Thursday, December 19, 2013

December 16, 2013

Dearest Family and friends,

This week has it had some of the best experiences I have had, and then some of the worst! I don't even know where to being so I will start with the bad, cause it's easier to get that part over with and then end on a good note haha. Well one of our less active couples we are working with almost dropped us, I don't know what stopped them really. We went to see this couple who are so amazing we love them. We asked them if they had read from the Book of Mormon, cause we had previously challenged them, their response was "no" with sort of this attitude. We brushed it off and continued to talk and then sister Taylor got up and left, which was odd. Then Brother Taylor started going off on how he will not read until he comes back to church, because when he stops going to church("they never come to  1 pm church, but they come when it is earlier, that is what they say) anyways when he stops going to church he puts everything with the gospel on hold also. I asked him why, and he asked me why I did not understand. I explained that I did not understand how if he can't make it to church he stops living the gospel, because it is so important to me that if I could not come to church I am sure to live the other parts of the gospel even more. He got frustrated when I said this, and told me no one understands but his wife. His wife came in and told us to stop because she did not want an argument...I seriously only said like 2 sentences and he was the one arguing. We changed the subject and shared a message on charity and we were sure they would say not to come back, but they did not. I know that Heavenly father made sure of that, which was a huge blessing. They actually ended up coming to the Christmas party too! Which was so awesome, and I hope they will start to come around.
So the next story starts out happy. So remember Jody, I have mentioned her before and how she had a son on a mission in Texas, and she was not a member. Well we were walking out of the church one of the nights..I think it was Thursday? Well there is this young man who totally looks like a missionary, but he was with this old lady so I did not think anything of it. We walk past and then we hear "sister?" and we turn around and it clicks! It is her son! I say "Charlie!" and we start to talk, he had just gotten released as a missionary I think, anyways he knew our number already and we got his and wanted to talk more about his mom. The next day we called him and figured out what we could do to help her and decided to meet that night with his mom. Well we went to Jodys and she said her phone still had not been fixed. Then later that night we get a call from Charlie saying he just had a long talk with his mom, and she loves us so much but feels like we were pushy....we have never been push with her...and it was so sad. He gave us her new phone number, the one she would not give us and he told us that she needed a break for like 2 weeks. This seriously broke my heart! I think what is happening is that Jody has been making so many promises saying she will come to church when charlie is home, and now that he is home she is panicking a little since she made all these promises. I really hope she comes around,  I really love her so much and it is hard to see her like that is the bummer story.
Now to the best stories. Well one of our investigators Dawn, I don't know if I have told you a lot about her. She was a former investigator that we decided to go see and now is taking the lessons again. Well this week we helped her clean and also set up her Christmas tree. Dawn is amazing, we really were able to connect while setting up her tree. I found out she lived in Switzerland for a little while and it was so fun cause we were talking about all the Christmas traditions we have. She is such a great lady. She came to the Christmas party! Then yesterday we helped her decorate her tree, and it reminded me of ours back at home, all different ornaments and it was so fun! It was adorable I  took pictures. We then taught her the 3rd lesson, and we decided to use just scripture for the lesson. Wow that was the best lesson I seriously think we have ever had. She had a question about faith, and it was one I had not heard before and I did not know how to answer it. Some how we answered it and it was amazing cause we didn't think we did, but she looked at us after pondering what we had said for a minute and she said " I have never heard it explained that way....that makes sense." She understood and it was amazing, she was completely diving into the lesson and was so entranced! Then at the end we committed he to baptism and she thought about it and said "maybe.."but it was like a "I will really think about it" maybe it was so cool. I know she did not accept, but I don't care because I think we finally got through to her in a way the other missionaries could not and now she really is thinking about it rather than just learning she is feeling the holy ghost testify to her. That was the best lesson ever!!! I love being a missionary, there is nothing better than this. Dawn also gave us a ornament for our future trees :) she is amazing and I will never forget her. I really don't know how to express how happy I am, how much I love Dawn and how special that lesson was.
Another amazing thing happened, we walked in to church and the Baldwins (active members) wave us down and point to the side of them, and there are the Jensen. I had the biggest smile on my face. The Jensen's are an older couple who moved from Vernal 14 years ago, they never were very active, but since being here they are completely inactive. They came here 14 years ago. They have not been for 14 years, and yesterday they broke the pattern and were at church. Brother Jensen looked to darn cute in his adorable suit and tie. I prayed like I have never prayed before, I think I prayed every second during sacrament to thank Heavenly Father. I started to tear up several times  during that meeting. The Jensens were holding hands and it was the most adorable thing ever. I lvoe them so much. Since the moment I met them here in Riverton I have felt so close to them, especially Brother Jensen. He sits right next to me during the lessons so that I can read loud enough for him to hear. We have just bonded and he had become a grandpa to me. When I saw them in church it meant the world to me. I am so thankful that they came. I love me Heavenly Father so much. Yesterday was the best day ever, it seriously was. 
Yes missionary life is hard a lot, but it is so worth it when you have days like yesterday, Being a missionary is the best. I have started to realize that more than likely this will be my only Christmas here on this mission, and it is awful. It is amazing to be here for this season, being able to completely focus on service and the birth of Christ and nothing else, there is nothing like it.  It is so spectacular, I don't want it to end.
The ward is so stinking sweet also. The young women gave each of us a stocking with little presents in it for the 12 days of Christmas, and Sister Adams that houses the other missionaries also gave us a 12 days, and it is so fun!!!!
Now  to the absolute best part! Dacey was baptized!!! The beginning of the day was crazy cause our ward mission leader forgot about it and went 4 hours away to Sheridan! so we did  not have any keys to fill the font and we had an hour an a half, I was freaking out. Luckily the elders came to the rescue and had keys we could use. Then after that chaos was over the baptism was so amazing! This sweet 10 year old girl was baptized by her grandpa, she had waited 2 years till her dad finally said it was ok,. She never gave up, if anything she got more persistent. After her baptism she had that glow about her, that is my favorite thing to see. She was the closest one in that room to our Heavenly Father at that moment. She is beautiful. Her mom started crying as soon as she started talking on baptism, she was crying and crying and it was the sweetest thing. There was something different about Dacey being baptized than any other baptism I have been to, and I think it is because of the struggle she went through to get her there, and the hardship her mom also went through while trying to get her there also. Dacey's little brother Jordan is 8 and hopefully he can get baptized soon. He is my little buddy, haha.   I took a picture with him also haha. Oh Dacey's older brother was there, and I think he saw the difference between his baptism into another church and his sisters. When she was confirmed he had this peculiar look on his face, you could see how he was realizing that he doesn't have the Holy Ghost. Till now he has thought he had it, but I think he realized she received it after the baptism..and he never had a confirmation. I think he is starting to see that :) Saturday was so amazing to see her family  rally together to support her.
Even though we have had a couple rough experiences this week. I think this week was the best.

