Monday, January 20, 2014

So In Review...(December 30th)

Dear family,

What a wonderful week this has been!! I love Christmas on the mission and I feel so blessed that I was able to have 2!!
This Christmas was so special and filled with so many miracles. Miracle number one was the fact that we were able to get Sister T in touch with her family! It was such a struggle to get the phones to work! We literally had tried EVERYTHING but just could not get it to work. We even called the tech group in charge of our call center in Salt Lake and they couldn't figure out why it was working. I didn't want to give up, but nothing was working. Boo:( So we came up with a plan b. She got permission from President Jenkins to skype one of her friends from home.
So we went over to Rachel Tylers house to do the skype and..... her friend wasn't on! What in the world! We even tried to message the friend on facebook but she wasn't responding. We felt so defeated and I was so sad for Sister T! wwhhyyyyy. Then Rachel asked if we had tried calling Kiribati through skype- I didn't know you could make international calls through skype! So we then had issues loading up the money onto the account so we could make the call, but FINALLY we got it to work!! We first tried her moms number and we heard what sounded like Christmas songs being sung. The call got cut off and I thought for sure it was just a wrong number or something.
So we tried it again, but this time it actually worked! Sister T's mom had been at a Christmas morning service at church and had been waiting to get the call from her! It was so sweet and such a miracle! Sister T is such a good missionary she didn't waste any time telling her mom about the amazing experiences she has been having and then she invited her mom to meet with the missionaries to learn more. Her mom declined, but at least she tried! So then Sister T tried calling her dad (her parents are divorced) it worked too!! I can't even tell you how many times we had tried those stinkin numbers and they NEVER worked! So she talked with her dad and invited him as well to meet with the missionaries and he said he would like to! It was a miracle! Sister T had been praying that the missionaries in that area would find her dad and teach him and she found out that the missionaries had already been going to his house to teach his house mates who are some less active members. Talk about answers to prayers!
Later that night at the VC some people actually came in from Kiribati!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Man Heavenly Father really knows how to take care of His children. It was such a special day.

In other news, keep Tanya in your prayers! She has a new baptism date set for January the 11th :D Which I don't know if I told you but Elder Holland is coming and speaking to all of us that morning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am happy :) Tanya has gone 2 weeks without alcohol, about a week of no cigarettes, and 3 days without nicotine mints. She is doing so good!! I know that satan is going to be working hard on her though so pleaseeee keep the prayers coming! Man I have been fighting this terrible cold for a week now. It just keeps coming back! Members have been so good and have bought me vitamins and medicine. I just hate feeling so tired and drained! It also would be nice to be able to breathe again haha Oh so yesterday Sister T and I were soo busy!! We both gave talks and taught YW's! It was so crazy, but so fun!! I love it when members involve us!!

So we got transfer news and Sister T and I are staying together for another transfer in the same area! I can't lie these past 2 transfers have been the hardest transfers of my mission. I was kind of distraught when I got the news. I was wanting a change and was kind of hoping I would get put back in as a sister training leader. I really didn't get it. I didn't understand why President was giving the callings to missionaries who have been out like a year less than me and why he wasn't using me. I felt kind of like an after thought. I mean I only have one transfer left after this next one with Sister T and I just want to live up to my potential. I want to be a leader. So these are trials I am experiencing at the moment, but I trust that it is all for a reason. I am grateful that I can stay in the area and be here for Tanya's baptism! And please don't think that I don't love sister T! Training is just SUPER hard and exhausting and I was looking forward to a break. Also having a super foreign companion is really hard too. I am choosing to accept Gods will and trying to choose to be happy, but it is hard. Please keep praying for me!!

I love you all sooo much, and today I especially love Abigail!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HAPPY 16th BIRTHDAY ABBY!!!!!! I can't believe you are sixteen. SOOOO crazy!!! Why is time going by so fast?!?! I hope you have a wonderful birthday and that you are loved and adored by so many. The thing I love most about you is your smile. You have kind eyes and you are so good at helping others feel loved and important. I love that you have a great sense of humor and that you are an optimist by nature :) Have a wonderful day!! Expect something in the mail for you when you get home :)

SO a new year is coming. I feel like we as Hamsteads (and Applewhites) need to take this new year as an opportunity to get spiritually in shape (and physically as well). Let's make a commitment this new year to do better than we did last year. 

Let's be sure that we are studying our scriptures DAILY. This is not just something that investigators need to do- all members, everyone HAS to read the scriptures daily. If you are not doing this then your testimony will start to fade. We each need that spiritual renewal and strength that comes from studying the word of God. We each need to be praying EVERY DAY. MORNING AND NIGHT- and any time in between :) Why are these small and simple things so important? We know that by small and simple things that great things are brought to pass. You may not think it will make a big difference, but I can promise you with all of my heart that it will. You want to be happy? You want to feel confident and loved? Do the things that Heavenly Father has asked us to do. 

Now for getting physically in shape- I am right there with you all on that one! We each need to be exercising at least 5 days a week for 30 minutes each day. Whether you are going on a walk, doing a work out dvd, or using the weights. Let's hold back on some desserts and show respect for our bodies by treating them right. Remember that we have been bought with a price and that we are not our own. We have these bodies on loan and we need to treat them like the precious gift that they are. I'm not saying lets all go on some huge diet or anything, what I am saying is let's show our appreciation to our Heavenly Father for giving us our bodies by taking good care of them. Our physical condition DOES affect our ability to feel the spirit- it affects our self esteem, our energy, our moods, etc. We can all do better. Let's commit to be better people this next year :) Family I know we will see miracles and be happy as we just make small and simple changes in our life styles.

So in review:
1. Read scriptures every day.
2. Pray every day morning and night
3. Exercise at least 5 days a week for at least 30 minutes
4. Eat healthier foods and cut back on the bad stuff

I love you all!! Let's make this next year the best yet by becoming physically and spiritually in shape :)

Sister Hamstead

ps if you all have any time before Christopher leaves on his mission I think it would be really cool to have the missionaries over to share the first lesson. Just imagine me and Christopher doing what they do. It would be a really cool experience if they could come over and teach all the lessons. Love you guys!!