Saturday, January 2, 2010

And a Happy New Year!

Well our mission reached our goal of 1200 baptisms this year! We had almost 400 just in the last 3 months. I was so glad that our little branch could contribute to that. Speaking of our little branch, today is transfer day and no change. I am still with Hna. Lopez in Ensenada Park. If I stay here any longer then I might just end up ending my mission here. I am excited to continue to help this area. Especially because of the limited time we had in our area during the Christmas season, it could really use some help. We have been really blessed, however, for our work in the Visitors' Center and have received 5 referrals from people coming to the lights and accepting missionaries. I can't wait to see how things turn out here! I am also glad that I am not leaving because of our wonderful little branch. It seems like every time the end of the transfer comes and I feel like I am ready for a change we have some type of ward activity that makes me realize how much I will miss the branch when I do leave. This Saturday our schedule is going to go back to normal (which won't seem very normal after a month of Christmas lights) but we will have so much more time in our area and I am hoping that with that extra time comes the blessing of extra people to teach as well.

I feel like there is not much to say seeing as how I talked to the family just a few days ago. Christmas was really great! I woke up, called the family, then Hna. Lopez and I opened our presents and then headed to the Burke's apartment for our VC brunch. Everyone loves sister missionaries. Some people brought us all stockings, the Burkes made us all blankets, and there was a boy scout who did an Eagle scout project collecting clothes for all of the sisters. Then we played a White Elephant game and then we went over to the VC and watched It's a Wonderful Life. Then we opened and it was business as usual. This Friday we are going bowling as a VC to celebrate New Years. 2009 went by so fast and brought huge changes. I graduated from college and went on a mission. 2010 will be spent almost completely, if not completely on my mission, so I know that it will fly by. However, there will still be tons of changes. Transfers bring surprises every 6 weeks, and in 3 weeks the Burkes are leaving and we will be getting new directors. Then the Bassetts leave this summer and around the time I hit my year mark we will become the second oldest sisters at the VC. And the whole time new missionaries will be coming and old ones will be going, including both of the Senior couples at the VC.

3 new sisters arrived at the VC today. One of them speaks French and the other took a little Arabic, so I feel like they are little blessings to help me learn French and relearn Arabic so that I can communicate when I get home. (To those out of the loop my family is moving to Morocco. (Mom you can censor that if you didn't want to tell everyone yet))

I am excited to make missionary goals for the New Year, and excited to see the mission's goals. Since we reached a miracle this year we will have to raise our goal and stretch to meet a new one. I encourage all of you to also make some New Year's goals that you can reach for this year. And especially try and include some missionary ones, too!

Today in the VC I spoke to someone from Northern Scotland, raised in a tiny hamlet speaking Welsh and growing up pagan. It was so interesting to take to him and hear his questions. Since I was blessed to grow up in the church I have had an understanding of who God is since Primary. It strengthened my testimony of the love of our Father in Heaven as I tried to answer this man's questions about His nature. I realized that our knowledge of God will never be enough in this life to perfectly understand because we see things in such a limited perspective. That is what is so beautiful about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The first principle is faith and that is all we are asked to have. Not a knowledge but a faith and a hope that Our Father loves us, and when we have that faith in him and his son Jesus Christ, then the reast takes care of itself and little details that we can't understand without an eternal perspective don't matter. And interestingly enough, when we have that faith, even just the desire to believe, then amazingly we begin to notice more and more things that testify of God and Jesus.

I love you all and hope to have more stories as we have more time in our area!
Desde Mesa con amor,
Hermana Ladd

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