PS mom I got Debbie and Diana's packages and letters :) I have not opened the gift from Debbie yet though, I figure I will wait till Christmas haha
I love you all and I am so happy to hear that everything is going great! I love you and I will talk to you soon, have a good week!
Love, Andrea
Sister Vanessa Wigington (her mom), Dacey and Us
Me and Jordan
Dacey in her dress after.

December 9, 2013

Hey mom and paps :)
This week has been good. Our numbers were not good, but like I said before I don't care about numbers. I feel like our mission is very revolved around numbers lately and I don't really care haha. My week was amazing because of a couple of different things. 1st off it was great because we saw the Karikers, they are the ones who made us pillowcases. Well they love missionaries but are not too interested in the church, but anyways Brother Kariker started asking questions! We have dinner with them tonight and hopefully we will be able to teach the restoration. They are so amazing! So their house is all decked out with Christmas and they have a ton of nut crackers and I was saying how great they all were. Then Bother Kariker says "Which one is your favorite?" and I told him and he said "it's yours."  I would not take it but then they made me take it before I left. Sister Austin got one too. It's just a little nut cracker but it's cute and I love it!  It reminds me of home.
The 2nd thing was that we met Cody Joy, she is about 26 and has a daughter, and her and her boyfriend  have a son, and her boyfriend has a daughter. Cody Joy has been taking lessons for about a year, but she didn't feel comfortable with elders so the sisters were teaching her, and now since we are here and she is in our boundaries the sisters gave her to us. They thought she was married so she had a baptismal date, but during our lesson with her we found out she is not. Cody Joy is so sweet and just amazing. Her boyfriend is less active but his family is active and that is how she was introduced. She is so excited to be baptized.
3rd I had a really cool experience with the less active Max Twitchell. We got into the appointment and Sister Austin decided to share D&C 18:10-17, well I had no idea why she shared that and then I realized she was going to tell him to repent, and come to church, but I didn't know how to really do it. Well I opened my mouth and it was not me speaking, like I had no idea what I was going to say, but words came. I explained how every soul is important, how he is a brother, husband, son...etc and we called him to repentance but out of pure love!!!! I really don't know how it, worked but it did, and it was sincere. He committed to reading with his mom everyday for 10 minutes. This was the first real commitment we got out of him ever! It was so amazing.
This week we had some good appointments, but we also had some interesting ones. On Wednesday we went to see Jody and Dan, and we were able to teach the plan of salvation, because Dan had so many questions, but Jody kept in interrupting, so I pulled her aside and distracted her while Sister Austin taught. They invited us over for breakfast the next day. Well we went over Thursday morning, and I swear Dan was just a little tipsy in the beginning but by the time breakfast was cooked he was all out drunk..I swear I didn't even see him take a swig..but he must of, because he was drunk! We tried to teach the restoration, but he was out, he went off on how the wise men followed Venus, how it actually was not a special star...then at one point he said "You probably think I am a drunk..well I am...but I have a heart of gold...." We were so ready to get out of there...haha. He is not at work in the oil fields for two weeks..hopefully we can sober him up when we come back. Jody's son Charlie came home on Wednesday from his mission in Texas, I really hope we can meet him because I would love to talk to him about his mom. After breakfast we went to help the native lady Charlie move. She was stressing and we were able to help her, we got some guys in the ward, and the elders to help us move her. There was this really scary guy though in her apartment who was not helping and all he did was hit a baseball bat against his hand. When we went outside to load some stuff up, Brother Ringer who was helping said, "Sisters that man in there is very dangerous and the only reason I am staying is because you sister are here." Brother Ringer is an ex cop from here...he knows all the bad people...that really scared us, we ended up leaving about half an hour later. That guy was scary, he must of been part of a gang, cause of certain tattoos.
A couple days ago we had dinner with the Nielsons who are pretty much the best family ever. They are so cute. They have two little girls and are so bubbly and energetic. After dinner and the lesson Sister Nielson asked, can you stay 5 minutes, because she had us paint some ornaments, it was so fun! The 5 minutes turned into 45 min, because Sister Austin is very slow. I love her to pieces, but when it comes to anything, talking, cleaning, walking...and painting ornaments she takes FOR-EV-ER!  Haha but it was ok that time because we had the funnest time. 
Yesterday was awesome! 1st we had meetings then church, and at church, Sister Wignington, who is Daceys (who is getting baptized on Saturday) mom spoke in church and it was great! Except that no one came to church today :( sad, like we had a couple but not our normal amount. Sister Wignington gave us Dacey's announcement, which was darling, but she only gave us one. After church we had an hour before dinner so we booked it around to Some people's houses to talk to them. We then went to dinner which was yummmy, and then booked it to the church to watch the devotional! WOW IT WAS AMAZING! I did not cry, but my eyes were watering during Elder Nelsons talk, wow that was powerful! Then we went caroling after which was so freaking fun! We went with the other missionaries in our district. We then got transfer calls..and our district is staying the same..except Elder Linton is leaving...such a bummer..he's so great. Yesterday was nice!
Oh I forgot that on Tuesday we taught the book of Mormon study class we have started with the other missionaries. Brenda, Renee, Anthony and Bro Jaure showed up! Then 4 of the elders investigators showed up! The elders could not make it but the sisters came. The class was so good.  We read the intro and the witnesses. We got off on some random things like why is Christ called Christ, and were the plates gold or brass. The class did really well at figuring out he answers, but after the class was over we found out the other sisters were really frustrated cause they got off topic and decided they wanted to shorten it to half and hour. Sister Austin and I said no, because either way the will get off topic, and at least the questions they have are being answered. Plus I figure they didn't have anyone show up so they have no say...haha!  Aren't I nice? haha. Anyways it was amazing! I loved it. Well that was my week! I love you all and I hope you are safe! I will see all your faces on Christmas!!!
  -love  Andrea

