10 Weeks of Updates

Hi my amazing family! 

This week has been BUSY! We had a new missionary follow-up training on Tuesday to finish up our training with our trainees! I can't believe my baby girl is almost grown! Sister Allen's training went by wayyy too fast! I will miss her lots! There is a possibility though that we will stay together another transfer! President told us that he is trying to make as few changes as possible for the Holidays! (by holidays he meant, Christmas, New Years, & my birthday!!! duh!) After the meeting we all went to Smash Burger for lunch and then went to a massive service project with our zone! We all raked leaves for a little park that is in the middle of downtown Colorado Springs. Such an edifying and fun day! 

Wednesday, we had the incredible opportunity to take Elder and Sister Sitati with us (Elder Sitati is a member of the Seventy) for a couple of lessons! I was so thrilled and the experience was incredible! We visited Norma first and read the Book of Mormon with her, since she will be attending the temple this next Wednesday!! As we read, we paused to discuss the things that we were reading, and out of no where, Elder Sitati began asking Norma questions about herself and her family. He talked to her about how she will be moving soon and how she will be able to bless her children with the gospel when she moves to be closer to them. He then tied the scriptures that we were reading into her life and into her situation. I was amazed!! When he spoke, it was powerful, yet kind. I was so uplifted by him, and just being in his presence was an honor! We then visited the Sisneros family with them, we taught the Plan of Salvation and the Sitatis were so amazed at the knowledge that Eliana and Isaac have of the Gospel! The lesson was so spiritual and amazing and afterwards Elder Sitati looked at us and said, "Well Sisters, that was very well done! Thank you!" I was speechless! When then got to drive them all the way to the mission home (about 30 mins) and we talked to them the whole way there about the work and we got to ask him tons of questions. He also gave us tons of advice about working with members and stuff like that! He is so incredible! I wish that all of you were able to meet him! 

Thursday we had the mission tour! It began around 12ish and we had a wonderful lunch, we then got to be addressed by President Stevenson and the Sitatis! At the beginning of the mission tour, we performed a musical number and it went so well! We put one person per part on a trio and then had two Elders take the Melody, it was so beautiful! I was so overwhelmed this day by a love for the work! I learned so much and left feeling so uplifted! I am so excited to continue working hard day by day! 

Friday we had district meeting and then kinda chilled at home cause Sister Allen has been really sick. So while she slept, I packed up some of our things into boxes and got things ready to move on Monday! Fun day! I also did weekly planning all by my lonesome.. but it's ok! She honestly was so sick and needed to rest! It made me so sad to see my baby girl sick:( 

Saturday we packed the rest of our things to avoid having to do it on Sunday... We did not even realize how many things were in our apartment until we started putting them in boxes.... We had sooo many pots and pans HOLY COW! I started to realize today that I may not be here in Broadmoor area for the Holidays... Transfers are on the 5th and I am praying that I get to stay just a little longer:( I love it here soooo much! 

Sunday we went to church, Lynn and Chance came!!! YAY! They are finally home! We had our dinner cancel... kinda.. well, long story but yea, we ate popcorn and drank hot chocolate for dinner!!! GO US! And then we went to the Caton's home and celebrated Elder Willes' birthday with everyone by having Banana Splits! So fun! It was a really amazing week!!! 

This morning, (Monday) we moved into our new apartment! I will try to do an apartment tour video to show you all what it looks like!!! you will love it! It is complete with a WALK-IN CLOSET!!!! My dreams have come true!!!!!!!!!!! Sorry mom, I am never coming home! 

Anyways, the church is true!!!!! I love it so much here! And am about to hit my 6 month mark! how????? I also want to tell my little sis HAPPY BIRTHDAY ON THE 23RD!!!!!!! STOP GROWING!!!!!!! and also HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!!!!!!!! I love you all so much! 

Here are some things that I am grateful for this year! Make sure to tell all the fam when you go to Nanny and Poppy's for Thanksgiving dinner ok??

1. My Family

2. The Gospel

3. My Savior

4. My Companion

5. The Colorado Sky

6. My Friends

7. My NEW APARTMENT

8. The Book of Mormon

9. Chick fil a 

10. All of the amazing people that I have the opportunity to teach! 

I love you guys!!!!! Have a great week! 

-abs

 

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Hey Family! 

Happy Thanksgiving this last week! And Happy Birthday Katie! I missed you lots! 

This week was an amazing one!!!!!!! 

Tuesday we pretty much just unpacked after the move and then had a 20 minute dinner with the Elders at a members house.. lol! After dinner, the Elders texted us and said, "there is a walkie talkie in your bag, turn it on." I looked in my bag and there was a walkie talkie in it! hahahah! I laughed so hard and turned it on and heard Elder McCombs say, "Yo, this is Elder McTrump!" hahaha I laughed so hard. I guess Elder McCombs got walkie talkies for our district just for fun and they work up to 16 miles! hahah! 

Wednesday was the best day EVER! We drove up to Denver with Norma and the Maddox's with temple recommends in hand!!!!!!! FIRST TEMPLE DAY OF MY MISSION! We arrived around 10 and were able to see Norma sealed to her parents! She looked like an absolute angel! This was a day that I have been waiting for since I first met her and it finally came! Everything ran so smoothly and the spirit was so strong all day:) As I sat in the celestial room after the sealing, I was overwhelmed by the Spirit and felt so much peace! Afterwards, we went to... *drum roll* CAFE RIO!!!!! Yes! Not kidding! It was amazing! I felt like I was in Heaven! I didn't want the day to end! We also stopped at Deseret Book and Norma looked like a kid in a candy store! She was picking up books left and right and wanted them all (she is the one who studies the gospel all day everyday!) She ended up buying me and Sister Allen some beautiful, hand carved ornaments from Jerusalem that came from the Garden of Gethsemane! She is so incredible! I just love her so much! The day couldn't have been better! 

