Hello, my wonderful family!
This week was one of the longest weeks of my entire mission, but in the best way! I think it felt long because we saw SO many miracles! We've had great luck with our Head Quarter referrals lately. Right after was had just given up trying to find the door to contact one of these referrals (#NYprobs), we got another one through our phone! Her name is Nicole Coy. We went to contact her right away. Her husband answered and said she was just talking about us. Nicole turned out to actually be a lost less active member that the ward never knew about! She kept getting this "feeling" all week that she needed to find the LDS church again. She told us her entire life story and it was just amazing! She's really had it rough because of some decisions she'd made leading her down a really rough path of drugs and alcohol. She ended up in jail in SLC where she turned her life around using the 12 Step program taught by a senior couple from the Church. After starting new here in NY, she married an awesome guy (Eric) who has two kids (Jacob- 11 and McKenzie- 9)! They are SO cute!!! She wanted to raise the two kids in a church, but as she searched the closest churches, she kept missing the "feeling" she remembered from going to our church when she was a kid. I'm so so grateful her and her husband decided this week together to reach out to the Church again! We've seen them everyday since. Her husband and kids are getting baptized the end of February and they came to church this Sunday and LOVED it!
I've never had so many investigators come to church my entire mission!!! We had SIX investigators come to church, but that's just those that are non-members and above 8. The Wardell's even came (not Chris) but we taught them the Word of Wisdom this week and it went SO well. They've made a ton of progress, but that's I guess why he couldn't come. His body's really taking it hard, but we're encouraging him to keep fighting! The night we came to teach them the WoW, they were all drinking coffee, tea, smoking and there was a crying drunk man in the back room when we got there. LOL. This seems to be a common theme lately and I've taken it as a sign that, yes, the Lord wants us to teach the Word of Wisdom that night. But I adore the Wardells and the Coys. And Jackie and Tom (her husband)! Jackie couldn't come to church because her back was hurting her :( But she's still getting baptized this Saturday and we are toooooo excited :) Oh! The Knopps also came to church! Basically, it was the best Sunday of my mission.
It's SO wonderful to be teaching whole families! That's another thing that's rarely happened my whole mission! It's truly been miraculous to see how the Lord has been preparing these people long before we met them. I think there are two main reasons why the Lord's work in Oswego has changed. First, because we are following every single prompting we receive from the Holy Ghost. My how this has blessed our lives and the lives of our investigators!!! We wouldn't have found these people that the Lord knew were ready if we had ignored promptings from the Holy Ghost. We don't want to miss out on ANY blessings the Lord has prepared for us! Second, because we have made How To Begin Teaching a priority. Everyone that we are teaching knows that we are teaching them so they can make sacred covenants, the first being baptism. The Spirit has prompted us almost every first lesson to set a specific date with the investigator to be baptized. SO cool!!!
I have grown immensely this transfer and a large reason for it is because of Sister Saunders. I LOVE that woman. She has grown soooooo much these past few weeks and says she's loving her mission now! We know it was inspired for us to grow together at this specific time.
Sorry this was such a long email! I have so many more thoughts and am just filled with gratitude to the Lord! Especially for President and Sister Rogers. I kind of fan girl over them daily. They helped our mission to see the potential the Lord sees in us. After the world-wide missionary broadcast, I was amazed to see how the Lord has prepared this mission with the help of His leaders. Our mission could have never handled the things taught in that broadcast if we were at the same level we were 7 months ago. The broadcast.... was TOO AMAZING. We were so exhausted afterwards because of the spiritual energy it drained from us. Haha
But thank you all for everything! The Lord is truly hastening His work and it such a privilege that we are all a part of it!
I sure love you all!
Love, Sister Hallsted