Dear family and friends,
I absolutely adore this time of year and I think it has just increased on my mission! There just is nothing better then celebrating the Birth of our Savior and when it comes with family time and good music and giving and serving and loving and Nativities!!!!!! It just boils down to the best time of year! Wahoo! I am soooooo happy!Thanksgiving was of course lovely and hilarious! So the Elders in our ward somehow managed to get 4 dinner appointments and 1 dessert on Thanksgiving. They were strutting around so proud of themselves and excited the days before. Well Thanksgiving came and reality hit. We all were invited to a Less active's house for dinner around and by this point they had already sat down to 2 Thanksgiving meals and were looking miserable! It was SO funny!!!! Well we actually had another appointment with another Less Active (both were interesting dinners let me tell ya!) Bro. Senft right after so we ate some and then headed on our way wishing the Elders good luck and laughing all the way out the door. Well It was hard enough for us having two dinners! Bro Senft cooked so much food and kept serving us all more and more turkey without us even asking for it! (ps...single dad with two sons+mom and sister= awkward, but the food was good!) We were so full and even while we were lamenting on how horrible we felt being so full of turkey and mashed potatoes and corn and yams...we just couldn't help ourselves from laughing at the Elders...especially when they texted us right before our next appointment which was a dessert with some members that all of us missionaries had been invited to, and said "we are dying.....Sister Newren, do you have any oils that will help us????" Bwahaha...they were being dead serious too! Sigh...We beat them to the members house and when they arrived and walked in the door their faces were priceless! Seriously....utter agony is how I would describe it! hahaha. All in all it was a beautiful day! Oh we also went and saw the sweetest 91 year old women in a care center. We met Helen and Rudy tracting and they invited us right in and talked our ears off! They are 91 and 93 years old and had a billion stories about growing up during the Great depression and serving in WW2 and oh so many jokes....they are the sweetest couple and Helen just recently broke her hip so we finally were able to go visit her again. Although we didn't teach a lesson or commit her to get baptized it felt so good to simply be doing what the Savior did everyday of his life...uplift and love everybody, especially those in the most humblest of circumstances:)
We also had a really neat interdenominational Thanksgiving fireside at the Kirtland Temple that the Community of Christ church hosted. All of us sisters were asked to sing and I was asked to lead! It was such a special opportunity! We were sitting in the choir seats, right by the pulpits where the Prophet Joseph Smith sat and were Jesus Christ appeared! It was really really special! They had pastors from several different church's participate and it really added a feeling of unity with the community! The worst part was when they passed around a collection basket and none of us sisters had brought our wallets!!!!! eeeek....it was awkward but we survived it okay. I love the Kirtland Temple so much....Every time I get to be in there I have a new found appreciation for the saints here and the sacrifices they made to build it!
So, This week has been really good. We finally were able to get back into the home of one of our investigators Angela. She had a baptismal date for Nov sometime and then a lot of crazy stuff happened with her family and we couldn't see her till now! But she has a new date for and is on fire with studying and praying and a sincere desire to find truth! We also were able to work with the Mejia's this week! Bro. Mejia and his wife came to the lighting ceremony at Kirtland and loved it! Bro. Mejia was also able to get a much needed blessing and hopefully will really start healing and moving on from all the things from his past he is hanging on to. We also had a church tour with Tessa and Bradley! They are so awesome and almost made it to church but work got in the way...ugh! We will keep doing our best to work with them all and helping them have those spiritual converting experiences so they can keep progressing and have an increased desire to become converted!
Last thing I wanted to mention....Sis. Jones and I got a blessing this week! The Elders were so insistent that we needed one so on their way back from the hospital they met up with us in a freezing cold park (there was no where else to do it!!!) and gave us both blessings! It was awesome, but oh my goodness....so cold!
Well I love love love you all and hope you had a marvelous Thanksgiving!
Sis. Hannah Newren
Challenge: Start keeping a Thankful Journal. I have done it everyday of my mission and it is the most incredible thing. It truly helps you see the tender mercies of everyday!