My Dear Family,
My week rocked. It was walk week again, but I've come to realize that I'm pretty grateful for the times we have to walk. It forces us to be more bold and talk with everyone. Plus I need the exercise. The problem is, I don't know if it was the weather or that our week was a little more stressful, but I got sick. Not too bad though, just a cold. Which isn't nearly bad enough to stay home. Staying home is the worst thing ever. Sooo boring. Plus then you aren't working. You only get real joy and happiness after you've worked for something. Listen to this. We were walking a lot one day, and passed by a Jiffy Lube with people in front waving at cars trying to get them to see the sale they were having. I started talking to this lady about how we like to wave at cars too. It's funny to look at the reactions people give you. If they're cool they will wave back. She was super nice. I told her we were missionaries for our church. Turns out she's dating a member who lives in New Mexico! We asked her if she wanted to know more and she gave us her phone number. Stuff like that is cool.
There are so many Romney signs in front of peoples' yards. I know I'm not supposed to say anything about politics, but I'm just stating facts. We count the Obama signs we see too..so far I think we've seen 5. But it is true that many more people are finding out about the church because of Romney and their minds are becoming more open. Have I told you about Bellvue Baptist Church? Well its the BIGGEST church I've ever seen. I don't think as big as the conference center, but what I like about the conference center is that a lot of it is built below the ground so it doesn't look huge. Anyway, this baptist church is found in Bartlett and let's just say that they don't think too highly of mormons. I actually had a nightmare about it the other night. We were teaching an investigator, and then these people came barging in her door with name tags just like ours except it said, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Bellvue Baptist". I ran screaming from the house. haha. Well back to my story. Our conversations with people who go to that church don't ever go too far. I am not putting their church down. They have a very nice facility. And they are wonderful people. But we tracted into a guy who is a security guard at that church and he actually listened intently as we told him what the Book of Mormon is. He stopped us in the middle and said, "Wait, isn't Romney a mormon?" We said yes, and he listened even more intently. Pretty cool. Well President says the flood gates are opening. This is a direct quote "Elders and Sisters, it's going to start raining. Raining converts!" Our mission currently has 18 sisters and within six months will grow to 34. Things are changing pretty dramatically I think.
THIS IS SO AWESOME. Guess what happened. We walked to the church to wait for our ride once last week. Random time, random day. We were waiting outside when a man pulled up, got out of his car, and came to talk with us. When he found out I was from provo he asked if I went to provo high. I said yes. He said, "Did you go to Dixon?" I said yes. "Did you know a Mrs. Tippetts?" "How could I forget my seventh grade science teacher?!" I said. "Well Mrs. Tippetts is my wife". What the! I expected him to say that she was his cousin or sister in law or something. But his wife! haha. I was really surprised but it made me really happy. He served in my exact same mission 30 years ago. He came on business and stopped to do a session at the temple before he went home. What a wonderful little thing. It totally didn't even have to happen but I think Heavenly Father made it happen because He likes to be cool like that.
We had dinner with this great member family who remind me of Jeremy and Chelle. He even looks like Jeremy I think. As I talked with the wife, she told me about how her maiden name is Hale. Come to find out that it is her family that owns the Hale Center Theater in Utah! Luckies. Isn't that cool?
We had 2 Halloween parties this week. One for first ward, one for second. They were a lot of fun. On Friday I dressed like Sis B and Sis B dressed like me. She decided to cut her bangs like mine...but cut them a little short. She said, "great, now I look like a stupid little dutch boy". She really didn't, but there was no convincing her. She walked around all day trying to imitate me. Here is her best. Now imagine this in a very high voice. "Everything is WONDERFUL! I love everyone!!!! If we could just have more love in our hearts, I think that more people would get baptized!!!". I walked around all day trying to imitate her by saying "If these people don't get out of my way I'm going to punch them in the throat". haha! We had a good time. The second night, we went to Donna's house right before the party. She found out I didn't have anything to dress up as since Sis B was going in her power rangers t-shirt. So she went right to work. She ratted my hair and put it in an old lady bun and gave me glasses and a black shall and high heels and I went as a snooty old librarian. It was very convincing, seeing as a ward member told me that when she first saw me she thought "who is that old lady? I've never seen her before". hahahaha. Score.
We had 2 primary programs this week. Best sunday of the whole year. I remember Mom telling me to tone it down in church when we watched the primary program because I was laughing too loud. It's not my fault that they are very entertaining. I was not disappointed this year. It was the best! Honestly though, I felt the spirit as they sang. I know it's important to try to be like Jesus and choose the right. One of the primary programs blew me out of the water because they sang every verse of every song. They sang "I am a Child of God" complete with the descant on the third verse (which people don't normally do). Then they did a verse in Japanese! And THEN they did the fourth verse, that people don't even really know about. I was impressed. They sang every verse of Follow the Prophet. Most of the verses were sung as duets or solos by the children. The best part was at the end when they sang Choose the Right, but the pianist did a little arrangement of it, and on the third verse the congregation joined in. It wasn't one of the cheesy kind of endings when the organ gets way too loud and the chorister is too enthusiastic and you almost wish you would have left before they did that song. It was just good because you could still hear the children singing and the spirit was there and you could focus on the words. "Choose the right, there is peace in righteous doing. Choose the right, there's safety for the soul". I knew that those children knew why it is important to choose the right, and they strive to do it. When we choose the right, we receive the confirmation from the Holy Ghost that we are growing into the people God wants us to be. Why wouldn't you want to do that? He will sustain you when you do. I know that's true because I have seen it. I know God loves His children, so He provides safety for our souls through His son and His gospel. And the Book of Mormon. (remember that talk by elder Holland?)
THEN last night we had a baptism! It was kind of unexpected...it was Stephanie's baptism. I was very happy to see her get baptized because she has been working for this for a very long time. She has gone through trials and tribulations. I have never seen so much support from a ward for a baptism. There must have been 30 people there to support her. They really cared about the preparation and making sure there was someone from the Relief Society presidency to welcome her...our ward mission leader is the best I've ever seen. He made up really nice programs and made refreshments. It's nice to have people who care about the work we're doing and help us. So be member missionaries! All of you! It's important! Did you know that you have the best thing in the whole world? The restored gospel is what everyone needs. It is the only way to peace in this life and eternal life in the world to come.
I love you all,
Sister Annalisa Wilde