Wednesday, January 2, 2008

"Daddy, this is more better than Wheel of Fortune!"

Subject line complements of 8-yr old Leah Miller. We’re teaching her family and she was trying to convince her dad to stay for the lesson rather than go watch TV in his room. Haha! It didn’t work but it was a priceless quote. Hopefully he’ll stick around next time. :)

Ok, ok SOOOO much to say and so little time. Let’s see if I can at least get the highlights.

So good to talk to the fam and to get updates on everyone. Sounds like everyone is pretty good. Having babies and all that. (Not my fam, but everyone else they were updating me on). The best part of Christmas was just the love and support we got from the people here. Like I said before, there are so many needs in the area. I knew so many families that had little to nothing for Christmas and it was so fun to see the ward members all chip in to help make their Christmas more special. We got to do lots of secret santa type stuff so it was way cool. Really special when you know the people personally. Then there was stuff we wouldn’t even hear about. Like we called Greg to wish him Merry Christmas and he thanked us profusely for something. I told him I didn’t know what he was talking about and he said someone dropped off 2 brand spankin’ new bikes for Katie and Cody in the middle of the night. I just told him I figure it was Santa. :) That kinda stuff warms my heart! Probably the best gift I got was from Greg’s fam. Just a simple card but it just had a very humble and sincere “Sis. Cartwright--Thanks for all you’ve taught us.” I love it! I’m so grateful to my Father in Heaven and His Son Jesus Christ for giving us the teachings in the first place. For revealing to prophets today about the Plan of Salvation and what the Lord expects of us and how much He wants to bless us. It’s my privilege to share it with others. I only wish I could do it 24-hrs a day instead of sleeping because there’s still so many people to tell. But instead we just have to rely on the Lord to help us use the time we do have the very best. And He HAS helped us. We’ve even gotten a couple phone calls this week from people who have been reading the Book of Mormon and want to meet with us. What?! That never happens. But this area is ready and the Lord is working miracles here and I’m so thankful to be a part of it.

Happy New Year. I was snuggled safely in bed at midnight, for the first time in maybe 20 years. :) It sounded like the people upstairs were having enough of a party to make up for our lack of one (don’t worry…we have an appt to go up there and teach them the gospel :) …) so yeah, it was kind of a trip but I was pretty relieved to not be struggling to think of something fun yet safe to do on New Year’s. It’s funny cause in missionary mind there really are no holidays so we kept making appts with people and they’d be like, “uh…that’s actually Christmas, so probably not…” and we’d be like, “Oh! Oh yeah, sorry.” Good times.

Wahoo! The baptism was awesome. It was so cool to see her in her pretty white dress holding her little baby. After the baptism Deric stood up unannounced and wanted to tank everyone for coming and bear his testimony. It was the sweetest thing! He just said how he never thought this day would come and how much he wants to get his own testimony back to where he wants it to be so that his family can be together forever. SOOO precious to see this formally “hard-core” kid so touched by the Spirit and humble and wanting to be better and be a good dad and husband. It was perfect!

So despite freakish warm spells the cold finally hit. It’s like in the teens or something today with vicious wind and it actually snowed last night for a second! (Very rare). Nothing like the ice storms they’ve been getting in Nauvoo and stuff but still crazy. Time to show how hard-core I am by handling it. And maybe even time to wear my jacket.

So a big blessing that I have two companions. I got sick right after Christmas and was totally out of commission for like 2 days. But since there’s 3 of is, they could just drop me off at a member’s house and let me sleep for hours while they went to the appts. Felt weird to not be working but at the same time I was literally sleeping most of the time anyway so it’s all a blur. I feel much better now although it’s still lingering. I’m like a bottomless pit of snot but other than that, I’m good to go. :) I did get to have a priesthood blessing one of the first days I was sick which was so good. I know a lot of people who’ve had the same thing and they were out of commission for much longer so I know that the Lord was looking out for me. There really is power in the priesthood. God really has put the power to bless and to heal back on the earth again. A cool thing my comp likes to point out is that the priesthood is a power based on service. No one can give themselves a blessing—only other people. So I love that. I know it blesses our lives more than we can see. It’s the power by which the earth was created!

This is the “grouchy, anti-social” one. He’s very miffed on the whole concept of faith. He doesn’t think it really exists or at least that he can have it. But he’s moving along. We gave him a video called “Finding Faith in Christ” and he watched it. Twice. And took notes. The Lord is working miracles in him and it’s only a matter of time. Sucker. :)

Of course I have another investigator named after a family member. This one is so cool. He’s spent years in the pest control business working with “bug boys” all across America (an industry that for those of you who aren’t aware, is predominantly LDS). So he’s been surrounded by LDS friends and would live in UT for the summers and go to church all summer and stuff. He even had home teachers and a calling. But for some reason he wasn’t quite ready to accept the gospel. Well, someone finally ratted him out that he’s ready for the gospel (actually his mom who’s not LDS) so we got his phone number via text from church headquarters. So we called him up and he just went on and on about how he’s read the whole Book of Mormon and knows the Church is true and that we can “dunk him anytime we want.” What?! Again, this doesn’t happen. So cool! But he’s ready for changes in his life and for blessings to come to his family so he’s finally willing to make the sacrifices that those blessings are contingent upon. So cool!

Anyway, all in all the work is rolling forward faster than we can keep up almost. We’re so thankful everyday for the mini miracles and triumphs that we see. It’s just up to us to try to be as obedient and as in-tune with the prompting of the Spirit as we can be so that we can help people to take the steps and learn the things they need to to get the blessings. Well gotta run! love you all!

thanks for the emails and letters and prayers and all that good stuff. keep choosing the right in all you do. it makes Heavenly Father happy. and you too! :)

--sis cartwright

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