So, I can't remember when the last time I sent a mass email was, so sorry for that.
Last transfer was only 4 weeks, Sister Aldridge and I weren't expecting what happened at ALL. Last Wednesday I was transferred to the Sandy Granite Stake along with my brand new companion Sister Kahaialii (kuh-hiya-lee-ee). Sister K has been out for 6 months and is from Hawaii, she's also super ultra beautiful, so everyone has been really nice to us (hurray!). Sister Aldridge and I were sooo sad to say goodbye to each other, I was also really sad to leave the other Sisters in the SoJo Zone (Sisters Snyder, Ricks, Cook, and Malufau) we were all such good friends! I really love the people I was teaching there, too! It was hard to leave on such short notice.
Sister K and I are white washing the area and are the only sisters in our entire zone! It's not a problem though, because I know a few of the elders in our zone and they're all pretty funny, so that's a relief. Nothing is worse than stick-in-the-mud elders. We have been having an amazing experience the past few days. When we got here we already had a ton of appointments, there are huge lists of people who are either wanting to be taught, or who we feel are ready to have missionaries again.
Yesterday was probably my favorite sacrament meetings of my entire life. There is a man that the sisters just met before transfers, who has a desire to go to the temple. He joined the Church about 10 years ago and since then has fallen away and gotten trapped inside of different addictions and struggles. I don't think I've ever taught someone who is so sincere about coming back to church and pulling themselves out of darkness. We sat down with him last week and helped him set some different goals for himself. He's going to begin attending addiction recovery firesides on Sundays and he recently got a 12 week book that he's been working in. We made plans to meet him at the chapel on Sunday morning at 8:30. The only problem: we had the wrong time and the wrong building. OOPS. Whitewashing is confusing. He also doesn't have a phone, so when we found out we ran to his house and left a message with his mom, then when he got to the building, we realized we were at the wrong ward so we all ran over to the other chapel. We got there in time for us to introduce him (and ourselves) to the bishopric and find a seat near the front. Hurray!
He wasn't wearing a white shirt and tie, he smelled strongly of cigarette smoke, and he had no idea how to sing the songs, but he was probably the most beautiful sight in that entire building. While the meeting was going on I couldn't stop thinking about how proud Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are of that man. One of my favorite scriptures is Luke 15:7 it says
" I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. "
It's so true! They love us so much! All that charity I've been praying for the past few years finally kicked in. I have been crying about everything since I've gotten here. There are miracles every day and it is amazing to see God's hands in the lives of those around me. And it's also amazing to be used as instruments in His hands every day. I know that God is real because I've seen Him bless other through me, and I know that I can't do the things that I do every day without His help. I know that it's only through Jesus Christ and His Atonement we can overcome our weaknesses, we can change, we can be forgiven. Jesus Christ is the greatest Gift ever given. He was given to us by our Father because He loves us, and Jesus willingly sacrificed His life for us because it was the only way we can return to live with Him again. He made it possible for us as we develop faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repent, are baptized, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end by keeping commandments and choosing the right.
I have such a strong testimony of the gospel. I know that God is real and I know that Jesus Christ is real. I know it, and I know that God knows it, and I cannot deny it.
Merry Christmas!!! He is the reason for the season! Don't forget to watch this if you haven't. You'll cry like a baby! Or maybe that's just me.christmas.mormon.org
I love you all very much!