Hello best friends!
How are y'all doing? I hope you have had a wonderful week. Thank you for the love through emails and letters. I am so grateful for all of the support I have while serving. Definitely helps me so thank you! Are you getting excited for Thanksgiving?? I sure hope so. I am pretty excited. We are going to be taken care of on Thanksgiving so don't you worry. We have had many offers for meals and are also going to visit a few people who need a little boost on a holiday. It should be a great day. It will be weird not being with you, but it will be a Thanksgiving that I probably won't ever forget. Your job is to eat more of the yam/marshmallow creation for me since I won't be there :)
Yesterday in church, a lot of the talks were on gratitude. One of the examples they shared was the story of the ten lepers. I read it this morning, and it really hit me this time. Why did just one go back? It made me wonder what was different in that man's life that caused him to give thanks compared to the others. Anyways, I am going off on a missionary tangent, hoping that you could respond back and discuss this with me but ya can't haha. I guess some food for thought. I definitely have learned how much of a difference an attitude of gratitude can make. I started a gratitude journal at the beginning when things were rough (thanks to mom), and continue to do it every day. It is amazing to see how many blessings and things we have to be thankful for when we stop to think about it. Thanksgiving is just awesome because it reminds us of what our focus should be. It seems like everyone is focused on that, but then the very next day we are stampeding people to get stuff that's supposedly cheaper. Good times. (Mom, I still will never go on a Black Friday again after our Old Navy experience :) )
So enough rambling....on to my week. It really has been a great week! We had a lot of amazing lessons, which makes for a good week as a missionary. I guess I can highlight a few.
We set a baptismal date with Sister Burnett!! She actually set her own date which doesn't happen a lot haha. She is ready for this...I am grateful just to be a part of this final stage in her journey. Her and her husband have been investigating for three years. A long time. She has finally felt that peace that she needed to make this decision. Her husband is right there with her. If he isn't ready by December then definitely January. Sister Burnett wants to get baptized on Dec 15th! We are praying that she can continue to progress and be ready on that day.
We got a new investigator this week. His name is Jeremiah Johnson...no joke. But he goes by Roy just because haha. Anyways, he is great. We had our first lesson on Saturday and it was wonderful!! He was so involved in the discussion and was soaking up everything about the Restoration. The only hard thing is he has a crazy work schedule so it is hard to find times to meet, but we have faith that it will continue to work out! It is amazing to see when people first hear about the gospel. The whole time he just says things like, "this makes sense" or "why didn't I hear that before" etc. He is prepared and hopefully it will continue to go smoothly. Side note about him: He said that he is famous for his cookies. Everyone in the area supposedly says they are the best. I told him we might have to have a cookie challenge with Magness cookies. I might need the recipe :)
We were able to meet with a less active named Bev. She has been coming to church the past few weeks and we have been wanting to stop by and get to know her. It finally worked out where we were able to. She is has a traveling job and is a single mom so her schedule is a tad hectic. But thankfully, we found a time. We had an amazing visit with her!! We were able to just talk about how she joined the church and how she came to know that it was true. That is the key right there...ask less actives about something where they remember feeling the spirit. It always works haha. The spirit was so strong and she bore a beautiful testimony. I am grateful I was able to hear her story and we are looking forward to hopefully meeting with her again.
We also had a great lesson with Rex on the temples! It was awesome being able to talk to him about temples because he gets to do baptisms this week in SLC!! I am literally so excited for him. He has had an amazing journey with the church and continues to do so. We are meeting with him again tonight before he heads out to Salt Lake. Whenever we have a lesson on temples, I get really anxious to go, but I gotta wait a while longer. Not being close to a temple makes you realize just how lucky we are to have them so near where we live.
Well, of course there is opposition in all things. With the amazing lessons also comes some let downs. We were dropped by 2 investigators that we thought were close to baptism. Both of them were so involved and were progressing quickly. But they both texted us this week saying they no longer felt the need to learn. In both situations, we felt that it is just simply not time. They have some opposition with their family and the church so that could be a factor too. We just have to remember that agency is a part of the plan right? We continue to pray for them and hope they will come back whether it is in a month or 10 years.
What else....Oh we had a Zone Meeting this past week and interviews with President Shumway. They went well! I really am so grateful to have the mission president that we do. He is amazing. He also spoke to us about how many missionaries our mission alone is planning on getting at the beginning of the year. We are going to get an increase of 60+ missionaries. That's a lot for this area! It is really exciting though. He told us how we have to be prepared and have to be on our A game so we can show these incoming missionaries how the OTM is. I can't wait to see these 19 year old sisters come! I will probably feel really old, but it's still exciting.
We were able to help an elderly woman in our ward bake a ton of cookies for her business on Friday. She is literally "the cookie lady." All the kids in the neighborhood come over every Saturday morning for cookies. How cute is that? This past week she fell and broke her home, got bruised, etc. so she couldn't do much. So Sister Blocker and I became the cookie ladies for the day. It was reallly fun.
Yesterday got off to a weird start, but ended up great. We were heading out the house around 7:30 am so we could get to ward council. About a mile down the road, I told Sister Blocker to pull over. She just looked at me like "are you being serious or not?" haha and I just said pull over now. She pulled over and yep, I threw up about 5 times on the side of the road. It was the most random thing. I don't think I have ever done that in my life, but now I can say I have! Lots of people were just staring as they drove on by. Good times. Well, we headed back home for a bit cause I was still feeling weird. A few hours later we head down to the church and make it to RS. Everyone, and I mean everyone, asked are you okay? What happened? I was like, uhh how did everyone know I didn't feel good? Well a high councilman came to speak and asked if the missionaries would stand up during his talk. Really? The one single day we miss and it is publicly known haha. I guess that is life though. But, besides that, we had a great time at church with both the family ward and the branch.
Oh and the cutest little girl, not even in our ward, has come up to us the past two Sundays and says with a huge smile, "Hello, Sister Missionaries!!" Then she hugs us and tells us how she wants to go on a mission to China. I wish you could see it cause an email doesn't do her cuteness justice. It made my weird day a whole lot better.
The members here our amazing. A member that we don't see a ton brought soup off to us just because she heard of the incident and wanted to make sure I got better. So her and her kids made soup for us. How sweet is that? I am just so blessed to be in this area. These people are way too nice.
Well, that was a lot of rambling, but I think that's it for the week! This week should be good as well! I really do hope you have an amazing Thanksgiving. Please know that I love you so much and am so grateful for you. I will be thinking about you on Thursday, especially. Don't have too much fun at the social room without me :)
I love you!!
Love, Sister Magness
P.S. I haven't been taking too many pics lately...sorry about that. But this is the latest. We stopped at Sonic for happy hour to celebrate her year mark.