Monday, January 27, 2014

D&C 18:15

Now I can say for sure that so far, THIS has been the greatest week of my mission: We taught Jose 4 times and at the end of the week Jose was BAPTIZED!!! This letter will mostly be about Jose and the events leading up to his baptism.
Monday, after our dinner appointment, we had a missed call from Jose, so in Mo we called him back. He was telling us more people he wanted to do specific things for the baptism, but we were also worried about him not knowing whether Thomas S. Monson is truly God's called prophet on the earth today, so we also brought that one up. He told us he had been thinking about it all day, and thought that if the Book of Mormon is true (and he knows it is), then everything that we are teaching as missionaries must be correct and so he based his testimony on the Prophet off of the Book of Mormon, which is AWESOME because everything comes back to the Book of Mormon. Sister Jensen and I were so happy. We called our District Leader and in 5 minutes, he spoke 88 words (his companion counted). We were talking so fast and we were so excited and it was great. 
Tuesday we attended the funeral for Maryati Ruppelius, one of the members in the ward who was in a care home and passed away. It was a good service. Death is always a sad thing, but I know it's not the end, which is so comforting. Tuesday night we taught Jose with a member of the bishopric and Kameka again. It was a great lesson, Jose was so open to everything and it was so fun. We went over the baptismal interview questions again and had him answer them and he answered them all perfectly because he understands and internalizes what we teach. It was so great.
Wednesday was a good day. District Meeting was great, and everyone we went to visit went pretty good. We started Home Primary and it was super fun. That night we were there at the Church for Jose's baptismal interview, which of course he passed with flying colors; he is so solid. Elder Garfield, the District Leader, was amazed at how prepared he was. Like it really is almost ridiculous how prepared he was. Yes, us missionaries taught him, but he was already living everything. He just had to find out for himself that the Book of Mormon was true, which he found out and then he based his testimony on that which he knew (which is a great example to all of us of how to focus on what we know and not on what we do not yet understand). He tried to pull our leg when he came out by saying "I failed the test thingy." And we were like "mmhmm, sure." And he was like "Okay, not really. I think I passed." Hah we've gotten more used to his humor now. 
Thursday we went and had some great visits with a lot of great people. We also got to practice our musical number for Jose's baptism that he asked us to do, and we decided on I Am a Child of God. We sang the first verse together, 2nd verse harmony and 3rd verse with the descant. We were (At least I was) a bit nervous to do it because we didn't practice much (total of like 5 times probably) before we did it at the baptism, but we made it through. We didn't end up meeting with Jose that night because his truck broke down on the way home from work and so he was in the shop (sneaky, devil. Sneaky...). But we did have daily contact with him, which was great. 
Friday was awesome! I did have a minor freak out when I lost my name tag for a couple hours, but I found it and everything worked out fine. Friday's lesson with Jose was really cool because his finance, Amanda was here by that point for the baptism. It was funny, every time we've seen him this week we've asked if he has been bubbly, and he's always replied with a no. But when he opened the door on Friday, he was all smiles and happy vibes and energy. He was so excited, definitely bubbly. (It's because his fiance was here, but still. One step at a time.) The lesson was cool with her there. It was a simpler lesson, we just read 2 Nephi 31 and we answered any questions he had about any part of the gospel or the baptismal service or anything. It was nice and chill, but good. 