Thursday, December 12, 2013

December 2, 2013

Dear Family, and friends,
I did get your cards and the advent calendars, we love them. It makes me so happy that we still have that tradition going haha. This week has been great. Thanksgiving was a lazy day but besides that we have done great. On Monday night we went to see the Karikers.  Ingrid and Garland. They are refugees from hurricane Katrina and the sweetest old people ever. Their daughter converted years ago and is a member but she has gone less active. Anyways the Karikers are so nice to all of the missionaries, they have never really been taught, so we decided we would try and they were like "no thanks, she's Lutheran, I'm catholic." We were able to clear up some of their thoughts about us, nothing big though. They love Mormons haha.  Sister Kariker made us pillowcases that she drew on and gave us them as our Christmas present, and had us open them :) mine has Captain America on it haha, and Sister Austins has Rapunzel from Tangled. They're so darling! She also gave us some soup, like real new Orleans kind of soup. It was amazing, it has polish sausage in it. Every time they give us food it is the best. I think that we could still try and teach them, cause they would be the best Mormons! I will have to get pictures with them.
On Wednesday we went to visit Brenda Niedo. She started Reading the Book of Mormon, but backwards and had read a ton, like she is really studying and so we just shared what we have been studying also! It was so cool. She really has had a change of heart. We saw her on Friday also and she came to church on Sunday, she has now been re activated!!! She has told us every time that we saw her this week that before she met us she thought she lost her chance and had no chance of the celestial kingdom, but now she realizes she did not have enough faith in the atonement, and that is what she has been missing. She now knows that she has a chance because of the atonement. :) she is amazing I love her so much! I will have to get pictures with her also.
Thanksgiving was awesome!!!! We went to the college branch building to have thanksgiving with The DeVries, and her side of the family also. They were hilarious I don't think i have laughed that hard for a while. I only ate one plate!!! I was so full, I was sick though, which I think is a blessing in disguise that I didn't eat more that one plate haha. Then we went home and took a 2 hour nap, that is why I said my Thanksgiving was lazy. We were so exhausted and I think that was the nap that I had been waiting for for about 5 months haha. After our nap we went up stairs and had more dessert with the bakers and the family that they had over. Their one So- in-law, Phil,was a crack up. He and his wife have two kids on missions. I said that I had not laughed as hard as I did until being with the DeVries, well I lied, I could have peed my pants,  he was so funny. Elder Ashcroft and Linton stopped by and we all just had a good time talking for like 2 or three hours. We were supposed to go to the sisters house and watch a movie but we got too distracted, but we did go over there finally at like 8:30. That was a good idea, we were able to talk and we found out that the sister training leaders were the ones who totally exaggerated the drama and then told them, that we hated them, and then they told us that the sisters thought they were better than us and didn't like us. 1st off the interviews we have with leaders and the stuff discussed in them should not be gossiped about, so that is ridiculous that the sisters told private info to other people and then blew it out of proportion. Everything is happy go lucky with us and the other sisters now, and I have come to the realization that it is ok for them to teach Sam. I was jealous cause I love Sam but that is ok. We cleared everything up and decided that we need to be up front with each other and not really use the sister training leaders. like we still need to respect them, but we are not going to take what they say very seriously. So Thanksgiving was amazing!
Oh also on Tuesday before the sister training leaders left, we still had the one with us on exchanges and she took up like our whole day, we did not get a lot of work done because she had to "train us on the ipads" they do this every time. Anyways she found out that we were using our actual scriptures in the appointment and told us that was not ok, we need to use the ipad.  Sister Austin and I told her no, and so she texted the zone leaders and then called them about it. I think that nothing will replace my physical sripitures, and when with an investigator it is better to look it up in our scriptures rather than an ipad, cause you can't mistake scriptures for anything, But an ipad is just a cool toy. We use the ipad for the pamplets and teaching, but if i am going to pull out a scriptures I want to use my scriptures. Sister Black was so mad. She told us that is we don't use them properly they will take them away. Sister Austin said "ok, go ahead" and sister black had no idea what to say! They didn't end up taking them away but still she was being ridiculous, Sister Austin was pretty much in tears cause Sister Black made us feel like we were the worst missionaries on the planet, which is ridiculous cause we are working hard! Anyways  that was the drama there, but she is gone now and we don't need to worry, haha.
So Brother Jaure is ready, well he wants to be baptized so we taught him the word of wisdom yesterday and so pray for him this week that he can stick to it, he also visited with the bishop to start his repentance process! He also is writing a letter to Pres. Mecham so that Pres. Mecham can understand the situation better and then set up an interview and then we just have to wait for permission! So hopefully he will be baptized later this month, or early January. Brother Levon is so amazing please keep him in your prayers, he is so strong and I know he will be a great member of the church. I can't wait for him to be baptized. I have some pictures with his adorable daughter Kordillia (Kordy) I will send.
We thought that this week had been rough, but then we added up our numbers last night and we had 25 lessons! We are so exctied, and the best part to me is that we know the people we have taught, I love every single one of them, and the number was good cause we met our goal, but besides that I don't even care. I sometimes miss home and it is hard being away feeling like everything is changing, but then I realize how many amazing people I have met and it is worth it. I love it here so much. Mom the pictures of you and Eva and Claire and Gavin made my day. Also Vicky Wilkins went me a card! She is such a sweet heart, please tell her thank you for me.  It means so much.
Remember Proverbs 3:5 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding, in all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths" The Lord has a plan, a plan better than ours, we need to trust in him, and everything will work out the way it needs to be. Heavenly Father loves us so much we are his children. Tell him everything, let him know what is happening, thank him for what you have been given and let him, let him know your struggles. I have really been working on this this week and I want you all to also. I love my Heavenly Father.
I love you mom and paps :)


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

November 25, 2013

Hello family!!!

Before I forget I need to tell you that I need a bag, and scripture case..both of mine are bad...haha I have little clippy things holding my bad together, and the handles on my scriptures are broken haha, so that would be good for Christmas.