Thursday!!!! HAPPY THANKSGIVING! 

Oh man, I wish I could have been at Nan and Pop's this day... but it's ok, cause members made it so fun! We had dinner around 2:00 at Brother Johnson's home and none of his family were members so it was different for sure, but they were all so sweet! The dinner was amazing too! I actually really liked it and I am not a thanksgiving dinner fan... After that, we went to the Taylor's, which is where the Elders ate, and we all played games! On the way there, Sister Allen and I started telling each other all of the things that we are grateful for! It was so special and made me feel so close to home!! But the Taylor's was a blast and we all laughed so hard. We played a game called "bean boozeled".. and it is where you choose a jelly bean and it is either a good flavor or a bad one and then you have to eat it and figure out what it is... idk if that made sense.. haha but it was so fun! I got a jelly bean and it was either gonna be "dead fish" or "smoothie" and it was dead fish...... I almost barfed on their floor! hahah! Soooo nasty! We told funny stories and laughed soooo hard that my face hurt! Then we ate dessert and laughed some more! So much fun! It truly felt like home! 

Friday we had zone training and we were introduced to the new "Light the World" initiative! It truly is so amazing and I would like to extend an invitation to all of you to watch the video and then to commit to do the initiative! I am going to do it too! There are videos each day of December, leading up to Christmas, to watch that go along with each day's task! It is so amazing to think about others throughout this Christmas season! That's what it's all about right?? Then think of how each person you serve will turn around and serve someone else! The world will be so bright this Christmas!!! At the end of our zone training, we did a zone blitz and went downtown in the Springs to tell people about the Christmas "Light the World" initiative!! It was so much fun! We also found so many potential investigators! We met a lady named Kaycee and told her all about the gospel and she accepted a Book of Mormon and said she wants to meet with us! MIRACLES! 

We also got to see the SIsneros on Friday and Sarah, the mom, said the closing prayer!!!! MORE MIRACLES! 

Saturday we did service and then weekly planned!

Sunday was awesome! Chance was able to receive the priesthood and we will be taking him and Lynn to the temple to do baptisms for the dead on Saturday! We can hardly wait! I can't believe how many Miracles we are seeing this transfer! I just don't want it to ever end! 

We find out this week if I am being transferred or staying for Christmas and I am super scared! I just really want to stay!!!!!!!! But who knows... I will go where the Lord wants me:) 

Well, I love you all! I hope you know that I think of you daily and miss you like crazy! You all are a huge part of my motivation! Whenever I get down, I think of you and it makes everything better!

I hope you have a wonderful week! THE GOSPEL IS TRUE! I PROMISE! 

-abs 

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Wow, crazy week! It was my last week training Sister Allen which was very sad! 

To start off the week, we cleaned out our old apartment to get it ready for someone new to move in.. and the Academy Sisters were kind enough to help! Afterwards we did lots of stop-bys. We got a new less-active to work with named Marla! We are really excited to be working with her and hopefully can get her reactivated! Also, I got yelled at by someone for the first time as a missionary! We were trying to find a less-active woman by the name of Laura.. we went to the location where she lived and tried to find her and this man started yelling at me! Ugh.. It was so rude! hahahah! I told the Elders in our district and they were all like, "what?! That was your first time getting yelled at?! We get yelled at about 3 times a day and get flipped off constantly!" hahaha I just laughed! Sisters really are treated like gold around here! That night, Sister Badurek took us to the Colorado Mountain Brewery for dinner! And no.. I did not order beer! lol! We ordered super yummy burgers and their sweet potato fries were almost as good as CUBBY'S! 

Wednesday we got all prepared for transfers for the next week! We finally got rid of all of the boxes from the move and got tons of little things done that were on our missionary to-do list! We also got to have a few lessons which is always the best! Mom, I got your package!!!!! The Cadbury Christmas balls were THE BEST THING EVER!!!! SEND MORE PLS.. I ate them all in one day! lol. Also, the ugly sweater you sent me is GOLDEN! I love it! 

Thursday was awful..... I was so sick and so I got a blessing! that night... Sister Allen woke up around 11:30 and began throwing up.. she threw up every 5 minutes for 4 HOURS! It finally got to the point where she was so weak and out of it and the mission nurse told me to take her into the ER! I got her into the car and we drove to Memorial Hospital where we spent about 3 hours in the Emergency Room. She was given IV fluids and some anti-nausea medication. She stopped vomiting which was good! We finally got home around 5:00 and I passed out on my bed.... until Elder Yarmo called at 6:50 am and woke me up! I was so mad!!!!! So go me! I got 2 hours of sleep on Thursday night!!!! It is okay though! I am just so glad that Sister Allen is okay! It was awful to see her so sick. I felt hopeless and didn't know what I could do to help her! 

Friday I stayed home with Sister Allen all day as she recovered! She pretty much slept the entire day.. she got up only twice! President and Sister Stevenson came by in the afternoon to visit her and check on her! Right before they left, President turned to me and said, "Well, there is another reason that I came today, I would like to invite you, Sister Morgan, to be one of our Sister Training Leaders!" I immediately accepted with excitement! I can't wait to serve the sisters! I feel so blessed to have this opportunity! 

