*****My computer is being lame, so I will post the pics from this letter to McKenzie's FB page via my phone*****
I AM SO HAPPY TO HEAR FROM YOU! I HAVE FELT SO LOST NOT HEARING FROM YA, I know it was completely valid reasons and all. I have just missed ya! WHAT A GREAT LETTER. Miracles, fun times, memories made left and right! I am so happy to know the snowboarding trip was a SUCCESS. I am also glad that the Dover Branch has its goals set toward entering the temple! What a wonderful thing! The winter has set in a little over the last couple days, we got a few inches of snow but today it will be back up in the 60's... SO STRANGE! Apparently February is the worst month of winter so we will see. Sister Packer has one transfer left after this one is over so she has about 8 weeks left in the field. She hasnt freaked out too badly yet but I have a feeling we will get split this coming transfer and I will be really sad to see her go. But I know we will still keep in touch and be friends after the mission. I feel so spoiled to have a bestfriend companion!
So this week was pretty crazy! We went on several exchanges, both of which were hard in different ways but a lot was learned and it made me grateful for the ways I have grown over the last year. At one of the district meetings this week I learned something cool. We were doing a roleplay where the missionary had to teach someone why having faith in Joseph Smith was important. After we roleplayed we analyzed it. Everyone had difficulty teaching that and so we talked about why. It was because we cannot have FAITH in ANYONE unless its Christ, faith unto salvation that is. So the rest of the time we talked and roleplayed about having faith in JESUS CHRIST and why that is important. It was a powerful lesson I learned. Every week we teach an English class to women who are from Afghanistan and speak Persian. Usually we have about 1-3 women there. This week there were 8 people there, including a family of 3. We teach it in the church building and it was cool to be able to teach them how to speak english but we had a woman say that she goes to 3 other english classes and she likes ours the best but she's unsure why. We know its because she is in the church building and we are representatives of Jesus Christ. REALLY COOL. MIRACLE TIME! ARE YOU READY FOR THIS??? BUCKLE YOUR SEATBELTS! Miracle 1: We had dinner this week with a family who's father isnt a member. He has been taught the lessons and since his wife works on sundays he has faithfully brought his daughters to church for years. He has even been referred to as Brother Hall. The word of wisdom has been his hangup in the past. So we were there for dinner and Brother and Sister Hall had this awkward exchange like a "you tell em, no you tell em" in hushed tones kind of a thing. So finally Brother Hall told us he wanted to be baptized before his birthday which is march 7th. We proceeded to talk about it and he told us his religious background and pretty much bore his testimony to us. He talked to the Bishop last night and we are hoping he will be baptized on February 14th! Miracle 2: last Sunday we got lost while walking to dinner. the gps we were using said we were at our destination but the house number didn't exist. We saw a young man outside rummaging with a toilet... ODD. But we decided to ask him for directions. His name was Sam and we got to talk to him about what we do as missionaries. We invited him to watch the because of him video and gave him our number and got his. Later that night he texted us and said he liked the video, we got to talk with him throughout the week and told him more about what we do as missionaries. We invited him to church and his neighbor, the member we had dinner with that night, picked him up and brought him to church. Right afterward, we taught him more about what was talked about in sacrament meeting (the book of mormon), gave him a book of mormon and will be teaching him again this week in his neighbors home. Miracle 3: Saturday morning we got a call from a woman named Hilary, she left us a voicemail about a friend that she met and invited to church, her name was Mary and she lives in our area so she told us she was coming to our ward the next day with Mary. We arranged to meet them there and Mary has been through a lot in her life. She is from Sudan and while she was there her husband was killed in a bombing, she came to america and her next husband abandoned her with 4 kids. In sacrament meeting Hilary bore her testimony, which was so powerful, she talked about how she was converted and is a convert of 2 years. She said that she hopes we help Mary to feel like she is home because being a member of the church is like having a new family. Afterwards, I went to talk to Mary again. (Back story: Sabor is a convert of 5 years, also from Sudan. Her husband is still in Sudan and she is here with her 3 children alone. Her children were baptized about 6 months ago). I asked Mary if she knew sabor, she said yes, she is from my country. and then just started to cry! She was feeling the spirit and feeling like she found her family. In gospel principles the next hour we talked about the Atonement and how it heals us, Sabor and Mary both talked about their experiences and how the church feels like home. We are teaching Mary tonight, with Hilary and the woman who taught gospel principles (her husband just joined the church 6 months ago) requested to go with us as well. The spirit is working hard here in Aurora, CO. As for funny stories, or lack thereof... no funny dog stories this week but lately Sister Packer has been calling me her four eyed friend and cracking up every time I push up my glasses.... this companionship has been too good to be true. :D