My new companion is great! She is from Norway, which you know, and her name is Sister Isaksen. She is super awesome and a great missionary. She has been out ten months now so we may celebrate her year mark together! She isn't excited about that because she loves being a missionary, but that's okay. We'll still find something to do that will make it a special day. She's really sweet and has so much charity. I had a hard time accepting her at first because I really missed Sister Lunddahl a lot but now, I love her so much and I am so grateful that I get another chance to be with a Temple Square sister.
Monday was Sister Lunddahl's last preparation day so that was kind of sad. We saw a few people. It was really funny because a couple older men gave her a hug before she left. We were able to see a few members that she loves so that was fun.
Tuesday, our day was filled with seeing people. I am pretty sure it was one of our busiest days ever. That was good though. I love beind busy. It's the best to be busy as a missionary. We saw a part member family but only the nonmember wife was home. She let us in and we talked to her for a little bit. She is so sweet. Leann Hutchings is her name. She wants to join the church but she won't until her husband starts going back, until her husband has the desire to take the lessons too. But we're going to dinner at their house tonight because we asked them to feed us one day this week and they couldn't so she offered for this week and so we took up her offer. I'm super excited. I love this family and I really want them to progress. We also saw R. It was a few days after her baptism but she was doing so good. She was still so peaceful about her decision and it was incredible. Sister Lunddahl can call her from Temple Square so she's going to and I'm going to try to be there with my new companion once in a while.
I got my new companion on Wednesday. That was really good. I also had an interview with President so that was nice to be able to talk to him. Sister Isaksen is really great. She has so many ideas and she loves this gospel so much.
Thursday, we were able to see a part member family. We shared a message of God's love. There was a lot of discussion about that. the woman is the member and she is less active. She is also German so she's kind of stubborn. She's sweet though. Her husband was going to drive us home because he didn't see our car, but we were okay. It was nice of him to want to do that.
Friday we saw B. She's so great and I love her so much. It has been really awesome to see the change in her. Just a little more and I think she'll have the desire.
On Saturday, Alluvial had their ward Christmas party. I loved it! It was so cute! The bishop's youngest son, Tripp, totally stole the show. He was adorable and tripped a whole bunch. Bishop was a wise man, and on his way up the stairs he almost fell too....It was pretty funny. They centered the party on Christ so they asked the kids to tell the Wise Men what they were going to give to Christ this Christmas. It was really great.
Our investigators are doing pretty good. We may have to leave one for a while, C. We haven't been able to meet with her for a while and I am not really sure how serious she is about the gospel. I know she likes learning but it takes more than that. I love her though so I hope she'll one day want that.
I did open that box. I wasn't sure if I was supposed to open the wrapped gifts in the box though. Sister Lunddahl did like those bobble heads. They made her laugh. She wasn't sure if they were missionary appropriate but she loved them. And she really appreciated you getting them for her.
I'm so proud of Hunter! He'll be a great missionary himself if he prepares now. I'm so glad that he was able to touch that man. You never know who you will touch with something you say or do. I was asked to share an experience about visiting teaching and women in the church. I talked about how a lot of the women in our ward before Mom was baptized were key in helping her accept the gospel. It's true! I don't think I would be here if it weren't for her decision, and the love of those women.
If you come pick me up, you will definitely meet the Kuhns! I love them so they would be one of our first stops (next to R). He is an incredible man. I love him so much. And Melanie too. they are both so welcoming to missionaries.
I love being here. It's the best things ever. Missionary work is the hardest thing to do but I love it anyway. It has helped me grow so much.
Thank you for your support and love. I love you so much! Oh, hey, when would be the best time to Skype? We'll probably do it at Kurt and Melanie's and Kurts name is kurtkuhn, I think, on Skype. I love you!
Sister Abigail Reese
Did he email you or call you? I love Sister Isaksen! She's great! It was really hard to say good bye to Sister Lunddahl but it was really good to meet a new sister from Temple Square. She's super sweet and a great missionary. I think we'll work well together. We've just been getting know each other the last few days. It has truly helped us become closer as a companionship.
Our baptism was awesome! R was so ready to be baptized and now she is! We need to send her baptismal record in though...so we'll have to do that as soon as possible. I actually vaguely remember your baptism. It's one of my earliest memories as a kid. I only truly remember your actually being baptized, but it's a special memory for me! And then I always follow up with when we were sealed in the Temple (because I tell people about that experience). It's a beautiful story and I want it for others too. It helps me to convey how important it obviously is to be sealed as a family. I love that I have that memory in my life. The experience of being sealed is a special one and not every missionary has that to share. I'm glad I do.