Saturday was the best! Since Sister Allen was still sick, I got to go on exchanges with Sister Hepworth and we took Lynn and Chance to the temple to do baptisms for the dead! It was sa beautiful, perfect day! We spent a couple of hours in the beautiful, Denver temple, and then headed to Cheesecake Factory for lunch to celebrate! We laughed so hard throughout the meal and had such a wonderful time! I ordered the BBQ chicken salad of course and then Sis, Hep and I shared a Salted Caramel Cheesecake! SOOOO GOOD! Afterwards, we went down to the "Creche" in the North Stake! it was so amazing! Basically it is just hundreds of nativities and art about the birth of the Savior and there are twinkly lights strung across the entire thing that appear like stars! It is a dream! Lynn and Chance loved it! We then got to have dinner at the Wilhelm's that night! They served spaghetti and meatballs and the best garlic bread I have ever had! It was amazing! The dinner was sad though because all of the kids kept saying how much they are going to miss me when I get transferred.... :( It broke my heart! After dinner, we had the adult session of Stake Conference! It was exactly what I needed to hear! There was an overarching theme of turning outwards to others and forgetting about our own worries and problems! It was incredible! 

Sunday morning, Sister Allen woke up sick again! She has been having really high fevers that suddenly drop to insanely low temperatures like 92, 93.. Please send prayers! So we didn't get to go to stake conference.. instead, Sis. Allen slept... After a little bit, we went and visited the Sisneros family to say our goodbyes! When we arrived, Eliana ran up to me and embraced me! She just didn't let go and I suddenly realized that she was in tears. She was so emotional and almost couldn't speak. She sat by me on the sofa and Isaac sat by Elder McCombs (who is also leaving) and cried. We sat there for a little while talking about memories. Brother and Sister Sisneros were in tears as well. We then went outside to take pictures and said our final goodbyes! Eliana again began to bawl! I knelt down so that I could look right at her and I told he to never stop going to church, reading her scriptures, and praying! And she began to cry harder! I had tears streaming and she just nestled herself into my side! I finally said all the goodbyes I could and we got into our car. Eliana looked at me from their car window, with tear filled eyes and blew me a kiss as I drove away! Literally, she just ripped my heart out! I had no idea that I would love people this much! 

Afterwards, we said goodbye to Lynn and Chance and I cried again! We talked a lot about the wedding and Lynn reassured me that I still have a spot as her Maid of Honor! We then said goodbye to the Jones' and I gave them a box of my things to take with them to SLC and they will bring them to our house around Christmas time! Just some things that I didn't really need anymore or didn't have room for. But I still want them when I get home so don't toss them! And Kate, don't take them! lol! 

Goodbyes are hard.. But making new friends and saying hello to new experiences is always a good thing! This will be a good change for me! I know it will! I know that this gospel is true! It has blessed my life so much and I love watching it bless the lives of others! 

I hope that you are all enjoying doing the "light the world" initiative! I know I am! Have a wonderful week!!!!!! 

T-21 days to when I get to facetime you all of Christmas!!!!!!! I can't wait! It is coming so fast! 

I love you all! And miss you! 

-abs

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Hey!!! I am so HAPPY! This new area is so wonderful! It was really hard for me to leave Broadmoor... but everything turned out so great! Sister Masima is amazing!!!!!!!! She is 22 and from American Samoa! She is drop dead gorgeous and so funny! We have incredible conversations and are so open with each other, it almost feels like we have known each other forever! Truly she is such a blessing to me! And we both LOVE Pentatonix Christmas music so basically we are a match made in heaven!!!!!

Tuesday was transfer day and was so much fun because we got to see all of my favorite people! Sister Hepworth (who trained Sister Anderson) got put with Sister Anderson in Del Norte!!!!!!!! It will be SIster Hepworth's last transfer... so she is "dying" with Sister Anderson!!!! Which will be so fun for both of them! Oh and I have to tell you about how our morning went... So on the travel arrangements we were asked to pick up Sister Hepworth and Sister Long and take them to transfers since they don't have a car... and when we got to their apartment to pick them up, Sister Hepworth walks out with two huge suitcases, a shoe suitcase, *rolling my eyes* haha, and three smaller bags! We already had my two suitcases in the car and my box of food.. and we had some room for more bags but I honestly did not know how I would get everything in the car... I said a silent prayer and we started packing "Ruby" FULL of stuff!!!! We had to stick one of Sis. Hep's suitcases on her lap and then I had one on mine as well in the front seat... It truly was a MIRACLE that it all fit! I don't know how it happened! But God is good!!!!!

At transfers I met Sister Masima!!!!! We went back to our apartment and I unpacked, then we went to a lesson with a little boy named John. He is 8 years old and so cute! And he got baptized on the following Sunday!!! I will talk more about that later:) But the lesson was so great! He comes from an active family, but his mom just wanted us to teach him so that he knows what covenants he is making and stuff! Which I think is a great idea!! Afterwards, we went to dinner at the Katalin's house and they have a daughter who just returned home from her mission so she went with us to a church tour that we had with an investigator after dinner! The investigator is named Allison and I instantly loved her! I never thought I could love again after leaving Broadmoor... but honestly, my heart just keeps getting bigger and bigger! 

