Monday, January 30, 2017

Big Changes!

Before I get to the good stuff, I'll just show you these adorable pics of my roommates.

This is what happens when you brush out super curly hair when it's dry! 

So first of - I'm not getting transferred! Which means I'll be spending 6 months- a third of my mission here in Ellensburg! Crazy! That rarely happens and now it's happened to me in 2 areas. Here, and White Salmon. 

So we had some big news this week all over the world as missionaries! Each year the church's mission department puts on a worldwide missionary broadcast to help with training and encouraging missionaries. This year's was this past Wednesday and they announced that our schedule will be changing a lot! I'm actually super excited because it gives us a lot more control over how to use our time. It used to be that we had a lot more specifics of "you need to do this thing at this time, and this thing at this time, and this thing at this time, etc." But now it's more like "here's a chunk of time (a few hours) and here's a list of things that need to get done in this chunk of time, you decide when would be the most effective to do it." It was cool because one of the things Elder Dallin H. Oaks said when he announced it was that they "are trying to adjust to the reality that in a world-wide church one size does not fit all." SUPER inspired. ALSO WE GET TWO MORE P-DAY HOURS. #hallelujah

Our new schedule!

The other big change happened with our key indicators. We used to have a set of "key indicators for conversion" (aka numbers) that help us to measure how people we are teaching are progressing. We used to measure 11 things: how many people baptized and confirmed that week, how many people with a baptismal date set, how many lessons taught with a member present, how many other lessons, how many investigators came to church, how many lessons taught to people recently baptized or less active, how many lessons taught to active members, how many new investigators that week, how many referrals received and contacted, how many service hours..... The list goes on and on... But now they have narrowed it down to the most important 4! Baptized and confirmed, with a date, at church, and new. I AM SO HAPPY ABOUT IT. Because sometimes the numbers would just get in the way. We'd be so focused on "oh how are WE doing with our member present numbers this week?" Instead of how our investigators are doing and which of THEM are still in need of member friends? Basically it's just another way to help us shift our focus outward and stop trying to measure our success with numbers. Ultimately our success comes from how committed we are to helping people, and how valuable we feel as people and missionaries should come from within and from God, not from a list of numbers we report each week. We're still going to be remembering to teach a lot of lessons and have members come out with us a lot obviously, but I just love the simplicity and better focus.
I'm also loving both of these changes because it gives us the opportunity to exercise our own agency a lot more, and I feel like it will help us with adjusting to college life when we go home.

This week I hit my 15 month mark! Can y'all believe it? I do NOT feel this old. It's actually pretty funny because there's this really common missionary album by the Nashville Tribute Band that's called "The Work" that I used to listen to all the time when I was a baby missionary with Hermana Luevano in Royal, but I really haven't listened to it a ton since then. So we decided to pop that CD in last night and listen to it and when it got to the song "The Hardest Thing I've Ever Loved to Do" I started CRYING! Hermana Tolliver was like "What the heck! You're crying?!" And I was! I totally cried. It's funny because the song basically goes through the whole life of the missionary from the moment he says goodbye to his bedroom at home, until he greets his family at the airport coming home. When I was a young missionary and used to listen to it, the first half of the song would always make me more emotional, especially talking about saying goodbye to your family, but last night it was the last half that got me! Talking about "in a million ways completely torn apart, as a land so far away still owns my heart" IT'S SO HARD, PEOPLE.  I think as hard as it was coming out on a mission, ending your mission is like a thousand times harder!! GAH!

So anyway, other news - This week was pretty average. Not amazing but not terrible either.
Something fun on Monday was having an FHE with the Duval and Robins families! We talked about family history and especially how we can share it with our friends because it makes us so happy! We split everyone up on teams and gave them a bag of random props that they had to use in a 3 minute skit to talk about family history! It was pretty entertaining, and a really good practice for connecting things to the gospel.

the family history skits at FHE

Hermana Tolliver, Hermana Knight, and one of our besties at FHE!

