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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

We're so cute.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
This is Leonore. Cute right?

They were making snow. I was amazed, (This, by the way, is a Minnesota ski resort built on the highest hill around...the landfill)

Hey family! It's starting to cool down here in Minnesota, we've b been in the twenties all week, the next few days are warmer, upper thirties and mid forties, and it's supposed to snow on Thursday! People tell us over and over what a nice Fall it's been. I have enjoyed it while it lasted. I am waiting for the temperatures to take a nose-dive. It's been fun experimenting with tights and skirts and scarves and coats and all the things. Both this week and next week our full p-days are on Thursday (we're going to the temple next week!!) but we still have the time to email on Monday, so we still haven't had time to look for gloves. I don't know if you're already thinking about a Christmas package, but if you are, I'm requesting some thermals and fleece lined

I feel like a lot has happened this week. Lot's of new developments and stresses, but all good things. We are teaching a girl named Erika, she's fifteen and has been investigating since April or so. She expressed to us this week her desire to be baptized. I don't think she's ever been to church, but that is literally her only hurdle. We taught her the Law of Chastity and Word of Wisdom which you think wouldn't fly very well with a fifteen year old, but she totally got it. She agreed with us and even told us she had thoughts these things
on her own. She is seriously the coolest. She is probably the most spiritually in tune person her age that I've met. She has the deepest strongest desire to do exactly what God wants. I have discovered that I love teaching the youth. They are so perceptive to spiritual things and are always willing to at least learn more. There are so many youth we are teaching right now that are pushing their parents to be better. It's awesome. The youth are the future.

On Wednesday we had a cool experience that really strengthened our testimonies of finding through part member families and less actives and also of inspired back up plans. We had two appointments set up for
Wednesday night and at about 3 pm, both of them cancelled. One of them was in Chaska which with traffic is between 45 min and an hour from home, and the other was closer to home. Our backup plans had been made with the thought that we show up in Chaska and they don't open the door. So even though we knew there might be nothing for us in Chaska we decided to go any way because that's where our back up plans were. So it takes us an hour to get there because of rain and traffic. We get to the place where the first referral works and she wasn't there. Awesome. So we go to our next plan which is an investigator that we
haven't been able to contact for a few weeks. She opens the door, let's us in, and we gave a good lesson on the Plan of Salvation. She kept saying, "I just need to read the Book of Mormon." We also found out that her dad is actually a member. Plus we set up an appointment for tomorrow, Tuesday. Success. After her, we went to a less active that lives in that same trailer park. I was a little nervous because Sister Scholl had said that this member's daughter had just recently received? done? taken? her first Communion in the Catholic church. I don't actually know what they do. But I didn't know if we were going into hostile territory or not. This Hermana let us in right away, we introduced ourselves, got to know her a little, and then shared the
video "Because of Him"
It's our favorite video to share. It's so good. But she loved it, it brought the Spirit so strongly. We invited her to church and she got quiet and then said something like, "yeah, I would like that." We didn't want to leave because it felt so good to just feel the Spirit and remind one of our sisters that she was missed and needed. She didn't come even though we found her a ride, but it was still a good experience. Definitely worth the long drive.

On Saturday we went to Lakeville for the baptism of a lady that Sister Warmbier taught. Her name is Leonor, she's from Spain, and she is more than 80 years old. Let me tell you about Leonor. She is kind of scary
looking, I'll be real. She wears this hideous black wig over her gray hair, but the thing is that she doesn't pin up her gray hair, she lets it hang out the back of her wig. Her hands are really shaky, but she still insists on doing her makeup so her lipstick is a little all over the place and her mascara is really dark and also all over. And she doesn't really smile. I'll send you the miracle picture of her cute little smile. She is really sweet and it was a cool baptism because they had to have two people in the font because of how unstable she is. The less sweet part is that Sister Warmbier and I had the job of changing her back into dry clothes after the baptism. And she was wearing NOTHING under her jumpsuit. Never a dull moment. It was good though, Sis Warmbier was really happy to go, so it was good.

I get the chance to meet so many cool people here. I have told you a little bit about some of the people we do service with, but there's more. I found out that one of them was a refugee from Ukraine to escape the Soviet Union when he was four, but he grew up speaking Ukrainian, one of them has Russian parents so he grew up speaking Russian, one of them knows Greek and has a doctorate in music, like so many cool things. There are a lot of very educated people here in Minnesota. There are also a lot of really cool people that I have met thorough church. Bishop Volz, the bishop of our ward is one of the most incredible people. I think you have to be to be a bishop of a Hispanic ward. We went to ward council yesterday and was really impressed with how he runs things. He is very people oriented and just loves these people with his whole heart. He is incredibly humble. He learned his Spanish at BYU and from a month or two in Spain, so even though his Spanish is really good, he still has to ask all the time, "how do you say..?" or "wait, what does that mean?" It's really neat. In ward council we brought up that the missionaries haven't been fed much by the members lately, and he came up after and literally dished out all the cash from his wallet between the missionaries. We tried to refuse but he brought up the point that's more convenient than taking us out to eat anyway. And he would never take recognition for it. He is really amazing. He works so hard, and takes really good care of the missionaries. We at least have a full fridge now, it was getting pretty sparse.

Something hard that I've been thinking about a lot is our most recent convert, Martin. He has been telling some members of the ward that he doesn't have a testimony, and so there is that thought flying around
the ward that the missionaries aren't taking good care of their investigators and are just trying to get them baptized. Our district leader, Elder H says don't worry about it too much, because we have heard his testimony and we have been teaching him, not the ward. We know that Martin has a testimony even if it's not as strong as some of the other members. I'm just worried that he was baptized for the wrong reasons, like because the missionary that taught him for nine months was leaving that next week. It's a hard situation and we don't know how to help except to help him do the small things like read the scriptures and pray every single day. 

Everything is good here! We love missionary work! Don't forget that Christmas is the best time to share the Gospel! The new Christmas video comes out on Sunday, and we are stooooked. The things we get excited about as missionaries:))

I love you!