I am a little short on time today, but I have SO MUCH that I need and want to tell ya'll about my super spiritual week. So let's get to it!
---> We use the paper cups for the sacrament water. hehe takes me back to the olden days of the 5th ward.
---> the "Maverik" gas station of New York is called "Nice 'n Easy"
---> Squirrels run around here like cats... and well, with the cats. ha!
---> the weather has been soooo nice lately. 70's and gorgeousssss.
---> Had my first taste of NY pizza! YUM. Gave the owner a pass along card after. haha
---> I have had more member meals in the past 3 weeks then I did for the 4 months I was in Czech.. haah umm... we are spoiled here.
---> I have YET to wear the SAME outfit twice. I'd say that's pretty impressive considering the size of my wardrobe. Go me.
Alright first off, I have some BE-LATED birthday wishes to send out! Gma Woman! Happiest day to you on the 12th... I think it was! and Grandpa Don up in Heaven deserves a shout out too. His was last monday on the 21st. <3 Happy birthday to the two of you! :)
Nate the Great is doing well. He is progressing, but we are only able to meet with him once a week due to busy work schedule, kids, and his divorce business that he is going through. We haven't gotten him back to church since my first Sunday here... but we will. It's hard when he has the kids because he doesn't want to do anything to jepordize him and having his wife get full custody, and religion can sometimes make that situation messy. He's great though. We always have really good lessons with him. He's a thinker, so it makes me have to think even more then I already do in lessons. Sometimes I leave and I have a gospel headache! hah! It's a good thing though. ;)
ALIEANNA. I think I have mentioned her.... but if not I'll give a quick summary. She is 16 years old has a twin named Ayanna. They are friends with Sheaquanna who is 17 and a recent convert. Sister Thao and her previous companions picked Alieanna up via TRACTING just before I arrived. I'm tellin ya, tracting works in these parts. Although, we have yet to do it since I've been here... No complaints on my end. ha. Anyway! We have been meeting quite a bit with Alieanna the past 3 weeks. Her twin and her little sister Olivia (5) almost always sit in on the lessons too. Just before I got here, the sisters put ALIEANNA on date, but then she prayed about it and it just didn't feel right. So when I came in and had a few lessons with her and got to know her better I kept telling sister Thao we needed to get her on date. Soooo finalllyyyyyy we put her back on date for the 14th of November this past week. I believe it was on.... Tuesday or Wednesay. When we invited her to be baptized again, she said yes, but she was kind of hesitant, so we asked her what her concerns were. Her biggest one was that she'll mess up after she is baptized. We silenced that concern real quick with short powerful testimony on the Atonement and she felt a little more at ease. THEN!!!!! We go to have a lesson with her on Saturday and as we are getting ready to say the prayer I hear her start to say that she wasn't going to be able to come to Church. UGH. I was a little bugged not going to lie. Ha then she got interrupted by Olivia blah blah blah then she started her sentence again, but it had nothing to do with church... She says to us, " I have made my final decision and I know for sure I want to be baptized." WHHHHAAAATTTTTT!!! Pretty sure my heart jumped right out of my chest. ha! We asked her how she came to her final decision and she said that she approached both her mom and dad and told them that she wanted to be baptized and that she wanted their support. They both said yes and that they would be there on her baptism day. (wow!) Then she prayed a lot and she just felt that it was the right thing to do. She ended up coming to the Women's Conference broadcast we had at the church Saturday night and it was great.
The church is true everyone.
It was the second greatest moment of my mission thus far in Utica, New York....
The first greatest moment was the day I knocked on Daniela Sykora's door.
THERE'S A CZECH IN TOWN:
A week ago Sunday, a member approached me and told me that we had a Less Active sister in our ward who was from Czech.
Let me repeat that again.
A LESS ACTIVE SISTER FROM THE CZECH REPUBLIC.
Sister Thao and I tried contacting her with the information that Brother Malczyk had given us, but we were able to get through. We had lunch on Wednesday with Sister Malczyk and told her and she said well, she just lives right down the road, why don't you go try seeing her when you leave. Sooooo we did! There were 3 doors in the apartment so we were quite sure which one was hers... but don't worry we eventually found her. She asked who it was from the other side of the door. We told her it was the sisters and I heard her say under her breath.. "ohh.... uhmm.." and I thought to myself, no way am I letting this woman get away from me! So I threw out a "Dobry Den" and I could hear excitement enter her voice. She told us to hold on and she'd be right back. Eventually she let us it, and it was the happiest meeting of my entire life. I gave her a big fat hug and I honestly felt like I was hugging an old friend that I had known all my life. We had a good 10 minute conversation with her (mostly me because we spoke a lot of Czech.. poor sister Thao) hahah but it was just wonderful. She has some medical problems that keep her from going to church, but she's pretty strong in the faith. We tried getting her to come to the General Women's conference and church, which she was planning on going, but things came up. of course. But that's okay! I KNOW with ALL of my heart she is one of the biggest reasons I am here. And you better believe that I am going to tell her that when we see her this week. I want to see her active by the time I leave, and I know that we can do it! She is so great. Gah. I love her. She said she is going to make us Halusky a slovakia dish. I guess technically she is from Slovakia... but she is fluently in both and has a lot of family from Czech. Wow. I couldn't stop smiling the rest of the day.
Sister Geatano ( a member ) also has a friend that lives in Czech! She owns her own restaurant called "The Tavern" in Praha. Taylor, Brenton, Carly you ever eaten there? She gave me her information and wants me to go see her when I get over there!
So much Czech excitement here in Utica, I can hardly stand it! :)
MIRACLES OF FINDING:
We were on the hunt for a potential of ours, Vanessa. We have been trying to get in touch with her for the past two weeks, but have had bad timing. We had this awkward moment where we were getting out of the car and saw that Vanessa walking down to her neighbors... So we were going to go hide behind this truck and then there was this boy on the porch where we were going to hide and then this woman, prolly in her 30's came out. haha soooo we approached her to make it seem less awkward and I know that the spirit was guiding us in this one. We introduced ourselves and started explaining what we do. This woman's name is Randi Jackson. As we get done with our schpeel, and she tells us a little bit about herself, I felt impressed to ask for a return appointment. She replied with, "Actually, yes. I have been praying lately that someone or something would walk into my life, because I know I need God back in my life, but I've been searching for a different religion." HA HA HA HA. Uhmmmm H E L L O. It's always a good day when you get a response like that. :)
I have to get going, but ah it was such a great week! The leaves are starting to change colors and the temperature is starting to cool off.. hopefully the fall weather will linger longer this year.. I do not want to be here when winter hits. I have heard too many horror stories. haha I am doing so well. I really can't complain. I want to bear testimony to all of you that I know that God is in EVERY detail of our lives. I can express to you fully how much love I have felt from Him this past week with all the different experiences I have had. He knows what we need, when we need it. Sometimes we just need to be a little more patient, a little more humble. I would like to invite all of you to strive to see Him in the details of your own lives this week.
I love you all so much. Thank you thank you thank you for your emails and prayers!!!
Until next week!