This week has been pretty busy! So one of the things that happened recently was that this mission changed to a "Principle Based Mission". You know how I listed a bunch of rules in one of my first emails? Well, President Wadsworth announced that most of them are not intact anymore. Rather than having to worry about strict nit-picky rules, we need to learn the principle behind the rules and missionary conduct. So whenever we do something, we have to think about whether it is helping us fulfill our purpose. So President has put a lot of trust in the missionaries to be accountable to God in knowing what to do. Its weird. There's a lot of freedom yet responsibility. There are still some rules that he would like us to follow, including no fishing and such but most of the previous rules now dependent on personal prayer and what we think is right to do between us and God. Its neat!
This week we had several Christmas events and there are more to come! We had a community Breakfast with Santa and we got to know some new people. There is one lady we hope we will see again and teach. :)
We also were invited to cut down a real Christmas tree with our bishop and his family! I've never done that before- so it was way fun. We went out in the mountains and Sister Schwendiman and I got to saw it down. Check that off the bucket list!
A member also took pictures for us during one of our lunches to put on Christmas cards to send home! (So if you want me to send you one- I need your address! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Here is another first: we had dinner with a group of Catholics at a restaurant this week. So we volunteer at a little thrift store thing that's run by the Catholic church. The priest, who is from Africa, invited the volunteers to dinner, and that included us. At the dinner, we sat right across from the Catholic priest and I was super intimidated at first. But he was a really nice guy and there was only a little bit of awkward conversation. Hahah. He mostly asked us stuff about our mission. Some of the women were completely shocked about how we have strict rules and minimal communication with our family. There was one other LDS lady there and she defended us and explained that we are dedicating all our time to the Lord! Haha.
We have two investigators who are being baptized for-sure this month! One on the 12th and the other on the 19th! We are super excited and what is super neat is that their main motivations are to be sealed to their families forever. The gospel really is centered on families and people love the fact that families are eternal. Truth!!!
We had Zone Training this week in Butte and I learned a lot.
--One of the things I learned was that we should pray for the Spirit to direct our prayers. And when we have the Spirit when we are praying, we will know that they will be answered and can receive revelation.
--We cannot pray for an A, and study for a B. We cannot pray for a celestial life, and live a terrestrial life.
--We all have the authority as missionaries, but we don't always have the power. We have the authority to proclaim the gospel, cry repentance, and work miracles but we can only have the power if we live worthily, pray fervently, and follow courageously. Brothers and sisters, I know this statement is 100% true. We cannot be effective missionaries or members unless we keep our covenants and follow Christ to the BEST of our ability.