Happy Late Halloween!

So, in celebration of Halloween last Friday, we had a zone meeting on obedience! It's our missions focus this month. It was very meetingy, but luckily the Country Park stake has 2 MLS couples, and they brought us treats!! Hurray!

Also in celebration  of Halloween, our stake had their Halloween parties recently. A lot of our evenings were spent bouncing back and forth from party to party trying to meet people that we haven't met yet. It was pretty fun! The first couple Sister Santos and I went to were pretty fun. One was Book of Mormon themed, and they had people dressed up as different BoM people running different games. That was one where our Ward Mission Leader was dressed as King Benjamin. The next couple happened last Tuesday, so we were on exchanges. Sister Collins and I decided to put those mustaches Mom sent me for my birthday to good use and we went as...missionaries with mustaches on? There's only so much dressing up we can really do. We told some people we were dressed as elders from the 1800s...because...you know...they had facial hair sometimes? Eh, it worked. People thought it was funny.

Well, some people thought it was funny, and other people ACTUALLY DIDN'T RECOGNIZE WHO I WAS. We couldn't believe how confused some people got that night, haha. It was the mustache, the short hair, and a different companion all combined. But I still had the name tag, that should have helped them out. Sister Collins is an amazing missionary, though! It was fun having her as a companion that day, we worked really hard and were able to start teaching somebody new!

The next day we decided to end the exchange at Cafe Rio. If you go there, the line is usually 324892 miles long, but if you go there at lunch hour the line is usually 238947231420347 miles long. So during our 238947231420347 mile wait, we decided to tell the man in front of us (who looked particularly grumpy, I might add) how awesome his Star Wars hat was. When we got to the cash register, he paid for all 4 our of meals! He said something about doing it because we were star wards fans. Yeah! Star wars wins every time.

Oh, so about my hair. I just woke up one morning and decided to cut it. I thought maybe it would make me not look like I'm 14 years old. Unfortunately, now I just look like a 14 year old with short hair. Also, because I waste sooooooooo much time in the morning washing and blow drying my long hair. I had Sister Meisenbacher chop about 10 inches off. Woohoo. Liberating.

This weekend is stake conference. Our stake presidency is getting released and they're calling a new one. We stopped by President Sohm's house last night to drop off a puzzle they loaned us and we got to visit for a while. He's sad, he loves his calling a lot. We talked a lot about doing family history work, that's something he's focused on. The families in this stake have found and done the temple work for thousands of names in the past year. Most of the work was done by the youth!! There were over 4,000 people's names found. THAT'S A LOT OF PEOPLE. It's incredible what family history work does in our lives. It's blessed the people here so much!!

Our mission president has been talking a lot about establishing the Church. We're not just baptizing people, we're helping each of them to have their own firm foundation on Jesus Christ. We want people to have strong testimonies, and to become converted throughout their lives. No wonder the River Stake is seeing so many miracles! They're establishing the Church, it's strong here. Their testimonies are growing and as they see their own lives blessed, they're reaching out to share the blessings of the gospel with those around them.

Family history is one of those things we know we should do, but we don't because we have that aunt or grandma who's "done all the work" already. But look at the people here, the people I live near, many of them have come from generations of LDS people who's records have been kept, they thought there weren't anymore names for them to find, but there are some incredible genealogy tools that have come out recently and 4,000 names later I'm starting to wonder how many ancestors are in our family waiting to be found.

Elder Nelson mentioned in a meeting with mission presidents recently that Salt Lake City is the heart (of course, heart surgeon) of the Church. If the heart doesn't work, the rest of the body doesn't work. It must thrive here, and if it's not working here, the rest of the world won't work. There is so much work to do here in Salt Lake. There are so many people that the Lord is preparing to receive Him. I know that if there are people being prepared in SLC, there are ABSOLUTELY people all over the world who are ready. We just need to do our part as members and open our mouths to them. We are the Lord's hands here on earth, and we need to serve those around us. God wants all of us to have the same blessings. He WANTS to bless us. We need to do our part in helping Him establish His Church. 1 Corinthians 3 : 6-11 <-- If we do our part, God will provide the miracles. Trust him and start acting. Not only are we helping Him establish His church, we also need to allow Him to establish us as individuals. We need to allow God to build us, we have the great help of His master builders (prophets, apostles, teachers, the Spirit) to help. As we listen to those master builders, we allow God to build us on a firm foundation. If we're not doing it His way, we're really just letting the world build us.. And we all know that the world will fall. It's foundation is weak. Read  1 Nephi 8, and then jump over to 1 Nephi 11: 36...or all of chapter 11...it's really good.

Anyways, I love you! Everything is great here. I know that there are more miracles to come here in our mission. I know that this is the Lord's work. I know that God and Jesus keep their promises. I know that we will know Them better as we do those small and simple things, like studying scriptures, praying, attending Church, going to the temple, working on family history. It might not seem like a lot. But tiny things lead to giant miracles.

Have a happy week!

Sister Hinkle

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