Monday, December 2, 2013

I Must Have Chugged The Fountain Of Youth, Because Apparently I Still Look 14

First off, 24 days to Christmas! Let it begin!
Tuesday was great. We got up to Newburg again (The dinky town that has the "mall"), and were able to visit with a less-active there. We got to know her more and she actually works in Minot, so we're going to be able to see her more, which will be great. Also on that day, we got to talking with Michelle at the Salvation Army, asking what she believes and stuff, and we were able to give her a Plan of Salvation pamphlet that she could read so she knows what we believe in. The thought that there was a pre-mortal life or where she came from before this life had never occurred to her before. That was so unexpected and awesome to be able to share that with her. 
Wednesday wasn't that exciting. We had an awesome district meeting that talked about teaching for commitment on the doorstep and how the commitments are the same that we leave with people, regardless of how long we are teaching them. Whether it be 3 minutes or 45, we should still be committing them to read and pray about the Book of Mormon (depending on what lesson/approach you are using). Such a good district meeting. We had an appointment with Mandy again on Wednesday, but she ended up not showing up, which wasn't too surprising, but still disappointing. We just know this gospel will help her and are sad when she doesn't fully understand that. We're also going to try to get a story about us in the local newspaper, so that would be fun and exciting. We'd be famous! Ha,ha not really, but it would be super cool. We also got to go help at the Salvation Army for about an hour, too. We really love serving there. And this took us by surprise, but within like 3 hours of each other, 3 of our dinner appointments cancelled on us, so we ended up only having 1 dinner appointment for Thanksgiving. Which we were relieved, because we didn't know how we were going to eat 4 separate dinners. 
Thursday was Thanksgiving (#obvi), and it was a little different than the Thanksgivings I'm used to. We still woke up at 6:30 and did our regular morning routine, had lunch, did weekly planning like we do every Thursday, then went to our dinner appointment with a great family in the ward
It was so fun to be able to share that day with this super fun family, although I did miss my family and friends at home. How were Thanksgiving Games? I thought of you all playing Settlers of Catan and Ticket to Ride while eating clam dip and ruffles and all those yummy things. I was there in Spirit. But it was a cool experience to be able to share in another family's traditions. The mother of this family is convinced that I am 14. No joke. And she doesn't see me as a hashtagger. 
Friday, we got to go to Surrey, a neighboring city and go invite all the less-actives there to invite them to our ward Christmas party on Saturday. Should be a lot of fun. I hope a lot of people come. We got to teach Danielle and Anthony again and it was a good lesson. Not our best, but we did help them understand some more principles of the gospel, which is what we're here for, so it was great. They're funny, Danielle turned to us halfway in the lesson and professed, "You know, Sister Jinsin (that's her accent) has a face of pure innocence, and Sister Lezlie (accent again), your face just looks like a princess face." I don't really know what it means, but it was funny all the same. We also go to set up our Christmas tree and everything, just like I do at home! (Except this tree is fake, 2 feet tall and pre-lit). But, considering the circumstances, I think we did pretty good. We even made a Christmas countdown paper chain that is mighty fine. The Noel kids like to help us rip off a link each day.
Saturday we traveled all over. We went to Newburg again and visited that less-active and also tried to contact our referral we got, but she wasn't home. Next time. We were driven out there by a member who is super awesome. She took us out to lunch after to Big Time Bistro, which is a super good sandwich place, but, being a missionary, it was hard to concentrate. They planned it so every seat in the place could have a clear vision to a TV, and playing on those TVs were music videos from past and present music. Some of them were very inappropriate and it was a bit awkward, but what can you do? Grin and bear it, and stare at your food, your comp, or the member. Haha. #mishprobs We also made it to Surrey and Burlington, all before a baptism. We were movin' all over the place that day. We got a lot done, though. We had a lesson cancel on us, but not to fear! We will get in with them this week! 
And yesterday, Sunday, Danielle and Anthony were at church again, making it 4 times total and 3 times in a row, so they are now considered active! It is so cool to watch them progressing and building their testimonies and helping them understand the gospel more. We're having dinner with and teaching them on Tuesday--oh wow, that's tomorrow! Time flies when you're a missionary. Seriously. Before church, we went tracting in Surrey. A little background, we've been having problems with making goals for the day and then not pushing ourselves to get those. SO Saturday night, we decided we were going to make our goals happen. We put down that we wanted 2 daily contacts (where you pray with, leave a commitment to, or share a principle with someone you have never before seen or met), and as we went tracting, we only got to 12 homes, but we got 4 potential investigators and 9 daily contacts! Our daily contact goal for the week was 5! We blew it out of the water! It was such a testimony builder to me. The Lord is great. :)
I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and really got the time to reflect on what you have to be grateful for. I would invite all of you to pray prayers of simply gratitude both individually and as a family for one week. As you reflect on only things you are grateful for and don't ask for anything, you are going to find that you have to look inside each day to find different things that you are grateful for. After the 2nd day, it will be harder because you've already gone through your grateful list. Look deep into each day and you will find small, and even large  blessings that otherwise may have been overlooked. I feel to promise that if you will do this, your families and relationships will be strengthened, and you will feel the love God has for you and every member of your family. I have seen the blessings of doing this in my life and know it will be a great experience. I would like each of you to comment on this blog post before next Monday at 9am MST and let me know your experience with it. I would love to hear! 
I am so grateful for my great family and friends, but especially for the Lord and all He has done for me. I am so glad I have the opportunity to be here on this mission right now, inviting others to come to Christ. I know that this is the true Gospel and the Lord loves each and every one of you. 
Until next week,
sister leslie.
Me with the adorable Eleanor (the youngest of the family that we live with)
Christmas Decorations in our apartment with snowflakes and everything

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