Monday, October 27, 2014

Families and Halloween!

The awkward moment when you forget everything you were excited to tell everyone on Monday. XD

 So, Cindy has been in the hospital most of the week. Her health had really taken a turn for the worst. She came home just a few days ago, and we've been trying to go visit her. But her friend in the congregation has been visiting and taking care of her. She says Cindy has finally hit that point where being sick is worse than recovering, and she finally wants to quit drinking! :) Yaaaaay! 
 I don't remember if I wrote the story, but a few weeks ago she asked for a priesthood blessing. She said that blessing has been carrying her through a lot of the hard things, and has been on her mind. It was so hard for her to believe God loves her, but maybe she's starting to feel it now!! We're excited for her. Things were looking really grim for a while there.

 Remember the two teenage girls?! Turns out the most talkative one didn't actually live there, so we haven't been able to talk to her,  BUT when we came back (we brought the Young Women president with us, we wanted her to meet the girls) we met Monica and her family. Monica has only just recently discovered God after ignoring Him all her life and realizing she needs Him. She's started to look for a church for her and her kids. She's struggling as a single mom trying to take care of 11 kids (5 are hers) and she was very, very grateful to hear our was seriosuly the coolest thing. She was getting so excited, and she felt the Spirit so strongly and told us she was feeling something incredible that she only feels in churches...and all her girls were outside listening and participating and getting really excited to hear about Jesus!! They're such a sweet family, I've totally fallen in love with them. The girls were too shy to talk to us, but they came close and listened and got really excited when we asked them a question or asked them what they thought. When we visited them again last night, Monica was gone, but one of the girls was home and she wanted us to stay and wait for mom to come home. She sat outside with us. 

 Families are AWESOME. Two of a family is cool and everything, but watching a family grow close to God together, and to learn together....there's nothing like it. I've really grown a testimony of families, and why they're so important to God. He's so strict about it because this is how we grow, learn, practice, find support in one another. It's just amazing.

 Merry has a strong testimony of a Gospel-centered family, as well. the YW pres really hit it off with this family, but we're really excited to introduce her to Merry, as well.

 Merry and her family are doing great! They got to see the temple open house and were so excited!! They loved every bit of it, and asked so many questions! Cari isn't 12 until the beginning of next year, but she's so excited to go there when she's old enough. Merry really wants to get a recommend and get started!

 And a funny side note for Merry....the kids have no idea that there's such thing as "boy missionaries." All they've known are sisters, so the girls are excited to grow up and serve missions, and whenever we bring it up to the boys, they're like, "but boys can't go, can they?" Bahahaha!! We tried to get them to meet the elders who are also in our building at church, but they didn't have time. Next time. :p

 We finally got to see Lizzy! She's not doing well. She still feels like God is being silent to her and she doesn't know's a little frustrating, because she was making such good progress....miss church for a couple of weeks, and she's back where she started. :/ but, she's still reading the BoM, or listening to it...quick side note, I LOVED what Elder Scott said in General Conference this year, "Don't yeild to Satan's lie that you don't have time to read scriptures. It's more important than sleep, school, work, or social media. Get your priorities in order." Man, I loved that!! Haha. And Lizzy is such a testament to that. Soooooooo much is going on in her life, and she still finds a way to read the BoM. 

 Saturday was the trunk or treat!! it was really fun!! I actually stressed about it all week, because I am NOT a social person, and I felt kinda responsible for everyone who wasn't a part of hte ward to feel included and have a good time. But it went really well. Lizzy and her daughter seemed to have a really fun time! Merry got to know a few more people in the ward, and it was so nice to see her kids running around with their friends. It's a relief when a new family seems to be solidly in the ward. Sister Fox convinced her family to come, even though they don't really like her coming back to church. I was very sore from standing and walking the whole time (and earlier that day we had done a service project), but it went really well.
 Also, funny side note.....two 9-year-old friends were missionaries, wearing their dads' old nametags. :p And it was actually really good, because I was watching, and they never left each other's side the WHOLE TIME!!! Hahahahahaha. 

 I think that's everything...I love you guys!! Thanks for all you do! :) Missions are the greatest thing in the world, and I love being out here! 

 -Sister Stratford

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