Saturday we didn't have any appointments until dinner (Jose's baptism was in the evening due to our ward having ward temple day), so we tried potentials, formers and tracted for 6 hours. I was really worried that the time would cccrrrraaaawwwwllllll by, but it didn't, it went fairly fast actually. The baptism was great! We ended up having a scheduling conflict, so we had it in the Chapel (The font here is in a tiny classroom, so the baptismal services are not held in there). It was nice, the Chapel was actually fairly full. If we would have been in the RS room, we would have been very squished. It was such a spiritual night. The talks went well, our musical number went well and Jose even bore his testimony, which was super powerful. Part of his testimony was thanking us missionaries (He said about us "I am so grateful for them and we all know they work so hard. I am so grateful that they give us this time out of their lives to help people like me find the truth....")  and at one point he said, "I thought I came up to Minot to work, but I actually came her to find God and my fiance." It was so powerful that he made that connection! Amanda's whole family came up from Montana for the baptism and Jose was baptized by his future brother-in-law. It was powerful. He is going to have a huge support group, which will be great! He will be active forever! Being there at the baptism made me think of D&C 18:15, which says  And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one asoul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father! , and it is so true! It is the happiest I have ever felt in my life. I felt like I was going to burst. Jose kept giving Sister Jensen and I handshakes (because we can't hug, this was the hardest time for me to keep that, but no worries, I'm obedient!) , and it felt so good to know that I have been a part of helping someone change their life for the better. I was an instrument in the hands of God for good!
Sunday Jose freaked us out (again). There was a huge blizzard outside, so when we got to church, there was only 1 family there. We were worried that they were going to cancel church, but they didn't. I was so impressed with the number of people who came to church despite the weather. Sister Jensen and I were freaking out because Jose and Amanda still weren't at Church until 8:06, and Church starts at 8. Sister Jensen and I were having like a mini anxiety attack or something. But he made it and was confirmed by his future father-in-law and was wearing the tie Sister Jensen and I gave him the day earlier for his baptism. It was so cool to hear those words, "receive the Holy Ghost." My joy was complete, as was his. After Church, a lady slipped and fell going outside and broke her hip due to the ice. Sister Jensen and I had to move Mo for the ambulance to come and as we parked it in a different spot and were running back into the Church, I totally biffed it. Haha I can now check of my To Do list "Fall impressively on the ice". My knee was bleeding and my tights were all ripped up, but not to worry! I will be fine, it's just a scrape on the knee. But it was actually quite funny. And last night we went over to Jose's to watch The Testaments that we gave him and it was fun (Amanda was there too). It's to the point where us and Jose are friends, but he understands we are there to teach. It is the perfect balance. We were talking before the movie, and something Jose said really touched me. He said, "I've met a lot of missionaries and some of them have been out a long time, but don't teach well together. You two teach well together, and Sister Leslie, you've only been out 4 1/2 months, but you teach better than missionaries I've met who have been out a year." It really made me think that it's not me, it's the Spirit. The Spirit is vital in teaching and I am so glad Jose knows that we invite the Spirit when we teach. Jose wants to go on a mission so bad, but can't because he is getting married in a few months. He is being an AWESOME member missionary though and telling all of his co workers and friends about the Gospel and why it is important to him and how he knows it is true. He is going to be active forever. And even though I won't be off my mission in a year when they can be sealed, Jose said that "Oh, we'll be waiting for you to get off your mission so you can come too!" So parents, a few weeks after I get home I'll be coming back up here to watch him and Amanda get sealed! Prepare accordingly!
Today it is back to NoDak's comfortable -50 degrees. Yeah, I didn't miss it. Not really at all.
Because transfer calls are on Saturday, please send all mail this week through the mission home in case I get transferred. I would appreciate it!
Thank you everyone! The gospel is true! Never forget it! 
Love you!
sister leslie. 
It's ridiculous how much we matched that day, and without even trying! 
Us and Jose right before he was baptized. :) 