We had a really good Tuesday, including an AWESOME lesson with our new investigator, Carol. She has some amazing and perfect questions! Especially: "If there's only one Jesus Christ, and when he was here he only taught one Gospel, why are there so many different Christian churches?" It was perfect. 

Some beautiful crystals that formed on the trees this week

Thursday I finally got the opportunity to go to the doctor for my super chapped and dry skin. And thank goodness because it was starting to bleed at times! The doctor said it was really bad eczema and gave me a prescription for a steroid cream and it's working miracles! I've been using it for about 4-5 days now and I finally got to wear eyeshadow again today! woo hoo! #missedyoubuddy 

At the doctor. Hermana Tolliver: "What?! That's not the mission statement!"

Saturday was also a great day. We ended up with SEVEN HOURS in a row of set lessons. So we were basically running from place to place like headless chickens, but it was so awesome! The work was super super slow on Wednesday and Thursday so it was really refreshing! We have a couple of pretty solid families we are teaching right now, so that's very exciting. We got a little discouraged the last few days just because this area is so tricky sometimes, but this morning when we went to do our laundry at Sister Robins' house, she gave us the best pep talk and some amazing ideas to try that we hadn't thought of! I love returned missionaries and picking their brains! And sister Robins is seriously just so sweet and helpful. We really love her a lot. 

Transfer predictions at district council!

I think that's it for this week. That's the main highlights at least. 

Monday, January 23, 2017


We have transfer calls this upcoming Saturday and I just can't believe it's my second to last transfer calls! It's crazy when little realizations like that set in and I realize how actually old I am... GAH.

It was a pretty great week! I'll be honest, Monday and Tuesday were ROUGH, but we worked through it. Actually Wednesday was a little bit rocky, too. I'm just really starting to realize what a perfectionist I am and how hard I am on myself. It's so destructive! Just say no to perfectionism people!! 

We did have some AWESOME times this week though. I'll split them into 3 categories. Lessons, Zone conference takeaways, and other stuff. 

Lesson highlights: 

Olandra with Sister Richland- It was good but her husband is afraid of the idea of her changing religions, so we're not sure where that's gonna go. 
Lauren- a super hard working single mom who got excited about the story of Laman, Lemuel, Sam, and Nephi. 
Rosa- we watched Jose Smith Profeta de la restauracion with her and Sister Doman and it was great because the spirit was there and she opened up to us about some of her questions and insecurities. Then last night we went to her house for dinner!
Eduardo with Brother Mark Shipman- We weren't expecting much because he was pretty stand-offish the first time we met him but he got super into the Restoration! Turns out he just got a job at Bishop Shipman's company too, which is cool and funny because we go there every week for lunch on Fridays! 
Karina and Jamie Reina- twin 18 yr old daughters of the Reina's. We started practice teaching them this week and holy cow they are so smart! They came up with some really good questions. 
The Gonzales- new family! Their next door neighbor was the one that bashed us a couple of weeks ago. Haha take that Satan.
Alen with Brother Spakman- He's such a good kid!! We're really excited about him but we actually have to pass him to the Elders because he's more comfortable with English. 
Margarita and Juan with Sister Doman- It was such a great Restoration lesson!!
We ended up with 10 member present lessons the last 2 weeks!! Woo hoo!!

OKAY NOW FOR MY FAVE- Zone Conference highlights <3

ZONE CONFERENCE WAS SO GOOD OH MY GOODNESS. It was on Thursday! It was so cool because usually each zone conference or so we have a new theme or focus as a mission. At this zone conference- sice it was the first one of the year, we had a review of all the focuses from the last year. It was cool! It was like a refresher course of everything I've ever learned on my mission. It was totally throwback Thursday. 
Some topics we reviewed, and who was my companion at the time we focused on them: 

