Thank you so much for the packages mom! I was definitely not expecting all that! I am very appreciative though:) I did not get to eat the muffins yet because we only have a little foil cupcake pan and no cooking spray or anything. Haha, you can see how much we cook here:) We will figure something out though. I'm sure that the lady we live with will have something we could use. That was the perfect idea for a mission birthday! I especially loved the mini "Abish" puzzle:) I have completed it at least 3 or 4 times now:) Sister Hoskins was really sweet for my birthday. She loves birthdays so she made a ton of signs and posted them around our room and blew up some balloons and then threw one at my head to wake me up.
It was an interesting day that day. We spent the morning at the Dr. for Sister Hoskins. She is ok, just needed something checked. That night though we got to go to a "Pops" concert that was geared so that us missionaries could bring our investigators. Unfortunately, none of the investigators who could have come showed up. It was a super good concert though. All about America and with a full orchestra, adult and children's stake choirs, guest singers, and a drill team. We got to hand out programs by a table with a bunch of missionary commissary on it. They do this concert 2x/year and a ton of non-members show up so it was good to be able to talk to everyone. One of our investigators though, Mika, actually was in the choir! She just loves to sing so she joined the stake choir:)
This week we are really praying for miracles as a mission. Since it is President's last month here we have been praying and working hard to reach our goal of 200 baptisms this month for the mission. Something that has never been done before in this mission. For our zone, the goal is 40 baptisms, way above what we have ever done before. However, I'm pretty sure we are going to make it. As of yesterday, our zone had 34 baptisms for the month! They are definitely coming through miracles! I'm pretty sure the number jumps up like 3 every day. Most of those are coming from the Chukese and Marshallese areas. They are like the Spanish people for Hawaii. They are all so receptive to the gospel. It really is amazing. Sister Hoskins and I are doing everything we can to add to the number. We certainly will need a miracle though. I wish investigators will just keep there commitments!
One of the new investigators that we got this week, Rod, is actually a former investigator of some elders but new to us. He kept making and canceling appts. with us but finally we called after weeks and he came! We had a really good lesson. He is really afraid of not being perfect and of not ever being good enough to be baptized. We talked a lot about that, about how baptism does not mean that you are perfect. There are certain things that you need to prepare yourself for to be baptized but we promised him that if he kept his commitments of reading the Book of Mormon, praying sincerely, continue being taught by us and coming to church, the rest would come and he would be able to be prepared for baptism. He seemed really excited and promised he would come to church (especially since we were singing). He said that he really wanted to change and he would do as we asked. However, Sunday came, no Rod:( In fact, none of our investigators who promised they would come were there. It would have been so good to have him there that day too because President Dalton and his wife gave such good talks! We did have a less-active there who hadn't been to church in 20 years! He was crying during President's talk and afterwards said, "That was so touching! I want to do something like that and help people like that!" It was so neat! We were so excited that he came this Sunday! This is definitely the Lords work and is in His hands.
So our song actually went ok! Sister Hoskins was soooooo nervous because she had NEVER sung in front of people before and then I kind of threw her in to the deep end and we sang "Abide with me tis Eventide" A Capella! We each sang a solo part too! I was so proud of her! She did amazing!
That night we did watch the missionary broadcast of course. Our dinner appt. got out late and we missed the first 15 min. Is that when they showed Hawaii because I don't remember seeing that. The broadcast was amazing though! Missionary work is definitely stepping up. I wonder when our mission will start going that digital. That will certainly make things a bit easier with contacting people here! The biggest excuse here is "too busy." And it's true! Everybody has too much going on in their lives! It leaves no time for us to teach them. We got a referral from the Visitor Center (that was exciting for me:)) the other day and we called her and she was like, "yeah, i'm interested. But I am super busy and never home. I'm working 3 jobs and don't really have any set time off." She even asked if she could keep in touch through gmail! The best we could do was to tell her to call us if she has some time and to keep in touch with the sisters at the visitor center through email. Hopefully that will work for now.
Something cool this week, I'm making friends with some of the deaf people in the deaf group in our ward! They said that I need to learn ASL so they have been teaching me some things. I now know all the question words so I can ask "what's that?" or "What?" or "Who?" or "How?" or "Why?" or "When?" They think it is pretty funny that I go around asking questions all day:)
I am still loving what I am doing here. I really can't decide if it is going by fast or not. I look back and say what happened to all the time when at the same time the days are so long here. I guess that's the best way to do it:) I am so grateful for how much Heavenly Father loves me. I learn more and more each day how imperfect I am and yet he still trusts me to teach his children. I loved what it said in the fireside last night. How Heavenly Father will never let my imperfections stop His work. Sometimes that is hard to believe when I think of all my imperfections that I’m sure are affecting my investigators, but as long as I am trying, the Lord will not let me fail! That was super comforting! I love you all so much! I hope you know that by now:) I'm so excited for Tonya and Kyle to move to Utah and I can't wait to meet my new nephew and niece when I get home. And mom, about my bank account. I got permission from Pres. to check it to see what you were talking about. Those $4 fees should not be there as far as I know. I don't use an ATM here and they say they are a bank fee. Could you please check up on that with the bank, cause that makes no sense. Thank you for checking my account for me:). I love you all and pray for you always! Thanks for all the love and support!