Monday, January 20, 2014


This week was another solid one! It was so great! We got another solid 12 lessons, which is big for us! That's the highest I've ever gotten on my mission, so I'll take it.

Monday, we went bowling. Haven't done that in a while. You could tell, because I did not do very well. The elders slaughtered us, but you know. Not a huge surprise there!

Tuesday was a great day. We taught Alyssa and Jose, which are like the 2 funnest people to work with ever! Alyssa is so solid. After this lesson, we handed her over to the other sisters because she lives in 3rd ward, which was a bit sad, but I'm just glad that we got the opportunity to teach her and learn from her awesomeness. We taught her the Plan of Salvation, and it made sense to her (because the plan actually makes sense!) and she asked a lot of great questions. We asked her what she knew about Adam and Eve, and she told us the whole story in detail and then concluded with "...and that's why we need prayer, because we were separated from God, and that's how we can communicate with him now." I was flabbergasted! She is so solid! We committed her to be baptized on February 8, and she replied with "That's the date that I was thinking! It must be of God! Of course I'll be baptized then!" She is just so solid. So inspiring. (Attached is a picture of Alyssa, Sister Jensen and I. She is rock solid. She would make the coolest missionary ever!) We also taught Jose on Tuesday and he is just so fun to teach! He is sincere and asks questions, which we like because it shows that they understand what we are teaching and want to go to the next level. We taught him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and it went really well. He is so funny (more on that in a sec.)

