My Dear Family,
Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you all have a wonderful week full of love and joy in your heart for all the Lord has blessed you with. If you stop and take a look around you really can see the outpouring of love from our Heavenly Father. I have been singing "My Heavenly Father Loves Me" in a lot of lessons and it warms my heart every time to be reminded of all He gives us each day..."Whenever I hear the song of a bird, or look at the blue blue sky. Whenever I feel the rain on my face, or the wind as it rushes by. Whenever I touch a velvet rose, or walk by a lilac tree, I'm glad that I live in this beautiful world Heavenly Father created for me!" Take a look around you this week and just stand in awe at how much He really does love you! I will miss you all so very much, but know I will be taken care of in the many homes we have been invited to and I will get to tell them how thankful I am and how amazing my family is!
So....holy cow I don't even know how I lived through this last week! Sister Hudson and I experienced in one week what one might experience in their whole mission...let me just tell you SOME of what we did...we had to send our companion home to get better, we had a special sisters meeting with the mission president's wife, we had a dinner for the seniors at the church, 2 baptisms, we did splits twice, we had exchanges for 24 hours, we took ice cream and comfort to a lot of sisters that are sick in the mission right now, we served at the Centennial Celebration for the city of El Cajon...and there was so much that happened in the beginning of the week that it kind of set us back in our lessons and by Thursday afternoon we had only taught 10 lessons (the goal is 20/week)...well with us moving our feet..even when we were beat...between Thursday afternoon and Saturday night we taught 15 more lessons and added 7 new investigators plus one for the young single adult sisters! It was crazy....that isn't even all of it ha! I was sitting at the table in lunch in total awe....the Lord truly blessed us and we saw so many miracles. We ended up teaching 28 lessons last week and as we accounted for the whole 6 weeks we saw we taught 129 lessons! Crazy! We just go go go and do do do and when we feel like we're failing we stop and see and ask, "How on earth did we do that?" It's just so cool! I was mentioning to my companion that I truly feel and see a changing in me...I don't even totally feel like myself and had a couple moments last week where the Lord pointed out to me how He is molding and shaping me and is helping me to become who He wants me to become. It is such an amazing feeling and I wouldn't want to do anything else!
Today we got transfer phone calls and I am staying here in El Cajon as a full-proselyting missionary yet again! I am happy about it but a little sad I will miss out on Temple shifts during the Christmas lights and on the wonderful things they do at the Battalion for Christmas. I sure will miss my family there too, but El Cajon and the Fuerte Ward is all I have known on my mission and they are quite the crazy fun loving family too = ) So sorry if any of you were hoping to see me at the Mormon Battalion in the next 6 weeks! I'll be back when I have done here what Heavenly Father needs me to!
So one quick addition to my "Parable of the Chiropractor" ; ). I went back and told my chiropractor what I had come up with and we discussed even further insight...he said with an adjustment it requires innate....or a give or trust from the patient he is adjusting.....the doctor feels it out...and when he feels the patient let go, he makes the adjustment. So when we fight it we make it harder on ourselves...but when we trust and let go...Heavenly Father can then make the adjustment He knows we need. I am just so tickled by this parable I want to write a book!
We had a beautiful baptism of two sisters we have been teaching, Jasmin and Alexis. It was one of the sweetest baptisms on my mission. The spirit was so strong because they are so pure and innocent and their child-like faith is truly powerful. The ward members really embraced these girls and were all involved. Their uncle and grandpa got to baptize them and I got to stand and bear testimony of what I had the honor of witnessing with these 2 girls and their faith. Jasmin, who is 12, said the closing prayer after our first lesson and said, with no prompting, how excited she was to be baptized and to be clean. She has yearned for this and was beaming with excitement. On Sunday after she received the gift of the Holy Ghost I asked her if she felt a difference and she smiled and said excitedly, "Yes!" Sweet Alexis, who is 9, I will never forget her telling us about how she prayed to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet and really saw God and Jesus Christ. She said it felt like there was someone there in front of her telling her in her mind the answer was yes! I love my calling as a missionary! This is what I get to be a part of!
....The Lord truly is hastening His work. I want to share some things with you our mission president informed us of that are just too awesome! I am honored to be a missionary at this time. He told us we are serving in the midst of a historical movement that the church hasn't seen in 50 years! Before conference and the announcement of the age change for missionaries, the church had 900 missionary applications open online. The week after general conference and the announcement there were 10,000!!! Half of those papers were for sister missionaries! We currently have about 54,000 full-time missionaries all over the world and in the next 6 months that number is going to almost double to about 90-95,000 missionaries!!! They now have 3 of the 12 apostles assigning missions to the missionaries full-time. Our San Diego mission alone has a cap of 183 missionaries and they just raised it to 250. We will be getting 80 more missionaries here in the next 6 months. He asked all of us to prepare our areas and to prepare ourselves to be trainers and to have work to do! HOW AWESOME IS THAT???!!!! I know this is part of the reason I wasn't ready and wasn't suppose to serve a mission 5 years ago, or 2 years ago...I know I am really gonna be a grandma out here when the 19 year old sisters arrive, but I know I was meant to be here now and I am so honored and SO GLAD I made the decision to come and be apart of the Lord's army during this time of harvesting! Now, I want to give you a commission! We can't do this alone! We are all missionaries every day! Who do you know who is ready or who needs this! Stop being timid! Stop beating around the bush! You have what they need! They 99% most likely will not find it on their own! We are all to share the gospel and be a voice of remembrance. There are many missionaries preparing to go and teach...help them find people to teach and share their testimonies with! You can do it! Come join the ranks! There really is no greater joy! And what better way to show Heavenly Father how grateful we are for the restoration of the fullness of the gospel than by sharing it!!!??
I love you all so much! Time is really starting to fly...today marks 5 months and I am realizing more and more how precious this time here is!
Hope you all have a marvelous and Happy Thanksgiving! Focus on the family and friends surrounding you! Know that I am there in spirit! You are all written in my heart!
P.S. Mom says some of you were wondering what to get me for Christmas...how kind you all are! I really just love getting letters and pictures...but if you do want to send something gift cards would be fabulous! We have all the same kind of stores here! I love to go to Chipotle and In-n-Out...On the Border has my new favorite salad...ummm...Target, Ross, Charming Charlie....really...gift cards for food would just be great! Also new church music or stationary = ) Love you all! All I want for my golden birthday this year...is a FULL MAIL BOX!!!! = )