Ok now to what has happened this week. Well in the beginning this week was rough, on Monday night we taught a lesson to one of the ward missionaries and his wife, well it was absolutely awful, I wanted to cry.  The lesson did not go smoothly and it was a disaster. After that lesson, we realized maybe Heavenly Father was humbling us, well we went to a less active who we have tried like 3 times and rescheduled appointments, and we decided to visit them. Before we got out of the car, we prayed and Sister Austin in the prayer asked to be humbled..and believe me it came. We got out of the car and knocked and the less active told us that they were ok with where they were, they did not want to hear our lesson, and we need to stop coming. Humility or what...gah it sucked. Then on Tuesday morning our landlord's dogs were trying to eat our breakfast, so we locked them out of the kitchen, well after studies we are looking for our phone everywhere. Sister Austin went outside for it, and came back in with a chewed up, ruined, slobbered on phone. About 4 of our speed dials worked, and we could receive calls, but that was it. The screen was broken and the phone was mangled. We laughed like crazy, because it was pretty funny, but at the same time we both almost burst into tears. We had to go to the church to call the mission office and they sent us a knew phone, that we received on Saturday. Having to tell the mission home what happened was pretty humbling too, they did not lecture or anything, but I still felt stupid having to tell them the dog got a hold of our phone. 
Luckily by Tuesday night the week started to improve, we went over to the Jaure's and taught them the restoration.  Well we tried to again, haha. It did not really work, but that is ok because we got to the main point which was baptism. They, especially Levon wants to be baptized but like I said he is nervous because of past experiences. Well we did not set a date but talked about baptism, and Kordillia, who is his 5 year old daughter (Kordy) and their 2 year old son Ezra. They were all over me and I could not teach, and Sister Austin would not, like I don't think she knew how to get into the lesson. So I just did my best. The member who was with us helped a lot. I kept feeling like I needed to ask Alicia if she wanted a blessing, so finally I did, and she said yes. I think that was why we were there that night, because she needed a blessing. Finally we left, after Kordy has drawn me like 4 pictures haha, she is like my little buddy. She kept trying to sit on me, but that is not allowed, so I just had her sit next to me haha. 
After district meeting the next day, so Wednesday, we all went out to lunch at the best little Mexican restaurant ever!! Was like 4 bucks for a huge quesidia, I got tacos though, and they were phenomenal also. Anyways we went to the Jaure's with the elders and they gave them blessings, and we tried teaching, and it did not work haha, apparently we were not supposed to. They said they would be at church Sunday though.
On Wednesday we were able to teach a lot of lessons and it was awesome, but the most interesting one was at a less active.  Well she is active but is going through a hard time, but her sister lives with her and she is less active. Well they had a friend over who was Muslim. Sister Blackwell who we originally went to go see read us this talk that one of the apostles gave, and it was super cool, and we were discussing prophets, then her Muslim friend, Janet, peeps in  and says "Well we don't have prophets." And then it turned in to a argument, not a heated one at all, but she was trying to prove her point and Sister Austin was trying to prove ours. The spirit was not there and the best thing to do was to leave, but Sister Austin was having fun. Luckily slowly Janet started saying "I believe" rather that "You're wrong" and so it turned in to a discussion, but it still sucked, because while it was interesting to learn about,  the spirit was not there. I hated the whole thing. We finally left and the last thing Janet said to us was "study it out" and I could tell we obviously had not made an impression. We were in there talking for an hour and half! I was happy to leave. Next time I will change the subject and get out, because there is no use in trying to convince her...
On Thursday we taught Sam, the girl I wrote about, and how she is golden. Well she goes to the college branch, and so the other sisters have been very obnoxious and telling us we need to turn her over to them. So we had them come to a lesson on Wednesday and it was so amazing, so spiritual and I was ecstatic. I left the appointment saying how great Sam was, and the only thing the other sister said was"Where is her record? She is ours, we need her paper work, oh and we are bringing a member with us next time, and well 5 people is too much" EXCUSE ME!!! I was pissed (I know you hate that word mom, but it is the only word to explain how I felt) gahhh, so stupid. All they think about is her as a number, and it made me so mad!!!!
On Saturday we had another appointment with Sam and we went anyways, and we had a great lesson, Sam was crying, and I hope that made them think a little more. We told Sam that we would not be teaching her anymore and she was so sad,  and so when it was time to say prayer she asked me to say the last prayer with her :) Awwww, I love her. We decided we are still going to visit her anyways, not teach, but go visit sometimes however if we still feel prompted to teach her we will.
Now to the best part!!! Yesterday!!! Yesterday, 1st off we made a jeopardy game on the third lesson to play with Dacey who is getting baptized, her brother who is 13 Jaden was there and played with us also, he was just baptized in a different church and it was a good game because we talked about the right authority and when we need the Holy Ghost. The game was so much better than the other lessons we had and they learned so much.  It was a blast, and after the game Jaden got us ice cream sandwiches, and then Dacey taught us Ninja destruction, which I have played before but it was a blast playing with her, in our skirts...hahahaha oh well.
At church we had 7 investigators show up, and 5 less actives!!!! How amazing is that! That is the best I have had my whole mission. I was so excited, and the ward was too. They all jumped at the opportunities to help. The ward really stepped in and it was so awesome!!! Levon came, but his wife had to work.  He brought Ezra and Kordy though! So cute! I just love those kids. Then we had the Shellys there, which is a part member family and less active, and we had Brenda and Anthony and Anthony's girlfriend Renee, I believe I have talked about them. We also had many others there.
It was amazing!!! Best church meeting ever. So many members were excited like I said, and during Relief Society our dinner calendar for this month and next month were filled!!! How awesome is that? The high priest group leader asked us for our calendar before anyone else saw it and signed up for Christmas haha.  He is so cool.  He gave us a ton of referrals also. They have a son in Portugal.
So we have Sister Black, the other STL ( sister training leader) with us right now, she is on exchanges again, because of the ipads they have to do 2 exchanges this transfer. Some of the Sisters made us late for our appointment with the Jaure's. They didn't pick up the STL that was going to go with them,  we had to bring both stls with us! Anyways the Jaure's went well.  Alica was still at work, so it was just him, and we talked about a date for baptism, but he has to have a interview from up high cause he is on probation, so we rather set a date for his interview and when he is approved we will baptized him right after! Wahooo! Kordy became my best friend and was pretty much sitting on me, I tried to not let her, but it doesn't work all the time.  She is so stinking cute. After the lesson we finally were able to drop Sister Session off with the other sisters and then we went to a less active, who when we met her she was like "I'm so busy," then I asked if she had time right then, and she did, so we got to know her.  Well she happens to be a preschool teacher!!! So we talked for like an hour, and we also taught the restoration, and by the end she was so comfortable with us. It made me so happy. The other sisters didn't talk haha, just me and her, because they didn't really relate, but it was so fun!!!...anyways this week all and all has been amazing..I learned humility though...hahha I love you all so much and I love reading all of my emails. mom and paps I love you! I am so excited for Christmas to be able to talk to skype you!!! love you :) have a great week :)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

