I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. ~3John 1:4

With three of our children now serving in three different countries around the world, we thought this would be the best and easiest way for our friends and family to follow them on their journeys and watch as they learn, grow, and share their experiences. Lance is a combat medic in the US Army and is deployed to Afghanistan with the 101st Airborne Air Assault, Nicki is serving an 18-month mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in New Mexico, and Hunter is serving a two year mission in Honduras. We are so blessed!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Well it seems really weird that this is my last time e-mailing. It just feels like I'm getting transferred and staying on my mission. haha maybe I'm just in denial. Probably is denial.
We drive up to Albuquerque today and then we will stay the night with some sisters, then the next day we will have a meeting in the morning and bear our testimonies in transfer meeting, then we'll go contacting one last time for a few hours, then lunch, then the temple, then dinner, then another testimony meeting, then bed! Then we wake up super early and go to the airport. That's what I have going on this week.
This last week was so great though! Gabriel got baptized! I feel super blessed to have been part of that. The timing of everything with him was such a miracle. He has been so prepared in countless ways! He bore is testimony on Saturday at his baptism. You never would've guessed that he's only met with missionaries for 3 weeks. He knows that the Book of Mormon is true and it almost blows my mind how strong his faith and his testimony is! He wasn't just a golden investigator he was platinum!
At the baptism, President Miller also showed up! It was super unexpected! We never would've guessed. He was able to say a few things and help bring the spirit in even more. It was kinda weird, everyone at the baptism kept congratulating us, telling us it was amazing that we had a baptism our last week on the mission. I don't know why they kept congratulating us, we didn't do anything, we just showed up and taught. Gabriel was the one making the big decision and gained so much faith so fast!
There's a song that I love, and I think it explains everything perfectly. It was written for Elders but I really like all of it :)
 The hardest thing I ever loved to do
Was letting go of everything I ever knew
Nineteen years of dreams left in my room
As I buttoned up the jacket of my suit
The hardest word I've ever loved to say
Was goodbye to my mom and walk away
Choking on my tie and on my tears
As I walked down the hall into those years

The sweetest song I've ever loved to sing
Filled the MTC on angel's wings
The chorus filled my soul five thousand strong
And I wished it would just go on and on
The firmest hand I've ever loved to shake
Was my trainer's with that big grin on his face
He grabbed my bag and put his arm round me
And whispered,
"I'm gonna work those Mr. Macs right off your feet!"

The hardest words I've ever anguished for
Came just before some lady slammed her door
My trainer left me hanging out to dry
As a minute of painful silence rolled right by
But the hardest tears I've ever loved to cry
Fell as I opened up my mouth and testified
Between the tiny walls of a stranger's living room
The Spirit told their hearts my words were true

The most wonderful sound I've ever heard
Is the sound of water running in the church
As someone I'd come to love got dressed in white
My eyes saw their first glimpse of Heaven's light
The hardest thing I've ever come to see
Is a Man down on His knees in agony
A drop of blood falls down on olive leaves
And for a moment He suffers there for me

The hardest thing I've ever loved to do
Was getting on this plane and coming home to you
In a million ways completely torn apart
As a land so far away still owns my heart

In the most sincere prayer I've ever prayed
I thank my God for each and every day
For the blessing of the man I've come to be
As I run up and kiss my mama's cheek.
There are so many experience on my mission that I will never forget. I've loved teaching every lesson, even if they didn't go so well. I've loved the lessons where the spirit is so strong that you can't help but to cry. There's no better feeling than watching someone at their baptism and just watching the joy that they feel! You can't help but to smile! Something that I've come to learn the most of is the Atonement. I know it's real. I know that my Savior suffered for me and knew every little thing that I was going through so He could truly understand how I feel. And truly be there for me. I'm so thankful for what He did there in that garden.
Leaving this place is the hardest thing I ever loved to do, it definitely owns a piece of my heart. I've loved every moment of my mission. The good times and especially the bad. I've learned so much. I'm thankful for this time that I had to serve fulltime. I'm thankful that I got to learn how to serve so I can go home and do even more!
I know that this church is the true church, established by Jesus Christ. Joseph Smith was a prophet, who translated the Book of Mormon. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. And as we read it there are so many blessings that will come to us, both big and small. I know that there are miracles in every day. I know that we are children of God and He loves us more than we can comprehend. And nothing we ever do will change that love. I know that these things are true.
I hope you all have a good week :) see you soon ;) Love you!


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Because He is the Gift!

This week was a pretty good week!
We were able to teach Gabriel a lot! He's still one of the most prepared people I've ever taught! He's so excited to learn about the gospel and to come to church. We don't even remind him about church anymore, he just mentions how excited he is for it!
In one of the lessons with him we were able to commit him to be baptized on the 6th of December! It'll be our last Saturday on the mission! It's such a good way to end too! So far he's on track! We're so excited for him!
This Saturday we were able to have a special zone conference with Elder Corbridge. It was really cool and very inspiring! The spirit there was incredible and he helped bring some new ways to teach the lessons that I haven't really thought of before.
He also mentioned that there are a lot of people who think "below the line" and they also make excuses for why things don't get done, or complain, or make up even more excuses and put off their accountability on someone or something else. Then there are people who think "above the line" and they are able to see a need. Own the need. Plan it, and Do it.
An example he used is that if you see someone's driveway needs shoveled. You recognize it, then you decided you should do it, you grab a shovel and maybe set aside time, and then you go do it. Below the line thinking would be "That's not even my driveway" or "I'm sure someone else will do it before me." They just make excuses why it shouldn't be them. Over all it was a really good meeting! We also got to hear from President Miller which is always a plus!
That morning we actually woke up to a text and it was from the assistants to the president asking if we confirmed with ward council that Elder Corbridge and President Miller are coming to our ward council! This was the first time we ever heard that so we hurried and made calls! Sunday morning Elder Corbridge and President Miller came to ward council and shared a few thoughts, and then they were able to speak in Sacrament meeting! It was pretty cool, we got to hear from them twice in two days! It was way cool to be able to shake his hand and hear even more of what he has to say.
This morning we had a fun experience! Someone called us and told us that he made some menudo. I guess his menudo is pretty famous and better than most. It was pretty good! A lot better than all of the horror stories I've heard about menudo. Once you get over the fact of what it is, it's easy to eat. That, and when it's cooked right, that makes a really big difference. Maybe I'll make some for ya when I get home ;)
Overall this week was really good! We're excited for after thanksgiving because we're just going to carol a ton and share "He Is the Gift" You should watch the video on Christmas.Mormon.org it is so good!! We're excited to invite everyone to watch it. So everyone should watch it!!! Completely worth your time!!
I  know that Christmas sometimes is super busy and there's so much to do that sometimes we get caught up in the lights, and presents, and shopping, and cooking, that we forget the real reason for Christmas. But Christ really is the reason for the season. We get this time of year to remember not only His birth, but also all that He did for us. It's one of my favorite times of year! And I'm so excited I get to be a missionary for it!
Love you all!