I am sorry that I wasn't able to get an e-mail out last week. We had the amazing opportunity to go to the temple, but we just ran out of time and I wasn't able to write like I would have wanted. :) I absolutely love the temple more than I even have words. I have missed going SO much. We are so blessed to have so many temples, it is becoming easier and easier to go, and to go often. I loved getting to go to the temple every week. I didn't realize how truly blessed we are in Utah to be able to have so many temples so close to us. The Chicago temple is just under 100 miles away from La Porte. It is amazing for me to see these incredible members out here who put forth a valiant effort to go to the temple and sacrifice so much to go. It took us about 2 hours to drive to the temple and took us almost the whole day. The saints make the trip out thereALL the time. They don't let the distance, or the planning, or the effort get in the way of the blessings they know come from the temple. There really is no sacrifice too big for the blessings of the temple and these members know that and live it. I love it. The blessings that come through living the gospel are absolutely priceless.
These past two weeks we have invited 3 families in our ward to start working towards the goal of going to the temple. I am so excited for them. :) The spirit that comes into the room when we testify of the sacredness of the temple and share the absolutely priceless truth that our families can be sealed together forever is so special. We are going to start working on their family history so they can find their ancestors and do their work for their families in the temple. I can hardly wait for these sweet friends of mine to feel the joy that comes through going to the temple. I LOVE THE TEMPLE. :)
Sister Hansen and I have set a goal to really focus on trying to find more people to teach. So we came up with this really really fun idea to have a Ward Easter Party, and we are so excited about it. :) It has been a blast planning this huge party, we have planned the decorations, food, invitations, activities and it has been a ball. The ward members are so excited about it as well and are being so supportive and wanting to help so much, which is super nice. We have invited a lot of people to come so we are hoping that it will be really successful.
So the Miracle of this week is M*****. A few weeks ago she was evicted from her apartment, she had hardly any money but was able to find enough to get her a rook at a hotel. Her, her two kids, and her two year old grand daughter were living in the tiniest room. She has been struggling to find food for her family and hardly had any money to survive on at all. Her two kids started working at Arby's and TacoBell to try to get as much money as possible, but she was in a pretty big hole. It finally came down to the point when she had absolutely no money at all and her only option was to sleep in her car. It was devastating for us to watch her hit just rock bottom financially. But miraculously all throughout this she had so much faith. She never stopped reading her Scriptures, she said she was constantly praying, and always striving and wanting to learn more about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She had told us many many times that she is so a excited to be baptized. She can just hardly wait. :) Because of her amazing faith and persistence this week she was able to find a house that her and her family are moving into today. :) It was such a miracle. When everything looked like there was absolutely no hope she didn't give up and kept trusting in her Heavenly Father. He opened doors for her family and is taking care of them. I am so grateful that our Heavenly Father is aware of each of us and that he loves each and every one of us. He knew the needs of M***** and her family and he answered her prayers. She is being baptized on Saturday. She is so ready and so excited.
We went over to a members home this past week to talk to them about missionary work and to get them excited about what is happening in our area. We started talking to this family about how exciting and easy missionary work can be. When the mom said "There is no way I could ever do this. Just sitting here listening to you talk I get super nervous and my heart starts beating really fast. It's too hard for me to share the gospel." She was super blunt and abrupt about what she said so I was honestly taken back a little bit. We talked a little bit about why she was so scared and then testified that a Heavenly Father loves HER and he has placed people in HER path that need to hear the gospel from HER. She looked at us and said a little timidly "There is a woman who will be here tomorrow who I have the strongest feeling that I need to give a Book of Mormon to." We gave her a Book of Mormon she could give her friend, practiced with her what she would say, and then with the family knelt down and prayed for their mother and her friend." That night we sent their family an encouraging text and prayed so hard for her. We waited anxiously until the time came when she said we could call her to see how it went. When she answered the phone she said with all he excitement in the world "I I DID IT." :) It was amazing. This sweet Sister was terrified to share the gospel at first, but after feeling the spirit and a little bit of reassurance she completely changed, and she did it. :)
I love Elder Ballards promise that he made last conference when he said "It is impossible for us to fail when we do our best when we are on the Lords errand." I believe this 100%. I loved the two invitations he gave to the church and I want to echo them to you. 1. To study Preach My Gospel. I love preach my gospel so much. I love getting to study it and I am so excited to have you study it with me. And 2. To invite 4 people a year to hear the lessons from the missionaries!! I love that challenge so much. If members really took this invitation and invited that often the work would just EXPLODE. It would be amazing, The Lord is hastening his work and is inviting US to be apart of it. How amazing is that? I feel so privileged to be apart of this great work and I want my family to feel the joy that I feel that comes through sharing the gospel.
I absolutely loved General Conference!! I was so excited for it and it was absolutely incredible. I learned so much and felt the spirit so strong throughout the whole conference. It is such a blessing to have a living prophet on the earth and to get to hear what our Heavenly Father would want us to learn through him. I love
Well, I am working hard and striving to serve with all my heart. Thank you so much for all the love, support and prayers. I have moments when it's really hard being out here, but in those moments I am so so grateful that you have taught me where to turn. I pray constantly and I am just loving the Book of Mormon. I find comfort in the tools you taught me to use every day!! I am so grateful for you and I love you. :) LOVE. Sister Watts. :)