Hey family! I love you all so much! how are you all doing?:) I am so thankful for the wonderful family that I have back at home:) you guys are the greatest and such a strength to me! thank you for the great examples you set and for sacrificing time to write me some uplifting letters:) they help so much!
I'm sorry I wasn't able to email yesterday with Veterans Day. All of the libraries were closed. Hopefully you guys weren't too worried because of that! I'll try to warn you guys in the future if I remember stuff like that:)
I'm kind of stumped on what to write about:) hopefully as I start typing I'll remember some things so that this letter isn't too terribly boring:) haha
On Saturday, we went to Alex Simpson's blessing. She had turned 8 years old and has such a special spirit. She was born with a brain stem, but no brain. I'm not sure on the specifics of how that works though. She wasn't able to get baptized, but she has no physical way to sin. So they decided to give her a Priesthood blessing to her instead. It was a very neat thing to be a part of. She has a very special spirit and I am so thankful that I was able to meet her and be a part of such a spiritual thing.
Speaking of Priesthood blessings, I had someone in the ward give me a blessing on Sunday. I needed one really bad so I shouldn't have put it off for so long, I just wasn't sure who to ask because I'm not really that close with anyone here. But I asked Brother Cooper to and it was a really cool experience. I haven't felt the spirit as strongly in a while as I did in that moment. There were some really neat blessings promised in there and I knew that Heavenly Father was very mindful of me and my circumstances. I feel much better now that I have had that blessing and I am so thankful for the priesthood and the blessings we can receive from it. Don't take advantage or for granted the priesthood that you have in our home. You will recognize once you are out in the real world, what a blessing that is. I really miss having that influence in my home that I could turn to whenever I needed it. So take advantage of that:) I know dad will appreciate that:)
Oh! on a silly note.. I had the most awkward member dinner on sunday! It was horrible! The dad had a huge beard, the mom was breastfeeding the baby at the table the whole time, their boy threw up everywhere, and they wouldn't talk to us:) haha we literally asked so many questions and tried to get them to talk to us but it was no use! they would reply with one word answers at the most. So it was really awkward and what a struggle! haha:)
We met with and taught the T's again this past week. They are doing well. He has now successfully gone a week without smoking and drinking, she will have hit her 90 day mark for that this month. M has a court date coming up this month. It was supposed to be last week but it got postponed. She feels very strongly that things will work out the way they should though. She has such great faith. She is 20 weeks pregnant now and so He is trying to prepare himself so that he can give the baby blessing when it comes. They are also making plans to go to the temple and be sealed as a family in a year from now. So that is really exciting! They are doing great! I'm so happy and humbled that I am able to help them on their journey:)
One thing that I have been focusing on this week is more meaningful prayer. If we want to be successful as missionaries or life in general, we need to be having meaningful prayer. I think one reason why some of our prayers aren't answered the way we'd like, is because we are praying for the wrong things and asking the wrong questions. So one thing that I have been doing is I take a few minutes while I'm kneeling before I start to pray and I try to recognize and feel what the spirit is prompting me to pray for. It has been very interesting as I have been doing this, to see how my prayers have changed and the things that I pray for change. I would challenge you to take a look at your prayers and find one way that you could make them more meaningful. The blessings are great when you do this.
I bought a Nebraska Huskers Football T shirt:) so now im officially a true Nebraskan:) haha I loved the picture of Ashley at the Utah game:) she is filling my position as the #1 fan pretty well while im away:)
Thank you for the package that I received this past week and the beautiful cards from the kids! I am writing you guys thank you cards for all of that so expect them towards the end of this week sometime:) thank you for the thoughtful gifts:) I loved them all! You guys are great! I am so thankful for the support and encouragement that you show towards me:)
C.S lewis also wrote: "A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is.. You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down." The prophet Joseph Smith related from his own experience, "The nearer a person approaches the Lord, a greater power will be manifested by the adversary to prevent the accomplishment of His purposes". Satan is real. He knows our potential and what we can do. He will do everything He can to get you anyway He can. But we can put Him in his place:) We have a loving Father in Heaven and Christ on our side and when we turn to them, they will strengthen us to withstand Satan and his attempts. When life gets too hard to stand.. kneel:) I know that as we turn to our Savior and Father in Heaven in everything, we will receive the strength and comfort to get through, and OVERCOME, EVERYTHING!!! I know that that is true:) I have seen it especially over the last month:)
All of our appointments with our investigators fell through.. so I don't have any cool stories with that.. but hopefully I will next week!!! Oh and don't worry about me:) I have my hard points but I'm not going to quit:) I just keep swimming:) I will be fine:)
I love you all so much!!
Sister Erica Lynn Christensen:)