This week has been wonderful! And has flown by! Although the first few weeks felt long, I can tell this really is going to be the fastest 18 months of my life and already I am feeling the need to just enjoy it all and keep working really hard! I am so happy to be here and am getting better and better at opening my mouth and really sharing the gospel with everyone! We found some really prepared people this week, and some who seem not as prepared but deep down I think they secretly are, Their just pretending:) We have several appointments for this week which is wonderful! Sis. Jones and I havn't had much practice at teaching real people lessons, because we have just been doing a lot of tracting to find people and help the area come more alive. So but finally it's starting to pay off and I am thrilled. We met, Carleen and she is just awesome! I know she is so ready! We knocked on her door, pretty late one night, and she came outside, talked with us for a minute, super nice, We told her a brief intro to the restoration and then asked her if she would be interested in learning more. At first I thought she had said "hmm, actually no, thanks though" and I was about to whip out a card and leave, when I hear Sis. Jones saying, "Awesome! When would be a good time for us to come back?" I was thinking "what is she doing!?" But then Carleen was saying, "yea, I just have really been wanting to get back into religion lately but I don't really want to go back to the Catholic church." SCORE! I had totally misheard her and when I slowly realized what was going on.(It was long day and my brain was a little fuzzy I guess:) I was so ecstatic! She is wonderful and is so excited to have us come back and even offered to feed us lunch, so sweet. I am so excited to begin teaching her!!!! So yes, The work is moving forward! And we are finding people! I am so excited!!!! We also ran into Don one night. SO FUNNY. He is such a character, and keeps us laughing our heads off, we just don't know what to do with him! He talks so much we can barely get a word in, and he has some different beliefs, he doesn't really think God listens to prayers or cares that much about us, He believes He gave us our agency and kinda left us to figure things out. So we have some work to do but I think he really likes talking with us and he seems willing to listen. We introduced him to the Book of Mormon last time and asked him if he would read the introduction before we met with him next and he was like "you only want me to read one page?! I can't read more then one page?! " it was so funny, we said "oh no no of course you can read all you want!"
"good, I am going to be at the hospital all day tommorow so I am going to read the whole thing"
"oh alright then, you better have the whole thing read by wednesday!"
"no, you said you would!"
"fine fine I will!"
haha, he teases us so much so we just have to dish it right back at him....:) He is awesome though and I really hope he can see how much the Gospel will bless his life.
Well other then that I had a request to tell what I get to do at the visitors center. So.
We get there by 9am, usually sing a song and say a prayer with the other sisters that are there (usually 4 sets of sisters there at this time of year) then we find somewhere that we can finish our studies, We have companion study to do still and xtra hour, which I will do as part of my 12 week training. We usually get it done in bits and pieces because we often get called on tour. Usually we will take 1-4 tours, which the whole tour takes about 2+ hours so getting even 2 tours is a big chunk of our day! Its fun though! I love giving tours! Then when we get back from a tour we try to get back on schedule so either, eat lunch, study more or head into the teaching center to chat and call some people. I love Chat so much! There have been some real miracles on their. People just have such good questions and are often getting on to chat because they are really curious and wanting to know more. We had an experience the other day where this girl, who was a member but hadnt been active for years, told us she just found out she was pregnant and really struggling. She said her boyfriend was pressuring her to get an abortion and she didn't know what to do and that we were the first people she had come to for help and guidance. It was an amazing chat, she said she hadn't prayed in a long time and so we asked her if she would be willing to pray right then and that we would get on our knees and pray with/for her too. So she did, several minutes later she says "sorry I am still here, just kinda had a meltdown, I feel so peaceful though now. I think I need to start going back to church." So awesome! We were like " yea yea! Do it! wahoo! Your awesome!"
We were really hoping to be able to keep in contact with her but she ended rather abruptly. Sad but see what miracles can happen!!!! It is simply amazing! People are ready, we just have to reach out to them and be willing to open our mouths and share the gospel with them!!!
Random side notes: My hair is awesome here, so curly! I am going to be really sad when it stops performing so well in Utah.
We have a track super close to our house so we run down their every morning, its awesome, we pretty much own the place because its just like 6-7 sets of sisters and we just stretch, run, and do jumping jacks galore! It always feels so good to run, I usually only get in a mile or two and some core workouts but I think it will keep me pretty healthy!
I heard there was a heated discussion about if papa or I loved clouds first, I have to say it was probably Papa...BUT, I think I win the prize for being most vocal about it eh???! :)
Sis. Jones and I eat so. much. spinach! seriously its all we eat! We went through almost 3 bags this week! Is it bad to eat too much spinach mom?:)
Also I found out we can actually have other music here, just what ever is still gospel related and spiritual so efy, lds artist, maybe some klove stuff. So I would love some more cds maybe for christmas or something?! Emily, I really just want every thing on my itunes that I didn't bring that is spiritual! If you can get around to it! (Special requests, Brave by josh Groban, you know better than I, Danial beck song.. (one by some guy by the last name of goodman maybe?) anyways that would be AWESOME!
Finally got to know my President Vallinga a little better, we had an awesome trainers meeting that was so encouraging and spiritual! It really pumped me up. He told me to pray to love tracting! so I am going to! He is so awesome and looks at you so intently I don't think I could lie to him even if I wanted to!
So my schedule is pretty much, 2-3 days a week at sites and the rest in our area, which my area mostly covers the town of Painesville. Awesome town, I love it so much already!
Well I can't remember everything you have all asked me so that will have to do for now but I love you all and can't wait to hear back from you!!!!
Sis. Hannah Newren