It feels strange emailing on Tuesday instead of Monday! I feel like I'm breaking the rules. The libraries were closed yesterday and President Bulloch allowed us permission to email today.
Well, mom, I'm so happy you had a fun birthday spent with all the kids. Does Andrea feel really bad she's not there? Annie, don't worry you and me are out of it together. I can't believe Em's boys sat through an entire Real soccer game. They're getting so big!
It's warming up here. I never thought I'd be in short sleeves. Those winter months were brutal. Yesterday it was in the 90's and it is again today! I'm loving it.
We moved into our new apartment. Man, it was a project. We didn't do it last Pday, so yesterday we did hours of sorting and boxing up and moved it into our new place. Next Pday we'll have to unload all the boxes. We made sure to keep a week's worth of clothes out, our study materials, and bedding. It was so fun to wake up in a new place. Our shower doesn't have bugs and we have AC! It's still close to campus and in an ideal spot. We aren't on a hill, which makes it soooo nice at the end of the day walking home. Ithaca Falls (one of the most beautiful falls in the area) is a block away too. At night when we open our windows we get a breeze from the waterfall. It's so sweet.
My companion is funny. She hates talking to people. Kind of like me, right? ;) I feel bad because I wish I could empathize and I can't. I love people which I know she does too but she just gets scared and says she can't think of what to say next. I don't know if there are just crazy people in Ithaca or if they are everywhere and I just didn't talk to people I didn't know as often as I do now. But some people are so funny here. Just wacko. However, I love finding out what people believe and why they do and then testifying and relating it to something they said. In Preach My Gospel President Holland promises that when listening to people, something that they say will always highlight a truth of the gospel about which you can bear testimony and about which you can then offer more. It's so true too. I've tried to get Sister Cox motivated by telling her about Dan, and Xun Dai (a progressing investigator) and in both cases it started with us missionaries saying, "Hello, how are you?" What I have to keep in mind is life after this. I never want to meet someone who says, "Why didn't you tell me?" Sister Cox thinks I know everyone in the city. Ha ha. I tell her stories about all the people. More than about 20 people have said, "You're still here?" I hope it's not a bad thing. I guess it's because there have been a couple sisters come and go and I'm still here. I really don't want to ever leave Ithaca. It's become home to me.
I love the people we're teaching right now too. Just the other night during planning we planned to see some less actives in the area book who I have never met. We went to see this lady on Fair Street and before we got to her there were a husband and wife on their porch. We started talking to them and sat there and had a really good lesson on the Restoration. The spirit was present and they want us to come back tomorrow night. We didn't even end up going to the lady we had planned on seeing because it was time to go home, but it was just another testimony to me that the Lord inspires us during planning. He always has more in mind than we do and leads us to those people prepared when we follow the promptings of the Spirit.
Tonight Sister Cox is going to extend her first baptismal invitation to Amanda Li. She has now come to church two Sundays and told us she knows the church is true and that Joseph Smith is a prophet. She has been reading the book of mormon daily. She's been so prepared for this. Her husband and daughter came in town from China a couple weeks ago and they all went to Temple Square. She told us that she and her husband were talking about getting a divorce that morning and then they went to temple square, and one of the Sisters shared a message about families. She said she felt so good afterwards. It made me think of my roommate Tricia serving there and how she really will impact people and help them recognize the spirit which is crucial to then progress towards baptism, and it's because of that Sister at temple square who has helped Amanda recognize the Holy Ghost. We're setting her for July 24th. I'm praying it goes well.
It's amazing, a guy in the ward has his office 3 doors down from Amanda's on campus! She knew him prior to us teaching her. He and his wife have been great fellowshippers and had Amanda and us Sisters over for dinner a few nights ago. She trusts and respects him and he tells us she asks him questions about the book of mormon daily! So great!
Well, I hope you have a good week. You're in my thoughts and daily prayers. Take care! I love you!
Love, Sister Zwick
P.s. To my cousin entering the MTC: Sister Steven's, you're gonna love this. Trust in the Lord. He'll strengthen you and lead you to people prepared to meet you! I love you!
"After all that has been said, the greatest and most important duty is to preach the Gospel." -Joseph Smith
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Sister Christina Zwick New York Utica Mission PO Box 149 Whitesboro, NY 13492-0149
Packages can be sent to: Sister Christina Zwick New York Utica Mission 8539 Clark Mills Rd Whitesboro, NY 13492
"We have been made instruments in the hands of God to bring about this great work" Alma 26:3
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Blessed to open this last dispensation
Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it.
"Young men and women who serve missions are never the same. They return home with qualities and strengths that seem to come from no other experience. They know, as they never knew before, that this work is true and that it is the most important work on the face of the earth. They return home with a desire to continue to serve. They have established a foundation on which to grow in future responsibilities."--President Gordon B. Hinckley, Dec. 1986
“The Standard of Truth has been erected. No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing. Persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame. But the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and dependent till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, until the purposes of God shall be accomplished and the Great Jehovah will say, ‘The work is done.”
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We thank thee oh God for a prophet
Thomas S. Monson- 16th President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
"Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity." Margaret D. Nadauld (General Conference Address ~ October 7, 2000)