Wednesday we worked at the Springs Rescue Mission, which is a place where homeless people stay, and shower, and eat, etc.! Side note: I love having companionship studies with Sister Masima! I feel so edified and uplifted EVERY time! For dinner on Wednesday, we went to a less-active's home and she fed us homemade CAFE RIO! Which was soooo good! After we left dinner, we got a call from Ros, who is a lady in our ward. She told us to come over right away because she made cupcakes and she wanted us to take them to all the people we are teaching! She is the greatest!!!!! We took cupcakes around and had a blast spreading Christmas cheer:) At night, we had a lesson with a young lady names Lorraine! She is working towards taking out her endowment and is the sweetest! We read the Book of Mormon with her and she expressed to us that she would also like to serve a mission!! 

Thursday we helped a Mexican lady named Berta! She has had many many temple recommends but keeps losing them.... so we searched through her entire house for two hours and.... WE FOUND IT! So she will meet with the Stake President this week and hopefully be good to go to the temple before the end of the year!! We were also able to share a message with her and she completely opened up to us! It was amazing! She even made us Hawaiian pizza for lunch! We love her so much! She is also the sweetest and most giving person ever!!!! That night, we had no dinner so we made eggs and toast and had good conversation! Then we weekly planned which usually takes about 3 hours and ended up taking us 6 hahah! It was awesome though! We got so much done!! 

Friday was our first district meeting! In my district we have the Assistants to the President, the Zone Leaders, us, the 18th ward Elders, and a  Senior couple, the Hammonds! Our district meeting was amazing! Elder Tews, our AP, taught a lesson about the ten virgins and the Lamps of Testimony and Oil of Conversion. He talked about what it means to be converted and it was exactly what I needed to hear! About half way through our meeting, President and Sister Stevenson came in and joined us! It was so nice to have them there! So, every week after district meeting, the Hammonds (the senior couple in our district) feed all of us lunch! So we all went over to their apartment and the Stevenson's came as well. We had the yummiest lunch and the Hammonds gave each of us a Christmas present!

Afterwards, we did a few stop-bys and one of them was a woman named Rita! We visited with her and shared a message and she said that she wants to continue to hear the lessons! We also visited a sweet lady named Betty and shared the light the world video with her! She was so happy and told us that she really needed to hear that message! That evening we had the Soaring Eagles ward party! (the wards that we cover are 5th ward and Soaring Eagles ward!) They had a feast and then a Christmas program that was wonderful! And at the end we got to keep a little Christmas tree! hahaha So we now have a tiny little tree in our apartment that is about a foot tall! hahah! but hey, I'll take what we can get! haha! After the party, we started our first exchange or this transfer!!! I was pretty nervous.. The Pueblo West sisters met up with us and I drove down to Pueblo with Sister Hadfield! 

Saturday was EXCHANGE DAY in Pueblo!!! So when I got the call to be a Sister Training Leader, an Elder gave me some advice. He told me to set very specific goals and to expect miracles. He told me that many missionaries have no faith, but if you can show them a miracle, then it could change their mission! So then and there, I decided that I was going to expect miracles on every exchange! So in the morning, we planned our day! She said that we would have a lot of time to tract so I said, "ok, let's set some really specific goals!" I told her that we were going to find a woman who is poor in spirit and that we should find her between 2:45 and 3:15! She kinda looked surprised and to be honest... I was terrified and just hoping that we would see a miracle! She said that tracting in Pueblo is not effective but I just bore testimony to her that I knew Heavenly Father would provide and help us to find this woman! The rest of the day we got pumped to find this lady!

We began tracting around 2:00 and around 2:15 we met a man named Leon who was a dancer at Ballet West and went to the U of U a long time ago! We got his info and he invited us to come back! Then we continued.. just as the clock hit 2:45, we walked up to a woman who was out in her yard, shoveling dirt. She was young and so sweet. She was a single mom with a little boy and listened to our message! We invited her to church and asked her if she would like to learn more! She accepted a Book of Mormon and told us that she wanted to learn more about the Mormon church! As we finished talking to her, I looked at my watch and said, "Well Sister Hadfield, there was our miracle!" we were so excited and continued tracting throughout the afternoon! We met another person named Anthony!! We shared our message with him and he invited us back to share the gospel with his whole family!! (he has a wife and children!) It was so amazing! We saw miracle after miracle! I definitely have a testimony of setting specific goals!!!! That night for dinner, we went to a family's home named the Hunters! We had a great dinner there and they had a non-member over that we were able to share the gospel with! We invited him to read the Book of Mormon and to take the lessons!!! Hopefully the Pueblo Sisters can start teaching him! On our way home to Fountain, (an hour drive) we stopped at Amy's donuts and I got the Nutella Crumble! It was honestly the best first exchange I could've asked for. 

Sunday was great! I got to meet the wards and go to ward councils! After church we had John's baptism! (the 8 year old) and we taught the lesson for his baptism! Sister Masima opened up to the New Testament where Christ was baptized, then looked at John and said, "So John, do you know who baptized Jesus Christ?" He immediately answered, "Yes! John Wayne!" hahahahahahhahah I laughed so hard! And so did everyone else! It made my day 100%!!! The day just got better from there though! We went to dinner with Sister Kleven and she had our less-active lady, Sister Wade, over as well! Oh, and the Elders! She served us a 4 course meal complete with Prime Rib! OH MY! It was a feast! Soooo good! Honestly we were so spoiled! For dessert she brought out a giant chocolate log filled with cream that she had made! It was gorgeous! And may I add that the entire dinner was served on super fancy Christmas china! It was like a work of art! During dinner, Elder McFarlane said to Sister Wade, "Sister Wade, who is your celebrity crush?" and without hesitation she goes, "TOM SELLECK!" then I blurted out! "OHHHH MY TOO!" hahahaha It was so funny! She then said, "he is such a HUNK" haha. After dinner we visited the Ta'ase family and got to chat with their girls who are just a couple years younger than me:) it was just the best week! I am serious when I say that I love it here!!! 

