Monday, January 26, 2015

Thanksgiving Time

Email from 11-24-14


Happy Thanksgiving! I can't believe it's Thanksgiving already. That's so crazy how time has flown by! We are going to Kurt and Melanie's house--the Kuhns, whom I'm sure you know by now pretty well. They usually have all the missionaries over for Thanksgiving so it'll be us and most of our zone and a whole lot of other people. I'm excited! Sister Lunddahl and I might make Oreo truffles. I'm excited! It'll be great! Melanie is making macaroni and cheese, homemade. It's the best! I love it so much. It's one of my favorite meals from her. It's always one of my requests, but she makes it every year on Thanksgiving anyway. It's always different because she doesn't follow a recipe. I'm not sure if anyone is making green bean casserole. I will miss it if no one makes it. I am going to miss Dad's gravy too. It'll be weird not to be home on Thanksgiving, but I know that I'll be okay. I love being around people (weird, right?) so it'll be great to be around other missionaries and people. I'm kind of glad I won't be Black Friday shopping this year. Actually, I may miss it just a little bit, but not getting up so early or staying out all night. That's not the fun part of it. I'm not sure what we'll be doing on Black Friday since a lot of people will probably be shopping. But I guess we don't go out until ten so maybe people will be home by then...or not. Also, we Weekly Plan that day so we're in our apartment for three extra hours. It's great! Not really. But at least we won't have trouble that evening. 

This week was a good one! Our investigator is doing so good. Her baptism is scheduled for Saturday, December 6. We are so happy that it is coming up so fast! I love her so much. She is so great. I told her that you might be coming to pick me up and that I might bring y'all there and she said she would love to meet you! It made me happy. I want a lot of people to meet you. Oh! Also, her sealing will take place after I am released as a missionary so I plan on coming back for it, just so you know. I don't really know what day yet because it's in a year but that year will probably go by a lot faster than I want it too. But anyway, she fed us on Friday. She bought us pizza. Then she gave us a lot of the leftovers. There were like five pounds of pizza in this box! It was a lot of pizza. Hunter would have loved it! Except, of course, the Canadian bacon and pineapple pizza. Sister Lunddahl picked that one out. R got me a three meat pizza. It was really yummy. She came to church on Sunday and her husband came too! Her husband has back problems so he hasn't been coming that often, but he is starting to more and more and it's incredible to see the change in them since we started teaching her. She is progressing so quickly. She gave up coffee and cigarettes so quickly. We taught her the Word of Wisdom about a week and a half ago and she hasn't been smoking for eight days now! It's incredible. She also said that she doesn't really crave coffee anymore. Did you drink it before you were baptized? I can't remember. We also got to teach her on Sunday. We had to drive all the way up to Friant in the dark, but that was okay. I just don't like dark roads. It seems in California there are a lot of dark roads. I don't like it. but we were able to teach her to Plan of Salvation. It was great! I really love teaching her because we can be our total selves without judgment--she loves us anyway. It makes me so happy! I'm so excited for her baptism. And a member who I didn't think liked us all that much offered to help in any way she could. It was pretty great!

We are still teaching another woman, but we had to reschedule her baptism. It is now scheduled for December 20. We are hoping and praying that she will be ready by then. We know she can if she puts her mind to it. She came to church yesterday which is the first time we've seen her in a really long time at church. We were able to teach her on Friday and it was a good lesson...we think. Sometimes it's hard for us to gauge whether or not we are teaching to her needs because she likes to talk, which is good. We just listen and then try to teach her from doing that. But she has a lot of struggles and we are working on helping her overcome those by December 20. Sister Lunddahl wants to stay in contact with her when she goes back to Temple Square. Whe really liked that idea. I think it would help her a lot to have Sister Lunddahl continue to teach her over the phone. I think it's great that they can do that on Temple Square. There are a few people that Sister Lunddahl will probably stay in contact with and continue to teach. I think it's wonderful. It has been really good to have her as we've taught her. It may take some time, but we know she can and will accept the Gospel eventually. 

We went on Open Your Mouth with the new missionaries on Wednesday! It was so much fun! I love doing that. It's hard because we have to be the example for the new missionary we take out, but it puts us to the test and stretches us to be the kind of missionary we always want to be. I took Sister Steed out. Her first name is Jessica and it reminds me a lot of The Work and the Glory. Of course. She is super great and has a lot of faith. She is here to serve the Lord and will become a great missionary. We talked with everyone we saw and we had a few good experiences. We even talked to some children that were out and about. That was interesting. It was raining when we first went out so people weren't actually outside like we expected but it was okay. Eventually they all came out. It was really great to see the new missionaries. It always reminds me of me when I first came out and I have seen so much growth and change since then. It's crazy!

I'm glad you got to hang out with missionary moms! Apparently, I'm good for one thing, right? :) So you can hang out with other moms who have missionaries out in the field. It's good to hear that they are all doing well. I love hearing about other missionaries. One of the sisters who was in my MTC district and went to Australia is training a missionary who has a sister in my area! We have been teaching her, or trying, for a while. I was so happy when I found out! It made me smile and it's crazy the connections you make as a member of the Church. When does Kayla come home? Is it that soon? Oh my gosh! It's gone by so fast! 

