ithaca and have sleepovers with them. Ha ha. They bring it up every lesson. We haven't set Dah with a date yet, but we will soon.
Another progressing investigator is Chad Walsh. We met Chad downtown (it's like a mini NYC--downtown Ithaca, with shops and eateries--such a cute and fun area) one evening in January. He said, "I am interested in mormonism as a movement and Joseph smith as a historical figure, but I'm not going to be an easy convert." Those who say that usually end up having the best convert stories. In early January he said he believes that everything is beyond knowing and that our minds are not even capable of understanding the mysteries. But as he's been reading the Book of Mormon he's seeing that there are answers to deep questions. He never prayed before we met him. He's now praying multiple times a day. We meet with him twice a week. He's not quite ready to pray about this being the true church but he will eventually. He's moving slow but he's one we love teaching. He keeps all his commitments and the spirit is really strong when we teach him.
Ahhh I always have more to say but time is up. I love you all so so much! I miss you but there is nothing better than helping people get to know Jesus Christ and feel God's love through the spirit. The spirit is amazing. I'd be such a bad teacher without it. I gained a strong testimony of that this week. Well, g2g
I hope you're all doing well! Thanks for your prayers and support. Don't worry, I pray for you too. :) Have a wonderful week!
Happy Birthday Em!!! I LOVE YOU!