I know that the Gospel is true and that Jesus Christ is my Savior! I am happier than I have ever been and am looking forward to many more wonderful memories here in Fountain with Sister Masima! I can't wait to talk to you all in T-14 days!!!!!!!!!!! I love you with all my heart and miss you everyday! Just know that you mean the world to me! 

I will send a few pics but will definitely send more next week of me and Sister Masima, the apartment, etc:) 

Love, ab

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Such a great week!!!!!! 

Monday night I started exchanges with Sister Shields in 18th ward! She is a brand new missionary and was kinda nervous about her first exchange, but I was determined to make it a good one! We went to the Soup Kitchen on Tuesday morning and had so much fun! We got to decorate the dining hall and the office space for Christmas!!! I knew my interior design degree would come in handy!!!!! So later on, we went tracting and we decided to set a specific goal!!! Sister Shields told me that she had never witnessed a miracle on her mission and I wanted to badly to see a miracle with her! Sooooo... we put our faith to the test!! We prayed to find a woman who was a young adult between 3:30 and 4:00! We began tracting in a complex that we felt very inspired to go to! And.... EXACTLY at 3:30, we tracted into a woman named Mary! She immediately invited us in and we taught her a lesson about Jesus Christ! We have her a Book of Mormon and a light the world card and then set up a return appointment! She was so amazing!!! As we left, I looked at my watch and said, "That was our girl!" By the end of the day, we had 2 new investigators, and 5 potentials! We also got to stop by two less-actives that invited us in!! GREAT DAY!!! 

ZONE CONFERENCE DAYYYY! On Wednesday, we woke up at 5:00 am to wash our car and then had a meeting with our ward mission leader at 6:45!!!! Right as we were walking into the meeting I got a call from one of our Zone Leaders, he asked me if I sing... I hesitated for a moment and then said, "yea...." he asked me if I would be willing to throw a musical number together for the zone conference that would be starting in about an hour.... I told him I would do it so I got a couple of Elders and a Sister and we sang 'Silent Night' ! It was actually really beautiful and we pulled off 4-part harmony after only running through it once!!! It was a Christmas Miracle!!! The Zone Conference was so amazing! President Stevenson's remarks were beautiful! Afterwards, we had a Christmas lunch, ugly sweater contest, and a white elephant gift exchange! Sister Stevenson made everything so special, she had games planned and everything! The white elephant was hilarious!!!! I laughed so hard! One of the Elders wrapped a unicycle!!!! When the craziness ended, I got a little dart board that I traded for a box of cookies cause ya know.. I love food! 

Thursday, Sister Masima went to Temple Jubilee because she hit her halfway mark in the mission! So I got to go on exchanges with Sister Long! We frosted the sugar cookies that mom sent and then spent the day dropping off cookies to less-actives and sharing messages with them! We also helped Berta clean her house and she cooked lunch with us! We learned how to make homemade Tomatillo dressing (don't know if I spelled that right....) It was sooo good! 

Friday we weekly planned, helped Berta some more, and had a few meetings!! Pretty chill day but it was much needed cause I was so exhausted!!!! 

SATURDAY WAS THE BEST!!!!!!! I got to go to the Broadmoor area with Sister Allen for the day since Sister Masima and Sister McArther (Sis Allen's comp) had a baptism to go to in Manassa! It was honestly the greatest day! We started off my helping the Jones'  and the Christensen's set up for the Ward Christmas party! We made the tables look like huge peppermints!! It was so fun! I just love Sister Jones!!! Then we visited with a sweet lady named Mary! We spent over two hours there and it was so special! She is almost completely blind so she just sat and talked with us and held our hands! After a couple more stop-bys, we headed to the Ward Christmas Party! They had a formal Christmas Program in the chapel and then had ice cream sundaes afterwards! Being with Sister Allen was the best thing ever! I have missed my girl! 

Sunday we had meetings/church from 7:30-4:00 and then went immediately to a ward blitz! And get this, I was asked to speak in BOTH meetings after the meeting had already started!!! It was crazy! hahah you just always gotta be prepared as a missionary! hah After the Blitz, we went to Sister Takerio's house since we didn't have a dinner and she cooked with us! The day went by sooo fast! It was crazy! 

And guess what we are doing for p-day today??? We are going WEDDING DRESS SHOPPING!!!!!!! no, not for me, for Lynn! Lynn's wedding will be in the middle of March and she asked us to go find a wedding dress with her!!!! I am so excited! 

This week I have been so overwhelmed with love for my Savior! I love him with all my heart! I truly 'Stand All Amazed at the love Jesus offers me!' I would not be able to be anything without him! It is through him that I am made strong! I can see myself changing and becoming more like him day by day! I am so grateful for this Christmas season that we have to remember him! I know that he lives!

I love you all! Just think, this time next week we will be facetiming!!! And I will be home next Christmas! In fact, this day next year will be transfer day and I will be flying out to Salt Lake on the 20th of 2018!!!!!! 

Have the best week! I love you all so much! 

-Abs 

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Hey Fam!! It was so great to talk to all of you yesterday on Facetime! BEST. CHRISTMAS. EVER!!!! 

This was a really hard week for me but it was also full of so much joy!

