A great week!

Ok so this week!

We thought we were going to teach Mary Caroline again, but we had to move it to tomorrow (tuesday), because her parents were in town and she hasn’t told them she’s seeing us yet.  But she’s still strong, and loves talking with us.  She texts us questions during the week if she has any, about what we talked about, or about her own reading.  She even texts us to tell us she read and loved it!  Those are the best.  She asks some really hard questions though!  But not doubting, sincerely wanting to know the answer.  Like “Are we worthy for God’s grace?” and “Do people differ in there worthiness? Does that make a difference?”.  She is the sweetest.  We’re thinking of suggesting that she get a blessing  to help her with some health issues and to know what to do about telling her parents about her interest in the church.
Another one of our investigators is Anthony.  He’s been seeing the missionaries for 9 months, and is basically part of the ward, but hasn’t been baptized because he’s on parole.  But he gets off next month!  Yay!  I have no idea what for though.  But we’re excited for him!
The musical number went well!  (I played piano in the ward on Sunday for the Young Adult choir.)  Despite one of my pages blowing off during the actual performance.  But c’est la vie.
Miracle! So the parents of a recent convert (less than a year) are dear friends of the missionaries.  They are exactly the kind of people you expect to find in the south.  Generous, hospitable, live in a beautiful country house, with beautiful antiques that fit the southern plantation feel of the house.  They are not members, and although they love having us over, they get stiff when we try to share any kind of spiritual message, no matter how subtle.  Sister Bailey said they have tried every angle with them.  I asked her if I could sing for them.  Sister Bailey was really reluctant.  She said no at first.  But then she got a letter from her old trainer, testifying how much success they’ve had with music and teaching.  They sing for anyone they can, and it changes people’s hearts.  After Sister Bailey read this, she said I could do it, although she was still wary.  I sang for them just as we were leaving, “I Know That My Redeemer Lives”.  They loved it!  They want me to do more music for them next time.  Sister Bailey was so excited!  She has a lot more faith in me and music now.  And she wants to participate too!  I wish I had some of my duet music.  Which Reminds me!!!  Please send me “candle light carol!”  The Mission President and his wife expect me to somehow pull together some kind of musical number with some other missionaries from the zone for our Christmas devotional.  We’ll see what happens though?  Also, anything else that has parts that is Christmas?  If we have any?  Thanks!
We started teaching a girl named Emily (!).  We tracted into her one day.  She told us that she’s atheist/agnostic, but wants to learn about other religions.  She told us she had A LOT of questions.  This didn’t worry me, because I knew the spirit would help me know what to say to her.  We had a ward member with us at the lesson, and it couldn’t have gone more perfect!  The questions were straight from the book, like “what is your purpose as missionaries”? (we have our purpose memorized– To invite others to come unto Christ, by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the holy ghost, and enduring to the end).  We didn’t say that exactly though, but simplified it.  She asked the perfect questions to transition us through the first lesson perfectly.  Then at the end she wanted to know about the plan of salvation!  Which is lesson 2!!  We’re seeing her on Wednesday.  Exciting!
There haven’t been any crazy tracting experiences this week, most everyone is so kind and gracious!  Even when saying ‘no’!
There’s something here called ‘cherry wine’, and I have yet to try it.  It’s not actual wine, just a kind of cola, but apparently it’s the greatest!  Perhaps I will try it this week.
We’ve been meeting with a less-active named ‘Hunter’ for quite some time now.  He is 18.  He fell away from the church when his parents divorced (a year or two ago), and now his parents are considering a temple divorce as well.  So sad.  He said he didn’t consider himself Mormon anymore, and he doesn’t want to come to church.  But he enjoyed talking with us.  We decided that we didn’t need to teach him the lessons, since he was already very familiar with church teachings and doctrine, so I suggested we read and discuss the Book of Mormon with him.  I suggested we read 3Nephi 11, and discuss it as we go.  It was amazing!  Although he didn’t agree with everything, we talked out each of the issues he had.  It’s like someone had brushed his fur the wrong way, and now we’re fixing it.  He needed his concerns to be heard.  He knows we don’t know everything, he is as patient with us as we are with him.  He texted us last Sunday morning and said “What time is church?  I guess I’m going to give Utchdorf a chance” (his favorite conference talk this october session).  He says he wants to come back!  Miracle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Seriously!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  He looked so different after he had been to church even once.  He went yesterday too, and the light in his eyes makes the biggest difference!  You wouldn’t believe it.
I love all of you!!  I have a picture of the people we sang for, but it’s in the car….dang sorry!  Maybe I’ll be able to get it…?
Sister Hollberg
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