It's so good to hear from y'all! I can't believe how snowy it is! It must have all hit in one fell swoop, cause you were saying there wasn't any last week (or was it two weeks ago?) Anyway, I'm so happy you were able to drive down for Kylie's graduation and back in safety! I can't believe how cold it has been there! It's been quite cold here actually. On Sunday they had record lows for a few years. I think it was about 14 when we went to church. Sis Poulton says its my fault, that I brought the cold with me. I think I may have, and that gives me hope that the snow got the hint and will be behind shortly. Until December 25th is officially over and there's no snow in the air, I'm not giving up! :) haha. The main problem here is the wind. I'm sure it's not as bad as Rexburg, but when you're in a skirt, it's pretty killer! If it's still outside, then the cold is nothing this Idaho girl can't handle!
That's so weird y'all don't have any missionaries right now! Especially if that one sister just came in, she must have been transferred halfway through her training. That's one thing I'm grateful for, president tries not to transfer anyone halfway through training. It appears that the Spokane and Fort Worth transfers are at the same time. So I'm still in Azle, and I'm still with Sister Poulton. We've actually developed a much better friendship recently, rather than just a companionship. If that makes any sense?
I can't believe you haven't decorated for Christmas yet! I hope Kylie fixes that as soon as she sees it! At least put up a nativity or something! If I was home, I would have had that stuff up right after Thanksgiving, or as soon as you would have let me.... haha!
Thank you both so much for your words of encouragement and support. Your messages are always timely and I appreciate hearing your advice and love. It's definitely a weird experience, dealing with so many people so intimately. I feel like as soon as we understand one person and help them, someone else comes along and we have to start at square one again. Only this time, I have a few more tools in my belt to help the process go smoother and quicker. But I think that's really how the Savior did it. He never tried to create a "one size fits all" solution. Rather, he suffered for each of us individually, and so can succor us each as we need. We've been sharing Amla 7:11-13 a lot recently. It's interesting because that scripture has never particularly stood out to me before, though I've heard it a thousand times. But it truly is incredible that he knows each of us so perfectly that even our weaknesses, mistakes and shortcomings, which in the world's eyes are not that bad, he knows and can help us overcome. What I mean by that is that if you ever feel inadequate, the world will tell you not to worry about it, that you're doing fine. Christ will tell you you're doing fine, but to continue to try your best, but then he promises that as we do that and call on God, then our inadequacies can be swallowed up in His mercy. We never have to settle. Ever. And that is a huge blessing! :)
Give Garrett my love! Also feel free to guilt trip him into writing me again... hahaha! No, don't do that. I'm just joking. He wrote me a little bit ago, and I'm sure I'll hear from everyone in the Christmas package:)
As far as Destiny goes... we had to drop her. She seemed really interested and when I wrote last week she seemed really sincere. But she rescheduled our lesson Monday night to Tuesday, then Tuesday to Wednesday, then never showed up on Wednesday... That night Bishop told us not to try to contact her anymore. I don't know why, but if she contacts us, we're to refer her to him. He's the one that told us about her anyway, I think she was asking him for financial help through the church. Anyway, of course we still hope for the best, but I haven't heard anything in a week from her. I really hope for her daughter, especially. She was 8 and absolutely loved the Book of Mormon we gave her. I think she'll find the gospel when she's older if Destiny never follows through now.
I can't really think of any cool CHRISTMAS stories, but I did have a cool experience yesterday in a lesson! We're teaching this man named Joe, who has been struggling to read the Book of Mormon every day and ask God if it is true. His wife's a member, and he wants to be with her for eternity which is why he's taking the lessons, but we've been missing the last piece to get him to know for himself if this is true. So on Sunday we just spent the lesson using passages from the Book of Mormon to help him overcome his concerns and excuses he's made about why he's not reading it. We talked with him about praying to know if it's true, and not "procrastinating the day of his repentance" and he actually prayed in the middle of the lesson about if the Book of Mormon was true! It was a little unorthodox, and quite unexpected, but the spirit was so strong! I don't know if he identified it fully correctly, but he was crying when the prayer was over and said he felt peace. We told him that that peace was the spirit, and he said he'd keep reading and praying to find out for himself. It was soo cool! And the spirit was so strong in that lesson as we just followed it as to what scriptures we should read and what to say to help him overcome his concerns about reading.
I'm so excited to talk to everyone on Sunday! I'll call probably around 5 my time, which should be about 3 your time. I'll probably call from a member's phone, so it should be an 817 number. I'll call dad's phone.
I love you sooooo much!!! I hope this Christmas is one of Joy! Enjoy the snow for me, and make sure you go sledding at least once down the Roos' hill for me:)
Sister Erika Marks :)
p.s. "Where are yoooouuu" .... because it's the only quote mom knows... haha! Love!!! :)
p.p.s - The ward is super great, they gave us these awesome Christmas baskets
last Sunday! They take super good care of us, and I love them sooo
much! I couldn't ask for a better ward to train in ❤️