On Tuesday, Grandma passed away.. It was just a regular day like any other.. appointments, phone calls, lessons, etc. but around 5:00 I got a call from President Stevenson. He told me that Gram had passed away and I just cried. I felt so much pain and tension inside. I had never felt that way before! That evening, the APs gave me a blessing.. In the blessing, Elder Tews said, "Your Grandmother is here with you at this very moment." I felt complete peace wash over me and I could feel her spirit there! Later on, Berta took us to the Broadmoor Hotel to see the lights! (Google it!!! It will blow your mind!) I was kinda out of it... but it really was beautiful! Berta was just running around like crazy looking at all the lights while wearing about 10 layers of coats and sweaters and it just completely filled my heart with joy! When we got home for the night, President gave me special permission to call home to family! I talked to y'all for a while which gave me so much peace about everything! I know that my sweet gram is happy and well with her loved ones in the Spirit World! 

Wednesday I was still a bit sad so we took the day slow, we taught a few lessons which definitely uplifted me. And Thursday was very much the same... Sis Masima was feeling sick so I decided to take the down time to paint. I painted paintings of Christ for gifts for people! 

Friday I started to perk up! I taught district meeting and shared a video and thoughts about Christ's birth and the priceless gift of the Atonement! We set awesome goals together and then went to the Hammonds for lunch! (they are a senior couple in our district!) They fed us chili dogs and all of the Elders were totally shocked that I had never had one! After lunch, we all decorated cookies together for our investigators and less-actives! Sis Hammond was so sweet and made all of the cookies for us in advance! That night, we went over to the Hatch's home and she accompanied me as I sang and recorded the song for grandma's funeral. It was such a sweet experience for me to sing for her! I will send it to you all! Hopefully it works:)

On Friday we met with a sweet lady in our ward who has 3 children and one of them is only a month old. She told us that she does not have any money for gifts this year.. They are living in a motel as well so they really didn't have any plans.. When she told us this, our hearts broke. We went home that evening and went through everything in our apartment, grabbing things that had not been opened like lotions and food, etc. We grabbed old clothes some sidewalk chalk and many other little games and we wrapped it all up in bags and bows. We also took our little Christmas tree and decorated it with all we could find and we took these things over to the family! The look on the little boy's face was beyond priceless! He was so happy!!! I realized then and there, this is what I want to do every Christmas! That is truly what Christmas is all about!

Saturday I went on Exchanges with Sis McQuarrie! She is AMAZING!!!!! We had such a great time! We had back to back appointments and then lunch with Chee (Chee is the best! He is a Hawaiian guy who LOVES missionaries and make us food!!) Afterwards, we had more appointments and lots of stop-bys that were ALL successful! I was so grateful for her diligence and for the way that we were able to get so much work done in the area! It was my first time leading out in the Soaring Eagles area for an exchange but I think that things went pretty well! 

Sunday!!!! MERRY CHRISTMAS EVE!!!!! We had two sacrament meetings, like usual, but each ward had only an hour long meeting! It was such a great day! That night, we got together with tons of missionaries and some young adults in our ward and we all went caroling to people that we have been teaching! Elder Towery brought his guitar to accompany us, so we were all official and stuff! Really really fun time! It was absolutely freezing but again I thought to myself, "this is what Christmas is all about!" 

On Christmas Eve night, Sis Masima and I of course opened our Christmas PJs and we hopped into bed feeling sooooo tired! We awoke at 6:30 on Christmas day and then, the fun began!!!!

We headed over to the Mitchell's home and the Elders were there as well! We were all in our Christmas jammies and they had a delicious breakfast waiting for us! I noticed as I walked in, that their tree was full of envelopes. Come to find out that each of those notes were from our family and friends! I had a total of 60 letters! I was so overwhelmed with love! Thank you to everyone who wrote to me!!!! Opening presents was so fun! We each took turns opening our gifts, just like we do at home!!! The funniest gift was from Elder McFarlane!! lol, he got me and Sis Masima matching pink velvet backpacks and hats! hahahha I loved it! Next, we went to Ros' house! We got to Facetime which was the BEST!!! I loved being able to see you guys! The rest of the day was the best!!!! We went to the church and played games with a bunch of people in our ward and they really got competitive about things!!! so fun! For dinner, we went to the Mitchell's and had NACHOS! Seriously I couldn't have asked for a better Christmas! Thank you so much to everyone who made me feel so loved and spoiled!!!!!!!! 

I love you all so much! MERRY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!! 

Love, Abs

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Hey Fam! 

Happy New Year!!!!! 

So this week I had exchanges with Sister Long which went really well! We were running around and super busy all day which was a ton of fun! We went to the Springs Rescue Mission and did service there for 3 hours or so and right before we left, a man ran up to us and said, "hey, where is your church? I want to go!" I was so shocked! And since we were in my old area, I gave him the address to my old building!!!!! MIRACLES!!!! 

Also, BIG NEWS!!!! BERTA GOT HER RECOMMEND SIGNED THIS WEEK!!!! AND..... SHE WENT TO THE TEMPLE!!!!! So bless Berta's heart... she ALWAYS loses her recommend... but we finally got her to the temple after 14 months and 3 recommends later!!! WAHOO! We went to the temple on Saturday and Berta started out feeling very anxious and nervous and she was crying a lot. We got her all settled down and the endowment session started. Immediately she was calm and the spirit was there in abundance! Berta did so well!!! When we got into the Celestial room we asked her how she felt and she said, "I feel very special!" (in a deep Spanish accent!) I couldn't help but think of who she really is! She is a daughter of the most glorious, most powerful King and she has infinite potential! She deserves every bit of happiness there is! I just love her soooo much! 