Finding ideas- Hermana Luévano
member missionary work- Hermana Hull
planning- Hermana Hull
42 principles sheets- Hermana Dee
companion unity- Hermana Shewell
record keeping- Hermana Marble
consecration- Hermana Marble - something I especially loved that president said, was that consecration is like an association with the sacred. Would you say, do , or think that in the temple? 1 Corinthians 13 
using scriptures in teaching- Hermana Buss
referrals- hermana Marble
standards of excellence- Hermana Tolliver

The main thing that President and Sister Lewis talked about, (the newly introduced theme/focus is our desires) : President talked about how desires ->priorities -> choices-> actions and how our desires affect everything!  "If you have a vision of what you want to become, let that vision shape your desires." -President Lewis
We also talked a lot about agency (our ability to choose), and how God won't make us into something we don't choose to become.  "What we insistently desire is what we will eventually become..." - Elder Neal A. Maxwell. 
"There's a spark of divinity within each of us and the only thing that's getting in the way is how we choose to use our own agency."- President Lewis. 
So at the end of President Lewis's first training he encouraged each of us to make a list of our top 3 desires for our missions. How we want to improve, how we want our missions to change us. My top 3 were these: 
1- Be more forgiving. Especially of myself! And forgive faster. If someone offends me, turn outward and serve them. It makes me feel a lot better! 
2- Be more open and outwardly loving towards others. Seeing Hermana Hull at zone conference and spending a little time with her made me realize the reason why our two transfers together were the happiest times of my mission: because she brought out the best in me- she taught me how to love people. I need to remember those lessons and apply them more! Channel that part of me more!
3- Use honest and accurate language. I tend to over exaggerate a lot and have a tendency to choose the most dramatic words to describe things! Lol gotta work on that. 

Sister Tolliver and I are SO excited about all of our goals and have been already seeing awesome changes because of them. 

Hermana Tolliver's first Zone Conference!

All the missionaries

Family picture

Hermana Knight and Sister Enman

Sister Holmes, Hermana Pons, Hermana Knight

Hermana Hull and I at camera war

Hermana Knight and Elder Oliverson

Sister Lewis and Hermana Knight

Hermana Hull, Hermana Young, and Elder Vejnar candid

Hermana Knight and Sister Hansen

Hermana Knight and Sister Goodrich

Yakima Valley Zone

Other Stuff:

 Maria in white salmon wrote me and Hermana Hull a poem!! Hermana Pons was there on exchanges on Tuesday and took a video of Maria reading her poem out loud to us. It was SO SWEET. It's called "my missionary sisters". Hermana Hull was full on crying (como siempre haha) and I definitely was tearing up quite a bit. She (Maria) is truly a miracle. I love her so much. 

Yesterday it was insanely foggy in Kittitas! We were tracting in a trailer park on main street and a police pulled over to the side of the road where we were and asked us what we were doing. We told him we were out and about trying to get to know people and talk about the gospel. We told him we were missionaries. He was like "Oh! Well are you having any success?" He was so nice! We said no and that we were planning on leaving pretty soon anyway, and he was like, "Yeah you probably should because it's getting dark and really hard to see."

Then later that night (at 9:15) we were trying to drive home from our visit to Rosa, and we somehow managed to drive over a nail and a screw! so Brother Robins (thank goodness) was able to come and help us change our tire. My dad made me learn how to do that when I was like 15 before I could get my license, but unfortunatley that was like 7 years ago so I didn't remember! Brother Robins gave us a refresher course :) 

All my boots are dying. The weather is HORRIBLE here. It's been like snow, sleet, freezing rain, then it got really warm and all melted, and turned into slush, then it froze again... ugh. Even my new boots I just got about 4 months ago are literally falling apart! 

We got to teach Mia Maids yesterday! It was so fun! 

We had dinner at Rosa's last night and Hermana Tolliver almost died when she tried the insanely hot salsa. It was HILARIOUS. 

Hermana Tolliver and Alen's pet ferret!!

I think that's all, folks! I love and miss you all! 

