Tuesday, December 9, 2014

60 degree Christmas season

Dearest Darlingest Family of mine.
Provo temple
Enjoying the gorgeous day.
    So, sorry I didn't email when I usually do today. We only get the chance to go to the temple every three months and December is one of those months and today was that day!!! So yes, today I was able to go to the Provo temple and it was marvelous! I absolutely adore the temple and I miss it so much when I can't go as often as I would like to! It always brings a lot of peace and a lot of perspective to me, and I was glad to have the chance to go this morning. Believe me, nothing feels better than holding your recommend and know you are worthy and stepping through the doors and you suddenly get this wonderfully beautiful whoosh of air and suddenly you feel like a backpack full of bricks has been ripped off your shoulders. I love it. I can't say it enough. The temple truly is Heaven on Earth...I'm still waiting to find out if I will have the chance to be a hostess and tour guide for the Pasen Temple open house. Someday I will be able to go to the temple as often as I want. And maybe I'll even get to work there! SO COOL!
      So yes. Merry Christmas! I can't say it feels much like Christmas here in Utah though...because it has been in the 50s and 60s all week long...which is kind of dumb. Everyone keeps saying we probably won't get snow before Christmas. I hope they are all WRONG! It needs to snow. I love the snow. If you know me, you know that I love snow! Everyone in Utah is holiday happy...goodness gracious they go all out with their Christmas light here and the city even decorates the Main Street in Springville with lights. It's kind of strange to see all the lights because it is nice outside every day, but it is super cool to drive around at night because almost everybody's house is glowing!
      Well, last night, sadly I didn't get to watch the Christmas devotional. :( I was really bummed about that. We were going to watch it with Jordan but he never got back to us about it so we decided to go to the stake center to watch it...and nobody was there. We drove around for a half hour trying to find a church that was broadcasting it and couldn't find a single one. So we finally just went to our house and tried to pull it up on our iPads...but because it was streamed through youtube our ipads restricted us from being able to watch it and we had nowhere to go...I'm pretty sure this was the first time I ever missed the Christmas devotional. Sis Gulbranson and I were both really sad about it because it was her first time missing it too. 
     Where do I even begin with this week? We did a lot of teaching this week! We didn't do a whole lot of investigator teaching, although there were those too, but we work with a ton of less actives! This whole stake was created because two years ago they reactivated 1000 less active YSA. Crazy right? 
Thanks Aunt Siska for my 'Sister' sock
      So Monday we went shopping up Main Street in Springville and went to a bunch of cool shops. We went to a music shop and Sis G bought a harmonica because she said she had always wanted to learn how to play, so she bought a starter kit. It's been hilarious all week long to hear her blow away at her little beginner harmonica at night before we go to bed. She is learning how to read music and it is funny to watch her scribble away in her little note pad as she figures out notes and puts them in order as she learns the hymns. She knows how to play Amazing Grace, Away in a Manger, and I am a Child of God already! I might send you a video if she doesn't catch me doing it... haha! 
       We taught J again, and this time we talked with him about baptism and confirmation. He is still waiting for an answer and we think his family is holding him back a little bit. He also struggles with thinking he isn't worthy to partake of the sacrament. He is such a good guy, and I probably pray for him the most because the spirit is always SO strong in our lessons with him and I want him to want it SO BAD! AH! Sometime Sis G and I just sit and vent about how much we want him to get baptized and how much we know the gospel would bless his life. He is such a good kid and has so much insight!  He is one of those people I want to shake and just tell him to trust God! He has questions and I get that, but sometimes we just need to go on Faith. We don't get all the answers in this life. And we can't let the little minor details that don't make sense get in the way of the huge blessings that come from accepting the major doctrine and truth that we know. Man. Sorry. Venting over. I just want him to be happy so bad. He is my brother. I want him there when we have our big celestial reunion someday with our Heavenly Father. 
      This week I have had the opportunity to teach and testify about the Book of Mormon every day multiple times a day. A bunch of the people we are teaching are just at that point in the lesson process....and can I tell you that this week I realized (well I knew it before, I've known it forever and I've loved the book forever, but this week it hit me so hard!) how much I absolutely love the Book of Mormon. I love this little brown bound copy of the Book of Mormon that I got when I was 8 years old. It looks like I've turned the inside of it into a coloring book with all the revelation and insight I've received. The Gold on the edges is faded and gone and make-shift colorful tabs stick out each and every way to help me have quick access to important scriptures I use in teaching regularly. My name on the cover is becoming discolored from my thumb, where I grab it and hold it up as I testify about its truthfulness in strangers tiny living rooms over and over and over again.  The stories in the book are epic!(Go read Alma 47. It's a war chapter, and it's the most intense suspenseful action packed one...and it just so happens to give us super sneaky ways in which the adversary fights against us. Maybe read it for FHE. Teach the children to not come down off their mountain!) Also go online and find the Mormon Message Testimony of the Book of Mormon, with Jeffrey R Holland speaking. It is so good and we showed that to a few people this week. Super powerful.
     Also this week we had the opportunity to start teaching a less active named D. He was adopted from Kazakhstan when he was only 7 years old and fell away, but is now coming back. He sought us out and has been so prepared! He has a lot of questions, but has found already that he can study the pamphlets we give him and read from the Book of Mormon to find his answers. What a cool kid. We have a great time teaching him!
     Also this week we taught C again! And we put her on date for baptism next month!! She is doing great and already had a lot of great insight on doctrine and things. Her sister is getting baptized this next week in a different family ward, which is super exciting. 
     This week we had Zone Training meeting. And it was absolutely beautiful and amazing. Our zone leaders are both Named Elder Taylor haha! And then Sis Neaf and Sis Nielsen are our STL's. It was Sis Nielsen's last Zone training meeting which was really sad.  We talked about the new He is the Gift initiative a lot and they gave us all the opportunity to bare our testimony of the Savior. Can I just say that there is nothing more powerful than 20 full time missionaries all in the same room, all called of God to declare the divinity of Christ, all reading the Living Christ together, and then all standing and baring such bold and powerful witnesses and testimonies of our Dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
     This last Sunday J didn't come to church which made us really sad because the testimony meeting in his ward was SO good! And guess what!? C. J. was made a priest in the Aaronic priesthood today and was called to Secretary in the Sunday School presidency! He is doing super well!!! We are hoping to get him to the temple soon for baptisms!
     This week had its ups and downs as always, but as Christmas draws nearer, and I've been acknowledging Christ's hand and atonement in every aspect of my life, I have been so grateful for His constant love, compassion, and patience towards me.
     I'm so grateful to see His hand in the lives of those I teach. I've told you all about R multiple times, right? Well I got a facebook message from her this week saying she has been told she is ready to go through the temple in the next month. I was so so happy.
     I love you all to the moon and back! Merry Christmas! Miss you and can't wait to talk to you all soon face to face on Christmas morning! :) 
Love Forever,
Sister Lenise Diane Volmer

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