November 12, 2013

Dear Family and everyone,

I have like no time to write this week, so my email is going to be scattered, and short. Just a warning. 
First I want to tell you that I love all of you so much and that I pray for each of you specifically each night and think about you.  
Second, this week, well like last Tuesday so a week from today I finished the book of Mormon for the first time on my mission! I have read the book of Mormon before, but it took me a long time and I was not as focused on it, and so this time I was so excited because when I finished, I had the opportunity to go kneel by my bed and pray about it. Which I already know that it is true, but I love praying about it because I love to find new things that show me that it is true. I did not receive a magnificent answer by any means, but rather after praying I decided to just look though my Book of Mormon. Which after I started flipping though it, I realized that was my answer. While flipping though it I saw all of the yellow markings, and all the yellow markings are where Christ or Heavenly Father are referred to, and boy oh boy they are everywhere. I loved that because it was tangible proof that what we believe as a church and what I believe as Heavenly Father's daughter is all centered on and surrounded by Heavenly Father and his Son, Jesus Christ. I also saw all the colors that have filled my Book of Mormon. I was able to see all that I have learned from the Book of Mormon. The thought came to me, that if I learned all of that, and I saw everything related back to God, and I can look back at the comfort and peace this book has given me, then why would it not be true, why would it not be of God. I know that the Book of Mormon is true.  I know Heavenly Father loves me, Andrea, and he loves all of his children, and he gave us our scriptures so that we can always have feel his love and comfort and peace and learn of him. Like I said I did not have this big amazing experience when I prayed, but I found my answer and I know that the Book of Mormon is good, and that it is true, and that it is of God. I am so happy that I am a member of Christ's church and that I have a testimony of it. I am not just a member, but rather I believe and have faith in this gospel. I know that it is true and that is why I go to church, that is why I read, that is why I work so hard to be with my family forever and that is why I am here in Wyoming trying to bring others to that same peace and happiness I have. Rather than just being a member of this church, I know that this church is true.  I could not have known the Book of Mormon was true, unless I read it, unless I studied it, and asked God. I live it because I believe it.
Another side note I ate deer on Sunday!!!! Yes I ate deer, and not even just deer, but deer heart!!!! Crazy right? At least I thought it was crazy. Oddly enough, it was actually really tasty, except I do not plan on eating deer heart ever again!  Just because I could not get over the thought of eating deer heart..especially since I saw Brother Baker with the deer, and I saw him skin it and butcher it...ewww..and I saw him clean the heart....ya...I saw little old Bambi, and then I ate little old Bambi....that was weird.  Deer was great and I know I will eat it a ton more on my mission, but when I get home I don't plan on continuing it's good, but beef and pork is just as good, haha.
Also we went in to a part member's house a couple of days ago because we were trying to get a hold of them, and we had a great time talking to Sister Wiggington, and right before we left we found out that her ex-husband, has approved her daughter Dacey to be baptized. Dacey is 10, and just the sweetest little girl.  Her dad is a member but after their divorce he left, and did not want her to be baptized. Dacey has wanted to for a long time and she told us her story. She said that she has been praying and praying and her prayers were finally answered because a couple of days ago her dad asked why she wanted to be baptized, and she said "Because I want the Holy Ghost." And he said "Ok.." and so he is letting her be baptized. When she told us this I started tearing up, and the sweetest thing was seeing her mom begin to cry. I could just tell how proud she is of her daughter. That was by far one of the most tender moments I have seen :) I am so lucky to be able to see moments like that :) I love missionary work, even though some times it is awful haha. I love it! Moments like that make everything  ok :)
Well I love you all and I have to go,   Have a great week and I will write more next week :) please write letters, I love them :)
  Love,  Andrea

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

November 4, 2013

Well this week has been crazy. First off on Tuesday I pretty much cried a ton. I went and said goodbye to everyone, and then to the Stephensons very last, and when we left I felt this closure, like it was official.  My goodbyes are done and I was leaving. My heart broke. I remember opening my call to the Montana Billings mission and then crying to you, mom, for like 2 hours and I was so down that I was going to Montana. Then on Tuesday I cried even more because I was leaving home, a place I never thought I would love. Then I fell in love with Great Falls and it became home and the people became family, they still are. It was by far one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. I know that I can go back and visit, but really, I know I probably will not see all of them again. It was awful to have to leave. I did not feel ready, my work was not done, or maybe it was and I just did not want to admit it. Right now, even thinking about it my throat is swelling and I want to cry. I miss my home in Great Falls so much. Like I said earlier I never thought I would even like Montana, let alone completely fall in love with it and bawl when I left. I know I met so many friends that I knew before. I finally came in contact with them here, and then had to leave them, these people that I knew from before this life and it was awful.
Anyways after leaving the Stephensons we went home and when we opened the door Brother Gunther handed me a couple flashlights :) haha he always gives us them. I then got some more pictures and he told me he loved taking pics cause it was the one time he could put his arm around me :) awww. Also I do not remember if i told you this last week but he also told me that I was a daughter to him, and that he would miss me, and it was hard to see me leave. Oh boy here I go, I'm crying kinda...haha. I miss them so much. I was thinking how when I get married these people I have met will hopefully be there. like Tony an Deena should be sealed by then, the Gunthers can come, and the Stephenson, and Amber. Oh my I am so grateful I have been called to the Montana Billings Mission. i would have missed out on so many relationships that I have formed.
I finally packed and then in the morning we all met up as a zone to have our traditional transfer breakfast and I had people sign my little journal thing I have. I got a ton of pictures and I'm gonna miss those missionaries. saying goodbye to sister Barkdull sucked, we have become so close and oh boy that was rough. Finally we were off to Helena.  
When we got to Helena I ran into Elder Rassmussen from the MTC!! That was so legit!!! So fun. Then me and Sister Taylor rode on the transfer van together to Billings and had so much fun catching up. When we got to Billings I was given my new address which is 2205  West, Main Street, Riverton, WY 82501. and who I would be living with and my comps name. My comps name is Sister Austin, and we live with the Bakers, she is the medical coordinator of the mission and we love her. Anyways I hunted down Sister Austin. I found her, she has blonde hair and is 19 from Provo Utah! How funny right haha. She is very nice. We ended up riding down to Lovell with a set of sisters and staying the night there with other sisters. One has been out 6 weeks and is training her comp who is brand new. We stayed with other sisters in Lovell, which stunk so bad!!! Cause Lovell is full of sulfur fields so it stinks like farts all the time...ewwww, plus we stayed the night in this very icky dreary basement. I prayed that night and asked if since I am training and being doubled in and leaving an area I love so much, and have all that stress if I could have the tender mercy of at least not living in a dump, cause that would make me feel very down. Anyways in the morning we headed to Riverton which was a 4 hour drive. When we arrived at the church there were some elders waiting for us. I soon had many tender mercies that came my way. 
First is Elder Norman was there. He was transferred last transfer and I really loved that elder, and luckily he is here in Lander, a 20 minute drive and in our zone, so I see him fairly often. That was such a tender mercy. Then I was handed the keys to the car, and there were two cars in the parking lot that our car could be. One was nice and clean, and the other was caked in mud. Luckily our car was the clean one. Phew! One less thing to worry about. Then we drove to the Bakers. Dang we have it good. Their basement has been remodeled and it is not dark and dreary at all, it is very inviting and sweet. I am so thankful for that. We also live with 3 dogs...two of which are big! haha they are very sweet though and I enjoy it. Sister Baker is so darn cute, she bought new bed spreads like 2 days after being there, cause she didn't want us to have to sleep in boy beds haha.
After getting to the Bakers we did not even unpack, we booked it over to the ward mission leaders house and met with him, so we could start understanding the area better. Then we went to a sweet old ladies house, Sister Larson, where the Elders invited us. They were carving pumpkins haha and so we carved pumpkins and played phase 10 and had chilli. Oh and of course passed out candy to the trick or treaters. I was so sad thinking we would not have a good Halloween, but luckily we did :) Sister Austin did not want to stay the whole night she wanted to go home and figure out our area book, but I said no..I told her that soon enough she would appreciate days like this where we just got to sit and have fun.
The next day we unpacked and had a weekly planning session, cause president asked us to. And weekly planning takes like 3 hours...I felt bad, cause I know she really wanted to get out and work. I tried to comfort her, cause that is how I felt when I first came out, missionary work is so slow, that is what I thought and it sucked, so I of course after weekly planning took her out and we tried some less actives and investigators. We also tried the bishop, he was not home but his family was and so we talked to them. 
The last couple days of being here we have met some very sweet people that are great....but we have met some weird ones too. Like this one lady, Sister Nation, she gave us a 30 minute spiel of why she doesn't pay her tithing or go to church. I told her that she needs to pay her tithing and needs to test that faith, she can't receive blessings from it till she does it. She got a little upset. I told her I was not there to judge her, my purpose is to help others come closer to Christ. Anyways Riverton is great.  We have not got a ton done here yet...but we are trying. We met a sweet lady last night who has a son on a mission, she is not LDS and neither is her husband. The apartment reeked of smoke, her husband answered the door with a cigarette in his mouth, and at first was offish with us but he warmed up pretty quickly. Sister Austin and I left that appointment talking about how we can picture them in white at the temple. I know they can get there, and I think they are one of the reasons we are here in the area. I can't wait to get to know them more :) 
Well Riverton is hoppin, let me tell ya! haha, I really do love it here, it's a bitter sweet thing. I miss Great Falls, but I do love it here, a little stress full..well a lot stressful haha, but I can deal. I am really excited to talk to you all in like 2 months. I love you and I hope all is well.
 mom you are my best friend to :) I hope you know that. I can't wait till I can give you a huge hug. i love you so much and I am so happy we are together forever.

