Sorry about the one-day delay in email, everyone! This week is transfers, so our preparation day got pushed back until Tuesday (today). I'm not headed anywhere, so you can keep sending mail to the Alco apartment address or the mission office on Justice Ave. I'll get it either way because the office elders love us. :) It's fun being the only set of sisters in the North Baton Rouge Zone!
This past week was slow again. That's all right though. We did have one big exciting thing happen---TINA GOT THE GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST!!! Hooray! She is going to be AMAZING. She quit her job because they had her working all sorts of crazy hours on the weekends, and she was afraid she wouldn't be able to make it to church, so she quit! Seriously, this girl is incredible! Definitely one of the Lord's elect.We also got to go visit a lot of members this week, which was a blast! I haven't really told you anything about my AMAZING Baton Rouge 3rd ward, have I? Well, guess what...THEY'RE AMAZING! Sister Abel is the Relief Society president. She went on a mission to FRANCE! Her and Brother Abel and their family are just so much fun. She's come on splits with us, and she just dives right back in to missionary work like she never left France. It's awesome. Sister Rebstock-DeGraff (her married name is DeGraff but for some reason no one ever calls her by that) is the 1st or 2nd counselor in the RS, and she is a riot! She is a bucket full of sass and then some. Sister Heiner is so cool! She's an RM too, and is the Primary president. She's amazing---all of our investigators' kids who go to Primary never want to leave. Yeah, she's that good. She'd fit right in with our amazing Hurricane primary. And then there's the Butlers...oh boy! I'll tell you about them in a minute. I'd better answer some questions first before I get too off track.
1. Did you meet The Bergolds of the Gonzales ward in Praireville, they are Myra Bakers relatives?
No, I haven't met Mrs. Baker's relatives. Gonzales is it's own area, but I'll see if I can find out who is there and have them look them up.
2. What are your plans for thanksgiving? I hope you don't have to go to several members home. If you do, just eat small amounts at each place so you don't get sick.
Right now, we're making a quick stop at Sister Rebstock's, and then we're headed to the AMAZING Butlers! Thanks for the tip though. I'll definitely be using it!
3. How are your headaches, have you had any or are they manageable?
Truly, the Lord is so awesome! I've only had one real headache, and it wasn't as bad as they usually were. I took Excedrin pretty dang quick, so that might be part of it. But other than that, I just laid down and took a little nap during our lunch break, and that fixed it.
4. Did you get and like your "greenie" package?
Haven't got a "greenie" package yet....should I be afraid? Ha ha. Just teasing. It'll probably come today, I'll bet.
5. We are getting you Christmas package together, where do you want us to send it? Also g & g have something they want to send too to help you enjoy the holidays? We are going to buy and take the errand of angels movie to Oregon with us in case they want to watch it and see what you are doing.
You can send it to either the mission office address (12025 Justice Ave) or my pad address (Alco Ave). When in doubt, send it to the mission office. Like I said earlier, Elder Jones and Elder Jamsa are amazing, and they're our best buds. They brought us brand new mattresses this week! Our old mattresses weren't even that bad! But that's just how they are; they're always checking up on us, making sure we're okay. Elder Jones was Sister Dansie's district leader at one point, and this will be their last transfer. They both go home at the beginning of January! So I get to "kill" my trainer, which is pretty cool! I love Sister Dansie tons, and I told her she has to go visit Hurricane for me when she gets home.
Oh, and P.S. President Woods said that we can listen to any Christmas music as long as it's in tune with the Spirit. So...I know Josh Groban has a new Christmas CD out, and I'm pretty sure you already have it...so, can I get a copy? :) Plus, he sings on there with Mo-Tab!
6. Can I send anything to Tina that could help her a book, CTR ring or bracelet? Also do you want something like that do give out like the rubber bracelets with sayings? There are so many cool things at the LDS book stores.
Um...well, Mom, you'd know best what a new convert needs. You can send me anything, and I'll be sure to get it to her. I did give her our home phone number, but I don't know if she'll ever use it.
7. What do you use for a comforter? I know they had you bring your own sheets but do you need a warm blanket, comforter etc.?
I've got a blanket Mom, never fear. That was the first thing I bought in Louisiana. I'm good, I promise.
8. Guess who is getting married in December? Charmane Hall. I will send her announcement to you. I don't know when Cassie's is put I heard they just had a shower for her so it must be soon.
I told Elder...oh wait, it's Ryan Crawford now. He's home. Anyway, I told him about Charmane, and he was surprised. I guess he'll know lots more about it now, but there ya go.
