Columbia, Maryland - Well I can hardly believe it! Thanksgiving is this week! Wow. So I will wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving today! :) I hope you all have a fabulous day and get to spend time with family and friends and eat some delicious food and of course, remember those things you are thankful for and are blessed with.
This is my first Thanksgiving in the mission field :) And it is going to be awesome. I too get to spend it with my family! :) ... my Hispanic family that is! We are eating at our branch mission leaders house. He calls us his Hijas all the time and has pretty much adopted us. He and his family are awesome! Enough said. We are not allowed to proselyte so we have some service planned and then just visiting with families in the branch. I LOVE THIS BRANCH. Columbia 3rd represent!!!!
I am thankful for soooo many things that I can’t even begin to tell you about. One thing that I have tried to do on my mission is write down one thing I am thankful for everyday. Brit started doing it with me when we were down at BYU and it really does make a difference. We have everything to be thankful for... especially that we have the gospel in our lives!! In President’s letter this week he said this to all of us missionaries:
"I would encourage each of us to begin each day with a prayer of thankfulness for all we have been blessed with in our lives. Each morning, in my morning prayers, I ask for nothing and only focus on those things for which I am thankful. This practice has had a significant impact on my life. Know that each of you are counted among those things for which I express gratitude each morning."
What a wonderful idea. I would challenge all of us to do this as well. Dedicate one prayer daily to completely giving thanks. I know I am going to try it out and I am sure I will notice a huge difference. The Lord has given us so much (everything) and sometimes we take it for granted. Make this week... and every week a week of gratitude! :)
Hermana Crotzer shared this with her family and I found it pretty funny so I had to share as well:
"On Tuesday, we had Zone Training, which is when everybody in our zone gets together and we learn stuff. It was going to Elder Green's last day because he has been transferred. And we, Hermana Newman, Sister Jeffrey, Sister Johnson and I decided that the Elders Green(e) deserved to be blocked in. Let me explain... There is this thing called missionary parking. It's when, instead of properly parking, the missionaries "parallel" park, taking up three or so spaces. This is to save the companion the effort of having to back the other companion up. Well, the Elders Green(e) like to pull right in front of a missionary parked car so that the blocked in companionship has no choice but to back up.
At Zone meeting, the elders were parked normal and so Sister Johnson and Sister Jeffrey backed into the spot next to the Elders but so that the front of their car was hanging out in front of the Elders. Hermana Newman and I did the same on the other side. It was blatantly obvious what we had done. So we are a giggling, excited to see the Elders faces. And then we see them looking at us through the glass door. They had been in the Library, looking out the window while we blocked their car in. And they were taking pictures of us in the act... *__* Whatever...
But that's not all, oh no. President Richard's walks in during our Zone Training and all four of us sisters are worried out of our minds. At the end of Zone Training, we go out to our cars to get our lunch and find that President Richards had parked in front of all three of us so that none of us could pull out. We only have the funniest mission president here in Maryland Baltimore."
We had some more service opportunities this week.... drum roll please.... Cleaning cockroaches out of a trailer! WOO WOOO! Hermana Crotzer was worried out of her mind and a little grossed out. All I could do was smile and laugh! It was disgusting in deed but I loved every second of it. I was the “squisher” of the bugs because no one else would touch them. lol They are reallly hard to kill. Sneaky lil' guys. Anyways, it was a good experience and I was glad we got to help out our investigator. She is amazing!
BIG NEWS :) Its official... Jennifer is getting baptized this Saturday! Bahhhhhhhhhhhhhh ! If only you could see my face. I am so excited and cannot stop grinning and laughing (typical me right?) What a journey it has been. I have been working with this family since I got here and to see her enter the waters of baptism is such a tender mercy to me. The cool thing is that the journey doesn’t end after Saturday. It is just beginning. She will always be growing and learning and coming closer unto Christ. I feel soooo blessed to be part of her life and invite her to come unto Christ.
I am so grateful for all the people I get to meet everyday. I meet so many different kinds of people. It is amazing and I get to help them and a lot of the times they help me learn. It is amazing who God will put in your path.
I met a man just a few minutes ago in the library parking lot. He said, "I did know there were little girl missionaries running around." We began talking and we have a return appointment set up. Before he left he said two things that stood out to me. He said," We are friends girl. Don’t you ever forget that. I know Jesus had you park next to me for a reason. I could have parked anywhere, but I parked next to you." Wow. yes. God knows what He is doing and puts us in our path for a reason. I have learned this countless times in my life and especially here in Maryland on my mission. And I love how he said we are friends. I don’t even know this man but because we love and believe in Jesus Christ we are friends! The gospel is amazing! I love it and live it and teach it everyday.
Have an absolutely fabulous week! Give it all you got- Give em Heaven!
Hermana Newman :)