Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Week 34: Boston's Snowiest Winter

I'm not 100% sure that that's right, but I know we're at least in second place. We had another 6 inches of snow last night, but that didn't stop us at all today! Thank goodness.

This past week was really good! It definitely has been interesting staying in the area but with a new companion, but I love Sister Cruz. So far we've gotten along really well! It's pretty great.

I'm glad all of you enjoyed that package. Just think, when I get home I could have or make so much more of all of that! I hope you like the Pao de Queijo. That's the best.

Time is short, so let's see.....

Monday night we had dinner with the Benjaminsen family. Here are the highlights:
-(as the 7yo was guessing my name) oh it's..... SISTER CANOODLE! That means you like noodles, right? 

Exactly. Just keep thinking that.

-(the 7yo liked American girl dolls, so we bonded, then her 10yo brother said) well, in Sister Knutti's time....

Now I feel older than I should.

Haha just some highlights. Sister Canoodle. Man.

Tuesday Sister Lima packed for a while, but that night we taught Dylan! He's awesome. We finished the Plan of Salvation, and he remembered just about everything! Later we finally taught Jose, Maria's brother, again about the Restoration, and we extended a baptismal date AND HE SAID YES! So Jose will be baptized April 11th. I'm so excited. He's really funny and a great investigator.

Wednesday: TRANSFERS. We got to go to lunch with Sister Meredith at a Mexican place, which was really fun. We loooooove Sister Meredith. That night was transfer meeting, and I knew A LOT of missionaries who went home. Sister Belchior, Elder Rivera were the ones I knew best. I knew probably 5 others. That was weird. And now Sister Cruz is my companion!! I love her. She's really awesome. :) I do miss Sister Lima, but I know I'm supposed to be with Sister Cruz now.

Thursday we spent forever planning. Actually, that morning we had a lesson with Sharon. Ah, Sharon. She's really a sweet lady. So the English Elders have been teaching her, but she prefers women, so long story short we're going to teach her from now on. She really studied Messianic Judaism for a long time, so she knows the Bible way better than I ever will. But she just doesn't want to read the Book of Mormon, because then she'll have to do something about it if it's true. 

Isn't that the key though? If you found the truth in the world, you have to do something to accept it, to acknowledge that it is the truth and that you are willing to follow it. So we're working to try to get her to read the Book of Mormon. But she's really nice--she made us a very delicious apple crisp! Love that.

But after that lesson, we planned forever and had dinner with the Bezzants. Did I tell you that she served in Temple Square the same time my aunt Sarah did? She couldn't remember a Sister Knutti off the top of her head, but maybe Sarah would? I don't know her maiden name, but she has really pretty very blonde hair. Ring any bells?

Friday we had district meeting! Our district is awesome. The Spanish elders now are shotgunning the area, but they're really good elders and they're doing great. You know that they're fun when we all decide to go to the best pizza place in the world..... Chuck E Cheese of course! (hahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahaha ok so we're not actually going to go there for the pizza, but for the games. Of course. But we probably will eat some pizza, whoops.) But the Elders here are really pretty cool. 

That afternoon we stopped by people, then say the Kostetskys. Oh I love that family so much. The coolest thing happened too--Matthew, one of the autistic boys, gave us all kisses on our cheeks! That was the sweetest thing I've seen in a long time. That made my heart happy. Sister Cruz has some really good ideas of how to help them and our other investigators, so this is going to be great. 

Saturday we taught English class to a man who is a solid potential (he even came to church yesterday!!), so we're going to work on that this week. We taught Joame with Sister MacLean, the Bishop's wife, and it went really well. Gabbi's kind of mad at us that Sister Lima left though...

And Saturday night was so fun. Dylan got baptized!!! Sister Lima wasn't allowed to come though :( But I was glad I could be there. He really is an amazing little kid. After the baptism and dinner, we had an adult game night for the adults in the ward. We played minute to Win it games, and it was SO FUN. The bishop and other men in the ward having to shake ping pong balls out of the box strapped to their waists was the best thing I've seen in a long time. Sister Steadman got a couple of videos of Sister Cruz and I that she shared on dropbox... I think I shared those with you. Anyways, it was so fun. And someone's nonmember husband came! Ah, that was exciting. We're working to get him as an investigator too.

And Sunday. I love Sundays. We had ward council and Church and dinner and a fireside with President Packard. Could you have a better Sunday? Probably not. At church, I taught Gospel Principles, and Sister Cruz was going to teach Portuguese RS, but then she didn't have to. Lucky. But it was kind of fun to teach gospel principles! (that was because our ward mission leader is in Disney World right now. He's the lucky one.) And the whole time at church I was thinking about how much I love the people here SO MUCH. This ward I'm serving in is absolutely wonderful. Before my mission I didn't realize how much I could love a whole lot of people so much, but it's real. Charity is just about the coolest thing ever.

For dinner, Sister Cruz had her very first PB&J sandwich. And she loved it.

The fireside that night was awesome--"What the World Knows Because of Joseph Smith". Same one as from September when I was in Brockton. But it was so cool! And here's just one thing that President Packard said:

We are the offspring of deity. We have the seeds of deity inside of us! God is literally our father, and He truly loves us. Every single thing He does is to help us to learn and grow and become more like Him. He'll never stop us because we're becoming "too good" or "too righteous". He just loves us. And that is the most comforting thing about the gospel I think.

I got to see Sister Asay too! Oh, we'll see each other a lot now. That's super fun. It's fun to tell people here that we went to preschool together too, haha. I might even see her today! Our plans for today are getting a little crazy, so we'll see. But soon.

Well, family, I love you. I love my mission. I love Sister Cruz. I love this area. I love the people here. I love this gospel, and I love my Heavenly Father. I know that He loves you. Everything He ever does is only to help you--it's always in your favor. I don't know why bad or hard things have to happen sometimes, but I know it's because we need to learn something from them. I'm so grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ and knowing that we can truly start again and again, as long as we change. CHANGE. That's the key. We are saved by grace and by works, because we need to CHANGE. 

Go read the Book of Mormon. Live FOR this gospel.

I love you all! Have a wonderful week!

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