Wednesday we got to help Faye after District Meeting take down her Christmas stuff. It is always so funny to go help her because she just has the funniest personality and is so opinionated about everything and it's just so cute to see that in an 84 year old woman. She is very spry and fun. We love her to death. The 2 appointments we had on Wednesday fell through, so we tried people and tried to meet with the Primary president about Home Primary (a new thing in our mission, where those less-active kids that don't come to Church, we got weekly to their homes and give them the Primary lesson for the week, and they are counted as coming to Primary for the week. It's going to help us get in with more less-active families, we're really excited.) 

Thursday we were able to make some great goals for ourselves during weekly planning. We took a couple hours to do it, but it was worth it. We've been being obedient, but we feel like we've been obedient because that's what we're supposed to do, but we're not doing it because we want do. Don't get me wrong, I want to be an obedient missionary, but I've been having a hard time with having the true desire to go out and work because I want to bring people to Christ, I've been wanting to go out so I can say I was productive during the day. Does that make sense? I hope so. So we spent some time coming up with what we call "Nitpicky Obedience". It is 5 things we will do to help us become the missionaries we know we can be. These 5 things are:
     1. Look professional every day
     2. 30 minutes tracting everyday
     3. Smile publicly
     4. Share a Restoration dinner message to bring the Spirit in and inspire members to talk to their friends about          the gospel, and 
     5. Have perfect studies and Preparation Day. 
So far, it's going good. The tracting is the hardest for us, our days fill up so fast! But it is helping us to become more obedient and to gain that desire to want to be obedient because we know it will being miracles. That night we also got to teach Jose again (We teach him 3 times a week at the moment). Sister Ketteman came with us and it was our most powerful lesson with him we've had yet. We taught him about Scripture study, obedience, the 10 commandments and we went over his baptismal program for Saturday (WOOOHHOOOOOOO!!!!!!). It all blended together so well and we were teaching in unity and asking inspired questions, and Sister Ketteman was bearing powerful testimony and it was awesome because Jose shared his conversion story with us. 2 years ago he was an Athiest. He had everything he could possibly want--school paid for, a car, a girlfriend--and yet he wasn't happy. So he asked himself "What if? What if there is a God? What if He loves me?" And from then on, he started checking out churches. He went from church to church, building his faith until he came one day to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The missionaries there met him and the rest is history. He came to know for himself that the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith was indeed a Prophet of God. He found God and His true Gospel. It was so inspiring to hear. He told us that the hole in his soul he once had is now filled. The Gospel is so true! He got so excited when we started talking about his baptismal program and hoe it would go. He told us at the end "I'm excited, just not bubbly." (Sister Jensen and I were extremely happy that lesson and were very bubbly. Haha). HE IS SO SOLID! HE IS GOING TO BE BAPTIZED IN FIVE DAYS AND EIGHT HOURS FROM NOW! To say that we are excited is a big understatement. It is so cool and spiritually uplifting to watch someone make this journey to God and His true Church.

Jose also asked me to give the talk on the Gift of the Holy Ghost at his baptism (Sister Jensen is giving the one on Baptism). I am nervous, intimidated, excited and terrified! I want to make it memorable, spiritual, and inspirational. I've been praying a lot! God will help me! 

Friday, not that much exciting happened. Onto the more exciting days...

