Hello loved ones!
First of Happy Day of Birth to Josh and Ally tomorrow!! ...Wow it is so cold here...I don't think I've ever seen so much snow in my life, well at least a snowfall all at one time. So we just had weekly planning switched to Saturday because president knew that the storm was coming so we were safe and warm and inside all day on Saturday but oh my heck did I get cabin fever...I was so tired of being inside. But we also could really go out because sister K has been really sick...but at least we stayed away from the blizzard. But oh my heck is there so much dang snow. When they plowed everything the snow piles are all taller than me haha.
So this week we went on exchanges with our STLs!! Sister Hepworth and Sister Neilson. Sister Neilson actually served in P4 right before sister Veater and I came so it was helpful to have her come back and give us some tips for the area. But sister Veater and Sister Kartchner stayed here with Sister Neilson and Sister Hepworth and I went to West Chester!! It was a fun day in West Chester however West Chester is definitely not Philly. It's really ritzy and that was hard coming from an area of more humble circumstances. But we still saw miracles and we had a great time! The next morning on Wednesday we came back and came to the church building for district meeting and then right after district meeting we had a special broadcast for missionaries!! It was awesome it was all about teaching Repentance and Baptism.
The Lord has inspired the prophet and apostles to have been very focused on that lately and rightly so. The broadcast was nothing short of AMAZING!! We heard from a few apostles and other general authorities of the church and I learned so much. Shortly after the broadcast we were scheduled to have interviews with President and Sister Anderson so they just came to watch it with us. And during the broadcast they shared one of my favorite videos that is called "Ill Go Where You Want Me To Go" we were sitting in the back watching it and while the video was playing the spirit was so strong and it just filled the room. As I was watching it I had the sidle impression to look over to my left at president and sister Anderson...and as I did I noticed that President was crying...(don't tell him I actually said that about him haha) but it was true. My heart was so touched by the sight of my mission president, the man who seems to have become my father out here on the mission, just sobbing because of the love that he clearly has for the savior and His gospel. I know how much president Anderson loves the gospel and I know how diligent he has been in the service of the savior. I have really come to feel like he is my dad out here and he really reminds my of my own father. It was such a great experience...and then after the broadcast when we had interviews I didn't tell president that I saw him cry haha but I did have a great interview with him. But I did tell sister Anderson that I saw him cry haha. But one of my favorite quotes from the broadcast was from Elder Dallin H. Oaks when he said,
"In a time to come you will understand your unique opportunity and responsibility better than you do now. You will come to realize how important of full time missionary work is for the work of the Lord and for your own personal life." It was an amazing broadcast.
And now I have to tell you all about some miracles we the Lord has blessed us with!! So, rewind to a few weeks ago when we had transfers...when we got sister Kartchner immediately we went out to go work! We were walking along this one street that is full of less active members and potentials and as we were walking we saw a few people getting out of their car. So we stopped to talk with them and sister Kartchner was the one who asked them if we could come back another time and share a message with them, but then the I had the thought that said "no, now." So without even time to think I blurted out "what about right now?? Do you have time now that we could share a message with you and your family?" They accepted and let us into their home where we found that the rest of their family welcomed us in! All together it was 9 people, who became new investigators! They are all from Liberia! One in particular her name is Mildred. And she was telling us how she has met missionaries in Liberia and how they told her a little but of what The Book of Mormon is and how she wanted to learn more. In the past weeks we have prayerfully considered what to teach her and her family and we had been focusing on The Book of Mormon, and they have been progressing very well...now fast forward to this last week...We have invited Mildred and her family to be baptized, and Mildred has kept all of the commitments we have given her and she said that she would decide officially after she comes to church...well church got canceled this week because of the snow but that is okay! She kept calling us throughout the storm and she told us that she has been reading The Book of Mormon and that she has really been thinking about being baptized into our church. She love The Book of Mormon and I know that has been a key in her progress. I am so grateful for the missionaries in Liberia who have prepared her to hear the gospel now. We are setting a date with her for February 13! So keep her in your prayers! She is amazing and I just love this family so much! I am so grateful that the Lord has prepared so many people to hear the gospel! I love this gospel and I love this family so please keep them in your prayers!
So this last week I asked president in my interview what was one thing, if he could pick one that he would like me to take away from my mission. He told me that it wasn't anything he wanted me to take away from but to take with me, and that was to develop a habit of studying preach My Gospel. Because it would not only be the foundation (along with the scriptures) of helping me in my mission but of helping me prepare to be a better wife and mother someday. So with that I have been studying PMG like crazy haha. One of my favorite lines from PMG says,
"As your understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ grows, your desire to share the gospel will increase."
And I testify that that is so true. I never learned more about the atonement in my life since being on my mission. Of course when you are in the full time service of the savior you can't help but seek to understand his atonement more and more. And as I have done that I have come to have a real sense of reverence, gratitude, and the deepest love for my Savior. Without Him and His perfect sacrifice I would have no hope of anything. None of us would. We NEVER stop learning about the atonement. Ever. And we should NEVER develop an attitude of "oh I know enough," that will only weaken your testimony. We must seek to learn more and more about His sacrifice. Because He will reveal things to us that we did not know before and the Atonement will have a more personal meaning to us. I thought I learned a lot over the year of my mission but I am recently finding that I have only scratched the surface of all that can be discovered about the atonement of Jesus Christ. I personally have been learning how I need to "shut up more in the presence of God" and allow the enabling power of the atonement take effect in my life. We can learn on a more personal level what the atonement does for us, and why we even needed to be saved in the first place through reading The Book of Mormon and reading the words of our modern day prophet and apostles. So has been the case with me. And my job as a missionary and a disciple of Jesus Christ is to do all I can to help those around me experience the fullest blessings of the Atonement. And so I will do for the rest of my life. With what I now know of the Atonement, and of my Savior I can do nothing less than that. I bear my firm testimony of the reality and divinity of the Savior of the World and of all mankind. His Atonement is real. It is here for us to use in every aspect of our lives. And as we show our love for Him by keeping His commandments, the Atonement will take effect in our lives and we will live to feel the enabling power of the grace of our savior work in our lives. I love this gospel more than absolutely anything. I love it with all that I am. I want everyone to experience this joy. And I challenge everyone to learn all they can about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and what it can do for them. It will change your life in every good way. I testify of The Book of Mormon, of Joseph Smith that he was called to restore the church of Jesus Christ. I testify of President Thomas S. Monson that he is the lords prophet on the earth today and that this church is lead by prophets and apostles of God. Remember, it's true. It's all true.
Love you all!! Until next week!
~Sister Amy Callaway~
A picture from exchanges and a picture of Philly!