HI!!! Man, I feel so blessed. I can’t even express how much gratitude I feel to the Lord and for this miraculous gospel. It is absolutely amazing.
It’s super awesome that it’s 2016…and it’s going to be the best year of my life yet because I will be serving every single day. 365 days dedicated to the Lord and His great and marvelous work! I am so excited!!! We got to go to the mission home for New Year’s Eve dinner and four elders were there, 3 of the office senior couples (one of them have just been released), and President and Sister Rogers! We had Chinese food! It was great. We also got a fortune cookie, mine said: “Reach for the stars: it’s a great back stretch.” I’m pretty sure that’s not considered a fortune, but so far, I’ve felt quite benefited from the back stretches! Haha 🙂 One of the new senior couple, Elder Lee, had a fortune that said, “Your stomach is like a clock, it grumbles every hour.” HAH WHA? SO random….we had a good time. 🙂
Sister Baylon and I had a great week!! Unfortunately, a few of our investigators have fallen off the face of the earth, one of them moved unexpectedly and she doesn’t have a working phone, one is in the Philippines, but hopefully we’ll see him mid-January when he comes back, and one is leaving to Florida this week, but she’ll be back in 8 weeks….sigh. Haha, but thus is life and I love these people! Alieanna is doing amazing…she is so excited for her baptism in a few weeks. Flavia is so great. We saw her and her son’s family (who are members) last Friday and two of her other grandkids. We had a great lesson about what the Strength of Youth is (since there was a lot of young teenagers there) and specifically talked about family. One of her granddaughters was interested in learning more about the Gospel, so we are actually planning to meet with her this Thursday! So awesome!!! Flav is the one going to Florida to get away from the cold…I don’t blame her. As we speak, it’s 10 degrees outside! Crazy. So she’s leaving this week and we’re going to see her one more time before she goes. I’m going to miss her. She said that she will take the Book of Mormon to read which is awesome 🙂
We got a call last night from a less active that she wants to start the church’s 15-step program to quit smoking!! SO AWESOME. So we’re going to start working on that with her! We have been volunteering still at the Presb. home. I love these old people and quite a few of them are starting to recognize us! We helped wheel them out for a concert of a man singing and playing the guitar and then another day, bingo. Bingo is always fun. The old lady I was helping was asleep for a good chunk of it, so I basically played bingo which I’m alright with. And I won!! Or I guess she won…I gently woke her up and told her she won and she got the prize 😉 it was great.
Almost every night this week we went tracting (door to door). about 95% of the time we’re turned away…fortunately we haven’t had too many mean people, which is always nice! We did meet two awesome people though who invited us back! The first one was only three doors in! His name is Frank and he is actually great friend’s with Elizabeth Smart’s dad and family! Crazy huh?! He helps at this place in Utica for exploited and missing children. We met with him last night with the Malczyk’s and he opened up a lot more of what his job entails and told us how he helps distressed parents when their children run away. He asked us what we believe can be the best response to parent’s. We shared some thoughts and feelings about it and I can’t write them down for you all, but it was a great experience. We shared the 13th article of faith and the word that stood out the most for him was hope. I shared Ether 12:4 (in The Book of Mormon) which says, “Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith , maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God. “
After sharing this and our conversation coming to an end, he asked Sister Baylon and I, “Do you know why you came here tonight to see me?” We gave a few, hesitant responses and asked, “Do you know?” he said,” Yes I know. You have given me hope.” He started to fight some tears and continued, “…my job is really hard, talking to these parents and hearing their situations, but you’ve given me new strength and hope for these people and myself.” He offered a prayer at the end and asked us to pray for all the missing and exploited children. We gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon and thanked him for having us over. He is having knee surgery at the end of the month, so we won’t be able to meet with him until March…but I feel so humbled and full of gratitude for meeting this wonderful man. I know that it was inspired for Sister Baylon and I to choose that specific street to tract and to meet this man…to share a message of hope and love. Heavenly Father knew exactly what he needed at that time and I feel so blessed to be an instrument in His hands to share what we know to be real and true.
On that same street, we met another man named Kevin and met him last night as well with the Malczyk’s. He actually thought we were Jehovah witnesses, but we cleared that up! Haha, but anyways, we had such a great visit with him and taught a little about the Plan of Salvation and introduced the Book of Mormon. He is excited to read it and we are planning to meet with him soon. The Malczyk’s are such amazing, member missionaries!!! They have us each a homemade muffin and delicious hot cocoa….I feel so blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful people who care for us and strengthen my testimony.
I can’t believe how much the Lord is blessing me not only here, but my family back home. It is so amazing. I feel so overwhelmed with all the miraculous things I’ve experienced and that they have experienced. I love this work, I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I love the Book of Mormon and Bible that testify of Christ, and I love my Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.
Love you all!!!! Have a beautiful week! Remember to make one of your New Year’s goals to become more like Christ! I encourage you to pick one of His many, wonderful attributes and work on it this year! I promise blessings will come and you will become even better than you are now. Here’s a scripture if you need some ideas of which one to work on: “And now I would that ye should be humble , and be submissive and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long-suffering; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times; asking for whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and… And see that ye have faith , hope, and charity, and then ye will always abound in good works. “
Love, Sister Pange