Happy Thanksgiving!

This is Gorgeous (we don't know his real name) coming to see us with one of his ladies! They live next to the donkey shelter.
This is Gorgeous (we don’t know his real name) coming to see us with one of his ladies! They live next to the donkey shelter.

Hi everyone,

How have you been? Any fun plans for Thanksgiving? I hope you have a wonderful holiday!:)

This week was pretty exciting:) On Monday, we went to a member’s house and she taught us how to do some crafts and also made us homemade pizza and bread and stir fry and it was delicious:) And she gave us aprons she made for us and a book of her recipes and homemade chutney. Oh and supplies for us to crochet! She’s the same one who taught us how to make bread a couple weeks ago:) It’s seriously like Christmas when we go to her house. She teaching us homemaking skills and I love her to death!:)

Trudging through knee-high snow
Trudging through knee-deep snow

Then Monday night, the roads got really bad. And when we woke up on Tuesday, we had no power and were in the middle of a blizzard! We did our personal and companion studies, training, and had an early lunch, and by then it had stopped snowing, so we decided to brave it:) We stayed in the town of Strasburg just to be safe. It was definitely a learning experience driving in snow! We went pretty slow:) Haha and it was very fun tromping around too:) We went to visit a part member family and got the car stuck in front of their house, so after they finished laughing at us they got out the chains and pulled us out:D And… then we got stuck the next day too. Sooo we’re not that great at driving in snow. But we’re getting better!!:)

Also on Tuesday, we started tracting a neighborhood, and at the first door we knocked a woman answered and let us share a message with her! She explained that her neighbor is a member, and they like to talk about God together. So because this member opened her mouth and shared the gospel with her neighbor, that neighbor let us talk to her, and now she is interested in learning even more! Member missionary work is the best!!!!!

This week, we got to go to the temple! It was an amazing experience:) This week I read that spirits who accept the gospel in the spirit world are usually there in the temple when their ordinances are done. I always thought that was probably true, but it was nice to have it confirmed by a general authority:) It’s so wonderful to think about. There are people on the other side of the veil who are so eager to have their work done! So go to the temple!:)

I love Gorgeous so much!!!!
I love Gorgeous so much!!!!

We taught a lesson about family history work that gave me the opportunity to really reflect on my ancestors’ strength and examples. I can’t remember if I told this story already? But I was thinking about my ancestor Martina who lived in Norway in the 1800’s. As a teenager, she accepted the gospel and left her family and home to join the Saints in Utah! That journey across an ocean and the plains must have been difficult. She was only 16! But she did it. I thought about her a lot when I was preparing for my mission. It was hard to come on my mission, but I knew that I could do it because I saw Martina’s example:)

Note: if you have never seen Elder Holland’s talk “Safety for the Soul,” watch it. It’s so good!!

Now a few things I’m grateful for:

I’m grateful that I get to hear people’s beliefs and testimonies all the time! Everyone has an incredible story, and I want to know them all:)

I’m grateful for the Plan of Salvation. This earth life has no meaning without it. We are eternal beings of divine nature. Our lives did not start here, and they will not end here. This life is a short period of time, but it matters so much. This life is the time for us to prepare to meet God! (Alma 34) Everyone deserves to know that God is their Father, that He loves them, and that He has a glorious plan for them.

I’m grateful for the stars. It’s an amazing view here. I love to see the north star and the constellations and the milky way. It’s breathtaking. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are so beautifully creative!

I’m grateful for the members! They take good care of us. I think we’re getting three Thanksgiving dinners:D

He's super huge and really beautiful and nice. :)
He’s super huge and really beautiful and nice. 🙂

I’m grateful for member missionary work:D There is tracting, and there’s street contacting, but President Hinckley said that anyone who knows something about missionary work knows that there is a better way, and that way is through the members. Share the gospel with your friends. Invite them to church or activities or both! God places us where we are because there are people around us who are prepared to hear about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s a message of hope, and everyone needs to hear it!

Most of all, I am grateful for my Savior. This week, a less-active we were teaching asked to hear our conversion stories. It made me think about how I have grown in the gospel, how I gained my testimony. It was an amazing experience to talk about it and share those things that are so close to my heart. I truly know that Christ is my Savior. I know Him. I know that He suffered everything for me and for the rest of Heavenly Father’s children, my brothers and sisters. He loves us so much! I love Him too. I want to show that love in my whole way of life.

This gospel is truly Christ’s gospel restored to the earth. This Thanksgiving, remember the blessings you have that have come from knowing and living this truth!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!:)

Love,
Sister Stratford

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