                            -andrea :)
On Halloween with my pumpkin.
Sister Austin and Me

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

October 28, 2013

Dearest Family,

I love you so much and I was so happy to hear about Claire's birthday party!!! I love you all so much. Well before I tell you about my week I want to tell you about yesterday.  So we had this appointment, with Calvin, a less active we met, who is awesome! Well it was pretty much one of the best lessons ever and I will tell you about it later because after this amazing appointment we came out to the car. First thing we do is check if we missed any calls, and sure enough we did, but this call was special, it was from Elder Smith, who is one of the assistants, and we know that if we get a call the day before transfer news from him it means You are training or you are becoming a sister training leader, either way it sucks. Well we called him back and immediately he says "Sister Draudt, you're being transferred" I slammed my hand on the steering wheel, cause I was mad, and I hear him say " that ok?" and I say "ya...." and then he says "You are going to Riverton Wyoming, and you are being doubled in. You are training a brand new missionary" By now I was crying. He then told Sister Barkdull that she is staying and training a new missionary as well. The phone call ended and I just cried. I love it here so much. I just do not want to leave, it seriously sucks. I am not mad to be going to Wyoming; I seriously thought that is where I would be assigned when I first came out to the field. I know it will be great and I will fall in love with the people there also, but I love it here so much and it is breaking my heart. I have met people, like Tony and Deena, and Amber and Carla, who I know I have been waiting my whole life to meet. I know they have been waiting for me also. Luckily I have my Facebook and I can stay in contact with them, plus I know we will be friends forever, cause I can drive up here whenever I want. Then in next June the Stephenson's will be coming home from their mission, and Tony and Deena will be sealed sometime after I am home, so there is 2 trips right there haha. Great Falls Montana is home, it is where my new family lives and now I have to leave. I remember first coming out to the field and I was determined to never call a place home, cause my home was in Utah and nothing would change that, but now I've grown to love it here and I don't want to leave my home here. It really is my home and it hurts to have to leave. Ok well enough about transfers cause I don't want to cry again. Oh but one thing I am excited for is that I will be going to Elder Normans Zone, I sent pics of him last transfer cause he was leaving and I was so sad, but I get to join him in Wyoming now :) we live 20 minutes away from each other, which means we might even be in the same district. I also am scared and kinda mad to train, just cause I want to have a comp who is older than me in the field, but apparently I won't be getting that haha, but I am going to be the best trainer, I will not let my new missionary feel alone, or sad. I will be there for her to support her and help her. I will help this sweet sister as much as I can.
Ok anyways this week has been phenomenal!!!! Well on Tuesday we had our last district meeting as a district before transfers. It was great I loved it. I had a discussion and it was really fun. Then we all drove to Helena, at least the Great Falls zone and the Great Falls East. We went to Helena for the ipad training. I totally thought it would be like the Facebook training where we had like 4 meetings before we could even set up a Facebook account, but no, they gave us the ipads then and there AND I thought we would be sharing an ipad, like one I pad a companionship, but no, we each got an ipad!!!! How legit it that!!! The ipad is our new planner, and area book, we have to transfer all the paper records over to the ipads, which is taking forever. Then we no longer have paper planners, which I am kind of sad about cause it's like a mission memory, but oh well. Our ipads will be used for teaching, we have the pamphlets on them and we have scriptures and hymns and all the church books! We have access to everything church related, like Mormon messages. It will be phenomenal. I think it is stupid when missionaries use there ipads for scriptures, cause that is not what they are for, like ya it's a plus, but that is not what they are for, and I think it looks better when a missionary carries there physical scriptures with them, so I will be using my scriptures, plus I want to annotate my scriptures and highlight them, and after my mission if I just used my ipad all my notes would be gone. They said that we might be able to purchase the ipad when we go home, they have not decided what to do with them yet. Anyways the ipads are very exciting, but I am very scared to, it is a lot to learn! Oh and when we call home, we will no longer be calling, we will be using our I pads to skype, or face time home :) so we can chat for as long as we want cause it is free and I won't have to take turns with my comp :) how awesome is that! I am really excited for that, less than 2 months and I get to talk with all of you!!! On our way home, we literally said over and over "Guess what?" "What?" “I just got an ipad" " no way" "Yup, it’s pretty cool" haha all of us missionaries were having a blast.
So funny story, on our way to get the ipads we passed the zone leaders in their car, and then then when they passed us, Elder Walch one of the Zone leaders, who is awesome I just love him, anyways, while they were passing us he stuck his head out of the window and turned his head back to look at us as they passed us, and in like a tenth of a second his glasses were swept off his face. There was no way to find them. His facial reaction was the funniest; I don't think I have seen someone’s face change emotions so fast. His mouth just dropped and he was so surprised and just like "oh crap," hahaha, it was really funny. We ended up turning around and looking, but no luck, and that sucks because he is like blind...poor elder.
On Wednesday we had 7 appointments, and none of them canceled. How cool is that?  It seriously was like the best day ever. We had a lesson with Patsy, and committed her to baptism, she accepted and we have her on date for November 16th! She is so happy and so are we! Then we also had the Smith family, and Sorina read from  the Book of Mormon, it was awesome, she had a ton of questions, she read the title page, the intro and the testimonies and Joseph Smiths like intro to the Book of Mormon!!! It was amazing!!! Oh and we had 2 potentials hit on us, one of them wrote me on facebook, and said "Come over anytime.  I would love to talk to 2 pretty girls, it's been a long time" ...and then when we talked to him on the phone, he asked if he was talking to Andrea... And I was like "...uhhhh my name is Sister Draudt..." it was weird. That is the one down fall about Facebook people think it is fine to call us out first names. Then we were telling a less active about the single activities and he said “well you're single, so if you go I will come"
Ok so I have a really exciting story about some people but I can't write about it through an email, so I will send a letter home :) this story happened Friday while we were making calls when we were in Belt. Don't get your hopes up because if you do it won't be as exciting haha. When Sister Barkdull and I found out we just were screaming out of pure happiness :)
