Today was a pretty good week! I've learned a ton from the scriptures!! I love the deep stuff in the bible, and also I love the messages of The Book of Mormon. I've learned a ton from Alma!! There sure is a lot of wars that go on, but they are actually quite interesting and you can even learn a lot from them! I love the Book of Mormon so much, I wish everybody in the world would just sit down and read it, we would have so many more converts because you can't deny the power and the feeling of the Holy Ghost when you read it! I failed to mention a couple of things in my last email that I think you would be interested in hearing! I first wanted to say that Sister Cook is now in my district.... and it's very awkward. When people say that God has a sense of humor, they aren't lying and I completely agree with it! Doing role plays with her is really weird but I'm not crushing on her so don't worry about me mom! I just find it extremely uncomfortable when I see her staring at me haha. Also, Elder Brand is a really good guy, and we get a long very well but he also has depression. :( It's been a really hard time for him these past couple of transfers, he's not homesick he just thinks that its satan working on him. So President has been calling him everynight and we have to go to therapy every once in awhile. He's gotten four or five blessings for it. Honestly I wouldn't even have guessed that he was suffering from it cause he seems like he's having a good time with me all the time but we all have our challenges and trials. I've been trying my hardest with being the best friend I could be with him. He's a lot like me, where he doesn't really like to show his emotions so we've working on just being open especially when he's feeling down. It's been helping him a lot though, just opening up. :) Anyway, I love him to death, he's such a good missionary!! Ok #3, I don't think I told you about the story of the Stoney Creek ward. So Elder Neilson called this guy to be bishop for the stoney creek ward. And this guy was moving into his new house and so the neighbors decided to help them. So two boys were unloading and loading stuff and some pictures fell out of a drawer. It was an inappropriate picture of his wife, and so the boys told everybody in the ward. And so that kind of caused some rumors and some chaos in the ward. So he got released from being a bishop just after a couple of weeks and then he was called to the Stake Presidency. So the ward wouldn't have that, so they told everybody they could about the pictures. And so the guy finally had enough and was annoyed and didn't want to do with anything with the church. So he wanted to be excommunicated and so he was and now he started his own church that is now anti Mormon. And he brought many people with him, and there were a lot of people that dropped and want nothing to do with the church anymore because of that experience. There were about 200+ people going to church in stoney creek and now about half them are inactive! A brother in the stoney creek ward said that this guy's wife had breast cancer and they were doing before and after pictures of her. The guy tried to tell everybody the reason but no body believed him. So he no longer wants anything to do with the church sadly and that experiences caused a lot of people to not want to do anything with the church. It's sad, truly sad. We've gone by a lot of those inactives and we have gotten a lot of doors slammed in our faces!! #4 I wanted to tell you of an experience that I had with a family in the ward who had us over for dinner. They are from Poland they have a very strong accent and it's pretty hard to understand but they are extremely nice, but let me tell you, they serve some pretty funky food! haha they do this three course meal thing, so they bring the first part of it on the table and you have to eat it, and then they bring the second, and so on. So you pretty much have to eat what they serve cause you don't want to be rude. So they bring out this pretty good dish of potatoes with like beef stew and you put the stew on the potatoes and it's actually pretty good. So first round was pretty good, I'm like ok I think I can do this. Then they bring out the second dish and it's this cabbage rolls/balls things. I'm like oh ok this looks like meat balls I can eat this as well, but no I cut it in half and it's this green monstrous thing that isn't even of this earth. I took a bite and started chewing it, and I started dry heaving. The family started to look at me and there was tons of pressure and I tried to hide my whole reaction from eating this disgusting thing. There was a lot of gulping and a lot of refills on the water!! I've never tasted anything so gross in my life, I thought I was gonna throw up, no joke. That was the first time ever that I thought I was going to puke from eating something. Anyway after drinking the cabbage rolls they brought out this vanilla tapioca pudding with coconut. that was sooooooooo gross, I hate that type of texture, you guys know that. I dry heaved as well but I'm pretty good with hiding it! So I drank that stuff with a mouth full of water hahaha! Worst dinner appointment of my life! We found three new investigators and the really cool thing about them is that they are part member families!!!! So they have a greater chance of getting baptized. Eric and Patrick are 9 and 11 and live with their single mother. we had a wonderful lesson with them about the restoration and it was very spiritual! We are going to try and get them baptized! Then there is Brother Mazzolini who isn't a member who is married to a member with 4 kids that are members. it's a bit odd how he isn't baptized cause they have a daughter that went on a mission and he's been married to his wife for along time. Anyway we had a lesson with them about the Atonement and it was so spiritual that Sister M started to cry! Brother Mazzolini even gave an outstanding answer to my question about how the atonement helped him in his life! I was quite surprised by his answer, it was sweet!!! It just wasn't the right moment to invite him to be baptized but we are going to do it his when we go over! I'm really excited!! Anyway I had a great week!! We are building up Stoney Creek and literally feel it! I love this so much!! I'm learning so much, I never thought I would grow this much. Something that I came across one day when I was reading in the Book of Mormon struck me and my heart. In Alma 56:47-48 it talks about the stripling warriors and how they trusted in their mothers and what they said. The stripling warriors had no knowledge of war whatsoever, they never fought anybody but they still had all of the hope and faith in the world. they trusted in their mothers whole heartedly. "We do not doubt our mothers knew it." I couldn't help but tear up because I thought of you momma and your wonderful example that you are to me. I never doubted that you knew it, your testimony strengthened mine in such a dramatic way. You helped me so much throughout my life. I look up to you so much and I couldn't thank you enough for all you have done for me! I love you guys so much and hope you have a wonderful week!!
Forever and Always,