Dear Best Family Ever,
So you might put in an outbuilding and you're thinking about a POOL? Haha whaaattttt?? That's awesome. I told Sister Smith and she goes, "you must have eaten so much food at home, now that you're gone your family can pay for nice things!" I laughed so hard... Blessings from children serving missions. ;) Just kidding. It's crazy to see pictures of the demolition. I hope everyone in the extended family can get a little piece of the log house to keep if they want it. Can't wait to see the finished product!
I'm also really excited about all the missionary work going on in our family. You truly understand and apply how to bring people into the fold through genuine friendship! That's something I love about the ward I'm in... These singles are so good at taking investigators and less actives under their wing. No one looks at them and says, "Hello, I'd like to make you my personal service project." They make them their friends!
Mmk, CONFERENCE. Can I draw little hearts all around that word?? I love it! It's like Christmas! Four hours (6 including the women's) of straight revelation. I think I took a half-dozen pages of notes. My favorite talk was Elder Holland's... He answered a couple of my questions very clearly. I loved it when he got personal and said, "I don't know why circumstances of birth vary... and I may not be my brother's keeper, but I am my brother's brother... and because I have been given much, I too must give." No conference talk has ever made me cry before. The past 4 months have given me a greater understanding of the deep need this fallen world has for Christlike love and service. It was just really motivating for me.
And yes, I LOVED Elder Bednar's talk, too! Funny enough... Our investigator, Steven, who is super Catholic, was there to watch that one session of Conference. Of all the sessions he could have come to, that was the most important, because of that talk. I think it helped him get a better feel four our Church and why we're so eager for him to know if it's true.
Sister Smith and I had a really really great week. Heavenly Father has been so good to us. Conference and my studies have made me very aware of my personal weaknesses, but that has just helped me feel motivated to continually try to do better. I'm just grateful that He is working through us for the benefit of His children even though we have no idea what we're doing! ;)
I've been going through the new testament and marking it by color for each of the Christlike Attributes in Preach My Gospel. Faith = pink, hope = orange, charity & love = red, and so on. It's incredible to see how the Savior's life and teachings literally pinpoint all of those attributes. It's helping me come to understand my Savior better and what exactly I'm trying to emulate. There's something in almost every verse! My New Testament looks like a rainbow! :)
Answering your questions, mom: Stefanie is doing really well. I forgot to give her your email address but I'll do that this week :) She was sick this past week and had her first experience receiving a blessing of healing. We called a few Elders to give her a blessing and I guess she could feel the pain leave her immediately after. Power of the priesthood is real!
Derek is also doing great. We meet with him and the ward missionaries once a week to do his new member lessons. Cool experience from this week's Plan of Salvation lesson... The Spirit was so strong as we looked at the plan laid out on the floor and realized how blessed we are to have that knowledge. The tide of conversation turned naturally to missionary work and our responsibility to share the plan with others. I invited everyone there to think about that one person whose name comes to mind every time we talk about missionary work, and reach out and act on that prompting. And I thought of Gladys Fernandez from high school. :) Mom or Katherine, could you get on my facebook and get her email address for me?
DJ is still going strong. She is struggling financially and emotionally, and sometimes I wish I could just solve her problems! But I know that even if I could, that would deprive her of some necessary faith-building lessons she is learning right now. In her lessons this week we talked about how this pre-baptism time is the perfect time for her to set the patterns of faith and obedience that she will want to have for the rest of her life. She will probably be baptized sometime in November.
Sabrina is doing amazing as well. Every time someone brings up her baptism, she just glows. Her testimony astounds me! She has been diving into the scriptures, marking it up about baptism and obedience. She came to every session of Conference, and said "I wish there was more!" What an example. "If all men had been, and were, and ever would be like unto Sabrina, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever..." Like... Seriously.
We got to do a session in the Las Vegas temple on Wednesday with Amber, and Mom, I thought of you :) Have a wonderful week everybody! The Gospel is the way to lasting happiness!
Lots of Love,