(Normally, Thomas writes to us on Mondays, but this week his Pday was on Wednesday this week, in honor of Halloween.)
Hello! Man that storm sounds crazy, everyone keeps asking me if my house will stand the storm back home haha. Thank goodness Jack has contact with you so I knew you were ok. (Jack works with the missionaries in Thomas' area, and has been able to keep contact with us so we were able to contact him during Sandy.) I wasnt very worried, I know the Lord takes care of you.
Man, so this week has been sooo hectic but a lot of fun haha, it's the first time I'm not treated like a trainee. My training ends in 2 weeks, but it's basically over now. We had to split our area with sisters so I thought up some ideas and helped with the decision making of how to split the area up. It was cool to see how president lets the elders figure all these things out, then he backs us up and provides a little insight, but he mainly lets us take control. So then after, I was companions with the ZL's (Zone Leaders - seasoned missionaries who are over an area called a zone) and it was so much fun while it lasted. We were supposed to be together for the next 2 weeks until transfers, but then I got a phone call and I had a new companion!! His name is Elder Braby, he is the man. He is obedient but a lot of fun. Together we are going to take this area to a whole new level. President told him that he wants me to learn good lessons now, this way I can help push this mission forward when all the 18 year olds come in within the next year. He sat us down and said that missionaries that go to this mission are going to be future leaders in the church, and that he expects me to become one of them. It was basically to get me to realize the importance of becoming the missionary the Lord wants me to become.
So Cad's baptism was AMAZING...one of the top 5 experiences of my life. The Spirit was stronger than I have ever felt before. It was so powerful to me, I think because I've been with him since the beginning, and I've been blessed to see his change. His dad was there and he was sobbing and couldn't stop thanking me. It was a very humbling experience. Afterwards, Cad said he wants to serve a mission!!!! I started crying a little and I hugged him. After, he said how thankful he is for the missionaries. He is a great kid and I am going to keep in contact with him. He doesn't realize how much he changed my life as well. We helped to convert each other fully. He has pushed me and made me step it up and do the Lord's work and speak as if the Lord was there. So a miracle happened, and I think it's the Lord blessing me and Elder Braby for first getting through this trial of all the changes and stress without a scratch, just to continue to push to do the work, and also for our obedience. We finally found a referral, Christina, her family is Native American, and they invite us to teach them every day!!! They also said "give us a little time before we get baptized." We haven't even invited them yet!!! They are amazing! We took them on a church tour and there we bore our testimonies in the Chapel. It was very powerful as the Lord spoke to them in their hearts. They all kept saying thank you so much and the husband said he can feel our presence in his home. He said as soon as you walk in the door, it's a sense of love, devotion, the Spirit, comfort, and power. He said as soon as we leave, it's gone. He said he wants what we have and he will do what it takes to achieve that. The Spirit really does work through us as missionaries, it's nothing we do, we are just the mouthpiece. The other day when we woke up, there was almost a foot of snow on the ground!! It was so much fun! We had snowball fights with all the neighborhood kids, helped them build snow forts, and just had a fun day! I miss skiing though, seeing all the snow. Jack also calls me his lucky Machete haha and he wants me to be by his side all the time! Transfers are coming up in 2 weeks, so next week send mail to the mission home, tell Vanessa that as well. Boxes always send to my direct address, if you can. Just ask me for the address first to make sure I didn't move. Man the Lord tests me, haha, I always hear TSwift's new songs!! dah It's awful haha. We played football Monday night with about 16 other people, it was so much fun!!! It's good to gain friendships with the people out here, it makes me feel so much support. So Joe is gone :( he reported to the MTC today!! He is going to the Philippines. It was sad to see his farewell, but he will do great. Elder Braby and I went exploring during our lunch break the other day haha we got lost and found a sweet secret staircase here in town that goes to an empty room. It was fun going on an adventure. We teach so well together, it's almost like reading each other's minds. We got a referral the other day, and when we knocked it was an anti-mormon. He knows the Bible like the back of his hand and just started bashing us and giving us all anti DVD's and what not. He would not let us bear our testimony, and it's because that's the secret to religion. He knows it and we know it. So he avoided it. Finally after 20 minutes of him ripping on us, I said "Sir, we do not care. The reason we don't bash is because we Know our Church is led by God and that we have a testimony and a relationship with God. Have a nice night, and you should read the Book of Mormon some time, it will change your life just like the millions of other people." He was really mean and rude to us so I just had to cut it off. It was a growing experience for me, I learned to just follow the Spirit and never, not ever, doubt the Lord. Testimony alone is not enough, it's conversion that pushes us and makes us who we are. True conversion is what it all comes down to. We must work to be fully converted. This week, feeling the Spirit so strong has made me realize why I am here. It was a big wake up call to me. I LOVE MY MISSION!!! I absolutely love it! This time flies by so fast, and I just love always being on the Lord's errand all the time!!! As missionaries, we see miracles every single day. I have been so busy and I love it! I stretch my furthest, I climb up a new rung..and the Lord immediately says "go further, do more, keep going." I reach my max and then he shows me an entire new gear I have to shift into. He wants more and more of us to give, He expects our all. He expects us to go the extra mile. It's whether we do it or not. Just when things get too hard and too much, that's when it's most important to stand up and fight, to give it your everything. Leave everything on the field, at the end of the night sitting in bed I think to myself, did I give today my absolute best, my all? If the answer is no...I have a lot of work to do. When we get knocked down, just as I experienced with the basher, that's when you pick yourself up, forget the sob story and hit it 10x harder. The Lord demands and expects our all. So we must give it. I hope your week has been good! I keep you in my prayers, I hope you feel the Spirit each day! I have to get going but I love you all so much! Be safe and have a great week! Stay safe and warm!