It's getting colder up here! I had to break out my thermals and winter coat, but the trees are beautiful and the work is going well, so I'm good.
It sounds like you've had fun with the grandkids all there. They are all talking and walking now!? So cute!
I found out Zwick's Island is two hours away, and across the bridge (towards Canada), and out of our assigned area, so I will not be able to get there. Think of the receptivity I could have with a name like "Sister Zwick" there though! Ha ha. I will be going there one day. Supposedly there are parks on the island named after us too. How come I didn't ever know about this until now? It's so sweet. We have to take a family trip there.
Something sad happened Thursday night. You know Dora, one of our most progressing investigators? We went to teach her and right as we sat down she said, "I'm going to have to ask you to leave." We didn't even know what to say. She's like, "I've been talking to my friends and doctor and they tell me to not get involved with the mormons." Tears swelled up in her eyes, and in ours. Sister Despain said, "Can I ask you why they think that?" And she said, "It's just how it is." We started to bear our testimonies and she said, "I know you're door is always open to me, but I'm going to have to ask you to leave." We gave her hugs and then walked out. It's sad to see someone feel the spirit and come so far, and then walk away from all of it. She didn't use her agency very well, but we are continuing to pray for her to come back. She had been to church three times, loved conference, had been living the word of wisdom. We walked out and just stood there and were like, "Did that just happen?" It reminded me of a section in PMG that I have read so many times that comforts me when my heart is sad for them. It says something like, "Some may not accept your message even when they have received a spiritual witness that it is true. Don't become discouraged, discouragement will weaken your faith." We were sad because we love her and want her to be able to receive salvation. She won't forget her feelings though. We went on with our night and tried to push it behind us. All we can do now is pray for her.
On a better note, John Spicer, the vietnam vet. who loves the book of mormon came to church for his first time on Sunday. He loved it and said he wanted to get up and bear his testimony! We also set him with a baptismal date this week. He's preparing to be baptized on November 6th. He was befriended by members and felt comfortable. We also had another investigator at church, with her son, and also a less active father of a large family was at church too. We stopped by his home and invited him to church and he came! He and his wife are sealed and haven't come to church in over a year. It was cool to see him singing the hymns. He had tears in his eyes when we shook his hand good bye. I asked if we can plan on seeing him there next Sunday. He said "yes". We're praying for his family to come too and are planning on visiting them before Sunday to teach them something simple, encourage them to come to church, and show them our love and the Lord's love for them.
We had the area authority attend our branch on Sunday to see if it's functioning okay without a branch president. His name is Elder David(?) Cook. The spirit was strong and he bore his testimony and talked about unity and being one with each other and the Lord. By the sounds of it, we'll be staying open. That means Sister Despain and I have a lot of people to find and reactivating to do! He said he is best friends with Uncle Craig.
We also had an all mission conference on Friday. It was fun to see all the missionaries. Elder Grow from the seventy came. Something I really liked that he said was "one of the purposes of the book of mormon is to show that God would have a righteous people who would keep covenants with him." It's all about keeping our covenants with the Lord so we can remain clean and worthy to live with him again. I love being able to help people make their first covenant at baptism to start on their path to return home to live with Him and their families forever. It's a beautiful work!
I love you and miss you all. Thanks for your emails, prayers, and love. I hope you have a good week. Happy Birthday Annie!!!
"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)