(Note: this post is late because Mom was out of town, so there will be double entries this week!)
Well I’m almost better– I have to keep taking cough medicine at night though so I can sleep through the night. My voice is not quite back, but almost. It’s still hard to sing, but it will be better in a couple of days. Thank you SO much for the beautiful calendar from the BYU Art Show. (Sacred Gifts 2014 Calendar) I love it!! It’s hanging right above my head so I see it right before I sleep, and right when I wake up.
About news from home:
I wish so badly that I could have been at the twins’ baby blessing! Do you have a picture you can send me?
You’re going to Las Vegas! Tell Uncle Tom ‘Hi!!!!!’ for me, and give him a big hug! And play his piano and sing for me! Lesa as well! Both Lisa’s! I know they spell it differently, but you know. I love them and miss them! I love to look at the pictures of the cabin that Uncle Tom sent me for the Christmas garland. I wish I had them printed on good picture paper, they are so beautiful! If you could just send me the picture file, I can take it and get it printed out, I think?
We are being told that every missionary in our mission will be getting an iPad sometime in the next year– we don’t know when, but it’s promised! It would be an ENORMOUS help for us– we can then pull up videos and entire books, and visual aids anytime and anywhere. Plus, we get to KEEP the iPads after the mission!!! This is the incentive to take care of them, and not break them or get them stolen. Although, we do have to pay for part of the cost. I’m sure the Church is getting a killer deal though. We have no idea when this is going to happen though…
The area we are in now is not really as “southern” as Charlottesville was, and it’s kind of weird not living in a college town (my first time!), but there are still churches EVERYWHERE. There’s this HUGE church that has to have two police men direct traffic when the service ends each Sunday. Once in a while we see a car that drives around with a huge 3-sided sign on top that says things like “JESUS SAVES” and other such phrases. There’s also this big billboard of a man who performs miracles, and the time and place for his events–yup little reminders that it’s still the ‘Bible Belt’, even up here so close to DC.
Yesterday, we got to have a neat experience at church– three of our recent converts officiated the sacrament! (Two Priests and one Deacon), then one of them spoke and shared his conversion story! It’s amazing to see how the gospel changes peoples’ lives– the transformation is beautiful and blesses everyone around them. One of the boys brought their non-member friend to church too! Blessings everywhere. Also, one of the other recent converts, Argenis (are-jenny, he is Hispanic) introduced us to a friend of his named Mr. Bill.
Mr. Bill hangs out at McDonald’s where Argenis also likes to hang out (don’t ask me why), but they became friends over time. Argenis is 21 and loves what joining the church has done for him. We have heard so much about Mr. Bill, but never met him; until one day last week where he happened to be at McDonald’s the same day we had a lesson with Argenis there! Mr. Bill is a 60 year old man, who seems kind of lonely– he goes to McDonald’s just to get out of the house. We introduced ourselves to him, then sat with Argenis and had our lesson a few tables away. After the lesson, Mr. Bill asked us if we had anything to say to him (boy do we!). We talked about the church, and expressed our sadness for how the world is turning, and how the family is being attacked on all fronts. Mr. Bill is Catholic (though not very active), but didn’t really seem interested in being taught. Then I looked down at a notebook he had sitting on the table, and noticed that it had some puzzles on it. I asked him if he liked puzzles and riddles. He said yes! He gave me a couple of riddles to solve, and when I solved them relatively easily, he was astonished, and really warmed up to Sister Ence and me. If I had the time, I’d tell you what the riddles were, but anyway he then agreed to be taught, and gave us his phone number! He seems like a very nice man 🙂 he has a lot of good values, and accepted the Restoration Pamphlet happily.
I like to draw during my personal study sometimes (which we do each morning for an hour), while I listen to talks– I download them to my thumb drive, and my DVD player plays them! I love to download the BYU devotionals. There have been some REALLY REALLY good ones I’ve found, that you HAVE to listen to or watch or read.
http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=2162 —(might be too recent to read yet, but you can still listen to it! It will be available to read in a few weeks when they get it transcribed.)
Also, watch the first devotional for 2014 when you get a chance. It was so good!: http://www.lds.org/broadcasts/archive/ces-devotionals/2014/01?lang=eng
I love you!!! Gotta go! 😀