"...Ye are my disciples, if ye have lone one to another." -St. John 13:35
Happy Valentine's Day!!! :)
Mom, I woke up thinking about heart shaped pancakes and how cute you made the table look V-day morning growing up.
Thank you for the Valentine's Day package and the funny funny tape! I've listened to it twice and I probably will end up listening to it again whenever I need to get a good laugh. I was dying laughing at Parker's Bball class story and think you're wise to get on potty training him Em. Poor kid. His cute little voice! I could not believe he sang the whole song, "Follow the Prophet". I kept rewinding the tape to hear Blake and Parker. I love when Parker said, "I member you, Tia." And "Be my Vawentine!" Chad was hilarious. I made a tape in response and I'll be sending it off today, so get excited.
My companion has been really sick the past few days. Saturday we went to Insta-care and after like a 3 hour wait they found nothing wrong with her. She was like, "If this is how I feel with nothing wrong, I don't want to see how I am when something is wrong." It's too bad they didn't at least test her for strep. Her throat has been hurting badly. I waited in the waiting room for her and not until the ride home did she tell me they didn't test her for strep. I wanted to turn around and go back. All that waiting for them not to even do a strep test!? The Insta-care was packed full. I felt like I was getting sick just sitting in the waiting room. All these people were talking about how mono is going around. Sister Woodmansee didn't get tested for it but has slept sooooo much the past few days and her back really hurts. I remember those symptoms. I'm kind of glad I had it once before so I can be sure I don't get it again. Yesterday was the first Sunday on my mission I've had to miss church. I was way bummed but tried not to show it because I know she can't control being sick. One of our investigators didn't want to go without us there because she was afraid of feeling uncomfortable. Next week though. We've had to stay in Saturday and Sunday. She's feeling better today so we're going to go out and work tonight. She got a blessing yesterday from Elder Esplin and Elder Sherwood (a palmyra temple missionary). Elder Esplin saw on our counter all the valentine's day treats and said, "Looks like the Valentine's fairy delivered!" Both Sister Woodmansee and I got packages with tapes from our families on Saturday. It was perfect. I always feel bad if I get mail when my companion doesn't, you know? AND Dylan sent me a Valentine's Day package! He even wrote Sister Woodmansee a letter and gave her candy too. Nice huh?
Sad news: We had to hand Allen over to the Potsdam Elders. I told Elder Miller he should be kissing our feet because we basically handed them a baptism. Lately Allen hasn't been able to come into our area to be taught and so since he lives in Elder Miller and Maxfields area, they are supposed to teach him. It's been way positive for Wayne and Patty (the couple whose home we teach them at). We talked to President Bulloch and he said we'll still get to go to Allen's baptism, even though it will be in the Potsdam building. So now he's their investigator and they can start the fellowshipping process there with their members.
We met Allen Friday and broke the news. It was sad that it was our last lesson with him, but it was a good test of his conversion. Sister Woodmansee wanted me to tell him. Ugh. So between telling him we can't teach him anymore, calling and canceling our appointments with investigators Saturday and Sunday, and talking to President about Dylan, it's been a week I'm so ready to have over. Ha ha. I've had to face so many fears of confrontation, say a lot of prayers, and trust in the Lord for help.
It all went well and no one reacted badly. We told Allen the message is about Jesus Christ, not us missionaries and that's why they move us around so much. Prior to this conversation, Allen had said, "I don't think I'd listen to Elders, so it's good you Sisters are teaching me." Thinking back on that made us apprehensive to tell him he is going to now be taught by them. When we told President Bulloch that, he said, "Of course he'd rather have you teach him. You're two beautiful girls." Ha ha. Allen took it so well though and said he'll for sure meet with them and still prepare for baptism. Wayne was in the room and said, "Now if you come here and meet with Patty and I is Allen going to have to go sit in the corner?" It was way funny and totally lightened the mood of the conversation, which was good. We were laughing and saying, "Lock the door, Allen is coming!" We were like, "No, of course not. If he is here, we'll teach all of you. The majority of his teachings will have to be by the Elder's just because it's more convenient, and we can't leave our area to teach people." So Tuesday Allen is going to be at Wayne and Patty's and we'll be there too, to meet with Wayne and Patty. But we want a picture with Allen just in case I'm not here for his baptism. It's been a humbling experience, handing him over to the Elders. I've had to learn how the harvest really isn't ours, it's the Lords. It doesn't matter who does the teaching, all that matters is that they develop trust and faith in Jesus Christ. President talked me through it and helped me have a better perspective. It was hard though because I really feel like Allen was one I needed to come on my mission to teach. President Bulloch said, "I don't doubt that at all. That is why you were supposed to meet and teach him. Now we need to have him attend the branch he lives closest too." I'm over the heartache about it now. ha ha. And I told Allen to just pay attention to the way he feels when being taught from the Elders, because the Spirit is the same, and it can be an added testimony to him that this is really true, regardless of who delivers it.
Yesterday John (recent convert from November) taught the Priesthood lesson!!! Isn't that awesome? Elder Esplin came over after church and told us who of our investigators were there and that John did a fabulous job on the lesson. I'm sooooo happy John is progressing so well. I guess two of our other investigators (men) were there and the one with a baptism date, Don even said the opening prayer in Priesthood! It's amazing to see the Lord answer our prayers. Every day since I've been here I've prayed to be led to Priesthood holders who can lead this branch, and it's been happening. Elder Esplin said there were more men than women there yesterday! John is preparing to receive the Melchizedek priesthood here soon too. Not yesterday but last Sunday he passed me the sacrament! It was the coolest thing to take the bread from a tray being held by someone we tracted into. I love seeing this little branch grow, and see how the gospel of Jesus Christ really does change people!
I LOVE LOVE LOVE YOU! I miss you and am counting down the days until I see you all again, 101 :)
Have a Happy Happy Valentine's Day and I will too! Thanks again for the cute package and tape. The mini mailbox was adorable. And chapstick--so perfect! 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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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)