Oh! My dear family! How are you doing this fine January of 2012? I really never thought this year would come...But, here it is!
I'm glad you seemed to enjoy the New Year! The Boats sound fun! It's a good thing Dad didn't tip over in the canoe...that would've been cooooold! I'm sorry you've all been sick! That is never ever fun. I like Bishop's challenge! We are currently, as a mission, reading 6 pages a day. It takes about 15-25 minutes to read that much. We are supposed to be finished by the middle of February. I've found that you get so much more out of it when you are looking for specific things in the Book of Mormon. Right now we are watching for the application of the Doctrine of Christ (Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End). I also have thought about going through and highlighting things like power and authority, commandment, love, etc. Choose an attribute you want to develop over the next year and watch for it, or similar attributes while reading. It's cool.
Our Relief Society president spoke in Sacrament meeting and used a talk by Marvin J Ashton called Be a Quality Person. I'm excited to read and study it. :) Maybe Miranda would enjoy it. It's directed to the singles.
When does school start back up? Are you doing another semester? What happened with the house? Did you get the house? As for remembering things...I feel like the older I get (and I'm only 22) the more I forget! What is gonna happen to me? :S
This was a really good week. I have not had a week like this in a long time, if ever. We really thought that we would be struggling to reach our goals during the break, but the Lord has worked miracles. We met or exceeded 9 out of 12 goals that we set. The only areas we struggle in was teaching Active members (we aren't really getting fed or seeing many members during the week) and in contacting--but even then our contacting numbers are up from the last couple weeks. Anyway, we got 5 new investigators this week! :D Jenny is doing great! Still going strong for January 14th. She doesn't really understand the difference between this baptism and when she was baptized as a baby. So, we are going to take her down to the temple and walk by it, and then teach her about the restoration of the Priesthood in the chapel right next door. It'll be great!
On New Year's Eve we went to Downtown Minneapolis and walked around. It was beautiful, all the lights and the city...amazing. It started RAINING (Yes, December 31st and it is raining). It was a lot of fun. We met a really neat kid that we will hopefully be teaching tomorrow. We can call him Gerald. He asked us if we could exchange information and he was asking a lot of great questions concerning the Plan of Salvation. It was really cool. And by the time we got home that night the rain turned to snow, the moisture on the ground froze and now we have ice. But, the temperature is supposed to get up to the 40's again this weekend! We have talked to a couple older people who have lived in MN their whole lives and they say that they have never seen a winter this warm! Boy, am I grateful for this weather! :D
Last night we taught an awesome lesson. We started out and he kept asking questions and saying things like "i don't think this is for me" "something just isn't clicking..." So, right off the bat our joint teacher jumps off and well, he was pretty much trying to teach the lesson, and as hard as we tried we couldn't take control of the lesson. Finally, the guy we were teaching was like, I'm gonna go meet up with my friends and go to the movies, if they haven't left yet. So, we were gonna teach his friend-who is a recent convert to the church. But, before we could start teaching her, he came back. But the RC was like, can we still do my lesson? So, Sister Cook, bless her brilliant and Spirit guided mind, said "yes, of course. Today we are going to talk about the Restoration." Which is what we'd been trying to teach our investigator. So, we taught the Restoration, directed to our RC and the Spirit was SO strong for the ENTIRE lesson. He hardly said a word, and neither did our joint teacher. At the end of the lesson our investigator said "This much I will say, this is real (touching the Book of Mormon). The Book of Mormon is true. Buuuut, it's not for me." However, he agreed to meet up again. He has some concerns and undoubtedly very non-supportive friends. But that is the strongest I've felt the Spirit in one of our lessons since Moses back in my first area. It was amazing.
I'd say those were the highlights of the week. We've kept busy. Oh, yeah! We went on exchanges. I went to North St. Paul with Sister Benson. They have been starting a new kind of work there. Sister Benson has been learning Nepali and they work with a lot of people from Nepal. So, I got to meet many of the new converts and investigators from Nepal and even received a Nepali name! My name is Gunga. Or, in Nepali: Mera nam Gunga ho. (My name Gunga is.) I also got to play a Chinese flute called a "Bawu" I don't remember how to say it, but that's how it is spelt. I want one! And I got to play a Nepali flute called a "Basuri". The Nepali flute is like a thin pipe almost. It's interesting. I had a lot of fun!
We finalized our lesson plans for our class about God and have decided to make it a 3 week course and by the 3rd week have invited them to meet with us outside of the class. Of course, they are welcome to keep coming, but we'll be covering the same material. Anyway, I'm blabbering. So much has been going on. I'm loving Dinkytown. Transfer day is like 2 or 3 days before my birthday, and I really don't want to transfer! But, God's will be done.
Well, it was good to hear from you. I hope you all get to feeling better. I love you all and miss you and hope you are doing well. Oh...yes, we have a freezer and for my birthday I don't know what I want. I'm good on winter materials... a "Bawu" would be cool, but it might be a couple hundred dollars. Cheaper than my flute! ;) umm, I don't know. Not Candy. I feel fat and have no desire to eat candy for a really long time. And I'm collecting lots of stuff...I don't know where it all came from. I'm sure I'll end up leaving a lot of the winter stuff I got for free behind. But, anyway. I'm sure whatever you send will be great, or you can send me a card and save the money for when I come home and need clothes that aren't missionary clothes.... well, I love you. Be safe and enjoy your winter!
Your Daughter, Sister, Granddaughter, or Cousin (but in any case your favorite Sister missionary),
Sister Randall :)