On Saturday we had stake conference and President Mecham was here and it was so freaking awesome, but he would look at us, because we sat in the front, and then take notes, and then look, and take notes, so I am pretty sure that is when he decided that I would be transferred! Lame! Stake Conference on Sunday was amazing also. President Mecham told us a story that was really neat so I am going to share it. So President served in Mongolia, but only for a couple months, because Sister Mechum got sick, and then they came here. Anyways he told us a story about Mongolia. So there was this senior couple who decided to go on a mission and requested a ward somewhere.  They were very excited for their mission call and when they received it and found out they were going to Mongolia, they were very upset, that is not what they requested at all. They decided they did not want to serve and did not accept the call. They continued to live their lives and not go on a mission, but something was missing and after a long time they decided to re-apply, this time they requested some place and said it was because of medical reasons. They knew they would get a great call, and this time the call came and they were so happy and excited and when they opened it up they read...Mongolia...They again were not very happy. They gave it a lot of thought and realized there was a reason for them to be called there. They left for Mongolia, not very enthused. When they arrived they were assigned to the area with a huge prison, and not just any prison, but one of the worst prisons, where the scum of the scum go, they worst and most vial criminals. Well they had to do service and that is where they were assigned. They were so scared and worried about serving in the awful place. The husband caught on the language pretty fast, and since he was a male, they let him work with the inmates. He ended up falling in love with it and loved serving there, the inmates grew to love him also but his poor wife was assigned to the kitchen, they were too worried about her to let her work with these awful criminals. She did the same thing day in and day out, she cleaned and cooked. She never really caught on the language, she really was struggling. She could not communicate with anyone and still was really struggling with the language. One day she had had enough and was so alone, and sad, she ran out to the court yard and screamed, "Does anyone speak English" Sadly there was no reply, so she screamed again but louder "Does anyone speak English" She knew there would not be a reply, and just started to walk back to the kitchen, then a quiet voice came from far away in the prison, that was high security, where not even her husband was allowed. This is where the worst of the worst criminals were locked away. She heard a reply, “I do."  She was not allowed to go in to this high security part of the prison though. This ate at her, she needed to find this person, after months of coaxing and gaining trust, and her husband was able to let the guards let her in.  They brought her to where she heard the voice, and it was a small very cold, awful cell, with no light. They opened the door and she stepped in. The voice then spoke and said "Mom, I knew you would come" This was their son. A son who years and years before went off on his own and decided to not live the best life. They had lost contact and worried about him daily. They had no idea where he was. He had done some dumb things and ended up in this Mongolian prison where he was sentenced to a life in prison, until he was executed. He has been rotting in that cell for years. They will now return from their mission in a couple months and are bringing their son with them.  They are bringing him home. This story really touched me. There were so many sniffles in the chapel after he told this story. How amazing is that? This shows me that Heavenly Father has a plan, and we need to follow it. What if this couple denied the call to Mongolia again? They would have never found and rescued their son. This story was about a mother finding her son. But it relates to all of us, and I think about it especially with me. I may not have known the people I have met before my mission, but I knew them before this life, and they are waiting for me to find them, just like this son. They may not be in a prison cell, but they could be in a spiritual prison and I am here to find them. I know that I am here in Montana for a reason, and soon to be in Wyoming. I know Heavenly Father sent me to Montana because I was assigned in the pre-existence to find certain people, and they are relying on me, Andrea Draudt, to find them. I will find them; I will follow God's will. I will do what he wants me to do. I want to help others find eternal happiness and find their way back home to him. I used to think I was called to Montana because it was just a good place I could serve, but I can now tell you that it was not just a good place I could serve, but it is the one place I have to be at this time in my life. Other souls are relying on me. I KNOW I am in Montana because I have been called of God to serve here. When I first got my call I remember crying because I was so sad.  I WISH I could take that back.  I wish I could tell myself to shut up and deal with it because I was crying over the best place I could have gone.  How stupid. It's not where you go, it’s about the people. I have made eternal friends here. My life will never be the same. I am so thankful I am serving the Lord and that I have this special opportunity that many never have to help others come unto Christ. I am so thankful I cannot say it enough and I will never be able to put it into words when trying to explain how I feel about Great Falls Montana, and how I feel about the people I knew before this life and after 20 years have finally been reunited. I feel like I become more whole every time I meet these people.  Like something was missing I never knew was missing, until I find them. Just like them when they find the gospel. I am so thankful to know that I can spend eternity with these people I have known.
Oh I never told you about the lesson yesterday; I guess I should do that real quickly. So we went to this guy’s house who is probably about 26 his name is Calvin.  We obviously have to bring someone with us because it is against the rules for us to be alone with a single guy. Well he is less active. He is from Layton Utah. So I assumed he was raised in the church and I should not have assumed because I felt dumb after assuming because he was not. He learned about the church from friends in high school and joined when he was 16. He was active for 2 years and then when he was 18 his dad (who is a jerk) kicked him out, and so he went inactive, then he joined the air force and got active, then became less active again. He has a 4 year old daughter in Utah. He is amazing.  We asked him why he stopped coming and he was like "I don't know..." and then he said "But I will come this Sunday." I think he just needed a push.  Because we taught him the restoration and asked if he would read some of the Book of Mormon. He agreed and then we started talking about other stuff and he came back to the topic and said "Wait, where do you want me to be in the Book of Mormon before we meet again?" and we were flabbergasted. We assigned him to read the intro, the testimonies and the Joseph Smith mini history thing, and then he said, “That's only like 5 pages!!! Dang!  He is awesome.  So we assigned him the first chapter of Nephi also. Then he was like "Do you still do the dinner thing, like can I feed you next week?" and we told him we would have to bring someone cause we were not allowed to be alone and he was like "Ya, no problem, that's a good idea, like you need to be safe, and I understand that's totally cool." So we planned a dinner with him, and he is cooking, which says a lot, I think. Sadly I will be in Wyoming....lame...because he is awesome and I don't want to leave!!! Anyways Calvin is pretty much the

