Monday, December 29, 2014

Carina's getting baptized on the 10th of Jan!!! Awesome!

Hellloooo (: 

   Wow, it's so crazy that Christmas is already over! Whoa. Christmas always such a great time of year, especially as a missionary. It has been the most amazing time being able to truly get into the spirit of giving everything to the Lord. I love it, because I have gained a pretty good testimony on sacrificing things for the Lord. It may take some faith giving up whatever it is (2 years, 10% of your income, etc.), but in the end you will truly find that what you "sacrifice" isn't a sacrifice after all, because the Lord blesses you with SOOOOOOOOOOO much more than you give up! It's truly amazes me and I feel the spirit testifying to me that that is true everytime I make a "sacrifice" for Him and His work. The Ewings had us over for Christmas dinner and that was a lot of fun! They are great. 
   The area is doing well! We had 4 lessons with Carina this week, one of which was the time we went over to her grandmother's house on Christmas Eve, and had the experience I told you about on the phone. (At least I think I told you.... basically we went over to visit her on Christmas Eve, and we ended up playing a couple Christmas songs for her whole family on the guitar and with us singing. Then we went inside to teach her, and slowly almost everyone that was outside came in to listen to us teach! It was so sweet! Then there was a lady named Angela who wanted to go to church, so we got her information to send to the missionaries in Simi Valley, where she lives. I asked her if she had a Book of Mormon and I pulled one out of my coat pocket to give to her, and she was like, "you'd just give that to me?" and I replied that it was our Christmas gift to her. She then explained that she had been searching for a Book of Mormon for a long time, and could only find one in Spanish from a used book store. She was super grateful and I'm pretty sure she's been contacted by the missionaries over there! #miracleshappen)  Carina is still excited to be baptized on January 10th! We'll be setting up a baptismal interview for her sometime soon. Our investigator Jesse has been in Utah for a while and we haven't found out when he's getting back, but we'll find that out soon. We met an Indian guy named Ulhas walking down the street this past week. He was really nice and recognized us as Mormon missionaries. He just moved to the states like a month ago, and he is a Christian. We taught him about the Book of Mormon, and read Moroni 10:3-5 with him, and he understood it perfectly! I thought there would be a huge language barrier, but he understood it really well, and the spirit was super strong. He was really excited to read the Book of Mormon! He didn't show up to church yesterday like he said he would, but we have a lesson scheduled for this Tuesday at 8 pm and we're excited for it. 
    Elder Driggs is doing awesome. He really is such a strong missionary, and he loves being here. He's shared some of his personal experiences with me, and it was a long process for him to get on a mission. His experiences have really helped me! It really was a tender mercy for him to even be able to come on a mission. He's a fantastic teacher, and he always stays enthusiastic, which are two things I am trying to work on, so he's helping me with that. 
    I really love the atonement and all that it does. It has really carried me so much, and I wouldn't be who I am today with out it; and I won't be the person I am today when tomorrow comes around because of it, and I'm so grateful that I can change for the better. Change is always happening, and I love it! I found an amazing scripture yesterday during the sacrament. It's Isaiah 55:6 "Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near." That scripture really hit me, to always remember the Lord in the "good times" and to strengthen my testimony now, so when trials come, I will be able to "bear them with ease."
    For service this week we helped Carina dig out some tree stumps in her back yard. That's hard stuff! We were hacking and digging at two of them for like an hour, and we made a few dents, but they are still solidly stuck in the ground. It's amazing how many roots those things grow. We'll probably help her more with those this week. But it was a great week over all and we are excited for new years this week! It should be great. 
    Thank you for all your love and support! I hope you have a great week! Talk to you next week! 

That's me on Christmas morning! 
Elder Teeples!
Here's a couple random pictures... 
That's when I met Alex Boye. Ryan really wanted a picture with him!
And a sweet district picture that we took this morning!
Here's a pic of me and Elder Driggs. That was a cool game that they had for us at our mission's Christmas devotional. They had everyboy's baby pictures up on the wall with a number by each one, and we got a list of all the missionaries there and we had to go around and guess who's picture was who's. It was fun. (: Everybody got a kick out of how the right side of my head was bald. 

I was cooking bacon last night for dinner, and this is the apron I wore (: It's pretty sweet.

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