Monday, January 16, 2017


So there's this thing on the mission called your "trunky call" and it's when a missionary has about 3-3 1/2 months left on their mission so Sister Call (at the mission office) calls you and make sure your driver's license is up to date, and to talk about future school plans, and to schedule your FLIGHT FOR GOING HOME. I got mine on Friday! I was so shocked!! Like, no way am I old enough for this!! 

This week was really good in general, and we found a lot of new people to teach, although there's not a whole lot story-wise to share. 

Monday we had a really good p-day. We actually took a couple of hours to go over to Sister Roberson's house and she let us use her sewing machine to mend a bunch of our clothes. It was so nice of her and super great for us! I feel like I have a whole new wardrobe now. 

(Thanks Mom and Grandma for teaching me how to sew)

After p-day we went to the Reina's house and had Family Home Evening with them. It went really well. We watched "Joseph Smith Prophet of the Restoration" with them. It's a really great movie that explains the Restoration very thoroughly. It was cool because one of their twin daughters, Katalina's boyfriend was there and he's not a member. His eyes were so fixed on the movie the whole time! Afterwards Katalina was like "he totally could have just been making that all up...everyone just had to take his word for it" and her boyfriend was like "Katalina, he wouldn't have gone through all of that and even gotten KILLED for it if he was just making it all up." it was so cool. 

Tuesday we went to Days for Girls (local service project) and it was super fun as usual. We met Adriana and Rodrigo, a new family we are teaching. We also met Amanda when Mark Shipman went out with us that night. It was awesome, Mark just got home from his mission in Colombia and he is a really great teacher! We are learning a lot from him. 

Wednesday I was on exchanges with Sister McCourt! I love her so much.  We went to try to visit Rosa at her store but she was swamped! So we helped her out by organizing some stuff and mopping the floor for her. Then we visited Hermana Teresa after that. She's doing a million times better. It was so good to see her happy and smiling again. She got a priesthood blessing last week from Brother Robins and you could tell it helped her so much! She was so grateful and appreciative of it. We also meet a sweet lady named Alex from Nicaragua. At first she looked so dark I thought she might be Indian, but then she started speaking Spanish to her kids, which made me so excited! She's got a really great relationship with God already and is excited to learn more with us. She said "I never close the door or be mean to missionaries because I never know - maybe God is trying to tell me something." I just thought that was such a great attitude. After that we met Jackie and had such a powerful lesson with her! She actually ended up in tears on the doorstep even before we went into her house. After dinner we went to the church and got to teach mutual for the young women. It was SO FUN. The youth here are amazing. We talked all about member missionary work (my faaaaave) and used a lot of stuff from the missionary next door by Diana Hoelsher. 

Thursday- I forgot to mention we've been going to the church in the mornings like from 6-7 am to play basketball with the other missionaries here in Ellensburg. It's been so fun! I just remembered that because I was going to talk about how we had District Council on Thursday morning. It was pretty good! Hermana Tolliver gave her first training. It was all about keeping the sabbath day holy and how to better help people understand what that means. She did so good!! I was so proud of her. I also loved getting to talk with Sister Carroll for a while during lunch. It was super refreshing and just great getting to catch up. I love her. 

After that we went to visit Guadelupe and got some great ideas from her on activities we can do with our little Spanish group. We're trying to unify them more. Then we visited a few more potential investigators and went home for dinner and some members had ordered a pizza for us! That was so nice! We never get treats like that. After dinner we went to visit Daniel with Brother and Sister Robins. It was good but a little awkward. We are starting to see the interest level go down with him. It's really sad when that happens. We just have to have faith that when the time is right, God will make sure missionaries in the future find him again. 

Friday we went to Bishop's company in the morning as usual, and had delicious carnitas tacos. He's actually hired quite a few new guys, so it was fun getting to know some new people. Froylan is so funny!! And Valerio loves to tease us. After we got home we were about an hour into our weekly planning (awesomeness) session when SISTER CALL CALLED and I got my trunky call. Like I said- I was shocked! It took me a few minutes after that to get back into the groove of planning. 