But anyways that was my last couple days :) I love you all so much and I will be sending a package or 2 home, cause I have collected a lot while I have been be prepared haha :) I love you
                              -love Andrea :)

Elder Scott who just left to go home.
The Smiths
The First Snow!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

October 21, 2013

Dear Mom,
I don't have a ton to say this week.  I do have some stuff though. First off I got you package :) thank you! I can't wait to give everyone their gifts. The Gunther's loved the calendar and the note, they told me that is a very sweet note and they loved it. Second, I am so sad to hear about Miriam.  That is crazy!!! She will be okay though, I hope she doesn't have a bad case of MS.  My thoughts and prayers are with her.
So this week has been interesting. Sister Barkdull has been very sick. We went to the Doctor and got her some pain meds but then they reacted weird and she just started puking. I have really been learning patience, because I did have a headache too, but normal headache medicine worked for me. I have really had to have patience. I feel bad for Sister Barkdull though cause she was really sick, and she stuck it out really well though, but sometimes that is where I got frustrated haha, she has been calling me mom a little because she says "Oh I'm fine I can do it" and I have had to tell her no, and to rest and stuff and she gets frustrated with me, but oh well, I think if she rested earlier she would be a lot better by now haha. But she is finally getting better. :) Wahooooo
This week a couple things happened. So at the beginning of the week we visited with the Smiths, So Jacob is a member, but he is not active, and his wife Serena was the atheist, and I say was, cause she is not anymore! We got a call earlier from them and they asked why we always bring a member with us, and we told them it is so they know people in the ward. They were so relieved because they thought that they had done something and so we could not go over there alone haha. So we went over the next day for our appointment and we did not bring a member. Best choice ever. They opened up so much more!!! Serena, we found out went to read a copy of the book of Mormon, that she thought they had and it was just a bible. So she asked us to bring one, and so of course we agreed. We also found out they have been thinking about their little boy Malachi being baptized. They also love the ward and want to know when the next potluck is and the Halloween Party. We found out the real reason Jacob would not come to church. He finally admitted that there is a guy in the ward who he used to work with. Jacob 3 years ago was in an accident and now suffers severe daily migraines and so he can't work. Well this other guy in the ward really started to be mean to him and be cruel. So Jacob has not wanted to come. We told Jacob that this guy actually does not come, he had not been to church in 25 years, and that he just recently started coming back, but the last couple Sundays has not been there. Jacob then felt so much better and said he would try and come! They also said they wanted their kids to get to know us and so we are going over there this Sunday for dinner!!! We did not have an actual lesson, but we just shared a message and it was the best  thing ever to just sit and chat and get to know them, rather than just be the people that come and talk about church every week. I think we made so much progress with them :)
I swear I told you about the referral Jeff, who we just felt like we really needed to talk to and finally after like a month got a hold of him and gave him a Book of Mormon. Well we checked up on him and he admitted he was not too interested, but then we offered service and I also was able to tell him how we found him, the crazy story. And it made him feel really good. It was cool I told him that we are supposed to talk to him, and that Heavenly Father found a way for us to talk to him. It was really neat! I felt so good after we left, he was not even interested but yet I felt so good after cause I know that we did exactly what Heavenly Father told us to do, and I know we planted a huge seed and when the time is right I know he will be a member of the church.
This week we went to Belt Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The whole purpose of being in Belt was mainly for people to just see us and to talk to people. We have like no investigators in Belt. But it was cool because our first night in Belt we went to a former investigator's house, Jason.  He took the lessons in 2008.  When we contacted him a few weeks ago he didn't seem too interested, but then we thought we should go back so we did. He was not home, but we left a note on a card. Then we walked down town (the like 6 bars in Belt) haha and within 20 minutes we got a call.  He called us back and was like "hey I saw you walking down town and then saw the card you left and I want you to come over again! That is saying something because no one ever calls us back from a card, ever. We told all the elders and they were freaking out haha cause the ones who have been out like almost their whole time have never got a call back. He told us he would love us to come back, and so we said yes and set up an appointment for the next day. Unfortunately we ended up moving our appointment and then he did and so we have not seen him yet. But by him calling us back we know he is interested! We then taught one of our investigators in Belt. Cheyenne, she is 15. Hee grandma passed away recently and we taught her the plan of salvation. She started to tear up, and after the lesson she told us, "That was the first time that when someone has talked about my grandma I have not gotten frustrated or just wanted to change the subject, I felt warm" AWWWWWWW we seriously almost cried.  It was the sweetest thing ever.
On Saturday we helped Amy and Gus Olsen (your friends with Amy on facebook), we helped them paint and hang lattes, well I got the paint job, which seemed great, but it was a sprayer paint thing, and so my job was to hold up cardboard so it did not get on the house. It was fun, but I did not know I would be doing that, so I got paint all over my boots and my hair, it felt like a can of hair spray was in my hair, cause like I said the paint was put in this sprayer thing. Everyone was joking that the paint just blended in with my freckles. But anyways my boots are covered in splattered I either need to buy some more or you could send me some.
Well that is pretty much what happened this week. Today we hiked the GF for Great Falls, and it was straight up a hill, and I seriously am so out of shape, and then at one point we were hiking down I totally biffed it and scraped my knee! We hiked up there before sunrise so we could watch it, but we couldn't see it, because of the clouds, but we had a very nice devotional, and of course I was called on to bear my testimony, that happens a lot actually, and so I know I probably sounded really scattered because I had three seconds to pull my thoughts together haha. But I really have learned to love bearing my testimony, it used to scare me so much at home, but I love it now. I LOVE being able to testify and tell others that I know Jesus Christ is my Savior, and my redeemer, that because of the atonement we can have a friend who completely understands us and can help us. We can also have a way to change for the better and get back on the right path. I am so thankful for this gospel. I am so thankful to be raised in it. I love my Heavenly family and my family here on earth, who are also part of my Heavenly family.  Anyways after the devotional we ended up losing our phone, Sister Barkdull lost it, and it look forever to find, but thanks to a prayer we were able to find it and after that we said a prayer of thanks :) I love being a missionary.
                      -Love Andrea