Sunday, April 7, 2013

Because He Lives, We Too Shall Live Again

Dear family,
I hope you all had a wonderful Easter! I know I did! Although I did miss that lamb and mint jelly, but it's all good :) Thank you soooo much for the package!! You guys are the best and were truly inspired in what to send to me! Well since I haven't been eating sugar I am proud to say that I didn't eat any of it, but gave it all away. It was so fun! I divvied out the
candy, toys, and little decorations and we got to go around the day before and day of Easter to give to our investigators as well as those who really needed it. We had a really special experience yesterday where we had about 7 cupcakes left to give out (loved all the cute little toppers and the cupcake paper things that were shaped like flowers were soo cute too!) when Bishop got up during 3rd hour and told us all that there was a family living in our ward boundaries that needed help. The families situation is very sad- 7 children living in the ghetto and the father just left them. The woman called Bishop completely desperate and told him that she has nothing to give or feed her children. I just knew immediately where we were going to go take those last 7 cupcakes as well as the little bunny and chick you put in the package too. So church ended and we went over to their apartment. The mother answered the door- we have talked with her before so she recognized us, and let us in. We gave each one of the kids a cupcake and gave the 2 littlest the toys. We then gathered them all around and taught them the Easter story and shared an Easter scripture from the Book of Mormon. The mothers eyes teared up and it was just so incredible to be there. We testified to her that the gospel of Jesus Christ is what truly gives us the faith and hope that we need to make it through this life. She has been busy in the past- I mean she has 7 young children and now she's a single mom, but we promised her that as she makes time for God and does the things necessary to help her family that He will bless her even more than she can imagine. I will never forget this experience. 

This Easter I truly have come to know the hope that comes through having faith in the Savior and the promises which He has made to each of us. I know that because He lives we too shall live again. I was just so touched by the Easter Pageant. I am so sad that I only get to serve during 1! I literally watched it every night I was there and can basically quote the whole thing now, but I still LOVE it! I took some pics of it, but of course they don't do it justice. I just loved sitting out in the massive crowd surrounded by people from all over the world and from all walks of life and just sitting there thinking to myself- is this really my mission? I am soooo blessed!!!! I have been called to the best mission in the world! 

Sorry to brag, but I just really feel so blessed to be a part of this work here in Mesa and to have the opportunity to work at the Visitors Center is such a blessing! Life is just so good :) Oh! So I saw 3 people this past week at the Easter pageant: Sister Collins!!! Yayy!!! It is so fun seeing her! It's kind of funny because we are both exactly the same just missionaries and instead of calling her Lauren it's Sister Collins haha! It's fun :) I saw Ashley Sant again! I love seeing people from home :) sooo cool! And I saw Elder Baxter.... or I mean Cole hahaha! That was soo weird! Now I'm the missionary and I got to ask him for referrals! So weird. 

Oh! So really weird/funny situation this week! We were going to an appointment in this apartment complex and I see this guy and think to myself, "we should go talk to him"... but we were running late so we just went to our appointment. Well the lady had to reschedule so we went back over to see if the guy was still there and he was!- that NEVER happens. So we go up and start talking to him and I notice that he kind of has a southern accent. So we are talking to him and eventually I ask where he's from and he says Atlanta, Georgia! I asked him which part and he says just a suburb called Johns Creek!! WHAT! I told him I am from Alpharetta and that I went to Milton High school. He went to Chattahoochee and is just in Mesa for a few weeks for spring training for the cubs! I just thought that was a cool little run in and we gave him a Book of Mormon :) We forgot his name though so maybe you could figure that one out.
Mommy Schurtz and all the babies she has trained.
With Easter pageant we have had hardly any time in our area! We went on splits twice with some awesome young women that will be leaving on their missions very soon. It was so fun! Sister Remington and I got to do the training this week in district meeting and we gave in on applying the gospel to using our time wisely. It taught me a lot! It is just so amazing to me how the gospel really does apply to absolutely everything. One thing that really hit me too was that we have been given the key to progression- it's the gospel! When we are truly living it and applying it in all aspects of our lives there is no way that we can't progress. Love it :)

Anyways, this week has been amazing! I am sad Easter Pageant is over, but I am sooo excited for conference next weekend! Yayyy!! I just can't believe it's conference time again! Time is flying by so fast it's scary!

I'm so glad you all had a great time at Eugenie and Jerel's reception in Kinston. Send me more pictures! I'm so glad you guys all get along so well. Ohhhh what did she get? Did you guys get everything figured out with the condo? Sorry business is being so complicated! That's no fun! I know it will all work out though, keep up the hard work! 

I love you guys and hope you have a great week!!!

Sister Kelsey Hamstead