"...we will go speedily against those dissenters in the strength of our God according to the faith which is in us." -Alma 61:17
Thanks for the emails. Andrea, I am so happy you are out of the hospital FINALLY. I've been praying for you. It sounds like you got out just in time, for your birthday! I bet it was so fun to have Mom and Dad in town to celebrate with your cute little family. Em sent me pictures and your kids are getting so big! I didn't even recognize Katey until I turned the picture around and read that it was her! She looks like Andrea to a T though! Her facial expressions really are identical to yours, Annie. It was so fun to see pictures of my nieces and nephews, so thanks for sending those Em! You have the most beautiful kids.
Well, we've been a pitiful pair here these past couple days, just throwing up non stop. It was not fun. Sister Despain was throwing up Monday and that night I was up all night with it. Luckily Monday was Pday so we didn't miss a day of work, besides in the evening. I felt so bad canceling our appointments. I've never had to do that before and I felt like such a bad missionary. But what can you do when you're sick? We've been praying to regain our strength. Yesterday I was still sick but by the evening I was feeling better. We were able to plan for today, disinfect the apartment, and we got up and studied and are ready to work again! We're not feeling 100% strengthened but we're going to do our best to work today and get to the appointments we have scheduled.
We were really blessed this past week. John Spicer was at church again. He's progressing so well. He had slipped up living the word of wisdom though, and so we have to push his baptismal date to a week later, November 13th. We encouraged him this past week to live it again and he got all pumped up and gave us his chew and coffee and said he would do it for God (that was Wednesday). We followed up with him the next couple days over the phone and he was still living it! Then on Sunday at church he said he went to the convenient store and at the register the lady said, "Three packages of chewing tobacco?" and he said, "No, breath mints" and slapped some tic tacs on the counter. Ha ha. He quit smoking a few years ago and said he'd just do what he did to stop smoking, stop buying it. He's praying for resistance to the temptations and Heavenly Father is really helping him.
Sunday, President Bulloch's counselor came to our branch to ordain the new branch president :) So the new branch president is President Champaigne. Funny name huh? Especially when we're teaching all our investigators to live the word of wisdom. He's great. He's actually a transplant from the Potsdam Branch. He and his wife are on assignment to attend our branch to help it right now until it grows. He's a convert of 26 years. His wife was a member and when they met she introduced him to the missionaries and he felt the spirit and gained a testimony of the book of mormon, and is now the branch president! We love him and are excited to work with him.
The spirit truly led us this week to a woman named Diane. On Wednesday morning we studied in the Finding section of PMG and read over a section called "Finding through Former Investigators". It talked about the multiple reasons investigators stop investigating and that sometimes it's just because they go on vacation, not necessarily that they're uninterested in the message. So we felt like we should look through the former investigator records in the area book and choose a few to see. During lunch we fanned through them and picked out a couple. Well, that afternoon we went to one of them, Warren. As we knocked on his door a woman answered. We asked for Warren. She said, "No one by that name lives here." So of course we asked her about her beliefs and she said, "I'm a member of your church." We were taken by surprise! We then asked her when she joined and she told us it was 17 years ago in Georgia, but then she moved to North Carolina and some things happened and she swore to never walk into the church again. We didn't ask too many more questions besides asking her if she has time where we can come in and visit right then or come back. She said we could come in right then. We started with the usual, "I am a Child of God" and then Sister Despain said the prayer. We just started teaching the Message of the Restoration, and when we got to the Savior's Earthly ministry and Atonement, we testified that his hand is stretched out to all of us, no matter what we've done, he loves us still. She just started bawling. The spirit was touching her and we knew we were led to look through the Formers, to follow up with Warren, to find her! She needs the gospel back in her life so much. She said she left her scriptures in North Carolina. We gave her a new set and we are seeing her this afternoon again, hoping she read! She said the closing prayer that day we were there and in the prayer she said she new He had led us to her.
I was reading in Helaman 5 this morning about Nephi and Lehi's mission and it talked about them teaching with great power and authority in every few verses. In verse 17 it said that they did preach with great power and authority insomuch that they did confound many of those dissenters who had gone over from the Nephites, and it brought them to repentance. So Sister Despain and I looked up the word dissenter and it means one who disagrees or rejects doctrines of an established church. It reminded me of the less actives we are working with and that we need to teach them by the spirit so that they can repent and come back, just as many of the Nephites did. The great thing is they already have the gift of the holy ghost, so they are sensitive to the spirit. I love how much the book of mormon scriptures relate to our callings.
Well, I better get going. I love you so much! Have a great week! I will attach a couple pictures. People always ask Sister Despain and I if we're really "Sisters". We kind of look alike huh? It's fun to serve with her. We're becoming way good friends.
Love, Sister Zwick
We took this picture a couple of weeks ago on hump day... Enjoy!
"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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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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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)