Monday, December 22, 2014

Hey Hey Hey Ho Ho Ho,

See what I did there?

Did you guys know that Christmas is this week!!!!??? Yeah me neither I just found out... Ha. Zone conference was super awesome! We watched FROZEN and played dodge ball! We also got awesome Tennessee Knoxville Mission hoodies! President gave us an awesome training pertaining to what we can know is our responsibility to focus on doing as missionaries and he also talked about how we can know that we are forgiven. He read from Alma 36 and talked about verse 21, which I talked about last week. It really made me think about the burdens of guilt that others carry. We can see when people make mistakes but we rarely know how they feel about it. I think all of us daily carry some degree of guilt since we all sin daily. A lot of people are worn down inside and it causes them to respond and act differently than one at peace would. Since I know the joy of repentance because it is something I am sharing with people every day I strive to be the person that can understand the pain of sin and how it can make people respond. I hope that I can be understanding to those in the pain of sin and help them change their lives to find the joy of repentance.

This week I went on exchanges with Sister Husted, she is from Orem and we know a lot of the same people! We had a lesson with her recent convert (she previously served here in Chattanooga, I actually replaced her here) it was really good that she was there because I felt like I didn't understand him at all. I wanted to help him want to do the right things but I didn't know how to help him be positively motivated by his love for God. He had been atheist for 14 years before he got baptized, so learning to trust God was something that wasn't going to come in a matter of days or weeks. He is still in the process of understanding God's role in his life. He was ready to commit to God and that is why he got baptized, but trusting him in every instance takes experience with the spirit. We had a good lesson and I feel like I was able to begin to understand where he is coming from. It was a great end to the exchange!  Ohh story time part 2: we had the lesson at the church and our branch mission leader came and he drove away in his car with his macbook and ipad on the roof and they flew off and broke the screens! It was so sad BUT all of his information was still on there and they are still functioning after he put screen protectors on them! Miracle!!!

I am so P-U-M-P-E-D for Christmas! It is going to be a fun day celebrating with a couple of families in the branch! I hope y'all have a wonderful Christmas! Discover the gift, embrace the gift, share the gift! The gift of Jesus Christ y'all!

Love all of y'all!

Sister Andrea Kate Merrell

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