Hey there :)
Oh man, so much has happened and p-day was shortened today... so I have even less time to write today... we will see how fast I can type!
First off, I saw Kory's little e-mail. Maybe we can all do a chat, I have p-day on Wednesdays now.
I was transferred to HIRAM! To tell you a little bit about Hiram, this is where Joseph Smith was tarred and feathered. Only Sisters from two wards get to serve at the Johnson home, so not everyone does and I still get to serve there :) My last ward and my new ward are the ones who get that opportunity! So happy!
I also have a new companion... she is adorable and I already love her. She is from Provo and her name is Sister Spong. She came out right before me, so we are both newbies learning the area. She is a runner and we have lots in common, so I feel like I can talk to her and get this.... we live in the NICEST apartment in the whole mission. We live in a gated community and we have a work out room, a paging intercom thing in our apartment, tennis courts, a pool (nice to look at :)) and it's just even more green and beautiful.
I also love the ward... the senior couple in the ward is Elder and Sister Packer. So that is fun too :) Sister Spong also likes to feel accomplished and so we are getting things done and have a lot of new ideas for this area. We have already met with the bishop a couple times and the ward mission leader, nursing homes, other churches to volunteer at and even planning activities with the youth so they can invite their friends, plus so many other ideas! Man, it is just nice to be here. Still a small town, but I saw a Starbucks today and Kohl's! That was the first in forever.
We have also found some new people in the last few days and have taught our investigators named Lisa and now her fiancé, Jim. The spirit was so strong while teaching about the Restoration. Sister Spong said she had never had a lesson go so great before. They are so ready!
We also were walking to a less-actives home and I saw some kids outside on our way there...we walked past, but I felt strongly that we needed to go back and talk to those kids. So I turned around, walked back and asked the kids if their mom was home. She was :) We talked to her for a little while, we bore testimony about the Book of Mormon, gave her one and she told us that she had just lost her 15 year old son from a drowning accident. We told her that she would not only see him again, but that she would recognize him. That hit home with her and she said she really wants to meet with us more. She said she is already working on quitting smoking and she quit drinking already. She is already working on everything :)
Also, our sites schedule changed, I will be in Kirtlandand Thursdays and then at the Johnson Home on Fridays. We did our first tour together in Kirtland yesterday, it is great learning from my companion and getting new ideas. We have already taken some amazing tours. Large tours, but great ones. We are so blessed to serve in these places and so blessed to have such amazing people come in from all over wanting to feel the spirit and wanting to be uplifted. Those are the best tours by far... with the people who don't want to just hear the history and look at the cool artifacts, but with the people who come ready and prepared to apply what the saints went through and how they overcame those trials and challenges to their own lives. Also those just ready to feel the spirit and learn by the spirit. I can't even describe how great it is to experience this with the people who come from all over. To be in the room with them while the spirit is teaching all of us and to see them cry, get emotional and to hear their testimonies. It just strengthens our testimonies every time.
I am learning more and more every week. It's awesome. Newel K. Whitney was called as the bishop ... the 2nd bishop in this dispensation. He didn't think he could do it. He didn't think that he could take on such a huge responsibility. But really, Heavenly Father had been preparing him the whole time. Newel had a store, he knew everyone in the community, he was the best record keeper, he loved everyone, always looking out for everyone and served constantly. He was constantly trying to become like our Savior. That sounds like a pretty good bishop to me. Newel prayed... he prayed long and hard for Heavenly to help him and he received an answer. Heavenly Father said that He would give Him strength.
I know without our Heavenly Father we would be nothing, we couldn't do it. I know that without the sacrifices made by our Savior, we would be nothing and couldn't make it in this life as well. But to know that we are loved by a LOVING Heavenly Father and a LOVING brother who sacrificed for us and knows us all individually is so comforting. And to know that they will never turn their backs on us, they will always be with us. When I came out, I didn't think I could make it. Now I know I can. I have seen Heavenly Father's hand. I know that we have to continue in faith and expect miracles. Not just expecting them once, but expect them everyday. I know that faith is walking a few steps out of light into the darkness and expecting our Savior to light our path. It will happen. Not might. I know that whatever we ask for in faith, we shall receive. We can receive strength to do anything. We can make it through anything. Our strength comes from our Father in Heaven and our Savior Jesus Christ.
I love learning... I love seeing miracles and I love my Heavenly Father and his son, Jesus Christ. I love all of you...more than you know. Expect miracles to happen. I know they will. I have seen it.
"Don’t count the days. Make the days count."
ps- My new address... I am able to receive anything here. Probably the best place to send stuff!
Its...234 New Castle Drive, Aurora Ohio 44202
Pss- I know what I am going to be when I grow up... haha