Happy New Year everyone!
Thank you so much for the letters and notes that were sent to me for Christmas and my birthday. I really appreciate the love and support that my family and friends give me. Thank you all!
So remember how I was talking about our baptismal goal for the year? Check this out, I got this email from President today. He said, "To recap the year for all those who love goals and numbers and those who do not care for numbers. As it turnes out the final year end total for 2013 was 443 people joining the church in the mission. This was 7 short of our goal, however, last year(2012) the goal was 365 and the actual was 372, 7 more than the goal(you can see where i am going with this) You take the additional 7 from last year and add them to this year and you get 450! WE DID IT!"
HOW COOL IS THAT?!?!? God is so awesome! Now it all makes sense! And now with this years goal of 521 baptisms for 2014 we are totally going to make it! Man, the church is SO TRUE! I love being a part of this work! This is just one of those moments when I know that this work is the Lord's work. He is the one in charge and ALL things are possible through God. I'm excited for this new year and all that it brings.
Oh of those things it will bring is my birthday! I'm now 22 years old and am so grateful for the fun I had on my birthday thanks to my amazing family and friends helping me celebrate. My mom sent me this huge birthday box and it came a little early. I had my companion open it and get out the presents that were wrapped just for fun. The morning of my birthday I woke up to Sisters Smith, Bailey and Firestone all coming into my room with the CD player playing the Taylor Swift song called "22" and dancing and singing. It was hilarious. They brought me my presents and we had lots of fun opening all of them in my bed. I was so happy to get such great things! Thank you so much Mom, Dad, Elliot and Roy, Mason, Zac and of course Camden. I loved all the things you sent! I love you all so much!!!
Then I walked out into the kitchen and it was all decorated in streamers and balloons! The table was even decorated! It was as if my mom came in the night and decorated to surprise me!! My awesome companion is very sneaky and had this all planned out! She then made me my favorite breakfast meal, which is biscuits and gravy with sausage and eggs! It was so awesome!
That night a member took us out to dinner to an Italian restaurant, just like I wanted and the waitresses sang "Happy Birthday" to me and I got a piece of cake! It was great!
The best part of the day was the gifts that God gave to me. :) While we were walking downtown trying to talk to people I felt impressed to go up a street we wouldn't normally go down. We went and met a young man outside a coffee shop named Matt who said that he was "looking". We exchanged information when he said he would like to meet with us. Then later that night we got a text from someone in another ward who knew someone who wanted to learn from us! It was so amazing because we hadn't seen much success at all while we've been here. Then on my birthday we are blessed! Thanks Heavenly Father! :)
Saturday we met with a girl named Allie who is the cutest, happiest girl I have ever seen that wears all black and dark makeup. She's 19 and has a spunky personality. We taught her about the Book of Mormon and she seemed so eager to learn. I loved teaching her and can't wait to meet with her again.
We had another miracle late one night after walking around in the freezing cold. The phone rang and it was a girl named Crystal who wanted us to come over and teach her. We went over that night and she was very receptive to everything we taught. She's 20 and looking for direction in her life. I love helping people to see the light and watch as the Gospel of Jesus Christ changes them. I know this gospel brings happiness!!
Sunday we got snowed in! All of church was cancelled! Not just our ward but all of Columbia. There is a lot of snow and it is so cold that we are not allowed to be outside for more than five minutes because of the "life-threatening wind-chill." I have never been so cold in my life, it's amazing!
A member came and got us to take us to her house for dinner and it was nice and warm ham and bean soup with homemade cornbread. Mmm! I'm out of time now but I love you all and am so grateful for all of you!!!