It snowed yesterday! Because it is so windy here it took a while to stick, but we have maybe two or three inches today. A guy out shoveling snow this morning said we're supposed to get another foot of snow tonight. Sister Smith is from Arizona but had some practice driving in the snow at BYU Idaho so she drives really slow and that is good. I love how the snow makes everything bright and sparkly. It made walking around last night much more cheerful. Maybe I will make a snowman or something today 'cause it is p-day. Staying warm hasn't been too difficult yet. I wear my track tights and my underarmor top every day. Last night I finally gave in and put on my big, long, black parka. I also bundled up with mittens, tights, normal socks, winter boots, a scarf, and a beanie. I bought some tan-ish colored tights that are knit (I don't think they are wool) a while back and tried them out a few days ago. They were very warm and I liked that a lot. Mainly, I think my ankles will be getting cold because my skirts are all about mid-calf and my boots only come up a few inches. So, good Christmas ideas are layers (under or over) and anything else that will keep me warm and protect me from the wind.
Thank you for the Christmas package! Sister Smith and I are enjoying the advent calendar and plan to make gingerbread cookies next week. Tell Julie thanks for the CDs; we both love listening to Christmas music. I think I will give the nativity to the Corrigans (a family in the ward) so that they can give it to Gladys and her kids (an investigator we found this week). That way, both families will benefit from the Christmas spirit that it brings. Gladys is super solid. She went to church as a kid, but never got baptized. So, we taught her the restoration and set her for baptism on December 26th! She is amazing! In that first visit, we read Moroni 10:3-5 with her and asked "How can you know if the Book of Mormon is true?" and she said she knew it was true because it felt good. We were shocked, but quickly recovered and told her that yes, it is true and that the feeling of goodness and peace is the spirit telling her that it is true. When we came back for our next lesson, she said she felt a difference in her home, that it was more peaceful. She is so sensitive to the spirit, I just love it! I have never seen or heard of anyone progressing so quickly.
Gladys came to church yesterday and had a great experience with fast and testimony meeting. All us missionaries bore our testimonies, but I think the most powerful testimonies were the simple ones shared by the little kids. A 7 year old named Erica said simply "I know the church is true. I know that Heavenly Father loves me. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen." I loved it! Two simple truths that she can hold on to to get her through anything. Her sweet, simple testimony really rang true for me so I got up and shared mine. At the end, Cory (the man that Sister Gingrich and Sister Maxfield taught), bore his testimony. He said he couldn't sit still after hearing mine. He said it was the spirit that those two Sisters carried that made him curious enough to listen. He knew the scripture that says you will know them by their fruits and had been disappointed by many churches in the past because their fruits weren't good. But, when he was taught by Sister Maxfield and Sister Gingrich, he saw the goodness and wondered "Who raised these Sisters? How did they get to be so good?" That is why he kept listening and learning and doing what they asked. I hope I can have that same influence on those that I meet.
Well family, I hope you are enjoying and making the most of the Christmas season. Remember, it is all about our Savior, Jesus Christ. His atonement makes it possible for us to return to live with our Heavenly Father. He lead the way and we strive to follow and become more like him. That is the whole purpose, that is why he came: to show us how and provide the way to become like our Heavenly Father and live with them again. I know Heavenly Father loves me and He loves you. He is watching over each one of us and doing all He can to help us come back to Him. We just have to follow. I think my mission is helping me learn to follow the Savior and be more like him. I hope that you are also doing your best to follow the example of Jesus Christ. That is how we will find the greatest, truest, most lasting happiness! I love you all!
Sister Bailey Mortensen