Monday, March 19, 2012

Livin the Life in Hot Springs

To my wonderful family and friends:

First of all, here's a shout out to Mom and Michelle.  Happy
Birthday!! I thought of you both when it was your birthday, and wished
I could give you a hug.  I made sure to tell people that I saw that it
was your birthdays. haha.

We have had an excellent week in Hot Springs!  We've seen mighty
miracles.  Sister Gladden is the best companion I could ask for.  She
has only been out for 5 months, but has amazing leadership skills and
is training me very well.  I learn a lot from her as we teach our
investigators.  She has a way of being their friend while teaching the
gospel, and that's how I want to be.  That's what the people here
need.  They are good, kind, open people. They love God and Jesus and
have a lot of faith already.  I love that about them.  We go to visit
some older ladies in the nursing home named Betty and Glenda.  Also,
we play dominos every week with an old lady named Margaret and her
friend Charlie.  Have I already told you this?  Okay, it is like the
best part of my week!  Charlie is in his 40's and used to be
Margaret's neighbor. He started visiting with her at the nursing home,
because they really do need people to visit them.  They get so lonely,
and it is sad. I hope people will visit me when I get old because
nothing sounds worse than lying around watching Halmark channel all
day.  But don't visit me if it's just a duty, I want you to only if
you love me.  Anyway, Charlie is from Germany and he is AWESOME.  I
really like him.  The real reason we play dominos is to see if Charlie
will take the lessons with us.  We are going to ask him soon.

One of the ladies named Glenda has dimensia and talks a lot.  On
Saturday, we had an especially beautiful experience with her.  We were
talking about prayer, and she told us that she prays for the
missionaries every day, especially us (the sisters). She wants her
daughter to accept the gospel back in her life so badly, and we are
going to go visit her. She asked us if someone in the nursing home
were to accept the gospel and have the desire to be baptized but
couldn't move around very well, could we get them baptized?  The
spirit felt tangible in the room because I could see and feel her
faith. Sister Gladden said to Glenda that she had actually had the
exact same thought enter her own mind right before Glenda said it.
She assured her that we would find a way for them to be baptized.  We
then asked Glenda if she would like to come with us to teach a lesson
to this other woman in the nursing home that came to our minds.  We
want to teach her and feel strongly that there are good things in

Cool story. Thursday was a rough day.  We were tired and our
appointments were falling through.  It was 8:15 at night and we had
nothing to do.  Sister Gladden said, "okay, let's go to Wal-Mart and
do some contacting!" In my mind I am thinking, "Oh NOOoooooo!".
Everyone knows that I don't even really like Wal-Mart because I can
only feel the spirit when I'm at Maceys. :) But even worse than that,
I am scared of contacting. I haven't had too much experience with it.
Sister Gladden told me that I had to do all the contacting that night
and the fear entered my body.  As we were going toward the store from
the parking lot, we saw a girl who had scrubs on so it looked like she
worked at the hospital.  Sister Gladden goes up to her and says, "Hey,
I think you helped me at the hospital one you remember me?"
The girl was like, "Umm, no..?" She was very confused.  Sister Gladden
said, "No, I just really remember how nice you were to me and
sometimes people aren't that nice at the hospital.  Don't you remember
me?"  Still, the girl was super confused.  She said, "Well I'm glad to
see you out of the hospital."  Now, keep in mind, the ENTIRE time I'm
thinking that this is real.  I was wondering how Sister Gladden could
remember that well.  Anyway, after that, Sister Gladden said, "Okay,
well have a good night" and we walked away.  She looked at me and
said, "Why didn't you say anything? I set it up perfectly for you!"
And I said, "Oh my gosh, I thought that was real!  I thought you were
going to say something!"  Hahaha.  I totally messed up.  I was kicking
myself as we were walking through the store, but knew I had to find
someone and open my mouth.  We ended up seeing this lady named Joy who
we started talking to.  She already knew we were "the sisters" and was
very kind to us.  Her in-laws are LDS but she isn't.  She said she had
recently been trying to find God in her life and get in touch with her
spirituality.  She shared an experience where she had an answer to
prayer, and then we told her that she was an answer to our prayers.
We had an amazing conversation with her about that.  I knew God had
blessed me to meet Joy.  I know she is prepared to receive the
restored gospel.  He just gave her right to us.  She told us she had
been meaning to go to Wal-Mart all day, but hadn't ever gotten around
to it until that evening something told her to go to Wal-Mart right
then.  Then she met us.  She invited us over to her home for dinner in
the coming week.  It was a huge blessing.

Side note. Absolutely everyone here has dogs.  Anyone who knows me
knows I'm not too fond of dogs. Sister Gladden laughs at me every day
because I don't know what to do around talks.  I don't know how to
talk to them, I don't know how to play with them, and I hate when they
touch me.  They are just very annoying.  One of our investigators has
two baby pitbulls.  My worst nightmare.  This is something I'm
definitely going to have to get used to. But at least everyone else
can get enjoyment out of it.

The ward members are wonderful here.  They feed us pretty much every
night. I love to go to their homes because I get a chance to get to
know them better, so that I'm not so overwhelmed at church trying to
learn everyone's names.  One sister in the ward, Sister Delong,
teaches at a first baptist preschool.  She wants to teach them a song
for a program they are doing.  She is thinking of the primary song
"Follow the Prophet".  She texted her baptist friend to see if they
believed in prophets. They kinda don't believe in them the way we do,
so she's changing the song to say, "Learn from the Prophets". hah.
Anyway, she asked me to play the piano at their program.  We're hoping
to be able to talk with her baptist friend a little bit at it.

Our mission goal is to get 7 new investigators a week.  That's one a
day.  This past week, we got 11!  We are excited.  Things are going

Love you all,

Sister Annalisa Wilde

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