Great things are happening here in Gaston. Firstly, I love yall. Thanks for being so supportive of me. It's such a blessing to have loving and supportive family and friends. That's something I never take for granted especially being out here. Things are so fantastic. Thanks for the little note of encouragement. I hope I didn't sound discouraged at all in my letter. I most certainly am not :D I love missionary work! Being on the bikes has been fantastic. It's amazing how blessed we've been out here. We've met so many fantastic people that we wouldn't have met otherwise. Everything definitely happens for a reason and I've been able to see some fantastic miracles. On Tuesday we were out knocking doors just around the area and there was this one door in particular I really felt we should knock on. We rolled down to it and we met this lady who accepted a Book of Mormon but didn't sound too interested in keeping commitments and progressing in the gospel. I didn't think too much of it and we rolled on our way. Thursday we decided to follow up with her and while we were on her porch talking her daughter Samantha comes up and starts talking to us. She's about 25 I'd guess. But turns out she's been really interested in seeing the missionaries and finding a church that she feels comfortable in. Friday we came back and taught her the Restoration and she loved it. The Spirit was so strong. She really just wants direction for her and her family and she's very excited about getting baptized and accepted a baptismal date for the 29th of December and she also said she would come to church on Sunday. Saturday, we came back and tried to see her husband answered the door and told us she was on a long distance phone call with a relative. We left and then about an hour later felt impressed to go back. We went back and she was off the phone and excited to talk to us. We asked her about her husband to see if he wanted to come to church too and she said probably not, he never goes. We asked her to invite him to come talk with us so she went in and got him. The first thing he said when he came out was that he was really set in his ways and he didn't believe he needed to come to church to worship God. We talked with him more and taught the Restoration and told him all of the blessings that come from going to church. The Spirit was so strong and by the end of the lesson they were both SO excited about coming to church the next day and Steven (her husband) accepted a baptismal date for the 29th as well. They are SO cool! I love that family. They have to sons, Andrew who's 4 years old and Connor who's 9 months. I'm so excited for them! Saturday was great. Sunday morning they came to sacrament meeting, despite the fact that Andrew had a fever the night before and kept them up pretty late. But Elder Holley and I were so excited to see them. We've been working so hard the past two weeks to have investigators come to church so it was such a blessing that they were able to come :D They are so cool!!! I know I've said that before but they really are and I'm way excited for them. They are so excited about the gospel and really want it in their lives. One thing I really learned from this experience is teaching people according to their needs. Preach My Gospel is so inspired. While we still taught the Restoration, we basically applied every aspect of the gospel to helping them have direction for their family and having peace in life. Those two things are what they really want most in life (something that we learned while talking and getting to know them). It's amazing how the Spirit guides and how God knows everything that people need. Miracles are amazing.
But things get even better! While all this was going on, we've been working with Paul a lot this week. I'm so excited to say that he's.................excited and ready to be baptized this Saturday. Pray hard for him this week though. I'm sure Satan will really try to get him but Paul's going to stay strong this week. I'm incredibly excited for him to be baptized. He's changed so much and having the priesthood is going to be such a blessing in their home. We just saw him and Rebekah (his wife) last night and they are doing fantastic. They're loving each other and enjoying living happily together.
Also, we feel really loved by this ward. They are taking good care of us. Mainly, Santa Clause came last night :D The Relief Society Sisters have all been donating things to the missionaries and they brought over these GIANT stockings for Elder Holley and I and a box full of even more goodies. These things seriously must weigh like 20 pounds all together. (Don't worry, they included a toothbrush and toothpaste as well :P) Things are going so well out here and I'm still loving the work so much. It's good to hear that yall are enjoying Christmas too and thanks for including a picture of Gideon because the videos are in a format that doesn't work on the library computers. But that's so great! I'm so excited for Solomon and Amanda and you guys as well. That's so exciting to have a new member of the family.
Attached is a monthly newsletter that we get emailed to us about the mission. I don't know if you already get them but this one has a picture of the whole mission and Elder Bednar from when he came. See if you can find me in it :P I'll continue to include these as I get them if you don't already get them. Just let me know. ...............................................
Things are awesome out here. Hope yall are enjoying the Christmas season :)