This was a great week. On Preparation day we played basketball. We decided to test our cooking skills before Christmas so we made some peanut butter balls covered in chocolate almond bark. Today I am typing this in Pierre South Dakota with the zone leader’s right next to us. We came here for an oil change in our car and we are going to have a great time bowling and exploring some of the museums they have here in Pierre. This is made better by the fact that we actually have other missionaries with us on Preparation day. This is a first in my mission so far besides travelling to Rapid City so I am super excited for the rest of the afternoon.On Christmas Eve we had a great opportunity. Elder Jacobs had 3 calls to make so I was left to either study or find something else useful to do for the 4 hours we had 3 for the calls and 1 for Lunch. I decided to make some bon-bons. They turned out great. We used cream cheese frosting, lemon cake, and white chocolate almond bark. After they were made we distributed them to various investigating families in Chamberlain and also to the members who let us use their computers for Skyping home on Christmas. That night we had a lesson with the Barth family. They made crepes for us and we also were able to teach their less active daughter and non-member mother who normally are in Rapid City, but came back for Christmas. Hopefully we sparked something in them through the spirit that was there as we taught because President Barth said that it was the most interested Sister Barth's mother had been about the Gospel. We had the opportunity to come back the next day while I called home to my parents. Elder Jacobs took this time to share several inspirational Mormon messages that brought the spirit into the room and helped soften the hearts of those who were listening. Upon HER request, Elder Jacobs gave Sister Barth's mother the website for more of the videos. President Anderson has also given the sister missionaries in Rapid City her address.
On Christmas we had the opportunity to visit with some elderly people in the nursing home who did not have family or friends coming to visit them. We also have applied there for volunteer service as clergy to help the community as best we can. President Anderson has agreed to allow this and also we have seen that as we serve the community more and more, people are opening up to us. We also had dinner with a retired preacher from the United Church of Christ named Sylvester who was delighted that we still used and understood the "old" King James Version of the Bible. It was a wonderful meal and we had a great discussion on the differences between the Bibles that exist. Apparently we are the only church that still uses the "Old" King James Version of the Bible. Everyone else uses a modernized version replacing thee, thy, thine, thou, yea, and other Old English words with you, yours, and other words that sometimes change the meaning of the verses.We taught Jerry this week about modern day prophets. We showed videos from Special Witnesses of Christ. He understood quite well and only had a few questions about how God calls a prophet. We answered the questions and he accepted the invitation to sustain church leaders and follow the prophet. We taught the Guests about the importance of studying the scriptures daily in order to build our foundations on Christ (Helaman 5:12). We also shared the video Joy to the World with them because they had never read Luke chapter 2 or known about the signs in the Americas of Christ's Birth. We are being blessed by the Lord as we show our diligence in following the guidance from President Anderson and Preach my Gospel.
We had another in person district meeting on Friday in Winner South Dakota. Afterwards we finished the requirements for volunteering at the hospital which included a lot of paperwork and submitting permission for a background check. One of the strangest things that happened this week was on Saturday when we drove to Kimball South Dakota. There was a crazy wind going on. It was blowing in gusts of 40 miles per hour and was constantly around 35. It was also about 40 degrees outside which was what we were grateful for. Later that evening, it got to about 50 to 60 miles per hour and the temperature was dropping by 10 degrees every hour. We heard that the wind-chill was down to about -40 degrees later that night as we were inside sleeping.We spoke in Church on Sunday. Elder Jacobs spoke about Alma's conversion and I spoke about fortifying ourselves against temptations much like the Nephites did against the Lamanites in Alma chapters 49 and 50. JJ Smith and Sarah agreed that they could have a lesson at the Felicia's home Sunday evenings and experience their family home evenings. This will help a lot in inviting the spirit into their lives so that they don't have to learn of Christ in a noisy and distracting environment. They will be able to see for themselves the benefits of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in family life.
I love everyone and am grateful for the opportunity to use email to communicate the spiritual insights I receive from week to week. It was great speaking with you on Christmas and being able to see and hear you. I know that what we teach as missionaries is true and will bless lives. It doesn't just have to be non-member and less active lives. Members are in need of support as well. I know how much of a blessing it is to be able to go to member's homes and share a message with them to strengthen them. Thanks for all the gifts and support that is given to us as missionaries. We have truly been blessed to be serving the Lord and He loves us and is taking care of us.With great Love,