Saturday was SO COLD. It has been around -10 to about 18 degrees the last week, and Saturday we had plans to go tracting with Brother Steadman. We were only out there for about 45-50 minutes and our lips started to turn blue!! It was SO COLD GAH. I wish I had some nice boots like Sister Tolliver! Although even her feet were starting to get a cold by the end of it. 

That night we had another great visit with the Reina's. We're really starting to be in a good place with them. I love being a missionary. 

Sunday was great church was great! That's all I can say it's just great I love going with the 1st ward. And all but 3 of our group members came! It was a miracle for real. 

I think that's actually it for this week! I wish there were more exciting things to report! Next week is Zone Conference- so get ready for tons of pics!

GIANT Snickers bar Sister Tolliver got for Christmas

us being cute this morning

Love and miss you all!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Good Things Coming

We must be on to something amazing. A huge miracle is about to happen, because Satan is freaked out so he's throwing so much stuff at us to try to stop us from pressing forward in our efforts to help, serve, and bless the people here in Ellensburg. 

I'll be honest this week was ROUGH! There's not a ton to report because I was out for 3 days with the FLU! Gah. I've never had it before and it was 100% terrible. I have never felt like that before. It was weird. Also, we got bashed this week! My first bashing experience in Spanish. Fortunately that was only bash #4 for me in my whole mission, so that's actually pretty impressive. It was so awful though! It was on Wednesday, when we were out tracting in a new trailer park we've never seen before. This lady was so nice at first, she was like "Oh! Pasen! Pasen! Hace frio afuera!" (Come in! Come in! It's freezing out there!) We went in and she was like "Sientensen!" (Have a seat!), gesturing to her couch. Then we had a little bit of small talk like usual and then she just started ripping into us! It was CRAZY. We tried like 3 times to just bow out gracefully but this girl just really wanted to fight. She was like "Oh I know, I have a good idea, how about we say a prayer right now to ask God who's right, me or you guys." and I was just thinking "um definitely no that's a terrible idea" so I said "We'd rather not" and she was like "why not?" and I said "Well, because there's a lot of contention here right now so the Holy Spirit isn't here and we won't be able to receive an answer." Then we were about try to leave again. But then she was like "If you're not feeling the spirit it's because you're a sinner." We just stood up and walked right out of her house! It was a cool experience actually; I don't remember even making the active decision to leave, we just kind of did it. It was a super sad experience too, because it always makes me feel sad when people are so rude and offensive, and say they're doing it in the name of Christ, or because Christ wants them to. I'm pretty sure He actually said to love everyone and treat them with kindness and respect. I felt awesome after leaving though haha. Like nothing can stop me now!! Take that, crazy lady!  

Later that night I started throwing up and couldn't stop, and then for the next three days I don't remember much! It was crazy. I just remember being achy all over and that I had a fever. Fortunately the members here are the absolute best. Brother Robins and Mark gave me a blessing and a few members brought by soup, bananas, and applesauce. I felt very loved. 

Saturday morning I was feeling a lot better and my energy level had gone  up significantly, so we drove down to Selah for ZTM. It was pretty good! I got so many more insights about tracting and how to do it more effectively, AND I got to share my passion for Planning, Member Missionary Work, and Preach My Gospel with everyone. It was pretty fun. 

That night we had dinner with the Robins and it was awesome because they actually invited their non-member friend Natasha, and her daughters over, too. We got to meet them in a non-threatening, comfortable situation, and just talk to them a little bit. We mostly talked about what a mission is, why we're here, and why we decided to come on one. It was great! Then after dinner was done, we shared a short message about the scriptures and how much we can feel God's love when we read them. I think it was so awesome because now they've had a good experience with missionaries. 

