Thursday, December 22, 2011

Week 44

Hey family! Merry Christmas!!!

Well, our wards are finally getting around to recognizing it is the holiday season-we walked into our building yesterday and it was more than satisfactorily decorated :) and we have our ward Christmas parties on Friday and sat night. Other than that no big plans for Christmas. Saturday we have plans to go to an active member's place and make gingerbread houses :) i couldn't have Christmas without that tradition :) we'll probably do them graham cracker style, but its the best we can do here.

This week we had fun? maybe. Transfer week. Lots of switching and sharing companions as everything was trying to get figured out. 14 missionaries left the mission on wed and we got 4 on Thurs. i can't imagine how much fun the office had figuring that one out. biggest consequence is that one of our wards is without elders. eh. that's okay. it just means they'll have to love us more. Thursday we had a big mission conference with elder/president Bennett of the area presidency? maybe. i can't keep all the general authorities straight here. It was inspiring. but im still trying to figure out all the revelation and events from the passed few weeks-zone conference on being discouraged, my 'emergency' interview with president and the counsel he gave me, and the help we are getting from our members. its almost like all the personal attention and counsel is shining brighter than the general missionary advice we were given at the conference. but that's okay. i'll take personal revelation over that any day. I'm just grateful heavenly father loves me. isn't that the best knowledge ever? i know god loves me because i can feel it. it is the reason i can have confidence each day. it is the reason i am not only waiting for the second coming of Christ but working toward it. its kinda the reason im still out here living the gospel.

Saturday night was another "celestial reunion" we went to a stake activity to pass an investigator to some other sisters and i got to see everyone from our old ward. i'll attach a pic of me with sis Biesinger with some of our favorite RS sisters. they were shocked her and i are serving together again.

the stake activity was a play about the birth of Christ...yeah Christmas.

if there is anything i could beg of all of you back home it is to not get caught up in the stress of Christmas. being on a mission we don't have a lot of resources to do much else besides spiritually celebrate the birth of Christ...and i am ever so grateful i don't have the worldly expectations of Christmas getting in the way. Share the spirit of Christmas through the spirit of Christ-the holy ghost-your testimonies. that kind of love -the love of God that i just talked about above is the most eternally giving gift you can give.

i love you!!!
sister little

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Week 43

Dear family and friends,
yes you probably noticed my last few emails have been quite depressing. it happens. but finally some relief of the burdens came this week. we had zone conference, life changing conversations with senior couples, were able to go to the temple, had exchanges, had testimony meeting, and interviews with ...all good, spiritually uplifting experiences. i can give a little more details about each of these things in the short time i have left...

zone conf
he spent the first hour of the conference talking about discouragement (exactly what i needed some counsel on). more helpful has been a few Holland talks he has sent us to read..i'll attach one so you can read it too....this one is def something i needed to hear. i think i wrote last week that the spirits of the devil are more visible than the light of the gospel...and that really had been so true right now and this talk addresses just that. way good timing
senior couples

we ran into a senior sister here helping with institute-so we see her pretty often since our building also is the institute building. we told her a little bit about how we've been struggling with discouragement and desire and how we feel this heaviness around us. she said she has felt the same way too the past couple weeks. she said it had gotten so bad she asked her husband for a blessing because the dark mist in front of her was so real, she felt she could cut a knife through it. as i heard this, i thought, "no! not you too!" and realized Satan is working HARD here to get anyone he can. i just wanted to give her a hug and tell her that she is making a difference her and that god is really supporting her in her work! and in that moment when i wanted to consol her, my worries flew out the window and i realized i need to be happy to help lift other people. we also talked about how we were sent here at this time on earth probably because of how violently we fought in the war in heaven. and how heavenly father expects us to fight just as hard and valiantly now like we did then...its going to be hard. that's why he sent us here at this time. (we did deliver flowers to this sister later in the week to help lift her and thank her)

the group from whatever country canceled their trip so the temple wasn't too busy, so we were allowed to go. i went wed morning. ehem. and wed night. ;) wed morning so my companion could have a chance to go (otherwise she wouldn't be able to b/c of exchanges the rest of the week), then we all switched companions on wed afternoon for sisters exchanges and wed night a couple was going through the temple for the first time who i helped teach. they were baptized a year ago and i became pretty close to them in my last area, so i got to be there for them to receive their endowment. they were sealed on sat but i couldn't go. that's okay. it was an amazing experience. as we arrived to the temple on wed morning a thick fog had settled in the city so much so that you couldn't see anything 10 feet in front of you. as we walked toward the temple, we had to walk through the temple grounds gate before we could see the temple. when we came out of that session, the fog had cleared up and the temple was as visible as ever....Symbolic? i say so. the temple helped clear my mind so much. i took pictures of the contrasting view but i forgot my cord, so i'll send them next week.

always good to break things up. what did i learn most? i can survive on my Russian but i need to pick back up the study. i was with a sister in her 2nd transfer and realized that i could get us around, if i am ever with a companion who knows less Russian than me...i really need to know Russian. so it was a good boost to motivate me to hit the books.

testimony meeting
i didn't really want to testify but realized that means i probably need to do it to make sure i still have the spirit. i testified on the power of prayer. recently our mission pres has asked us to pray with people we contact on the street to help them feel the spirit and accept the invitation to learn more. definitely uncomfortable...awkward, but we tried it. the first lady we did this with was names janna. she was super nice, receptive, and interested. we told her we are here as missionaries to serve people and to teach truth and help people feel gods love through prayer. and then we prayed. simple. while she expressed a desire to learn more, we haven't been able to meet with her. we keep weekly phone contact though. well this week we ran into on the street again. and you know what she said to us?...oh girls life is just so hard? can we say another prayer right now? so we said another prayer with her on the so cool she believed in the power of prayer enough to REQUEST it of us on the street as everyone is walking passed us, cars driving by, etc, so i called all the members to say prayers with their friends and your faith in prayer!

and interview with pres.
my comp and i requested interviews to get some direction. i wont go into too much detail....due to time...but he gave me a blessing. i cried even after he suggested that he wouldn't let me leave without receiving a blessing from him. Just the power of the priesthood, the protection and comfort we can receive from ever so grateful and couldn't do this mission with it. or the blessings of the temple.
thank you for all your prayers and concern for me. i hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!!!
sister kylie little