Happy New Year everyone!!! Can't believe it is 2014! I love New Years Eve here! Even though fireworks are technically illegal here, Laie doesn't stop tradition! They go all out! The fireworks actually started about 5 when it was still light. They would set one off every once in a while to get everyone excited or something and then more and more started as the night when on, until midnight when the entire sky seemed to be lit up with fireworks and floating lanterns! We got to sit on the hill by the temple and watch them all till 1 that night. We then got to sleep in till 8:30 the next day, but we were all extremely tired! It was so fun though! I wondered for a second why Utah doesn't make THAT big of a deal about New Years like Laie, then I remembered that no one wants to sit out and watch fireworks in negative degrees...haha:) We also had fun with our talent show, Despicable Me 2, and ice cream Sundays as well. It was pretty calm considering the fire-knife dancing and out of control firecrackers and loud music that was going on in the streets all night.
This week was transfer week as well but it didn't make much of a difference to us as nothing really changed for us as you know. It's always interesting to see how all the new companionship work out though:) It was kind of funny because we had told everyone in our ward that transfers were this week so we pretty much said our goodbyes because we were expecting me to leave and now they are a bit confused cause I'm still here:) It's been fun though and I'm super excited to get to know them even better. I do love this area.
It was fun to see the Holdmans! They did get a picture with me so I don't know why you haven't seen it yet. They took us out to dinner and it was so neat to get to talk to them! Thanks so much for your little gift too mom! I love you so much! I never would have thought about getting pizza delivered to the VC from you! Too bad that didn't work out:)
Even with the New Year and transfers this week, we continue to see miracles each day. We had some really neat experiences in the Visitor Center this week! Some very prepared people came in. I feel like the best experiences are when we are working so hard and not having to much success but keep going anyways, and then out of nowhere a miracle walks in. For instance, we were kind of having a difficult day the other day and nobody really wanted to hear anything we had to say, but then on shift that night, during one of the last trams, we were walking around trying to talk to as many people as we could but not getting much of a response, when a girl came up to me and said, "Do you have a picture of Brigham Young? I want to show my friend here." "We don't," I said, "but we have a painting of Joseph Smith." "Oh, may I see it?" she asked. So I brought them over to show them and asked if they knew anything about Joseph Smith or anything. She said that they didn't and she was just interested, that's why. So I then gave a brief explanation about the restoration and when I mentioned that we have a living prophet today leading and guiding the church she said, "do you have a picture of him?" "Actually we do," I replied. (I don't know what her fascination with seeing pictures was but I'm so grateful she was able to see that visual). She asked some more questions and thanked me and was about to leave when I told her that if she was interested in learning more than we could have missionaries in her area stop by and share more with her. She said she was so I gave her the guest card will be in contact with her as well.
Another neat experience happened the other day when we took a tour with a young German couple. Thankfully they spoke English pretty well. It was neat because for the most part, the Germans that come in are pretty set with there beliefs and although they will listen to us, they are not too interested. These two however were a bit different. We asked them about their religious background and they said that they didn't have much of one and were open to anything. We told them about the Book of Mormon and how reading it can help us with any questions we have in our lives. We told them that they had a loving Heavenly Father who answers prayers and showed them from the introduction how they can receive an answer to their prayer if this book was really true. They wanted a copy so we got them one, and then they wanted to see more so we took them to Temple Corner and basically taught the whole restoration and showed them pictures of inside of the temple and explained each room. They asked so many great questions and the spirit was so strong. Of course they loved the idea of Eternal Families and we shared with them that they could have that. We asked if they knew how to pray and they said not really, so we got to teach about prayer as well and invited them to read the Book of Mormon and sincerely pray if it is true and promised that Heavenly Father would answer that prayer. They were so sweet and I am so excited to keep in touch with them! That's my first investigator from Germany:) Svenja and Martha would be proud:)
I love you all so much and will definitely be fasting for Alexa this next Sunday as well. I was definitely doing so yesterday and everyday I have been praying! I have seen more than ever that God is aware of us and that He will never leave us alone. Miracles do happen. Maybe not it the time we may hope for, or in the way we may pray for, but He will never leave his faithful children hopeless or alone. He loves us far to much for that. I am so grateful for the Atonement and for the love and patience Heavenly Father has for me and for us. I am so grateful for this gospel that can strengthen us and pick us up and heal us through our trials. I love my Savior so much and I love you all so much and pray for you always!
Les Quiero muchisimo!
Hermana Rowley (Shayla)