I hope everyone had a great week! I just have to mention how much I'm loving California winters, especially because I know people elsewhere are very very cold. The sun is always shining, perfect temperature of 65 degrees during the day. No rain, no snow, just plenty of sun! Makes biking a lot more enjoyable. Those of you who are frozen from head to toe... I am so sorry! Stay warm! For now, I am just grateful I am in California and not Chicago.
The biggest thing that's happened since my last email was our exchange with the Sister Training Leaders on Saturday. I got to go to an area in Rancho Cordova for the day with Sister Dalley. That was my first time working in another area of Sacramento since I got here so it was good to see what a different area was like! Rancho Cordova reminds me a lot of Queen Creek, AZ when we first moved there. Cookie-cutter neighborhoods, beautiful houses with no yards, right in the middle of nowhere, lots of young families with lots of kids.
While with Sister Dalley, we visited a recent convert named Amanda who lost her husband a month ago due to a heart attack, only 27 years old. Her husband was a less-active member of our church and she had never been interested. When he passed away unexpectedly, leaving her with 2 young children, she realized how much she wanted to be sealed to her family forever. She called up the missionaries and was baptized a few weeks later, in mid-December. She says there is no way she could be coping with her husband's death without the foundation of our gospel.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is truly a gospel of peace and comfort, especially in time of grief. Knowing that we can see our loved ones again after we die and that our families can be together forever are miraculous truths the only true church can bring. I am so grateful for a church with holy temples where we can sealed to our families, not just until the end of this life, but for eternity. I can't wait for Amanda to be able to go to the temple and be sealed to her husband and children. Her story strengthened my testimony and made me so thankful for my forever family!
Sister Dalley taught me about how to have more confidence as a missionary and how to keep working hard, even when all your plans fall through. Every area has its challenges. She also gave me great advice about how to help our investigator Dakota, who is still progressing towards baptism. Sister Dalley and I have a lot in common so it was really fun to serve with her for the day. I enjoyed working with another companion and learning from her. She has been on her mission for over a year! Crazy. Seems so far away for me.
Also this week we went to visit our investigator Howard who we were really excited about. We prepared an awesome lesson for him about forgiveness because he was interested in learning about how all his sins could be washed away. As we knocked on his door, he told us not to come back and that he wouldn't like us to talk to him anymore. Sad day! One day missionaries will find him again and he'll be ready to accept the gospel. After that, we had a random lady police officer named Elena stop us on the side of the road to tell us she was "trippin" because she had never seen girl Mormon missionaries before (hahaha). We talked to her for a little bit and gave her a Mormon.org card. You know, just trying to convert the police officers. That made the sad day after Howard so much better!
"There is not once of us but what God's love has been extended upon...There is not one of us that He has not given His angels charge concerning. We may be insignificant and contemptible in our own eyes, and in the eyes of others, but the truth remains that we are the children of God, and that He has actually given His angels-invisible beings of power and might-charge concerning us, and they watch over us and have us in their keeping." -George Q. Cannon (from a talk given by President Eyring entitled "To My Grandchildren")
The Lord is so mindful of each one of us and the things we go through each and every day. He places people in our paths to help us and strengthen us, and we can be those people for others. I have felt angels all around me since being on my mission. We truly are sons and daughters of God, our Heavenly Father, and He loves us more than we can ever comprehend. Never lose sight of your divine identity!
Have a great day everyone! I love and miss every single one of you!