Hey family!! I love you guys so much! how are you all doing?:) I love and miss you guys like crazy but things are starting to get better:) I have been strengthened and continue to be strengthened more and more every day by the Savior. Being on a mission has definitely been the hardest thing I have ever done up to this point in my life, but looking back on the time that I have been here, I am so thankful for the things that I have had to go through and the things that I am still going through right now because they have brought me so close to my Savior. I would not have been able to come on a mission in the first place and I most definitely wouldn't be here still if it weren't for my Savior. Life is hard, but when we rely completely on the Savior, He strengthens us and comforts us and carries us through those hard times. I am thankful for the testimony of the Atonement and the role of the Savior in my life. The things that I have learned since I have been on a mission are very important to me and I couldn't have learned these lessons anywhere else as quick as you learn them here. Being on a mission is the greatest, hardest, most amazing thing anyone could ever do. I am thankful that I chose to serve and that I am sticking with it even through the hard times. My Savior is my closest friend and with Him, we can do anything.
So I realized that I haven't shared much about Omaha with you guys. Let me tell you, It's gorgeous in the fall! There are so many trees everywhere! You look down the streets and it is covered with trees:) They started changing colors around the time that I got here:) I love it. All of the leaves are falling now because it is getting so cold and winter is approaching. Yikes. I am so not ready for that. We ran out of miles in our mission this last week so we were mostly on foot the whole time. It is getting really cold here. The wind is what kills you. Apparently it is supposed to be a really bad winter. I hope not! Those boots have been great though and have kept my feet nice and toasty:) So thank you mom and dad for helping me find the perfect things!
Apparently the Huskers won their game on Saturday! We were outside walking around when the game was almost over and all of the sudden, I thought we were under attack or something crazy! Everyone ran outside screaming and going nuts! Nebraskans are very dedicated to their football team!! It is the number 1 religion here in Omaha:) haha
I can't remember what Ive shared in the past emails so im really sorry if I repeat myself! Every Tuesday we go on team ups with Sister Cooper (the primary president) for a couple of hours. We go around and visit with less active primary kids and their families and anyone else that we feel like we need to. She is the kindest and craziest person I've ever met. Yes mom, she is an even crazier driver than you if you can believe that:) She has gone through red lights and speeds and is crazy but we have angels around us missionaries so we haven't died yet! haha:) she always takes us out for lunch or dinner as well and it is so great:) there are some great members here in this area so I am so lucky:)
Oh!! Also on Tuesday we met a possible potential investigator!! YAY!! I was so excited! We were initially going to meet a less active member in the ward but she wasn't home. but.. her niece is now living with her and she answered the door. she is 15 years old and very open to what we were telling her. She told us that we could come back and start teaching her what we believe! We stopped by yesterday but she wasn't home. But we are going to keep trying and I feel like good things are going to come from this! I am so excited about that!
We also have another potential investigator. He is progressing really well even if he won't admit it:) His name is C and He is 17 years old. He is a Senior in High School and he is very strong Catholic. He has read the Book of Mormon completely through twice now!! and we have only met with him twice. He says he is only interested in learning about it and he will never convert, but.. I think the Lord has other plans for him:)
On Wednesday we had zone conference which was really great:) You will never believe this but guess what!?!? I sang in front of 1/3 of the missionaries in this mission! ok so it wasn't just me.. it was myself and 3 other sister missionaries that did the musical number but still.. can you believe that? I sang in front of people! missionaries none the less:) haha:) We sang All Creatures of our God and King and the spirit was very strong:) It was a cool experience. President Weston talked a lot about prayer. We need to have meaningful prayer everyday if we are going to make it through our missions. He challenged us to say a vocal personal prayer everyday. I would challenge you to do the same:) It has made a big difference:) A big part of prayer is learning to seek the Lords will for you and being humble and willing to do it. It is really hard sometimes but as we humble ourselves and seek His will for us, He can use us to help bring about great things for Him.
Halloween is really weird on a mission:) we had to go in my 6 unless we were with a member. luckily we were with the Sheleys, an older couple in the ward for dinner, and so we were able to talk and teach them:) It was nice:) We went in at 7:30 and did everything we needed to for the next day with planning and cleaning and whatnot.. so we were able to go to bed at 9:15! I was in Heaven.
THANK YOU for the packages that you sent this week!!!! I loved the food and everything that you sent and I am so thankful for it! It made me so happy!!! thank you for the letters that you sent too! I loved those pictures and cards that you kids sent me:) thank you so much for helping your older sister out:) your encouraging words keep me going:) I am so thankful for the great family that I have. I couldn't do it without you guys:)
I love Sundays:) It is always great when you can partake of the Sacrament and have a fast and testimony meeting. We get to share our testimonies every fast sunday. The Bishop challenged every missionary that serves in our ward to do that. So I feel kinda bad because they always have to listen to 4 testimonies before they can share theirs. But the spirit is always strong and it is a great way to invite the spirit. So I am thankful for the opportunity.
What day is thanksgiving? also if you can find a 2013 calendar anywhere I would love that:) Jacob that is so cool that you rode that pony!! I love the pictures! Ryan I will send you a letter with something ive learned from scriptures! I am so proud of you for reading that and taking on my challenge:) Emily you are doing awesome with reading the scriptures too! I love each of you so much and pray for you daily! I hope you are all doing well:) Know that I love you very much!
Good news! Ive made it 1 month now since I first left:) 1 month down:) yay! It feels like forever and a day:) hopefully time starts moving quicker soon:) haha :) love you all and talk to you next week!
Sister Erica Lynn Christensen