Monday, January 26, 2015

Am I Living in South Dakota or the Bahamas??

That's right, everyone!! It is 60 degrees in the POSITIVE right now in Belle Fourche!! What in the world?? The weather this week has been out of this world!! It's amazing!! I can't even begin to describe how amazing it is!! That is a 112 degree difference from last January 25th-ish! Whoodda thunk?

I told you it was going to be an awesome week, and it was!! Heavenly Father follows through on His promises, that's for sure!!

Last Tuesday, we for some reason hiked Bear Butte as a district, and it was a baaad idea!! haha it was WINDY and ICY and the path is skinny and on a CLIFF, and S. Barrett and I didn't have super good traction shoes on. But! We made it up and back without a death or a casualty...although we all got bumps and bruises on the way!! Haha. Missions are full of all sorts of adventures!!!

This week, we only got in with 1 of our investigators, Bill, and all the others wouldn't open their door for us. So. We got in though with some AWESOME less actives though, so it was still an awesome week!! The main less actives we are working with are Corben and Syler and their family. They were both raised in the church, but fell away in their teenage years. They have 2 adorable little girls, Willow and Sequora and they want to be sealed in the temple!! So last week, we met with them 3 times! It was awesome!! Corben especially loves having us over because he's learning so much! He's like a sponge: just soaking it all in and then acting on it!! So that is so awesome!! He doesn't remember a lot about the church, so us coming over has been able to help him a lot!! We love their family so much and are so grateful to be working with them!! They all came to Sacrament Meeting yesterday, and that was great because they haven't been to Sacrament in a long time all together. Corben works in the oil field, so his work schedule is a bit crazy, but they we all there and that was GREAT!!! So we love them and are so grateful for them!!

This week, we had a really good discussion with our investigator, Bobbi. It wasn't a lesson, but in this conversation with her, we saw how her testimony of the Savior is growing!! She has been far from God for a while, and since the missionaries have started meeting with her, she's started coming closer to Him and recognizing the blessings that come from that. She told us this week how she was about to make a really big mistake and this wouldn't be the first time, but for some reason, she decided not to and she got herself out of that situation! All on her own!! She recognized that if she made this choice it would result in a loss of the Spirit and she would be walking away from God, and that wasn't worth it to her. So that was a huge testimony to me that people are happier when they follow Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ!! It reminds me of the scripture Alma 41:10, which ends with "Behold, I say unto you, wickedness never was happiness." I have definitely seen that on my mission! So many people try to go to the world and turn to that for peace and clarity, but instead they find themselves more confused, lost and clouded than they have ever before been. One of my favorite scriptures I have found on my mission is Alma 36:16-21. At this point in the Book of Mormon, Alma the Younger is going through the repentance process for destroying the church. This is how he describes it:16 And now, for three days and for three nights was I racked, even with the pains of a damned soul. 17 And it came to pass that as I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world. 18 Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death .19 And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more. 20 And oh, what joy , and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain! 21 Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joyI LOVE that!! I think he describes forgiveness perfectly as joy and light, with words of exquisite and sweet. It is so true!! And this is what is starting to happen in Bobbi, and that is a modern day miracle!! They happen all the time!!

We got to serve at the Wildlife Sanctuary in Spearfish this week, and it was super fun! We got to feed the animals by ice skating to all of them because the roads were covered in so much ice!! They have camels, hogs, llamas, tigers, lions, bears, jaguars, chickens, geese, kittens, deer--you name it! It's a pretty fun place to serve at. We go there every once in a while.

We got to drive an hour and 10 minutes each way yesterday to our dinner appointment in Buffalo, SD. Population is 385! We have an awesome family that lives up there are it was so fun!!! Funny thing is, we just got a media referral for a family up there this morning, so we may be going back up there sooner than we thought!! haha fun times!

We met this crazy Rastafarian minister/priest guy this week who teaches his congregation out of the Book of Mormon! We're almost certain that he was high when we were talking to him, but he may have just been #permafried. haha.

That was a sum of our week! We're continuing to plug along and move forward!!

Love you all!
sister leslie.

Oh yeah, and Jose (baptized last January 25th), has now been a member for a YEAR officially! Time flies!!

At the top of Bear Butte!

My district! Me, Sister Barrett, Elder Bell, Elder Emmett, Elder Powell and Elder Dudley

Us with the Camel, Mickey at the Wildlife Sanctuary

Me with my Llama face. This llama spits at ya! mmm...gross!

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