Monday, September 23, 2013

Hello from your OLDER and WISER 22 year old daughter!!

Dearest Family,

Hello from your older and wiser 22 year old daughter haha! Wow this week was amazing and full of so many miracles! 

SO Monday night I got a call from President Jenkins. What the!? I listened to the voicemail and it said Sister Hamstead if you would like to hear where your brother is going on a mission give me a call back! President Jenkins is the best :) SO I called him back and I totally started crying! Brazil Fortaleza east mission!!! WWOOOWWWW!!! So ok I am never going to guess for peoples missions ever again because I always guess totally wrong! Sister Gordon and I had been talking about it and we both were certain that he would either go state side or to somewhere in asia, but definitely NOT south america. haha! I can't believe he reports ONE MONTH BEFORE I GET HOME!!!!!!!!!!! Man Christopher I should have given you a bigger hug before I left! Maybe on your way to the Mtc you can have a layover in Phoenix.............. But anyways I am just so happy for you Christopher! I want to challenge you to read the Book of Mormon in Portuguese before you leave in February. I know that will help you learn the language better than anything else! You have to write me and tell me how you are doing!!! I totally got the confirmation that it was right as soon as President Jenkins told me. It was such a cool experience!!! So Monday was amazing :)

Tuesday was the beginning of round 2 of exchanges. Hermana Leon and Jeppson came to English work for the day. It was sooo fun! I will tell you one of the many miracles that we saw. So we were in this apartment complex trying to contact some potential investigators. I looked over and saw this little family getting out of their car. I felt like we should go and talk to them so even though they were walking away from us I went over to say hi. The husband was super nice and accepted our invitation to come and check out the visitors center (such an amazing recourse to have!! I am SOOOO grateful not only to serve in the visitors center, but to even have a temple visitors center in our mission! Such a blessing!) we then talked with him about our purpose as missionaries. He really opened up and invited us in to come talk with him and his family. He told us his name was curtis and his wifes name was colleen. They had a super cute little 7 year old daughter- sorry can't remember her name. But so we go in and talk with them and Curtis tells us how he just wants to help his family. That is the most important thing to him in the whole world. He asked us what can he do to help his family? He wants to do more than just work and the normal day to day, and said he was looking for more. We talked with him about the gospel and how God has given it to us to bless our families. We taught him and his family how to pray and we all knelt in prayer together. It was such an amazing experience to see the hope that the gospel brings to families. I am grateful to be a missionary and to be able to share this good news with so many people! It is amazing! Of course we had to pass the family on to the elders who are serving in that home ward, but I am grateful that I had the opportunity to meet them and to share these eternal truths with their family.

Later that same night we had a lesson with Cece- did I tell you about her? I think I did... Well she is not a ysa either so Sister Gordon and I are teaching her at the vc. We had such an amazing lesson with her at the visitors center about the restoration! She is so opened and we know that this gospel is going to bless her and her family :)

Wednesday was the best birthday ever!!! So Sister Gordon was still off on exchanges with the other sisters, so sister leon and jeppson were so sweet and put up some decorations for me. One of our roommates made me waffles with strawberries and whipped cream. SOOOO NICE!!!!!! We finished our exchanges and then went to the visitors center. Everyone was so nice and sang happy birthday to me :) Some lady brought in cupcakes! After our shift we had to go take care of some paper work type of things form the exchange. Then we went to dinner with sweet Chanel and she bought cafe rio and a cake!! Soo nice :) Then we went on visits with the ward missionaries and it was awesome :) Then we had a lesson on the restoration with Danielle and her friend Dana and that was great! Lastly we had an appointment with Cece- she had asked us earlier that day if we could meet up. So we got there and she had bought me a cake!! Sooo many sweet people!!!! So they all sang to me and we ate cake :) Such a great day! When I got home our roomies told me there was a big present for me! HOLY COW! There was a big bag full of everything you would need to have a birthday party! Ice cream, pizza, decorations, little goodies, fruit, it was amazing!!!!! It was from a member living in our apartment complex :) Sister Gordon had mentioned to him that it was my birthday and all she had asked him for was some fruit!!!! Also Sister Gordon had gotten me some funny little presents for my bday also! So our apartment is like party city right now. We still have the decorations up from Sister Gordons bday and now from mine too! I just felt soo blessed!!!! :)

On Thursday we had another exchange and I went back to my greeny area with some other sisters. So cool to go back and see how things are going! 

Ok so to finish up I just have to tell you the story of Alfonso. So I forgot to tell you last week about this miracle I had when I was on exchanges. A sweet little sister named Hermana Mayorca from Columbia was on exchanges with me in my area. We were going around trying to visit some less actives when we arrived at Courtney's house.... or at least what I thought was Courtney's house. I am SUPER bad with directions! haha So we get out and knock on the door and Alfonso answers. He said that no Courtney lives there and then went on to tell me that he used to be a member! I asked him if we could come back and talk about the his conversion story/share a message and he said ok. We went back on Tuesday when I was with Hermana Leon and Jeppson. It was amazing to hear his story and I knew that it was no accident that we had showed up at his house. He felt the same way and told us that it was actually about a month ago that he decided that he wanted to go back to church. So cool! We asked when we could see him again and he told us not tomorrow because it was his brithday- aka my birthday!!!!!!-  We have the same birthday! So we stopped by the next day and dropped him off a bday card :) Our next meeting with him was on Wednesday at the Visitors Center. He told us he had an exciting story to tell us. So his cousin is a member serving down in Guatemala. The other day his cousin was given permission to call home and he told his mom that he really needed to talk to alfonso. So Alfonso got on the line and his cousin told him that about a month ago he began to feel impressed that missionaries were going to come to your door. He then told him not to reject them. Alfonso was shocked and told him that we had already come!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How amazing. One month ago Alfonso decided that he wanted to go back to church, a month ago his cousin received that impression, and then last week we showed up at his door step. What a miracle. 

I am so grateful to have had the best year of my life out here in Mesa Arizona. There is nothing better than being a missionary. Get excited Christopher! But all of you can have miracles like this! All you have to do is pray for it and then be willing to open your mouth :)

Love you all sooo much! Have a great week!!
Love, Sister Hamstead

PS. So I forgot to tell you all that when our mission split our mission home was moved from Scottsdale to Mesa. OOoppps! Sorry! So the address for the new mission home is 2525 N. 32nd st Mesa, Az 8520? Sorry I forgot to tell you!!