I put that subject line in quotations so you all wouldn't think I was dying or something. I'm not! I'm having an unbelievably amazing time if we're comparing things to how they were a week ago!! This subject line comes from mine and Sister Gochnour's great start to our transfer together. This morning, I had just gotten out of the shower and was in our closet room while I thought Sis. Gochnour was in the kitchen making this loud banging noise like she was emptying something into the garbage can. I was pretending to be a ballerina for a while, acted out a few scenes to myself in front of the mirror, then sat on my bed and wrote in my journal till I couldn't take that noise anymore. I walked into the kitchen to see what the heck she was doing. She wasn't there... I peeked around the corner and she was pounding at the door and her little face saw me in the window and she started yelling "Help me! I'm locked out!!!" Hahaha! I felt SO bad!!! We decided it was more than 15 minutes that she was locked out there and I was just pretending to be a ballerina :)
Basically, our companionship has been amazing so far! When I first met her, she gave me a hug and we got to talk for a little bit while we waited for Sis. Thao and her new comp to come get in the "party car". Our first conversation was basically me telling her that I hope she's ready to work hard, because I have been wanting to do that for a long time. Our last companionships were so similar so we are both thrilled to have each other!! :) She is so ready to finish her mission out with a bang and I want to do that with her! She totally has been up for my plan to change Bennington and the miracles have been AMAZING.
-At transfers, I saw Joshua Brook-how-zen (can't spell it :)!!!! You all saw the picture on Facebook. AND I've found out that Sister North is back out and in my district (ahhh!) SO excited! Also found out that Sister Thao is in my zone still PARTY. Have we planned exchanges yet? Yes we have. Am I going with Sister Thao and Sister North. Probably, yes. I'm way too excited. I said goodbye to Sister Gass. Said bye to Sister Collette. We'll be together for eternity so I'm not worried about it this time. Didn't even cry!
-They told everyone to start making their drives asap because a big storm was coming. This was the funnest thing of my life!!! Our 2 hour drive to Albany took 4 and a half hours and Sister Thao made it hilarious and helped Sis. Gochnour relax a little as she tried not to crash in the blizzard. We ended up just sleeping over at Sis. Thao and Sis. Hunting's new apartment in Albany! SO FUN. It didn't feel like missionary life anymore and it was extremely chaotic since they were white-washing and there was stuff everywhere. We built a snowman version of Sis. Thao in the morning and then drove home in our pajamas when we had permission to leave.
-While Sis. Gochnour unpacked, I went through the mystery closet and found tons of Christmas decorations. 2 trees and everything! So our apartment looks amazing! Still doesn't feel like Christmas though, but I'm trying.
-Part of my plan to change things here is to see those people who haven't been progressing wayyy less and to see who has potential more. SO many miracles have happened! One of them is a lady named Tina who had one lesson with the missionaries, but she's been in and out of the hospital because she has cancer. So I thought she just wasn't interested because it had been almost two months since they had met with her. But she finally answered us! We planned a big trip out to Hoosick Falls to see every person we could there and stopped by her house on the way! We had an incredible lesson with her and she knows it's all true. At the beginning we talked about prophets and she said "It sure would be nice if we had prophets today! We really need one." I was freaking out :) She was absolutely thrilled to hear about the restoration and cried multiple times because she was so happy! She called us on the way home and said "I wouldn't mind being baptized." I just... don't even know :) All we have to do is help her have more of a desire than "I wouldn't mind..."!!!
-We have to move Jackson's baptismal date to January 17th because he missed church yesterday, but I feel okay with that. We haven't seen him in over a month and sometimes I'm worried he's starting his own religion somewhere. He is just so prepared that it's so hard for me to believe that he's real. He's just keeping all of his commitments without even telling us so it's like he's progressing totally with out us doing anything. He continues to "share the book" with everyone he meets. He's just too good to be true.
-We teach a ton of people I can't even tell you about for time's sake, but I have faith we can set this teenage girl that we have Facebook lessons with with a baptismal date this week. I hope for January 31st with another one of our investigators, Jacen and his brother Sean (Jessica's boys)
-While in Hoosick Falls, we stopped by a house that we didn't even know what they were (rcla/ former or potential investigator), but we left them a note not really thinking about it. Because of our note, they realized we haven't forgotten about them! They have been waiting for the missionaries to come back and they have a son who wants to be baptized! What the!? I just don't know what's happening but this new plan to make Bennington a whole new area has been truly amazing. Heavenly Father has prepared SO many of these people.
-Charlann's baptism is this Saturday!! I am super nervous because I can't remember the last time I went to a baptism, but it will be alright! She wants you all to fly here and come SO badly and she just can't understand why that's not allowed :) I have so much love for her, it's unbelievable to me.
-The Facebook rule has changed :( No more pictures,guys. And they haven't announced it to everyone, but we're only going to have 20 minutes on FB soon. That is awful news because we actually have lessons on Facebook every time but they always take a while to get going... I am just outraged :)
I have so much more to say! We have so many exciting things coming up and I am SO excited for Christmas. Sister Gochnour's dad has sent her some money for us to use for people and we have some super exciting ways we're going to use it! Being here around Christmas has been so humbling for me because I've seen how little people have but are still so focused on giving things to other people and helping out financially in any way they can. I'll tell you an amazing story about that next week.
I have come to love these people here even more (if that's even possible) as I've introduced Sister Gochnour to them and felt the pride and joy I have in my heart for every little weird thing about them. I love you all so very much and I hope you are loving Christmastime as much as I am!!! :)
Love, Sister Brynn Hallsted
ps. Sis. Gochnour is like Emily Maxwell's twin except blonde. So obviously she's just the sweetest thing ever!
1. Our snowman
2. Me and Sister Thao sittting by her Christmas tree :) I'm wearing pajamas we found in a closet leftover from other sisters. So awesome.
3. Our last walk up Charlann's hill. It's a killer :)
4. Me and Elder Butterfeild.
5. Me eating a pomegranate for the first time.
6. Sister Gass took that of me writing in my journal. See my wall? :)
7. & 8. Our apartment