Saturday was good, we had 5 lessons on Saturday! It was packed! But that's what we like! We met with 2 less-active families and 1 less active, which is always great. We got in with Danielle and Anthony as well as a potential who became a new investigator. Her name is Sam, and a Young Single Adult in our ward has been talking to her and she accepted to meet us, so the 3 of us went over there and talked to her about the Plan of Salvation. It's so cool. I think if she can find out for herself that God is there and loves her, she will have a strong desire to meet with us. Our dinner appointment was out in Granville, which is about 40 minutes away via the highway, so a member took us there since we didn't have enough miles (And had no idea where Granville was, really), and it was cool. The husband is less-active and so it's always good to meet those people. We got to know their family more and they had a 3 year old son who was so funny. He was saying things like "One day, I ate three pieces of bread. That's how I know bread is good for you." And the like. He was a cutie. After dinner we met with another less active and also Danielle and Anthony. It was a bit interesting of a lesson, but sometimes that happens. They're moving forward, just taking a bit of time. They'll get there.

Sunday was great again! Church in the morning is still strange, but nice. Jose wasn't there and we got really worried. So after Gospel Principles we called him and he had a good reason for not being there, and so we made plans to go with him to 2nd ward at 11:30. While we were sitting, Sister Jensen was sitting closest to the wall, I was in the middle, and then Jose was next to me, by the aisle. During one of the talks, across the aisle a toy fell, and so Jose lunged out his arm to try and catch it. It freaked me out! When we turned back and noticed me looking at him, he just replied, "Reflex". haha! It was so funny! What a character! That night, we got to have him over with us to a member's house for dinner again and so in preparation for that, we texted him and asked "Tonight, will you bring your quad and gospel principles book?" To which he replied "No". Now, Jose never says no! So Sister Jensen and I were trying to figure out what to say when we texted and said "I'm jk, i sure will:)" Haha man he got us good. That's how you know when you have a good relationship with an investigator: when he treats you like he treats his friends, but understand that you are there to help him build his faith and prepare him for baptism. So later that evening, we went to show him where the family lives and he ran to his vehicle when we got there, and a truck started following us so we thought it was him. We called just to make sure, though and he was like "No, I haven't left the parking lot yet!" And we were like "Oh no! We're coming back right now!" We just heard laughter as he was like "No, I'm just kidding, it's me. Keep going." Ha oh man, he is keeping us on our toes for sure! The dinner went really well, and so did the lesson. We taught about the priesthood, and he understood it! After he is baptized, he wants to meet with bishop so he can receive the Aaronic Priesthood and start preparing to go to the temple to do baptisms next month. He is on fire! I can't wait to go to a temple session with him someday; it's going to happen! Perks of living close to your mission is, you can come back! Boom! 

This gospel is so true! It changes lives like NO OTHER church in the world does! This is truly God's established Church on the earth today and I know it with all my heart, might, mind and strength! I know it, I know God knows it, and I cannot deny it. Don't be afraid to open your mouth--everyone needs the knowledge we have! Pray for the strength to talk to people, to call the missionaries and ask to go out with them (which would make them the HAPPIEST people ever and make ME so happy--call them up!) , to share the gospel with those around you. I know it works, I see miracles happen every day and they can happen for you if you have the desire to bring this joy to others. Pray for opportunities, recognize opportunities and then act on the opportunities that will come. I know they will come and you will be the means of bringing people to the Gospel of Jesus Christ is you will let Him work through you. This gospel is what makes happy, the commandments don't limit us, but they free us. Living the gospel is the only thing that can make it possible to return to live in God's presence with our families in a state of never-ending happiness (See Mosiah 2:41).

I love you all! The Work is Working!
sister leslie.
Us with Alyssa

At the bowling alley with the other Minot missionaries

Sister Jensen and I now have Scripture boxes we made out of oatmeal boxes! 
They are wonderful and ingenious!

The Frei family we ate with yesterday, us and Jose

Monday, January 13, 2014

Taste the Rainbow!

