Monday, January 27, 2014

It Snowed! (SP)

Happy B-day Grandpa Crowley!  What the??  80 and still going strong!!  That's my pappy! 
Holy cow it snowed!  It hasn't snowed all winter!!  The crazies!  (crazies as in..... the elves that make it snow...)  A nice snowy day comes and then the next day, when it's all nice and clear, BOOM.  THE COLDEST WINTER I'VE EVER FELT IN MY LIFE.  Holy shnikies.  I've never felt cold seap through everything I was wearing including thermals.  Haha they weren't kidding when they said winter here was cold.  And some people, and when I say people I mean girls, walk around in only tights covering their legs.  I HOPE THAT DATE IS WORTH IT OR ELSE I'LL DUMP HIM FOR YOU!  Ahem.  I need some time to get used to it :).
This week an amazing miracle happened!  Teaching our investigator Joy has been a little slow because she works a ton and usually only has one night free a week, and sometimes lessons are split up, but she's awesome!  On Saturday we went by her to teach the rest of the first lesson about the Restoration.  We show up and there's a friend of her's there!  At first we thought it was her friend Anita who had asked Joy if she could borrow her Book of Mormon (We're still planning on contacting Anita and to teach her!).  But it turns out, she was a totally different friend.  Her name was Patience and had been there to watch Joy's daughter Jennifer while Joy worked.  We got to know her a little bit and then invited her to sit in on the lesson with us.  ''No problem,'' she said and sat in (People from Nigeria are so chill!).  She didn't say much, and neither did Joy for that matter, OR her daughter who usually has a lot of energy when we come over, but the Spirit was SO STRONG.  The room was just filled with peace.  It was one of those times where you just say all you have to say and they just take it in and believe it.  They didn't have any questions or comments.  They just quietly listened.  It's almost like after riding a horse for EVER that's crazy and unpredictable and then you all of a sudden get on a horse that's super obedient and patient and gentle.  You get thrown off (figuratively).  Ha but it was awesome!  Oh, wait Joy did have one question.  She asked if we believed in hell.  We said we'd cover it next time :).  Sealed, done.  We asked Patience if she knew anyone that could benefit from this message.  She said no.  We asked if she'd like a Book of Mormon.  ''No problem.'' We asked if we could come by and teach her more about it.  ''No problem.''  We're meeting with Patience tomorrow.  HOLY moley.  Joy is a missionary and seriously in not even aware of it.  It's awesome!  My favorite saying of the week was, ''I'm so excited for these goals to be met!''  When you do all you can and know, you just shrug your shoulders and know that God will take care of the rest.  ''No problem.''

I have been reading in Preach My Gospel in chapter 9 and it's SO GREAT. I'm so excited to study this for the next few months and to learn about contacting. I also was inspired by what my President said about his mission.  He said really came to know who Jesus Christ is on his mission.  I've made a goal to do that as well.  My yearly goals are slowly coming up from the cracks.  I've already felt so much peace and confidence in talking to everyone and although no potentials have come out of it yet, I'm in practice for the times when they will say yes!  Actually, I was totally in practice and prepared to talk to Patience when the time came.  If I hadn't been, who knows if it would have turned out the way it did!  The Lord's Plan is perfect!
I'm so grateful for the time I've had here in Vienna to serve and continually grow.  This city is beautiful and the people are amazing.  I actually had a really cool talk with a guy yesterday.  We were on a bus on our way to church.  There was a guy sitting across from me.  
''Hey, can a ask you a question?''
''What do you think the purpose of life is?''
''Everything teaches us to love and do good for other people, to serve.'' (not exact quotes)
We talked about Jesus Christ and about the resurrection.  It was so interesting.  I think he got thinking.  I should have given him something before he got off, but I feel like he really went home thinking.  I've learned that teaching is easy.  When you know how to ask good questions, they do the talking and you just listen.  Then you say just basic things you know and testify of it in accordance to what they've said.  The Lord makes it happen.  I get nervous to talk to people when I don't know what level they're on.  I've learned you just hold back, ask a couple questions out of sincerity and love, and they do the thinking.  The people that are ready will pop up.  It's cool!  Still learning a lot, but that principle is awesome :).  Yaaay for future motherhood :).
Love you all!  Can I just give you a pump up and say, I know that all you do is what you think is best.  Obviously or you wouldn't do it, I think.  Father is proud of you, whoever is reading, for trying your hardest, conquering battles, being a friend despite rainy days, and simply living life.  Nothing is wrong with you, OR the people around us.  We're all just living life.  We all are tired sometimes, but keep going.  I know this email is kind of long this week, but I just wanted to share one story from Conference from Elder Terence M. Vinson, ''Drawing Closer to God'':
 A young boy was trying to smooth out the dirt area behind his house so he could play there with his cars. There was a large rock obstructing his work. The boy pushed and pulled with all his might, but no matter how hard he tried, the rock wouldn’t budge.
His father watched for a while, then came to his son and said, “You need to use all your strength to move a rock this large.
The boy responded, “I have used all my strength!”
His father corrected him: “No you haven’t. You haven’t had my help yet!”
They then bent down together and moved the rock easily.

I know that Christ lives and is there to give us strength.  He loves us so dearly!  Let us be humans that act, not that are acted upon.  We lose hope when we allow ourselves to be acted upon, not act and control what God has given us right to control.  I  know that if we pray to know what to do, He'll tell us.  He's anxious to tell us.  It will make us more hopeful and happy if we do receive those things and then act on them.  If you're scared how to act, how to teach a teenage daughter to be careful with guys, how to communicate something important to you with your spouse, how to pay for a sum larger than seemingly possible to pay for, how to read the scriptures when you really don't feel you have time for it, how to cope with the news of an unexpected physical ailment, He knows what to do.  He knows what you're feeling.  He's already felt what you're feeling.  He felt it not just in general, not how your aunt Stacey felt it, not how your brother-in-law experienced it, how and what you felt and are feeling.  Let Him take it.  Let him teach you how to climb.  Rely on His strength that He has because He Himself really does know.  I know this Gospel is true!  In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Sister Packer

Me and the bishops daughter Bella.  THE CUTEST Phillipino kids with British accents.  Whaa?? :)  Mom, you'd die.

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