(Bailey had a different preparation day this week so had a ward member email me to let me know not to worry when I didn't get her email on Monday)
I'm glad you got Cory's email. He is quite the guy. He's about 40 and single and Sister Gingrich and Sister Maxfiled taught him in Papillion (just south of LaVista). I love hearing the different view points on his conversion. I guess Sister Gingrich and Sister Maxfield were having a rough day with all their appointments falling through. But, like the dilligent missionaries they are, they looked around for who the Lord wanted them to talk to. They saw Cory outside with a huge dog and went to talk to him. He tried to scare them off by explaining that all churches are corrupt, but that didn't bother them 'cause that meant he already had a testimony of the apostasy. So, they started meeting with him and gave him an experiment. If he would do everything they asked him to do for four weeks (Word of Wisdom, read scriptures, pray, go to church, the works) then he would know if the church was true or not. If he didn't know by the end of those four weeks then he didn't have to get baptized. Well, he took that challenge very seriously and got baptized last spring. Now he does baptisms at the temple twice a week! So, Cory loves us Sisters and is always willing to help, even if it is just telling our parents that we won't be emailing until Tuesday. For future reference, don't worry if you don't get an email on Monday 'cause p-days can switch occasionally.
Sister Gingrich and I have had a good week. The highlight was definitely Luka's baptism. Sister Gingrich called it a "birthday baptism bash!" And for a missionary, what better present could you have for your birthday? I was so happy for Luka! I don't even know how he got to be so amazing. We just taught the lessons and he accepted everything. He loves studying and knows the Bible really well. Now he loves studying from the Book of Mormon too and is developing a strong testimony. All he needs is good friends in the ward to keep helping him learn and feel welcome. I got to speak at his baptism and as I did I felt very strongly Heavenly Father's love for Luka. I knew that God was proud of Luka and super happy for him. Baptism truly is the gate to the celestial kingdom and I just love helping people enter that gate and begin on that path.
On Friday nights all the sisters spend the night at the Trail Center apartments so that we can go to Trail Center training on Saturday morning. So, last Friday night, Elder and Sister Williams (one of the senior couples) threw a little birthday party for Sister Gingrich, Sister Brady, and Sister Anderson. It was a fun little get together with cake and icecream and lots of smiling faces. I love the unity that I feel with all the sisters in the mission.
The Trail Center is all decked out for the Gingerbread event that started this week. There are all kinds of gingerbread houses downstairs so it smells really good. I really liked the Winter Quarters Temple one that one of the districts made and the Noah's Ark one that a family from our ward made. Hopefully, it will help more people come see the Trail Center.
Today we find out about transfers. We are pretty sure nothing will change for us since trainers usually stick with new missionaries for two transfers. Still, I'm very curious to hear what will happen to other companionships. I'm learning that transfers are a very big deal because everyone loves predicting who will go where and be companions with who.
Thanksgiving with Brandy and her boys sounds fun! It will be weird without the Andersens, but good. Sister Gingrich and I will be eating with a couple families in the ward. We also hope to check up on people that might be lonely on Thanksgiving.
Some things I'm thankful for: my testimony of the gospel, Sister Gingrich, letters from friends and family, great people that are open to learning and living the gospel, a nice apartment, President and Sister Kunz, Luka getting baptized, the Book of Mormon, and all the love and support I feel as I serve a mission. I'm grateful for this time that I have to serve the Lord and His children.
p.s. All of Sister Gingrich's birthday presents will help her stay warm and I thought that was genius. So, any layers (underarmor, sweaters, etc.) or other bright ideas for helping me stay warm this winter are great Christmas presents. I already have gloves, but maybe those poly-pro gloves and socks in the closet would be good. By the way, I love my green sweater, my skirts, and my shoes. I get tons of compliments on my wool coat, so thanks to you and Julie and Nat and Sis for helping me find cute clothes.