I think a lot of people made New Year's Resolutions to read the Bible. We got 6 media referrals (from Salt Lake, people who order something online and we deliver it to them. They are usually for Bibles) last night, and all but 1 of them ordered a Bible! We only had one, so we had to get more from the elders. They only had one too, so hopefully we get more soon :) It is great that so many people are looking for the word of God, that opens so many doors to the message of the Gospel.
Apparently a new year means a new home, at least for one of our investigators. Amanda is on-track to be baptized in a month and she had been looking for another place to live so that she could move out of her boyfriend's house. She found a great place to live! In Rockingham. Two hours away...... She is still in the mission, but not in our area. I am so happy that she found a place to live, but it's sad that we can't teach her any more. We were able to get in contact with the missionaries in her new area and tell them about her. They promised to take good care of her and teach her well :)
One thing I really realized this week is how important it is to have a testimony of the Restoration, which is why it is the first thing we teach people. We had two separate investigators this past week, Deborah and Frances, who have incredible faith in God and want to do the right thing. They are both Baptist (surprise, surprise) and love God very much. We invited both of them to be baptized and they didn't understand how their baptism before "doesn't count". It was a great opportunity for me to bear my testimony of the Restoration and of the priesthood, although neither of them accepted :( The Restoration is key to everything else we teach and invite them to experience. Without the restoration of the fullness of the gospel and the priesthood, we wouldn't have the Book of Mormon, sacrament meeting, temples, blessings, ordinances, anything. It is essential to have a testimony that the Gospel has in fact been restored if you are going to have a testimony of anything else.
Right before the new year, we were able to find another great investigator! We had actually met him before, my first night here, but we hadn't been able to find his apartment. We had gone tracting and his was the first door that we knocked on! He told us that he had been struggling with something that day and had been thinking about the short message we had shared with him that first time. It was incredible to see how Heavenly Father had led us to someone who had been prepared to hear our message. We were able to talk to him about prayer and the power that comes from it. His schedule is a bit irregular so hopefully we can find a time to meet with him again and share the Gospel with him.
We also taught a family that we found before Christmas, Stevie and Will. We taught them about the Restoration using cups to explain it. Their two-year-old really enjoyed knocking them down. Stevie and Will are both very strong Christians and very open to our message. I am so excited to keep teaching them! I can see how much Heavenly Father loves them and is blessing them and I know that the gospel is what they need to come closer to Christ and Heavenly Father.
New Year's Eve is weird as a missionary. It felt like any other day, with the exception that we had to be home by 7 instead of 9. That was our weekly planning day, so we were inside most of the day anyway. We went to visit a less-active, Sister Scott, who lives in an assisted living home near us. She is so fun! She always gets so excited to see us and we always sing hymns with her before we leave.
In the spirit of the new year, I learned a new skill last night. Sort of. We had dinner with a member and her husband plays the accordion. He pulled it out and just handed it to me and told me to play it. I think that is one of the weirdest things someone has given me so far.
All my love,