9. Would you download all your mission pictures to a CD at walmart and send them to me? That way I can keep your mission DVD up to date. Then when you get home you can tell me what music and information you want written on each part.
Of course I'll do that! I was just wondering how I was going to get all my pictures home...way to go Mom! As for music...um...just have Stacia help with that. She knows what kind of stuff I listen to. When in doubt, EFY is always good. :)
10. Why did they not confirm Tina immediately especially when she couldn't make it to church on Sunday? That was really strange.
The way it works is that we usually will baptize someone on a Saturday, and then they get confirmed on Sunday during sacrament meeting. With Valentina, things got a little wonky because she was baptized on a Wednesday, and then her car broke down so she couldn't make it to church on Sunday, but we didn't find that out until after church on Sunday. But now it's all good, because she's the newest member of the Baton Rouge 3rd ward!
11. What is the weather like and was it a pretty fall? we would love to see some pictures of the countryside or city shots.
Done deal. :) I'll attach some pictures of the city to this email.
12. Who has written or emailed you?
I got a letter from our cousin Holly, and I'm still working on my reply (if you are reading this, I'M SORRY HOLLY!!!). I usually get an email from our cousin Jessa once a week, and she keeps sending snail mail too, which is amazing (Jess, you stinkin' ROCK!). Matt and Belinda and the gang write me often, which I love (THANK YOU THANK YOU!). I got a letter from my friend Kira from college, and that was a total surprise! I really enjoyed that. I've gotten some from the Thomas' and Sister Hardcastle, which were nice surprises too. Um...dang it. I left my letter binder in the car; I'd be able to tell you everyone for sure if I had it. I've gotten a "letter" and some pictures from my good friends at the Best Western Abbey Inn. They made me laugh. Pretty sure I know what shift they were working when they wrote them. ;) I also get emails and letters from my amazing family, who I love with all my heart!
13. Do you want me to give the bishop a copy of your weekly letters or do you write him separately once a month?
Ah...you should probably give him a copy of the weekly letter. I've got an addressed envelope with his name on it, stamped and ready to go! I've just got to write the letter to go in it. (I promise Bishop Blake, it's coming!)
I'd totally forgotten that Sister Gomez and Elder Packer went to the MTC already! Holy cow! That's way cool! I'll have to get their addresses from my MTC connections. (Yes, I have MTC connections.) That's crazy that Jordan's coming home so soon! You'll have to tell him hi for me. It's so incredible to watch the elders out here. They go from being goofy nineteen year old boys to these rock solid AMAZING men. It's very, very cool. It's very obvious that the Lord is with them. I admire them a lot. I know I'm older than pretty much all of them, but that priesthood power makes them a LOT more mature. (Most of the time, anyway. Preparation day doesn't always count. Ha ha ha...)
And now, to tell you about the Butlers! They are definitely a favorite! I plan on keeping in touch with them when I get home. Sister Butler had been a member all her life, but she was inactive after she moved out. She joined the Navy, and has some pretty crazy stories to tell from it. That's how she met Brother Butler. They got married and while they weren't really religious, they were very spiritual, and have had some incredible experiences. Brother Butler was baptized a couple years ago, and his conversion story is amazing. He was having some health problems, and had a very severe heart attack. While he was recovering, a couple of elders knocked on their door, and Brother Butler decided that he'd listen to them now. And next thing you know, their two kids were baptized, and then they were all sealed in the temple, and then they moved from Alexandria to Baton Rouge, and now they are FREAKIN' AMAZING! They've already claimed us for Christmas, which is going to be crazy fun! And Sister Butler told us yesterday that we're their family for the holidays. Everyone else is too far away, or they don't have any contact with them for one reason or another. I cannot tell you how genuinely good these people are. They are truly destined for great things in life and in the Church. Brother Butler gave a short talk in church on Sunday, and I was floored. He got up there and grabbed hold of the pulpit, and gave a beautiful and simple talk about being grateful. He bore his testimony, and he fought back tears, which was something his family had never seen before. Truly, he is just a great man, and I can't wait to see what a great usurper of the advesary's kingdom he will be.
Well, that's all for this week! Next week's email will be longer, I promise. We're stepping up our game here in Prairieville. Our goal every day is to make Satan think, "Oh crap. They're up." We know that it is nothing that we do of ourselves that will make Satan tremble. But we are not alone. We are mere instruments in the hands of the Savior, and it is through Him that all things are possible. It is because we are on His side that Satan will tremble. I'm just glad I get to be a part of it!
2 Corinthians 4:5
For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.