Thank you so much for your letters and emails - I look forward to reading them every Monday!! Except, since yesterday was Presidents Day, the library was closed so that's why I'm writing today! In church on sunday I learned something that was a good reminder to me! The speaker was talking about gossip and how even though something might be true or is true about someone and it's negative, it's still gossip and you shouldn't do it. I thought it was a good reminder. Last Monday we had zone p-day and we just played get to know you games and then while we wrote letters and stuff the elders played basketball and volleyball. And then we were at Trader Joes and this guy was like "Hello Sister... that's what it says on your nam tag right?" I told him that I was a missionary and he started talking about how he has always admired our church because we are squeaky clean in a really good way and All-American. We talked to him a little more and got his name and number and he got our number and he said he was really interested in learning more. His name is Tom. So, a couple days later we called him to set up a time and we decided we would meet on Sunday. On Sunday after church, we met with him and talked to him about the Book of Mormon and a little bit of the restoration. He has been going to other churches and told us he doesn't like how other churches change their doctrine based on what the world is doing. Obviously our church is so perfect for him!! He talked about some other opinions he had and they are all seriously in line with what we believe. It was so awesome!!! And unlike a lot of other people he told us he can't say anything isn't true yet because he doesn't know! Usually people are like I don't need to find out I already know the Book of Mormon isn't true. So we gave him a Book of Mormon and told him to pray about it and stuff and then we said a prayer and everything and when we were putting our stuff away we were asking him when he would like to meet again and he was like, well would you like me to come to your church next Sunday or something? We LOVE TOM!!!! Who asks that?? Anyway, so he is coming to church and we are so excited! It's so weird, how like usually I feel like I would be super embarrassed to talk about this kind of stuff in public but like I wasn't at all. We had three Book of Mormons on the table in front of us and people coming in and out of Starbucks and we probably looked ridiculous but it's weird how that has changed for me since I've been here. Sister Jonson and I know that he is definitely one of those people that have been prepared and it's such a good feeling!
Last Tuesday we had service and I always love going there. Today, one of the ladies, Linda, told Sister Johnson and I to come with her. We followed her down a hall and into a room where a ton of quilts were hanging that her church made and she said, I've already bought one for each of you so pick one out that you like. How nice is she?? It made our day, she was so sweet to do that for us and the quilts are cute! On Monday night the exchange sister, Sister Grover, and her companion Sister Ash came and then we went on exchanges Tuesday and Wednesday. On Tuesday I was with Sister Grover, she goes home in April. She is definitely a good missionary and all but she is your typical sister missionary with the tone and all. She hardly ever let me talk in lessons or tracting so it got kind of annoying, but I still learned from her. And it was hard cause she wasn't conversational at all and so I got to know her pretty well but she never asked me questions, but oh well. We visited Jane and Dorothy. They are less active members but have been coming regularly for the past couple months. They are getting ready to go to the temple so we talked to them about it and we read the talk "Temple Standard" with Jane. It's a really good talk and you should read it.
On Wednesday, we did something called a blitz where multiple companionships tract a certain area. Me, Sister Johnson, Sister Grover, Elder Christensen, and Elder Nelson all came to Frontenac and tracted for a couple hours. Since we were still on exchanges, I was with Sister Ash and Sister Johnson was with Sister Grover. Sister Ash was so sweet!! I loved her. We both came to St. Louis at the same time. She is Samoan and Tongan and we just talked the whole time and it was fun to get to know her and talk to her. Sister Ash and I found 2 potential investigators! And we had 1 lesson too and no one else did.
On Valentines Day we visited a less active because it was her birthday and talked to her for about 45 mins. She has had such a hard life and it was so sad. I'm glad we got to go over and visit her. We tried to visit some other less actives in the area near her but none of them were home.
We had a lesson with Grace and Ethan. They are doing so well!! Grace is 11 and she followed up on her reading assignment and understands everything and likes coming to church. Ethan has a hard time paying attention but when he has something to say it is so sweet and he understands as well.