I'm excited to talk to everyone on Christmas! From what I hear, we may even get to skype which would be awesome. Then I could see everyone! I'm hoping to get permission to call Brittany since she won't be in Pocatello but we'll see what President says. 

Sister Lunddahl leaves on December 10. I'm so sad! I don't want her to go but I know she is needed back on Temple Square and we will keep in contact--always! I love her so much and she has helped me through a lot. If you're in Utah before she goes home (in April) you should go see her! 

I love being here so much! It's the greatest thing I could be doing. I'm so grateful for the opportunity. Thank you for your support. I love you!

Always <3,
Sister Abigail Reese

PS We aren't allowed to email back and forth :P But I'll get it if you do email me! Also, our preparation day next week will be on Tuesday because we are going to the temple! Did Dad find a name for me?

I can't believe Thanksgiving is already here either! It has come so fast! I didn't expect it so soon and yet here it is. I can't believe I am a third of the way through my mission. That's crazy to me. It'll be a fun day! I'm excited! We are spending Thanksgiving day with the Kuhns--our ward mission leader and his wife. A whole bunch of missionaries will be there along with other people. I'm excited! It's weird because I actually LIKE people now. Who would have thought that would happen?

Our investigators are great! They're still investigating, so that's good. R is set for December 6 to be baptized and she is so excited! She even has family coming down from Boise--Less Lee (I think). Maybe you've met them! If not, maybe I'll tell them about y'all so you can meet family of people I'm teaching! That would be crazy. They are members and her brother-in-law is going to help her husband baptize her because he has back problems. Her husband, I mean. But I'm so excited for them! I love them so much! She has been our hope the last couple of months and it has been incredible to see the changes that have come about in her. I love that so much. It's really great to see how much love she has for the church now. I can't believe it. She loves us too. For a while, I didn't think I would ever have the opportunity to be someone's missionary. And now I get to be and I am! I love that so much. Even more, I love being able to help her come to Christ. It's a really amazing feeling to know you've helped someone come to the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I love it and it has been the best part of being here so far. She fed us dinner on Friday and there was so much joy in the room--her mother-in-law was there and her husband was there. And she signed up to feed us again before Sister Lunddahl leaves on December 10! I am so excited to know that I have helped someone. And if you come pick me up, I want to see her. I want y'all to meet her! It would be great. 

We also have another investigator. We had to reschedule her baptismal date since she isn't ready for this Saturday. It is now set for December 20. I love her so much and I want her to be happy. It has been a crazy journey, teaching her, but we have seen so much change in her since we started teaching her. It's really amazing to see that. She has a recent convert daughter and it has been really cool to be able to work with both of them. I love them so much and I hope that they can both see the blessings the Gospel brings. C came to church on Sunday. We haven't seen her at church for about three weeks now, but she came! We were so happy when we saw her. She came in a little late but we were sitting on the very back row at the back of the chapel so we saw her come in through the doors and we waved her over to sit with us. There was just enough room. It was so amazing to be able to have her! And she stayed for all three hours which was also pretty cool. It's the first time she has done that. I think the relief society lesson helped her a little bit. At least, I hope it did. And the fellowship that she has in this ward is awesome. The Taylors are great and Bishop Walburger is really good with her too. And our ward mission leader is a convert himself so it would be really good to get him more involved. Problem is, he works during the day--he's an oral surgeon--and we usually teach her during the day. But we'll figure it out!

We had two other potentials come to church yesterday. Brother Bogenschutz, a ward missionary, has a Chinese woman  staying with him for a few weeks and she loves the gospel. She has the Book of Mormon and has read a lot of it. We gave her a Gospel Principles book and we are going to go over and teach her on Tuesday. Since she is from China, we want to help her. She can't be taught there, but we will teach her here and help her as best we can. Then there was another investigator. He is a friend of Ian Galli's, who spoke yesterday. He was giving his farewell talk. He is going to the Italy Milan Mission on December 10. He's so great. He will do awesome! He wants to be baptized, apparently, but we tried calling and he didn't answer so we texted and he still didn't answer so we are going to get in contact with the Galli family to see what we can do. It's incredible to see how the Lord is blessing us.

I did send Mom a Christmas list but I'll send it again because she asked for it and I forgot: a voice recorder, clothes, pictures, letters, maybe you can buy me books that I want and send me pictures so I have something to look forward to when I come home! Movies too! I'm not sure what I can have as a missionary. I'll think more about it and send a letter maybe?

I did have one time when I had an interview in August with the bishop regarding my semi annual interview. It was interesting. I think that was the only time I ever really had a semi annual one. The scripture I wrote down was Matthew 5:16 and/or Alma 36:3, 27. I don't know which one I want to use...

It will be a whole new ward when I get home. I know. It'll be crazy! 

I love being here. I'm so grateful to have the opportunity of serving here and I love it so much. Sherry is really awesome, isn't she? I love her. Sister Lunddahl leaves December 10 so you could send it this week and she would probably get it, but I don't know how it'll work. I love you and pray for you!

Always <3,
Sister Abigail Reese

PS Did you get a temple name for me? We're going on December 2 so that will be our preparation day. If you can get one, you can send it to Sherry or you can send it to our ward mission leader whose email I think is I think. If you can't find one before then I can take one the next time! 

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