We stayed in the temple for about 6 hours and were there to see Maddy and Eric come into the Celestial room!!! They are a couple that we work with and they will be getting sealed soon! Afterwards, we all went to Cafe Rio!!!!!!!!!!!!!! it was heavenly! I literally devoured it! hahaha

This week was also kinda tough... Gram's funeral was on my mind a lot and I wished so badly that I could be there.. But mom sent pictures and she looked like an angel! I miss her but I can feel her watching over me and guiding me! I just feel so much peace! 

New Years was pretty lame... we ate some food in our apartment and then went to bed at 9:00..... SOOO FUN! hahahah! I really didn't care though! I was just so ready for 2018!!!!! Best. Year. Ever! 

I have been really sick the past couple days with a super sore throat and a stuffed head/nose:( not fun! I think that somehow Mike passed it on to me over Facetime on Christmas.. hah! So yea, I stayed in bed all of Sunday and some of Monday as well... I am feeling lots better today though! Just a minor cough!

The BEST thing this week was when we went to a member's house to teach a missionary lesson to their kids and they let me hold their pet hedge hog!!!!!! It was the coolest thing I've ever done!!!!!!! I'll send pictures! 

Ok.. I am so sorry for this mess of an email! haha it has just kinda been a crazy week! But in honor of NEW YEARS!!! here are my resolutions! 

- STUDY the Book of Mormon EVERY DAY!!!! 

- Be more detailed in your journaling

- EXERCISE 

- Finish Jesus the Christ

- Always look for the positive

Well, there you have it! I love you all so much!!!!! I know the gospel is true!!!!!! It is so wonderful to be living it! Have a wonderful week!!!!! 

-abs 

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Hi Fam! 

What a great week! On Wednesday I went to my first ever MLC (which stands for mission leadership council!) it was really interesting and fun to discuss the needs of our mission and how we can improve! We were there for 6 hours and had breakfast and dinner there! That morning was when we got the news that President Monson has passed away. I was so heart broken to hear that but I know that he is with his sweet wife and that he is so happy! 

The rest of the week was same old same old. We taught lots of lessons and guess what?!?!?! We got a new investigator!! Her name is Annagale and she is 10 years old! We LOVE her! She has a baptismal date for the 27th of January!!!! yay! She has such a light about her! I wish that each of you could meet her! 

We also got a referral this week from the Temple Square Sisters! Her name is Faith and apparently she also has a baptismal date! We are going to meet with her tomorrow and I am so excited!! 

Oh Friday we had district meeting like usual and then went to lunch at the Hammonds with all the missionaries! This week they had salad just for me cause they know it's my favorite! It was like a full blown salad bar!!!!! Best thing ever!!

Saturday was exchanges in Canon City (pronounced Canyon City!) it was the greatest day that I've had in a long time! We were in a trio for the day, so I was with Sister Hancock and Sister Sullinger! We honestly were cracking up so hard the whole day! We went tracting in the morning for an hour and found 2 new investigators, 3 potentials, passed out 5 Books of Mormon and talked to about 20 people! GREAT DAY FOR TRACTING! The best was the last guy we talked to! It went something like this.... 

Sis Sullinger knocked on the door and the man says, "who is it?" through the door.. She said, "It's the Sister Missionaries!" He yells, "Not interested!" As we began to turn away the door flings open and he looks at us angrily. He says, "You are not allowed to be here!" In my cute little "sister missionary voice," I say, "Actually sir, we are! Would you like to see our certificate that states we can proselyte?" he didn't like that.... haha he yelled and me and said "NO!" so then I replied, "OK! Have a nice day!" and he points his finger and us and says, "NO, you have a very BAD day!!!" then he shooed us away and said, "GOODNIGHT!" hahahha We got onto the front lawn and just lost it! Sis Sullinger had tears in her eyes from laughing so hard! It was hands down the funniest thing I've ever experienced while tracting!!!! I have never been wished a "bad day" before but let me tell ya, We had the best day ever!!!! hahahha 

Later on that day we went to a meeting with their ward mission leader and right as we walked in, the man's cat brought a mouse in and dropped in on the ground! It was still alive and started running around the house! The cat was chasing it and we were all freaking out! Then it ran under the sofa and we couldn't get it out! It stayed there for our entire meeting! poor thing! hahah 

For our dinner in Canon, we went to a mexican place and I ordered Flautas! They were kinda like the ones from Baja Cantina that I love!!! Sooo yummy! The hour long drive back to the springs was so much fun! I hope that I get to be companions with them sometime in the future! They are wonderful Sisters! 

Sunday we had the Work of Salvation Fireside! It was so amazing! I always love to hear all of the conversion stories! It was so uplifting! 

This week I have been studying about faith! I read in Jeremiah 17: 7-8 

"Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.
For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit."

I want to challenge each of you to study this and remember that Christ is known as the "living water" I have loved digging deep into this topic! I truly have learned so much! I have also been studying the Atonement! 

I read in Luke 22: 47-51

"And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him. But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss? When they which were about him saw what would follow, they said unto him, Lord, shall we smite with the sword? And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear. And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him."

I was so amazed at what the Savior did at this point. When the man with him cut off the servant's ear, Christ immediately healed it. I had a conversation with Michael (my little bro) about this exact instance. We talked about how Christ had just suffered for the sins and pains of all the people to ever walk the earth. He literally had just felt this man's pain, and being so loving and kind, he couldn't bear to allow this man to suffer. That is such a huge testament to me of who Christ is! He does not want any one of us to suffer and he will be our aid immediately whenever we need him! He understands us perfectly and loves us perfectly! I am so comforted to know that! 