After that, we had a dinner at an older ladies’ home in the ward and she’s totally losing it and it is so sad! When we got there, she hadn't even started dinner. But so she put the roles in and she forgot she put them in and they burned and then corn was sour and the salad dressing was expired and she kept gassing like a lot but it was so sad. She was so sweet though and gave us valentine cookies and all the leftovers. But after a little, her daughter came and she used to work in admissions for the accounting program at BYU! cool huh?? She doesn't anymore though.
Bad news :(. Remember Soucha?? Well we totally thought we were going to be able to set a baptism date for her and that everything was going well. Then, earlier this week her mom texted us and was like "Soucha wants to stop having you come over and teach. She doesn't want to get baptized and doesn't want to be asked why not. So it's best that you guys hold off." It was so terrible. We were so bummed. We talked with the leaders in Ward Council on Sunday about her and they think a lot of it is her mom because her mom doesn't discourage baptism but she doesn't encourage it either and always tells Soucha how she's going to get in lots of trouble when she's older. So... we can't meet with her anymore.
We had a lesson with Julie on Friday and it was kinda our lesson to decide weather to drop her or not because she's been taking the lessons for about a year now. We read the talk "Doing the right thing at the right time without delay" (another super great talk you should read) and she really liked it and it meant a lot to her. We challenged her to watch a Mormon Message everyday, starting with "Your Potential, Your Privileges" (definitely watch it). The online elders that are teaching her called us yesterday and said something has definitely changed in her and she is making an effort to move forward. So that's exciting!!! On Friday we also went to the temple!!! We are allowed to go once a transfer. It was so beautiful and I really looked forward to going there all week. When we got there, the office sisters (they are all like grandmas) were there too!! After, they told us to come to pizza with them at the pasta house and they bought us pizza. The office sisters are our favorite.
A lady in our ward told us about this non-member knitting group that meets at our church so we were like, um perfect! So we went there and they are just a ton of old ladies that literally spend their day knitting. They make some super incredible things. But it didn't really fulfill our purpose in going there. We thought we were going to be able to talk to a lot of them and stuff but it was mostly listening so we probably wont go again. But I learned how to knit haha... not my thing.
Yesterday was our Pday! Me, Sister Johnson, Elder Nelson, Elder Christensen, Elder Anderson, and Elder Sims all went to the Science museum at Forest Park. It was kinda lame to be honest... but anyway, so I figured I was going to be inside all day and warm, but we got bored at the science museum so we decided to go to the zoo "across the street" (in the Elders terms). So anyway, since I thought I was going to be inside and everything, I left my coat and bag in the car, and I decided to wear flats and not my boots. So the Elders were like, lets just go to the zoo, it's right across the street. Not only is it cold and windy outside, but a mile and a half later, we arrived at the zoo, just in time for it to start pouring. By then, Elder Nelson had given me his coat and Elder Sims gave us his umbrella. !
The zoo was closing early that day so we left and had to walk all the way back to the science museum where our car was. Except, the Elders don't have a car so they take the bus. So they only had to walk like 5 minutes and they were at their bus stop, which meant we had to give the umbrella and jacket back, but Sister Johnson and I still had like over a mile to go. Elder Sims let us keep the umbrella though. Anyway, there I am with no coat, no umbrella, flats, while it is POURING rain (when it rains here it doesn't stop), running across the freeway (the "shortcut" the Elders gave us). We went a little further but decided it just wasn't a good idea so we called a taxi. We still had so far to go!!! But it was fun. But the zoo there is apparently one of the best zoos in America and Forest Park is larger than Central Park. It's actually really cool. There's apparently a super super awesome art museum in it and Sister Johnson and I are going to go to it next week. Since it's Sister Johnsons birthday next week, we got permission to switch our P day from Monday to Thursday (her birthday) next week, because the Art Museum isn't open on Mondays. So I'm excited!
Well... I think that's all! I will send some pictures from the last couple weeks! New missionaries are coming next Wednesday so we have the potential of being put in a three some. We hope not but the chances are pretty high. Anyway, I hope you all have a really great week!!! I love hearing from all of you and everything that is going on in your life! I love you and miss you so much and you are all always in my prayers. I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!