Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Merry Christmas from Batesville

Well, it was nice talkin' to ya yesterday! :) We had a pretty good week here! It was our only week this transfer where we didn't have exchanges or meetings outside of our area so we were here the whole time! And it felt nice. 
We have been focusing on member missionary work (as it should be) and we have felt a lot closer to our members as we have fasted and prayed for them. 
Christmas Day

One of the best things that has happened is Kaylee! She is an active youth in the branch and we have been wanting to get to know her better-she was actually one of the first people we met here but our schedules kept conflicting until the holiday break. Every Saturday morning we help with the free breakfast from the Methodist church and we asked her to come with us. She had to get up a lot earlier than we did due to living so far away and it was during her break! Such a trooper. :) We decided to take her to see a former investigator who the previous missionaries said we should try around this time again. We went and they were all outside and we had a great little lesson with them and the mom asked for a Book of Mormon! After service and teaching we made Rice Krispy trees Round 2. Kaylee has a few friends she was excited to give some treats to. This was all on Christmas Eve and later that night Kaylee drove back up to get us to bring us out to their house for a traditional "junk food and tamales" Christmas Eve dinner. It's been so great!
Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve with the Wahlquists

Another quick story from that afternoon: We were driving to try seeing an investigator and I saw a Hispanic lady outside raking her leaves, just down the street from us. I kind of looked at her and I said to myself "I don't really feel prompted to talk to her and we have this other semi-set appointment ...." As I drove down the road, I felt immediately sad and recognized it as the Spirit leaving so we turned back around as I asked for forgiveness in my heart and was thankful for the strength to follow the prompting. We pulled up, hopped out of the car and she wouldn't let us help but EVERYONE says no when you ask so I said "raking leaves is my favorite (it really is) please let me do it, just for five minutes!" (That part was definitely sarcastic) She agreed and I raked and raked and raked while Hermana Brown did everything to get them to even consider listening about the Book of Mormon. As we finished up all together raking, she invited us in for tamales on Christmas. We said of course and when we came for tamales they were the most delicious chicken tamales in banana leaves and fruit punch drink. They didn't really want anything to do with the gospel we were trying to share at the end but the seed is planted and we'll go back again later.

Shirts from the Wahlquists

We had a tender mercy this week with one of our investigators. She is a young mom and we had introduced the Book of Mormon and the Restoration to her but they just kept not reading until finally one day she said she read a few paragraphs in the introduction!! She said she had a few questions so we said a prayer and as soon as we finished she started reading through the introduction and asking all sorts of basic but awesome questions. She committed to reading the testimonies and she said "If I have any questions I'll write them down or something so I can ask you when you come back." MUSIC TO MY EARS!! :') We were like "YES DO THAT." When we went back again she hadn't written any down but had a few questions. She should be reading the Joseph Smith testimony this next time. It's so exciting when people start asking questions not in a threatening way but in a really curious search for truth!
When brother Wahlquists mom was sick one Christmas, she put the kids
and husband in charge of Christmas Eve dinner and said do what you
want... so junk food became the tradition! (Chips, guacamole, jello
salad, cheese rolls, lots of crackers, spring sausage, nuts,
chocolates, cookies, wassail, lemonade, the veggie tray and tamales
are added from sister W's family and the rice krispy tree is ours)

Probably the funniest thing that happened this week was just the junk food night with the Wahlquist's because we ate ourselves silly and it was awesome.

I spoke in church on Sunday on the birth of Christ. It was really cool to study the different prophecies and dig a little deeper into what that really meant for the world. I especially loved reading the account of the Nephites waiting so faithfully for the signs to come and facing persecution even after! But as we were sitting in the car after lunch today, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir came on singing "I Believe in Christ" and it was a testimony to me again of all the good that Christ did and the peace that I have because of His birth and because of my belief in Him. I wish I could express my thoughts better on this but it was just really peaceful! 
The District: Sisters Quick, Lloyd and Tarpenning, us, Elders
Contreras, Mayer, and 'Iongi

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! 
Hermana Macfarlane

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