Sunday was a good day. It started out pretty stressful because we are getting SO MUCH SNOW and the roads are crazy. We just have a little Toyota Corola- not meant for snow! But church was so good. I love the new Gordon B. Hinkley manual we have this year. The Relief Society lesson was so good! It was all about the Restoration, which of course as missionaries we talk about a lot, but it was cool talking about it a lot with members. There were several sisters who are all converts who bore powerful testimonies and shared really cool experiences. It was a spirit-packed meeting. 

Then last night we lost our phone! It was SO STRESSFUL Because do you know how hard it is to be a missionary without any way to contact people?! The other sisters were helping us try to find it, and all four of us searched for almost an hour last night! Then this morning we finally found it in the snow in the Reina's yard (we were visiting them last night and it had gotten run over by their truck but is still somehow miraculously working!). Mostly... haha the mission office is ordering us a new one, but for now we're just grateful to have it again! 

Well.... I guess that's my week guys. Haha pretty weird. But we have some awesome plans for this week. So keep your fingers crossed and a prayer in your heart for us, please! 

Eating tortas at Rosa's tienda

Monday, January 2, 2017

2017: ASK

Okay, so the new youth theme for this year is SO AWESOME and everyone needs to hear the new album. Hermana Tolliver and I just downloaded it yesterday and it is seriously so so so good. I especially love the songs "healing water" and "priceless".  
Other favorite songs of the week include "real man" from EFY 2016, and "Love Never Fails" by Brandon Heath. 

This week was good, it sure flew by though! A quick run-down.
Monday p-day was stressful but good. The four of us went down to Selah/Yakima again and went to TARGET #haventbeentherein15months. I got a big fluffy new towel. Thanks Grandma and Grandpa for the giftcard! Then we stopped by the mission office to drop off a bunch of Hermana Tolliver's new missionary paperwork and got to say hello to Elder and Sister Pendlebery, the new senior couple. (Elder and Sister Thompson are done with their mission now :( )

Tuesday we met a bunch of really interesting people at a local trailer park called Shady Acres. One family we met were switching between English and Spanish every other sentence... we were thinking: Please! Pick a language! It will be so much easier. We also did some service for an older couple shoveling their snow. I actually really love to do that. It's nice because it's good exercise and productive at the same time! Very satisfying. 

Wednesday I was on exchanges with Sister Michalek. It was pretty fun! We created a new Member-missionary work plan/paper we can give to members at dinner along with a cool 21-day promise attached! It really works! 
We visited Sister Teresa. She's not doing too well. She's a member of our Spanish group, but is about 81-82 years old and very weak so she can't come to church. She was very depressed when we got there. She said she just feels so alone and remembers the past when she could go to church and go to the temple and feel so much joy from the gospel but now feels like God has abandoned her. It was so sad so we got our SG leader, Brother Robins to come and give her a blessing. It was a very spiritual experience! The spirit entered the room during that time very powerfully and it was like a 100% change in Sister Teresa. Her whole countenance was lighter and she was happier! We also printed out some of her favorite chapters from the Book of Mormon and an article from in large print for her to read so she can get some "alimentos espirituales" (spiritual food). 
After that we went to APOYO to do some service (it's a local hispanic food bank) and we ended up with a ton of food too! It was all getting a little old and wouldn't make it through the next week, so us sisters and the elders each got a big box of food. It was a christmas miracle! After APOYO, we went to Rosa's and helped her package chillies! Then we had a lesson with her. She is just so cool. She's just the best. 

Thursday we had district council and President and Sister Lewis came! It was awesome; I had the opportunity to role-play with Sister Carroll, Elder Powell, and President Lewis, and it was one of the most spiritual role-plays I've ever been in! It was so cool. I received so much inspiration for my investigator who I was pretending to be. There were tears shed by multiple people! Then we had district lunch together and then interviews with President and Sister Lewis. I love them so much. It's amazing that they can remember so many details about each individual missionary and their struggles, trials, stuff at home, etc. They are in charge of 175-200 of us at a time! It's so amazing. Sister Lewis gave us a sheet of quotes that I just LOVE. Some of my favorites: 

"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience" -Teilhard de Chardin. 