I love this gospel with all my heart!! And I am so thrilled to be here in Colorado sharing it with others! This time will be a time that I will hold dear to me forever! 

I love you all! Make sure to go to Dragon Diner for me for my birthday!! ok?! 

-abs

 p.s. we also got our carpets cleaned (hence the pictures) and we had a sleepover with some sisters from the valley before MLC! Also, I made banana bread!!!! And I say Sista Tayla! LOVE HER SO MUCH! 

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Great week guys!!!!! On Monday night, we drove down to Pueblo and began exchanges with the University Sisters! When we got there, they pulled up and the entire driver's side of their car was side swiped. The mirror was hanging off and everything... bad stuff. So I stayed in Pueblo for the night with Sister Rodriguez (she's amazing btw) and the next morning, we called our mission car guy! He said that we needed to drive up to the Springs immediately to have the car inspected and fixed! We got our stuff packed and canceled a few appointments and drove the hour up to the Springs! When we got there, the Elder in charge of the cars said that we needed to not drive the car back down. Soooo our only option for the exchange was to work in Fountain (my area). Sister Masima and Sister Nielsen worked in Soaring Eagles and Sister Rodriguez and I worked in 5th ward! It actually turned out really great!! We found a NEW INVESTIGATOR! Her name is Linda! You'll hear more about her in a sec! That night, we drove the Sisters back to their area and finished up the night with some appointments in our area! By the end of the day.. I was so sick of driving... 

Wednesday was great! We met with Linda (NEW INVESTIGATOR) again.  The lesson went okay.. she was from the Pentecostal church... and said that she has already been baptized and received the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands... so yea:) 

We also taught Annagale on Wednesday and her date is now moved to March so that her Grandpa can come from Idaho to baptize her! We are so excited for her!!!!  We had a really cool experience with her though! So we weren't expecting to teach her on Wednesday.. but she called us and said, "can you come over again for another lesson?" so we did! When we got there we had a really great and spiritual lesson with her and at the end of the lesson I said, "okay Annagale, who would you like to have pray?" (I didn't ask her cause she is usually super scared and embarassed..) Annagale looked right at me and said, "ME!" then she bowed her head and began to pray! It was the most perfect and heartfelt prayer! When we got outside, we both started to cry! We were so happy!!!!! 

Then, Wednesday night, we began exchanges with the Broadmoor Sisters!!! (aka, Sister Allen my Trainee!) It was so fun to be with her again!! We stayed up talking until wayyy too late! haha but it was exactly what I needed! And we opened my birthday gifts late that night as well!!! AH! I love her so much! 

Thursday!!!! HAPPY 20TH BIRTHDAY TO ME!!!!!!! It was the greatest day! We visited lots of people, (including Eliana! AH! did service at the zoo, went to Duca's pizza, visited Sister Wilhelm, and had dinner with the Jones family! It was the best day!!!!! Sister Allen kept singing "happy birthday" to me randomly throughout the day!! Dinner was the best! They pretended that they didn't know it was my birthday and then brought out a huge cookies and cream ice cream cake at the end and a huge gift bag full of treats from Trader Joe's! AHH! I just love Sister Jones! She told me that she has a guest room that I am welcome to live in forever! hahaha! BEST BIRTHDAY!!

Friday we went to District meeting and watched President Monson's funeral!! It was very touching and I especially loved all of the music and Elder Holland's closing prayer. 

Saturday was the best!!! So Sister Masima and her old Comp, Sister Carlson had two people going to the temple to be sealed! So I got to spend the day in Castle Rock with Sister Bria who is Sis Carlson's comp! It was soooo much fun! I got to see tons of my favorite people!! Sister Taylor, Gilbert, Elder Guzzo, Elder Beltran! AHH! It was so fun! We went to the hospital and went up the elevator to a huge door! When we walked inside, there were hundreds of bikes! EVERYWHERE! I was so surprised! We all got to help fix them and clean then!! I changed 3 bike tires!!!!! GO ME! It was so much fun! Afterwards we all went to Mod Pizza to celebrate Elder Douglas' birthday!! Then we did some planning for a blitz and I had to leave to go back to my area right before the blitz began.. it was fun while it lasted though! I LOVE Castle Rock! (everyone should pray that I serve there someday!) A really great memory from the day was after lunch when we went into a little candy shop with a couple other Sisters to get some candy for Elder Douglas! There was a little fortune telling machine and we all got our fortunes told! 

here was mine.. 

"Happiness comes from giving, not getting.

This month, remember the ancient proverb: "One generation plants the trees; another gets the shade." Your actions today can positively or negatively affect generations to come - so act wisely."

Totally relates to missionary work! Right?!?! 

Sunday was great! Lots of church and then dinner! We had dinner at Sister Kleven's house and she had her Atheist friend over who created a Mormon board game. She is trying to get it into Deseret Book and had us and the Elders try it out before she sends it in! It was actually really fun! We all got way competitive! It is pretty much just a scripture chase game:) and... I WON! 

This week, I started the Book of Mormon over again! I am taking my time and making sure that I understand each word! It has been so amazing! I am to Chapter 12ish and have learned so much already!! The Book of Mormon is so powerful. I love the promises that we received from Conference.. If we read the Book of Mormon everyday, our lives will be better and we will make better decisions every day! It's true! I promise! 

I love you all! Hope that you have a great week!!! 

-abs

 

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