I just gotta start this before reading anything else, because MIRACLES happened this week all around us!
Starting with Tuesday, we got our other investigator Varney on date to be baptized! He has a lot more desire than we thought he did, which is always AWESOME to find out. He is on date for March 29th, so not too close, and I might not even be here by that point, but it's great! He's so cool! We also got to stop in with Danielle and Anthony and see them. We talked with them about whether or not they still had the desire to be baptized, and they do! So we got that cleared up and made an appointment for Saturday
Wednesday, the big milestone of my mission happened.....Watch out, everyone, hold on to your seats.........I am now the designated driver! I drive us all around in our Swagger Wagon (the van named Mo. We gotta spice it up a little bit.)! Okay, so yes we've gotten lost a few times, but we are still here. No signs have been downed thanks to me. Yes, yes I know. Thank you everyone for your support. I could join NASCAR when I get home I'm that good (actually, on second thought, probably not. They go too fast.) We met with Jose again on Wednesday, and he is so great! We taught a lot, including the Word of Wisdom, and he is already living the Word of Wisdom! He has no problems with that! It was such a big relief! Man it was awesome! He is so fun to work with! Oh yes, and we got back Tuesday night from the sister's apartment to find our plumbing and hot water pipes had froze, so we had to use the Noels toilets and showers for a few days, which was a bit odd, but we made it work. We could still wash dishes, so that was a blessing. We also visited with Faye again on Wednesday, and she is so great! SO funny! She was tripping over her words at one point and so did like this little Indian noise thing (I don't know how to explain it, obviously), and Sister Jensen and I couldn't handle it, it was so funny! So we just started laughing on her couch! And when I laugh a lot, I tear up, so Faye was worried that I hurt myself or something. But I didn't, she just cracks me up. 
Thursday, our plumbing and hot water came back! Glory glory! Actually, the toilet revived Wednesday night when we were both almost asleep. We heard a gurgling sound and were so excited we both jumped up and ran to the toilet and then did a little jig when we saw it was working again. Oh man it was great. It's the little things in life that make the difference! Also on Thursday, I drove through my very first car wash ever. Yeah, it was strange. Mo is a big thing to drive. Soon I'll get a picture with him, then you can too see him. (p.s. know why his name is Mo? It's short for Mohonrimoriancumr (sorry for spelling), a name as long as he (the van) is. haha.) We met with Jose on Thursday also, and finished the Plan of Salvation, and taught 2 big commandments: chastity and tithing. Because his baptismal date is so close, we needed to make sure he was taught everything. And we were a bit worried it would be too much, but he took it in great! He already lives the law of chastity and said he has enough faith to pay tithing! I don't call many investigators golden, but when I do, their name is Jose. Seriously. He is so fun to work with. Of course, though, with his close baptismal date, the adversary was trying to get Sister Jensen and I to doubt. It almost worked. But it didn't! For Jose, I prayed the hardest I ever have in my whole life for another person that he would receive the answer he was expecting. He needed it by Sunday, or preparing for his baptism was going to get very complicated. So we prayed.
Friday, we prayed some more. We had Zone Training Meeting, so our whole zone was here in Minot, which is always fun. Our zone has grown by 2 companionships this transfer, and there are now 3 sets of sisters! 2 in Minot and 1 in Williston. In our zone, there are around 12 companionships. We barely fit in our relief society room! Which is great. And it doesn't take much, our Church building is small. So small, in fact that we are bursting at the seams on Sundays. So we now have a portable classroom for the Young Men and Young Women! It's crazy! Next week, I'll attach a picture. It's great that we have too many people and that we're expanding fast, but they can't build the new building fast enough. It'll probably be at least a year. But it will be a huge help. Then Minot 1st Ward is going to be split! Which makes sense because it is a geographically a HUGE ward, but it'll be weird. I won't be here when that happens, though. ZTM took up most of our day, Salvation Army was fun as always, we got to go through the ward list with the Relief Society president, which is always informative. I did get us lost on the way there (we almost started going towards Bismarck when we needed to go towards Williston, whoops!), but we made it! We met with Karen again, and she committed to come to Church. She is gaining that desire to come back!
Saturday was so great! We got a referral from a member for their next-door neighbor and then when we left, got to contact them because they were outside (tender mercy!), we got to meet with Shakeitha and Justin again, which went very well, and we had a great lesson with Danielle and Anthony! We brought the perfect fellowshippers with us to Danielle and Anthony and we had barely walked into the door when Danielle said "I read Moroni." And we were like, "Like Chapter 10?" And she said "Nope, the whole book! Look, I took notes and wrote down questions so I wouldn't forget them!" She then read us her notes. I about fell over! It was amazing! They have that desire to be baptized and want to work for it! We also found out Danielle's concern, which is so nice because now we can work with it! They are doing great! From there, we went and had dinner with Donna, Faye, and the Jenks family, an active family who is really good friends with them. We watched Mr. Krueger's Christmas and it touched Donna's heart. It was so cool to watch.
Sunday was Sister Jensen's 21st Birthday and it was the best day this week! At Church, Karen came with her kids! Danielle and Anthony were there! They got called into work after Sacrament Meeting, but they were there! It was great!! We were very worried because Jose wasn't there, but he texted us and had gotten called into work. SO we made plans to go with him to the 3pm meeting. (We now have church at 8am. For church being that early, there were a lot of people there! Almost everyone was on time, which is impressive because some people live an hour away or more from the Church building!) After Church, we went and met a potential who wasn't interested, and then met with Alyssa. She is so solid! We love working with her. She said she would absolutely be baptized is she finds out the Church is true, and it was such a great lesson. The couple we had with us was perfect. The only downside is we found out she just moved into a different ward. :( which is always sad, but it's okay. She came with us to the same sacrament meeting the Jose came with us to. The meeting was great! It was fast Sunday due to church being cancelled this week, which was so powerful. I was fasting for lunch (which I'm not supposed to do medically (mom don't get mad), but I wanted Jose to get an answer so bad that this is the true Church!). After Church, we talked with Jose and in the conversation, he said: "I know the good feelings I have when reading the Book of Mormon are my answer that the book is true. Because of that, Joseph Smith has to be a Prophet of God." It was the best feeling in the whole world! We pushed his date back until the 25th, because he has never been able to attend our ward yet and we want to make sure he has good fellowshippers. But he is so solid! He is definitely going to be baptized on the 25th! SO EXCITING!!  FOr our dinner appointment, Jose came with us to the Van Bibbers and afterwards we had a lesson in their home. It was so powerful! We went to his apartment so he could follow us there, and he has a super sweet 2014 Mustang (which we didn't know before, we had just seen his work truck), and so it was a bit embarrassing to show up in our minivan (it didn't feel like a Swagger Wagon at that point.) 
The Church is true! The work is working! This gospel changes lives! It's changing mine!
 I love you all! Be an example of the Believers!
sister leslie. 
Me in a real Eames Lounge Chair!
Us at the dinner with the Jenks, Faye and Donna
 The VanBibber family, us and our awesome investigator, Jose