"The same God that placed that star in a precise orbit millennia before it appeared over Bethlehem in celebration of the birth of the Babe has given at least equal attention to placement of each of us in precise human orbits so that we may, if we will, illuminate the landscape of our individual lives, so that our light may not only lead others but warn them as well." -Neal A. Maxwell 

After that we had two practice lessons with a couple of families in our Spanish group. It's so helpful especially for new missionaries, but also for me, and for the members. It reminds them about the most beautiful basic, simple truths of the gospel and helps them have a desire to share with others. The spirit was so strong! 
That night we met Veronica, our new investigator! She was a referral and has a lot of Mormon friends. She loves Mormons and has wanted to learn more about our church and our beliefs for a long time, so we're going back tonight to teach more and answer her questions! I'm excited. 

Friday we met our new investigator, Reyna. Not sure how into it she is, but she's apparently been taught a lot in the past. We also met Alejandro and he just thought the Restoration was the coolest thing ever! He was like "This makes so much sense! Of COURSE God wouldn't stop giving us more." As soon as we handed the Book of Mormon to him he immediately grabbed it and opened it and started reading through the whole introduction. He found it fascinating! It was cool- I've never seen that happen at a door step before! I've never seen someone get that excited about it. 

After that we had a really great resolving concerns lesson with our investigator, Joselin Ramirez. Her and her husband are both thinking hard about baptism, but she's just worried about disrespecting her god-parents who paid for all of her first communion, and who have been there for her throughout her whole life. If you could please keep her in your prayers that would be really great. :) 

Saturday a lot of our plans fell through but it's okay. That happens a lot in missionary life, especially on holidays! We had a really great visit with Rosa. She is really getting into family history (of course I'm happy about that)! She loves this little book/magazine thing Sister Dorm gave her about temples. We're going to the FHC (family history center) with her tomorrow night to work on finding some names of her family members who she can be baptized for at the temple soon! After that we had dinner with the Walters which was really awesome. It was fun because 2 of their sons were home for the holidays from school at BYU and they're both RM's so we had a lot of fun sharing mission stories. Then we went home, for our early curfew (6pm) and did weekly awesomeness! (weekly planning) I thought it was going to be hard doing it at the end of the day because I'd be tired, but it was actually one of the most spiritual and fastest weekly planning sessions I've had in a really long time! It was nice because instead of starting our day with it before we visited anyone, we ended the day with it and we had already been out in the community and visiting people, etc. It was like we were more warmed up to our area that day and the people were more fresh on our minds.  Also Hermana Tolliver's mom got us a pizza! That was so nice and a nice treat that we don't get often. #thanksmamatolliver! 

Sunday was SO GOOD. The Bishop's son, Mark, gave his homecoming talk. He just got home last week from a mission in Colombia and as he was telling stories and things he learned while out, Hermana Tolliver and I were feeling the spirit so strongly and both had a lot of impressions come to us about specific investigators we are teaching right now! It was great. Also a little funny because he kept pronouncing things wrong in english, and accidentally saying Spanish words. #same. 

Our Relief Society lesson was really cool too. It was all about New Year's Resolutions and who we want to become/realizing our divine potential. The teacher wrote each of us 7 letters for this week and we get to open one each day and write in our journals about it. It's such a clever idea! Makes me feel special too, when the teachers put that much effort into it.

Last night we had dinner with the Gaylord's. They are one of my favorite families here! I was so grateful because even though we had a spiritual message planned to share with them as usual, Brother Gaylord actually opened up to us about one of his personal trials and we were able to teach him and share scriptures and personal experiences. It was so cool because while that happens a lot with investigators, it hardly ever happens with members. I feel like it was a good sign that we have great member trust with the Gaylord's that they would come to us for spiritual advice. 

It was a great week! HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone! 

A Christmas tree at the mission office

My Christmas dress!