We saw the Burts on Monday because Sister Lunddahl really likes them. So we were able to go over. They had a Christmas present for her and then invited us over for Christmas morning. It was really sweet. I love them so much. They have the cutest little toddler. She's almost two and she is a fireball. I love her. I want to hold her but I can't, obviously. She did give me a hug the other day though! that was awesome!
We saw L on Tuesday. She is the wife of a member who is less active. She wants her family to be sealed together, but she won't take the steps needed until her husband is ready. She said they are praying about it and I hope that's true. One day God will give them the answers they are seeking. One day He will tell them that it is time to make the steps necessary to get their family to the temple. I want to be there when it happens but if I'm not, I know that it wasn't meant to be while I am here. I love her so much though. She's feeding us tonight! We asked her to feed us Friday but she couldn't so she offered to this week and Monday was the day that worked out. It's great! We also saw Ronda. She is still doing really good. She's at peace with her decision. I'm glad we were able to help her before Sister Lunddahl left.
I got my new companion on Wednesday. I had to take Sister Lunddahl to the mission home first thing in the morning. Sister Ard and Sister Balledos were there too when we got there. President interviewed me because he was supposed to interview our district that day but then he ended up not doing that. It was really good though! Three months ago, the last time he interviewed me, I was struggling a lot with a bunch of different things--like homesickness. Now, it's not such a struggle. I think it may be on Christmas Day but I'm going to try not to let it. We also had a district meeting that was really good. I asked for a blessing afterward. I was going to ask one elder and ended up asking another, but I kind of wish I had followed my first though. It's okay though. Elder Linekar knew what I needed. He talked about how Heavenly Father will find me in my loneliness. And also that I will have a renewed sense of His love. It really helped me a lot.
We ate with Bishop Walburger and his family on Thursday. It was so great! Sister Isaksen really connected with them. She was awesome with them. I love their family. Sister Walburger served a mission in Spain and I don't remember where Bishop served his mission. But they were both missionaries and they know what it's like. they love us too which is helpful.
We ate at this really good restaurant called Panera Bread on Friday. Sister Ball took us. I got a big bowl of mac and cheese. I have come to love homemade mac and cheese on my mission. You're going to have to make some for me when I get home! ;) It's so good. And the mac and cheese I got was the best. I loved it. Sister Ball was so sweet too. She wants to serve a mission after her son graduates--she is a single mom.
Saturday was the Christmas party for Alluvial. It was a lot of fun! And it was super cute. They had a nativity program and lots of refreshments and candy. It was great!
On Sunday we went to the stake Christmas musical. Crazy story: Do you know Melanie Whitely? She is in our stake. She is serving a mission in Santa Rosa and I met a girl who served there. This girl told me she had a companion from Idaho. She said she made stuff with potatoes all the time. I mentioned a small town and she said her companion was from a small town. I asked who it was, thinking there was no way I would know this person--and it was Melanie! It was so crazy! It made me so happy though. I love when I make connections.
I'm so glad Hunter was able to speak. He's so good at speaking in public and doing things impromptu. It's great to hear that. I miss his concerts! But I am so glad that I will be home in time for the one next year. Perfect timing! I miss Brother Valencia. He's a great teacher and I remember when he was bishop. And my seminary teacher, of course. I forgot McKenzie was entering the MTC this week! I can't believe it! I hope she is excited. She'll be great!
Brittany is due at the end of this month right? I'm so excited! I hope it happens before Christmas....But if it doesn't that will be okay too. I'm just super excited! There were some jeans that I didn't want to keep but I don't remember which pairs. Sister Ard sent them to me and I can't wear them hear so I thought I'd send them home. I'm excited for you to open the gifts! If you want to wrap Dad's and Hunter's more prettily, you can. And someone else can wrap yours. Thanks for the Christmas package. I haven't gotten it yet but I will. I'm excited to talk to you!
We will see what works best for us and for the members. Do you want to Skype? Or do you want to just call? I'd love to see you all but if it's easier to just call, I can do that. We can do it in the morning...it'll be at the Burts then but they were willing to let us use their stuff. We'll let you know for sure soon! I'm excited!
Tell Hunter to write me. I haven't heard from him recently.
I love you so much, Mom. Thank you for your example. And thank you for joining the church. I don't know if I would be here without that decision. Love you and pray for you!
Sister Abigail Reese