Sis. Jensen birthday cake
Sister Van Bibber is definitely our Minot mom. She's so funny.
Such a great family!

Monday, January 6, 2014

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Frozen Fish

Nothing with fish happened this week, it was just a funny title. You'll understand why.
This week was a bit harder. We had a whole ton of appointments set up, but they all cancelled. Except for 4. SO we only got 4 lessons this week! Gah! It was really frustrating, actually. We didn't understand why it had to happen, still don't really, but we were humbled and learned again to rely on the Lord (not like we weren't before, but now we have recommitted to again).
Tuesday was a good day. It was -30, so we couldn't go out, so we cleaned, wrote thank you cards, stuff like that. We did get a new investigator and put him on date!!! His name is Jose. We taught him the Restoration and scripture study and stuff, even though he's already been taught that because he was taught by missionaries in Dickinson for 2 months prior to moving here. But we got him on date to be baptized! The Spirit was telling me so strongly to commit him to be baptized, and it all worked out. He is on track to be baptized next Saturday, the 18th!!!! Man! I think he'll make it there! His testimony is growing! We haven't been able to teach him since there (you'll see why), but we have 3 appointments with him for this next  week! WOOHOOOO!
Wednesday was not a super fun day. We had 6 appointments, 5 of which fell through, an investigator dropped us, and the lesson we did get we couldn't count as a lesson because we forgot to say an opening prayer. But you know, those days happen. You get stronger, take heart, and move on. You get better in the days to come.
Thursday was okay. Not great, not awful. Weekly Planning took forever this week (which is a good sign: we have investigators!!). We were able to meet with Karen again, and it was really cool because she committed to come to church , even if her husband didn't, which is a HUGE step for her. That's why she hasn't been coming. She's starting to have the desire to come back to Church! That's where it all begins. We had a fun Relief Society activity about goals and relaxation (which is always needed as a missionary) and were able to visit a part member less-active family. They are raising their kids Catholic, so they're not in a place of mind right now to come back to Church/convert, but we hope they will someday. Sometimes (okay, let's be honest, like most of the time) the most frustrating thing we missionaries work with is people's agency. It's the hardest when they KNOW it's true, they have a testimony, but they just won't act on anything and pretend like they don't care or don't know it's true. But agency is one of the greatest gifts God has given us, so I can't battle that one. 
Friday is when things started to get interesting. We volunteered at Salvation Army earlier so a woman would be there, and then went to Surrey, where I drove around for about a half hour (I will be the designated driver starting on Wednesday--mixed feelings on that one), and then we went to go try some people. We got to try 2 people's homes that we were going to be following up on, when we suddenly noticed the wind had picked up, it was suddenly colder, the sky was darker, and we weren't in Minot. So we went back to Minot just before the blizzard hit. It wasn't a super bad blizzard, but it was still bad. We had appointments with Jose and Alyssa, but both of them drive a lot for work, and couldn't make it to our appointments because the roads were bad and they had to take their time. We rescheduled with them for Sunday after Church. So Friday night we were in. (And keep in mind that starting Wednesday, we have been sleeping over at Sister Saunders and Sister Osburn's apartment because Sister Noel and the kids are gone this week, and we can't be at our apartment with just a man there (#obvi), so we will be there until tomorrow night.) 
Saturday it was -40, so we only went out to our appointments. We had another Family Mission Day, which went well, but not as good as last time. We had to cancel a few of the families to come because we didn't have enough service, so there were just 3 families. We all went to the Salvation Army Thrift Shop and sorted clothes and placed books and all that. It was fun to be able to serve. After that, we learned that Church was cancelled for the next day, all wards. Why? Because the HIGH for Sunday was -20, with windchill, -60! Man, we were so disappointed because we had at least 4 investigators were going to be coming, as well as Karen, and yeah. We were very surprised. They NEVER cancel Church (okay, maybe like once every 8 years they do). So that was crazy. We then went back to the Sister's apartment and stayed there until 6:45. We had an appointment with the Liberian family, and then right after them a potential investigator (who also lives with them). But when we got there, the mom was making dinner, and our new investigator from last week who lives there was also there in the living room (So there's the Liberian family, a potential investigator and an investigator who all live in this house. Crazy.). We had no idea what we were going to teach. Our potential investigator was sleeping, and so our lesson plans flew out the window. We just started into the commitments we left last time that they didn't do, and then in the middle of the lesson realized that we were teaching Varney (the new investigator) the Restoration. We gave him a chapter to read in the Book of Mormon and explained to him what it is (He had never seen it or heard of it before). It was so cool! The Spirit leads us to what we need to teach. We committed him to baptized if he finds out that the Church is true. He's not on date yet, but he has the desire to know if it is true or not. :)
Sunday, it was actually (only) -55 degrees, but we didn't feel comfortable, so we rescheduled all 5 of our appointments and hunkered down.  The only thing we didn't cancel was our dinner appointment. SO all day we wrote in our journals, tried not to die of heat (The sister's apartment is like 80 degrees ALL the time), watched our approved movies (including the Testaments, Finding Faith in Christ, And classic Christmas movies: The 4th Wise Man, Nora's Christmas Gift and Mr. Krueger's Christmas), and talked. It was weird. Weirdest Sunday of my life.
And what is even better: Today, it is -50, so after we do our P-day things, we're hunkering down at our apartment while Brother Noel is at work so we can do laundry. We're going to one appointment tonight, but rescheduling our other one. Oh man. This is so strange. And surprisingly, boring. Ugh. Today, School was even cancelled. I don't think they've cancelled school in the last 20 years! It is so crazy! But. I am alive, well, and not a sistersicle yet. 
I feel your prayers and am so grateful for them! Thank you for everything!
If you haven't made any new years resolutions, make them now! Put some spiritual ones in there!
sister leslie.
Sister Jensen, Sister Osburn and Me in front of their frosted over window
me with real earrings (I changed them for the first time on January 1!)
Sister Saunders, Sister Osburn, Sister Jensen and I after we had done each other's hair