last day of November 2015!

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Fun week! We have been having great experiences with the members in the ward. We have had a lot to do because several members have given us names of nonmember friend and neighbors to try, and we’ve also visited a ton of less active members that have been suggested to us. We went out with a lady Nancy in our ward to go visit people and it was super fun! We accidentally visited someone on the “do not contact” list but it worked out because we both don’t know anything yet so we can get away with more:) Brother Christiansen (ward mission leader) also went around with us to bring ice cream pies to a couple members and a couple of our friends we are teaching.

We had a great lesson with Jorge and Christine. They are awesome (also pretty much the only ones who want to be taught right now) and we had a Thanksgiving-y lesson. President Uchtdorf gave a talk about how the blessings God wants us to have are like rain showering down all around us. We just can’t always see that because we are holding up an umbrella……….an umbrella of doubt, fear, and sin. I think I’d add apathy to that as well. Through the gospel we learn to close that umbrella and remove the things that cause us to feel distant from God’s love. Christine had the idea of all of us thinking of something we can do to recognize our blessings more. So this week we are all trying to love and appreciate our families (/mission companion), have meaningful morning prayer, and smile more 😀

Every other Wednesday we go help at the Bishop’s storehouse here in Knoxville…… along with a dozen other missionaries (mostly elders) who get a little weird when they are all together….it’s a little hazardous. One of them injured me but don’t worry it’s scabbing over, I’m ok 🙂

On Thanksgiving we went to the Christiansen’s! They are my favorite. They had some cousins over too. Sister Christiansen goes all out and made everything picture perfect and even had music in the background. So delicious. Then they introduced us to their zipline…..perfectly safe Thanksgiving activity right?. We were so glad they invited us because we weren’t sure where we were gonna go until Sunday. Felt very spoiled. And they are planning an FHE for tonight with their neighbors and want us to share the Christmas video (christmas.mormon.org) and a message so we are excited for that.

Sunday was wonderful! We have a great ward council, we spend a lot of time talking about visits……who was visited in the past week, who we want to visit in the coming week. Very helpful and it made us feel good that we have been able to meet a lot of members and that good things are happening! We taught Relief Society class yesterday about ward unity…..that topic always comes up in my head whenever I’m asked to teach or speak and it must be important because it always goes super well and brings a good feeling to the room. The ladies came up with ideas and ways to help each other and be welcoming and reach out to people in the congregation that they don’t know as well.

Through the many tracting/door knocking adventures we had this week (we have no one to teach and are getting desperate haha) my favorite was this lady named Sheila that we met. We were going to contact a referral that a member gave us, and they wanted us to act like we just happened upon them, so we figured we better talk to 1 or 2 people before we “happened upon” this family. So Sister Skinner chose the house with the most Christmas decorations and there we met Sheila. Before we left that morning for some reason I had the thought “family history” come into my head……and so I grabbed a family history card (which we rarely if ever use) and stuck it in my Bible just in case. When we met Sheila she said “Oh, we have been talking about the Mormon church a lot in our house lately. I’ve been doing a lot of family history and I’m descended from Lucy Mack’s brother Daniel.” Lucy Mack Smith is Joseph Smith’s mother, who wrote a book about her son Joseph. We asked if we could bring over stories from that family and she said we could! So that was a fun little coincidence. Then we contacted the referral and that didn’t pan out but because the member gave us that referral, we were able to talk to Sheila so it was worth it:)

All righty running out of time, talk to you later!

– Victoria

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