Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Merry Christmas

Howdy! :)

So, this week was pretty wonderful! Here are some highlights!

Receiving a million (more like 30 but still) mormon.org bible referrals. It has been so fun to contact the individuals and share with them their Bible, the christmas video and a message of the Restoration. Some have been more successful than others, but it still has been lovely. Here's a miracle from Tuesday. We had scheduled an appointment with a lady named MA to deliver the bible, but when we got there, she wasn't at her apartment. We decided to knock the doors around her. The first door we knock on, a lady opens up the door and invites us right in. WHAT. That never happens. So we went in, shared A Savior is Born, had a good discussion, invited her to church, and set a return appointment. She was so excited to meet us! Nothing has come from it yet, but it was another testimony builder to me of following counsel and guidance from our leaders to talk to everyone and contact the people who live around referrals.

We had a great lesson with RO, JA, BE, SC. Our lesson was about the Plan of Salvation, and we had a marvelous conversation. They had lots of questions about the pre-earth life, and I loved having the opportunity to bear my testimony that God really is our loving Heavenly Father. We talked to JA about going to do baptisms for the dead which she was really excited about. We love them.

Wednesday afternoon we were out delivering some Bibles. We were trying to decide where to go: we could either stay in the area where we were or head over to the far part of the area and contact a girl who was really excited. Well, Heavenly Father had different plans! Right then we got a call from a RA who was having a terrible day. We went over, helped her clean out her books and movies, and shared a couple scriptures. I was grateful we were able to be in the right place at the right time.

We also were able to go caroling with the youth one night and caroling with a group of families last night. Such a fun time of year.

Thursday we had our Christmas specialized meeting. It was such a wonderful occasion. We discussed the wonderful gifts that we've been given (baptism and the Holy Ghost) and shared Christmas traditions. After, we headed to the Taylors for games, music, and fun. From the White Elephant, I got bacon and a package of fresh oysters! Ha. So good. But President gave wonderful trainings. I'm so grateful to have such a wonderful mission president and mission mom. They are wonderful and inspired.

Friday I was on exchanges in McKinney. Sister Howell was able to set a baptism date with AM on the exchange! Such a miracle. It sounds like it was a great lesson. :)

Mary's baptism was a nice service! It was a little stressful because our ward mission leader was in Las Vegas for the byu/utah game and our assistant ward mission leader didn't show up until 5 minutes before, but luckily Sister Howell and I (along with the senior sisters) were able to get everything set up alright. The font was a bit cold, but what can you do? But more importantly, the spirit was very nice. We had another investigator able to be there and the elders had 2 investigators as well. After Mary was baptized, she bore her testimony. She relayed a story from work earlier in the week. All of her coworkes were on break, and they were discussing what religion they were. Everyone else in the room was Catholic, and Mary proudly exclaimed "I'm LDS!" This was even before she got baptized. She got a couple of reproofs and questions, but she boldly declared her belief. I am so proud of her. She is going to be even more of a wonderful grandmother and mother.

We finished the week up by going with Sister Washburn, our lovely primary president, to deliver cookies and the Christmas video to her neighbor. I love her! It was so wonderful.

My ponderize this week: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." Luke 2:14. I hope each of you can find that peace and good will.

I am so grateful for this Christmas time of season. I love our Savior Jesus Christ, and I'm so blessed to be a missionary for Christmas again. LOVE Y'ALL!!

Sister Gretchen Gilbert

Exchange/bike life back in McKinney with Sister Klinkowski

Sister Olsen and I at the Christmas specialized training

Mary's baptism! Here's all of us - Sister Putnam, Sister McCarthy, Mary, me, Sister Howell

President Taylor during the white elephant gift exchange

Sister Howell and I

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