Sunday, December 29, 2013

More Christmas Lights Miracles (Dec 16)

This has been such a fun and special week! 

But before I get to all of that guess who I just got finished eating lunch with?! SISTER GORDON. Or well I guess it's Brianne now haha I LOVE when Sisters come back to visit!! We just went to this little restaurant across the street from the vc that all the sisters go to when their dinners cancel and we just sat around and talked for an hour. It was sooo fun!! I love all my vc sisters sooo much!! So many life long friends :) 

Ok so this week was full to the brim. Monday of course is the craziest day of the week with having to go shopping, do laundry, clean, etc. All of the not fun and not quite so rewarding activities. Then we went to the vc at night. Saying that I am tired is an understatement. haha! I feel like I look sleepy in all the pics I send home now lol I LOVE it, but it is probably the most exhausting and demanding thing I have ever done before. You go home at the end of the night and you just die. When the alarm goes off at 7:30 it literally feels like it has been 5 minutes. I wish I had brought my journal with me because I can't think of any of the cool miracles that happened on Monday, but I know there were many!! So then on Tuesday we got to wake up early and go to the temple with half of the mission. It was so special and spiritual. So much has happened since the last time I got to go to the temple so it really just what I needed. I love going to the temple and feeling that peace that Heavenly Father is in control and that everything will be ok. I love the temple :) Then on
Wednesday we had the Christmas party for the whole mission and it was soooo fun!! It started at 11 and went until 4:30. We had games, a fancy lunch, big service project, and then Freddy Ashby and Clyde Bodden came and preformed for us. It was soo beautiful!! Then we ran to the VC for our shift. Then of course Thursday was a very special day- Sister T's 22nd bday!! The day was so special! It started off with us working the morning shift at the vc (10-2). It was nice to have a night off and to actually be able to have dinner with members on sister T's day. I had met up with a member from one of my old wards last week and he said he would love to make sister t some local island food so I gave him a call ans asked if he would be able to do it for her on her bday. He said he would love to so I surprised sister T and after our shift we headed over to the restaurant. Also while we were on shift one of our ward mission leaders and his wife came in with a giant chocolate cake for her and a card from the relief society and Sister T's favorite candy- snickers! It was soo sweet!! So anyways we get to the restaurant and Sister T was soo surpirsed! I had invited our roomies to come too and they brought another chocolate cake!! Sister T was so happy she started to cry! It was the sweetest thing and she told me that she had never really had people celebrate her birthday before. Oh!! I forgot something else amazing that happened that morning. So the night before we some members from our ward brought Tanya down to the Christmas lights. The next morning we got a text from her that said: "Good morning beautiful ladies! Went to the temple last night with the boys and decided to dedicate my life to our Heavenly Father 100%...So... no more drinking or smoking. And I feel great! Love you ladies. You are all so very amazing and such a blessing." Wow. Happy Birthday Sister T! That's what we kept saying all day. Whenever something good happened or we saw miracles, it was because it was sister T's bday :) We had a lesson with Tanya that day and we taught her the word of wisdom. It is going to be very hard for her to cut out the alcohol and cigarettes, but she
knows it is for the best and that it will bless her as well as her sons. She also gave Sister T a sweet gift for her bday as well as the member that came with us to the lesson. Then we got a call from Sister Beckstrand saying that she had baked sister T a bday cake and asked if we could come down to the vc so they could sing to her. So we rushed over there before dinner and Sister T had cake #3! Then we went over to dinner and wow the family was so sweet and really out did themselves! They invited 2 other families over and they had balloons and gifts. Sister T was just so touched by the kindness and it really was so heart warming to feel soo much love from all these members!! Then we headed over to our high councilors home and they were so kind and wanted to wish sister t a happy birthday too! Their family had baked her a giant chocolate cake also!! By the end of the night sister t said she just felt sooo loved. So I guess that was 4 cakes not 5.. did I write 5 earlier? Anyways it really was a special day :) We still haven't gotten the package from you all yet.. Sister T most likely will not be getting anything for Christmas so something from you all or ward members would be much appreciated :) Wow mom you read my mind!! I have been wanting to buy some boots. There are a pair at payless that I have had my eye on. They are $35, tan, have buckles/strap around the top and around the ankle, knee high, size 6.5 :) I love you!! You all are working so hard and I am grateful for your examples :) 

Alright, who is ready to hear some Christmas lights miracles?? I want to tell you this really amazing miracle that happened just last night! Oh and btw we are more than 1/2 way through Christmas lights now! Can you even believe Christmas will be here in just 9 days!? Time is flying and it is SCARY! I am excited to skype with you all and then maybe I can fill you all in better.

So last night I got to do my favorite rotation- got to present the concert, then front greet, Christus, and then finishing up with the nativity movie. We are on each post for one hour and then we rotate. So my companion for the evening was Hermana Orr (the one that eveyone comes into the vc looking for haha! Yes she is the one from the clip after conference). We were just about to start the Christus narration when I saw this little hispanic family walk in, look at the statue and then leave. I felt like I needed to invite them to stay and listen. So even though I wasn't sure if they would be able to understand me I went after them and invited them to come back in and listen. They agreed and we started the presentation. Holy cow there were soo many people shoved into that little room, but the spirit was still so strong. After the presentation I knew that I had to go talk to them. So I went over and asked how they felt as they listened. They said they loved it and that they felt so much peace here. I told them that they were feeling the spirit and they agreed. I asked them if they would like to learn more and they said yes! The husband then opened up and said that they really felt guided here and that he would love to learn more. Family we see miracles like this every single night. I can't even adequately express how blessed I feel to be able to witness so many of Heavenly Father's children accept the gospel in their lives. This experiencing of serving here truly has changed my life forever. The best part is that I'm not the only one having amazing miracles every night. Do you want to know how many individuals/families agreed to meet with missionaries last night? I will tell you. 50. Just let that sink in and think about what that number means. Think about all of the families that are going to be blessed. We also received 38 member referrals. It's a miracle. I would guess that we receive close to 1000 referrals a week. It is amazing. 
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Family this Christmas season I hope that all of you come to know the Savior in a closer and more personal way than you have before. I love my Savior and I am grateful to be here at this time and in this place serving Him with all of my heart. Help someone this Christmas season come closer to the Savior by sharing your testimony of Him with them. This has brought me some of the greatest joy. I know that He lives. I know He is my Savior. It is so comforting to know that even though I am 100% inadequate the Savior can help me to overcome my weaknesses and strive to become better each day. Miracles are real. They happen every day. Sometimes I ask members that come in if they have had any missionary experinces lately and most of the time they say yes, but sometimes they say no. Well I tell them to get excited because they are going to have a miracle! I want to invite you all to do the same! Pray for opportunities to do good this Christmas season and you WILL have miracles :) Then write me about them!

Family you are all so special and I am grateful that we can all be together for eternity :)
Love,
Sister Hamstead
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox