[Just so you are aware of the number of exclamation points we take out to make her emails easy to read, above is how she says "hello" :) ]
This week has been pretty great!! I can't believe October is almost over. We were super busy with exchanges and meetings this week - it's crazy how tired they make you!! I love them though. It is seriously getting soooo freezing here!! I'm already wearing tights, boots, scarves, my winter coat, and layering my sweaters cause I just freeze!!! I finished the Book of Mormon this morning!!!! I'm trying to read it 3 times before I come home and I've read it twice now!
Tuesday we spent the day in Mahomet! I forgot how much I love it there. Like seriously. That is probably my favorite area so far - the people are just so amazing!!! It was nice to be able to go back and visit for a day. I got to see Biscuit and Mama, Sis. Palumbo, Shelly Stafford, and then we had dinner at the Springers! They were excited to see me too which made me feel good. For about an hour, we went to a grocery store parking lot with the Elders and sang hymns with a ukelele while it was pouring rain and like no one listened to us but it was still kinda fun. I spent the day with Sister Johnson and Sister Woodward spent the day with Sister Larimer. Sister Larimer is waiting for her visa and is seriously so awesome!!! She is adorable. She's always wanted to go on a mission and is so excited to be here and even sleeps in her missionary tag because she only gets to wear it for 18 months. She's so great!
Wednesday I spent the day with Sister Collett and we were on the University of Illinois campus. It was so fun to be on the campus!!!! Like I think it would be so fun to serve there. The campus there is pretty awesome and it made me miss BYU and like the whole college atmosphere but there are just so many people to talk to and we were able to hand out a lot of Book of Mormons and I just thought it was so much fun!! I can see how it would be hard though cause like everyone is going to and from class and so you get a lot of potential investigators from it and you stay busy talking to people all day but at the end of the day, you don't necesarily have a ton of new investigators or anything - does that make sense?? Anyway, it was fun to be there!!
Thursday we were on exchanges in Charleston with Sister Bierman and Sister Sheppard. I honestly think one of my favorite parts of exchanges is that typically my first impression of people changes! In a good way! Like some of the exchanges I haven't been super excited to go on because of my first opinion of some of the sisters but then I spend the day with them and almost always my opinion changes. I'm grateful for that! Thursday night we drove back to Highland!
Friday we had MLC in St. Louis and after MLC, we had our ward trunk-o -treat and chili cook off. Steve brought 2 of his daughters who aren't members and I talked to them for a while and they are so awesome! Hailey is 17 and Alyssa is 18 and Hailey is like really creative and is like amazing and decorating cupcakes and stuff and so we are going to have her teach us and then hopefully from doing things like that with her we can start to teach her or something!!! Idk we'll see!!!
Saturday was pretty much the only day we had in our area but it was sooo great!!!!!! We were able to meet with all of our investigators and make really great progress with them!!!!!!! Okay so first of all we met with Alannah. The sacrament is really important to her and so we asked her if she would like to teach Gospel Principles with us on Sunday and she was more than happy to. So we went to her house and planned the lesson while we made cookies AND discussed baptism with her because she's like totally ready but she just wont make a commitment. But it went so well!!! After Alannah, we had a lesson with a media referral we got a couple weeks ago. Her name is Annette and her husband is a member. She has been going to sacrament meeting with him and went to stake conference and watched general conference and she has a TON of questions. It seriously amazes me how prepared some people are!!! Like she pretty much just asked us what she needs to do to get baptized. She comes from a Catholic family and I guess women in the Catholic church pray through the virgin Mary? And she was wondering if we do anything like that and then she asked how she would be able to take the sacrament and why we don't have confession and how she can be a good member of the church. She just had so many questions and it was so cool!! After Annette, we went to the Westfalls. Sister Westfall is a member and her husband, Matt, isn't. He comes to church every week and listens to the Book of Mormon on tape and is a scout leader and already serves a ton of people in the ward but he is scared to get baptized because he feels like there's a lot of responsibility that would be coming with it and having a calling scares him. We're like.... Matt.... you're already doing more than what you probably would as a member!! We just read an Ensign article with him (it's a really good one from the October one about the kings horse getting prepared for war) and he said he would pray about a date he would feel comfortable with getting baptized!!! It was so great!!!!! After the Westfalls, we had a lesson with the Clarks! I think I told you about them a couple weeks ago. The wife is a member and her 2 kids are, but her husband Jim, and her step daugher, Quinn aren't members. We had dinner with them a couple weeks ago and they both agreed to take the lessons! So we met with the Clarks and taught them the restoration and it was Quinns first time hearing it all (she's 16) and she thought it was so cool!!! I feel like sometimes you don't know how people will take the Joseph Smith story but she just thought it was really awesome and she believes that it happened. The husband, Jim, has taken the lessons like 4 times and he was like helping us teach!! It's so weird like he's not a member but he was helping us explain everything like he already believes it all. We were talking about prophets and he was like "well it just makes sense that we have a prophet today, why would God just stop giving us a prophet?" It was so great!!!!! Anyway, that was our Saturday and our investigators are AMAZING!!!!!!
Sunday we had church and Alannah helped us teach about the sacrament in gospel principles and did so well! Last night we had a lesson with Steve about the priesthood and he is so excited to get it. It's cool because he understand how important the preisthood is already and is so honored to even be considered to hold it. He's for real going to be like a Bishop someday.
Anyway, that was pretty much my week!!! Transfer calls are this Saturday - weird huh? We have 2 exchanges this week and then we are done with all 11 of them!! For Halloween we have to be in at 6:00. We can be at a members homes if they drive us to their house but so far we don't really have any plans yet. I think it would be fun to carve a pumpkin but we'll see!!
Welp, I think that's all!!!! I know this church is true and I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. If we read it and apply it to our lives we can learn from it and become the people that the Lord wants us to become. We have so much potential but we have to work for it!! I hope you all have a super fabulous week!! I miss you all like CRAZY and I LOVE YOU BUNCHES AND BUNCHES AND BUNCHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!