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

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