Just to update y'all on Landon's visa....we have once again been asked to get a current police clearance with even more information that before. The Brazil Consulate has changed their requirement for visas once again. In addition, we have been asked to submit his curriculum vitae on 2 separate sheets of paper (notarized) (before it was only on one sheet - back and front - with the notarization stamp on the back side which showed through to the front when they scanned the document....picky!) and get 2 updated passport photos (recent within 6 months). We are confident that Landon will get to Brazil; however, in the meantime he is LOVING serving in the New Hampshire mission.
Thank you all for giving him so much support!
Well I found out yesterday at Zone Conference. (This was regarding him needing to get to updated passport photos.) Because I was on exchange the day they called me about it. And my companion forgets EVERYTHING and didn't tell me or I could have had them to you already. I will be at the computer tomorrow as well so I think I can take them tonight and get them to you tomorrow afternoon. I think I remember the specifics. just in my suit, with a non smiling face, with a white background. Thanks for helping with this. Sister Skidmore said that she would be helping me out this week with anything else I need to do.
Anyway, I just wanted to get that out first.
I am so glad it got to you! Brother Hutchins is great! The article actually helped us out here too! We had multiple people come up to us saying they saw us in the paper. Its been pretty cool!
And I have found winter stuff from the apartment/mission old missionaries’ clothes. So far I am feeling fine with what I have. I will send a couple pictures of what I have been wearing. haha
And I am thinking I will send home my SD card this week or next so you guys can get all of the pictures that I haven’t sent cause I am getting behind and you can then see the recording as well! But the guitar is awesome to have! haha
Ah I am so excited for BEN! Man, that is so awesome! I am so happy for him! Portugal will be great for him! That's where my MTC teacher went and he loved it! I can't wait to talk Portuguese with SESH when we get all back! We will have to teach Kelsey I guess. haha She learns fast, so it will be good! :D lol
So cool about Brittney too. Grandma told me about her too last week!
Well I thought I would send you the letter I sent in my Letter to President just so you know a little more that I won't be writing in the update of this week. Thought you might like it:
Dear President Stoker,
I am so happy to have another chance to write to you today. I am so grateful for everything you did yesterday for me personally and all the missionaries during Zone Conference! I loved every minute of it! I learned a lot and recognized a lot that I need to change as well to become a better missionary! But I continue to follow the principle of exact obedience but I always can improve and will strive to do so!
This week has been tough. We have not been able to meet a lot of our goals this week and many days where our numbers are hard to look at. BUT we have really been studying chapter 9 in Preach My Gospel to give us guidance on how to find more people to teach. We have had many miracles happen. I had the goal to never tract my entire mission because I had been taught there is always a better way. But with not many members in our area and very limited miles we recognized we needed to do something. I prayed really hard for 2 days and came to the conclusion that tracting a little bit through-out the week would be successful IF we sought for inspiration to where we should go, how long we should do it, and what time to go do it. With all three of those factors in place we had short tracting sessions and would find people that were interested enough to listen to us and possibly let us come back to teach more. I saw this as an answer to my prayers! I let go of a goal that was of myself and formed my actions to God's will and I saw beautiful results! I will always need those same factors to come into play for me to still tract because without them I am simply randomly knocking, which is not the best use of time.
Our 1 progressing investigator Norm C. has been doing great! We will be following up on his commitment to pray sincerely about the Book of Mormon and what we have taught him and I know he will be headed to baptism shortly after! I am so impressed with this man! He listens to the prophets and apostles talks and loves hearing their words and never misses a Sunday at church.
My companion, Elder Dally, and I are very different. But I am determined to make our companionship work! We had a good discussion during companion inventory last week and talked about being more open with each other instead of letting feelings be bottled up inside, because for us it isn't let go until we let it out. I have really relied a lot on prayer! I felt an increase of love for him every time I pray for it! I know it is the savior helping me feel in such a way. We may have conflicts but we discuss them in a way that we feel good afterwards not worse.
I am so grateful for all that this area is teaching me. I know that I am here to help in the effort to make this Damariscotta area boom! There is great potential here, so now it just needs to happen!~I am thankful for the opportunity to be here at this time!
Thanks again for all you do,
So this week has been interesting: Our numbers have been down in our key indicators but that's because we have been putting so much of our time into finding new investigators. We found another family during tracting last Monday who let us in to warm up and that was our chance! I connected well with them because they are a homeschooling family and said how much the gospel was incorporated into that schooling as well. They liked that. They first told us that they don't like organized religion but by the end of us talking to them and telling them more about the plan of salvation, and offering service. They might call us to have us over for dinner! WOW! It amazed me from 5 minutes before we left they told us they were all set and don't like organized religion to asking us questions that they had about life after death and wanting us back sometime for dinner! It was a miracle to me that it all happened as soon as they let us into their home and we were in an environment to be able to gain their trust and bare testimony! It was great, and we are hoping to follow up with them soon!
Norm is doing great! He is still coming to church and last time we met we watched the 3 part series of Elder Bednar Mormon Messages. "Patterns of light" It helped him understand how to recognize the spirit better. He is praying more often and said he will pray about the book of Mormon and what we have taught him this week for sure. I am so excited to meet with him tomorrow! He is so great and I love seeing him progress!
The rest of the week included an exchange with my district leader Elder Lund! He is great I went up to his area in Bath, ME. We had a great time! He had Elder Woodall as his companion for the last 12 weeks (Elder Woodall is now in Brazil as of transfers) and so we connected really well with the many stories that we had and talked about how we worked with him. Anyway it was like a vacation being with him for a day. We are a lot alike. That night we were both really hungry and he told me there was a Little Caesars...and I said, "WE ARE GOING NOW!" hahaha So we split a cheese pizza. I will attach a picture. IT was awesome to learn from him as well he is coming up on a year that he has been out now.
Sunday was great. Our Gospel Principles teacher didn’t show up so us missionaries looked at each other and said, "looks like we are teaching today." So I turned open to the chapter we were on and went from there. I led the class and it actually turned out very well! One of the sisters in our ward sat in that usually didn't and afterwards came up to me and told me It was a wonderful lesson, but I don't think she knew I winged it. I let her think it was prepared! haha. But it was fun though. I love being a missionary and getting to do those kinds of things at the spur of the moment. haha But then we got to go to the Fireside for the stake with Elder Neilson! He really got all the leaders of the stake and wards hyped up on missionary work!!! EXCLAMATION POINT! haha He used that a couple times. haha But really it was great! I loved hearing him speak about the close relationships he had with the 12 and the 1st presidency. He said earlier that week, he had the opportunity to pass the sacrament to the Quorum of the 12 apostles and 1st Presidency! CRAZY right?! With those kinds of things shared that night it made his statements about missionary work even more meaningful, knowing that it is the same message that any of the prophets would give! He said the missionary work is their top priority! Wow, what a statement! It was so great, and it was even cooler to spend the whole next day with him and his wife and President Stoker and his wife during Zone Conference! I will have to write a letter home with some of the things I learned because there is just so much, but just know there was such a special spirit there all day and I will never forget the feeling and memories of being with Elder Neilson for the day!
I know we are led by true and living prophets and general authorities! They are truly called by God and receive revelation from Him of what we need to do in this day and age! I love them all they do! I know this gospel is true with every fiber of my being, and I love baring testimony of it each day! Everyone deserves to hear this message and the Lord will not stop hastening this work until everyone has!
I love you all and thanks so much for all the support you give!