Monday, December 30, 2013

I have literally been so spoiled thus far!

Well it sounds like it's great and cold in Mn. As per usual. Here in December it is a frigid 60 pretty much every day, with a nose biting drop to the mid 30's at night.... life's rough as a Californian Missionary. Just kidding. It's awesome. Never wear a jacket really, cept at night. Apparently this has been a weird year though... usually colder than this.

Pues, update from the mission field:

(Extracts from letter to mission President:)
"Also, we had some amazing experiences with the N family! We only got to meet with them once last week because they were out of town for a bit, but the night we were with them was fantastic. Apparently Brother N had been really confused and thought that Joseph Smith came up with a new gospel that we were trying to teach him. We were able to clear that up, that he simply brought back Jesus Christ's church. That made him feel a lot better. Sister Organista felt impressed to pray with them directly at the end of the lesson about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. She said the prayer and asked if the Book of Mormon was true, then waited for probably a full minute. I just prayed really hard in my head that Heavenly Father would answer them, that they would recognize the Spirit. I felt so desperate for them to know. After Sister Organista finished, Brother N just looked at us and said "I can't deny it's true. I will be baptized very soon." YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Well we felt great about that, and then we were going to meet with them again Saturday, but they were busy. So we were just going to see them at church the next day. They came and told us they only could stay for the first hour. So we were bummed, but happy they came for Sacrament. Well Sacrament was exactly what they needed. About setting goals, changing, not looking back, and having faith. Brother N had just said in our last meeting that he needed more faith. It was perfect. So what happened? They stayed for all three hours!!! Not only that, they stayed for the baptism after church as well!!!! Apparently they told Sister Organista "What we have to do can wait." President, Brother N is going to be the first Bishop or Branch President of the Kerman Spanish branch. I can feel it. This man is amazing. Sister Organista and I both just look at him and think, "This man is a bishop." We are so excited, especially because this is building up the Spanish group, not just adding to the English. LOVE IT."

Love being a sista! Also:

"Well, I am in love with my companion. Every week things just get better and better. We are closer than ever. We hardly ever get annoyed with each other any more and we laugh all the time. We work hard and we watch out and take care of each other. We are open about everything. I love it. She is literally the best. We were talking about how Elder Goettman asked her how she felt about maybe being a traveling sister her last transfer... she told me about that, and President, I just started crying. Not because I am afraid to lead the area if she were to go, or about Spanish, although those things will be a lot harder without her. She has taught me really well. I just am already heartbroken about not being with her all the time. I love her so much. She has been such a great example to me. I told my parents on Christmas that if I become a successful missionary, a lot of it will be because Sister Organista was my trainer. "

So yup. Also we're working with G still, C says he can be baptized January 12th! So we have two for sure this month! And like 3 or 4 maybes! So that's pretty fantastic. I have literally been so spoiled thus far. Like sure, I've been sicker than a lot of people, been in a car accident, stuff like that.... BUT I am struggling less with Spanish, I am having tons of baptisms, my companions have both ROCKED, , and it's just awesome. So I am super grateful for that but I'm starting to get a little nervous for when the rubber hits the road again... namely transfers. I already had a nightmare that Sister Organista was getting transferred and my new comp and I did NOT get along. So..... praying to be happy and prepared for life when it changes haha... it'll be great!

So here's a little nuget of what I have learned this week. I have been trying really hard to live in the moment for a long time. Big focus of my mission. But you still have those times where you're in the car and you're mind wanders to the past or the future and you get lost there. So I've really been trying to learn what to do when my mind doesn't have anything to do. One thing is that my goal for this year is to learn a scripture a month in spanish... an idle brain is the devil's workshop, so I have to have something to fill it to keep me focused. Another thing I do that always without fail makes me smile is catching myself daydreaming about the past or future and I think "Sister Zollinger, right now you are serving as a sister missionary in Kerman California driving to Investigator's X house. Isn't that cool?" And then I just smile and think about that investigator or about being a missionary and I can keep focused and I'm way happier and more at peace. You gotta just take life as it comes. Even when it's hard, and just really savor the experiences that make us human. Super great.

Spanish trivia for ya.... when someone sneezes, you say "salud", which is "health" for the first sneeze, "dinero"(money) for the second, and "amor"(love) for the third. Just saying, I almost always sneeze three times in a row. saWEET! Lotsa love for this girl. :D haha.

Well, I love you all a ton! Keep it real and warm up there!


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas in California!

Christmas 2013  in Kerman, California.  Thank you Nehring family!

I'm here to stay and I'm here to make my mark!


Pues, lo primero es que PUEDO SKYPE USTEDS PARA NAVIDAD!!!!!! (well, the first is that I CAN SKYPE YOU ALL FOR CHRISTMAS!)

So super excited for that! Also, we get to sleep in until 830 for Christmas! I don't think I'll be able to sleep much longer than 7... but I'm for sure going to try! We also get to watch any Disney movie rated PG or less! So my district is going to watch something together. We're invitied to a MILLION houses for Christmas... which is good and bad. Last Thanksgiving we were just with members, and I felt really weird about it... I'm a missionary, days off don't exsist and I don't want to not work for a whole day! That's not what we're here for! So we have to be careful, cuz a lot of members want to love us, but we have to work at the same time. no se. I don't know. We've been getting a lot of presents from the members... mostly cookies. So many cookies in our apartment. It's great! haha not really... I can't get fat! No me gusta estar gordita! (I don't like being a little fat woman!) (( not that I've become fat or little.....))(((still a woman....))))......

GOT MY HAIRCUT TODAY FOR THE FIRST TIME IN LIKE 10 YEARS BY SOMEONE OTHER THAN CAREN VERNON AND I ALMOST DIED. But it turned out just fine. The same but shorter.... like tiny bit shorter. haha. So I survived. That was a big deal for me.

Physical therapy is going good.... well it really hurts. Last time I almost cried it hurt so bad. But it hurts less and less outside of physical therpay... like during normal life, so that's great! The time I almost cried, the lady working on me said she thinks I got the worst impact from the accident, or at least my body took it the worst. That was surprising to hear. But I'm doing better and better... my back is still really inflammed apparently. They did some weird suction cup thing on my back today..... hurt. They like basically sucked sections of my back up into these little cups and held it there for 10 minutes to stretch everything.... ouch. all I'm gonna say. Mega Hickies on my back. Wut. Up. Honestly, I've got better stories than almost anyone in this mission and I've only been out for 3 months! It better start to settle down, or I'm going to die by the end of this! Haha...

Also, sister O and I got stuck yesterday. We were at some members house for Christmas something and we left to finish studying. We pulled into some lot like a mile away... middle of no where. it got dark after a while so we turned on our lights.... battery died. So great. Had to call and have the same members jump start us..... so embarassing!

ALSO we had another baptism yesterday! C! She's E's mom. E was my first baptisim! And G, her 10 year old brother, hopefully is getting baptized within the next week or so! So great!

So this week was hard.... and here's why:

Speaking of which, there was a testimony try-er this week. Sometimes I feel like as a missionary you have two choices... to grow stronger in the gospel until you know everything or to just go apostate. That might seem kind of strong, but it happens to me at least once a week. This past week we were teaching another C. We taught about Adam and Eve and I just got so flustered, so confused with the doctrine and it just didn't end well. She was an investigator I thought about for days after the meeting. That night, I just studied and read everything I could, and that night I just had to pray again and call for that reassurance that I really was preaching the truth, that just because in those moments of confusion I wouldn't get "lost".... and as I was praying, I just got this feeling... "Kelsie, you already know." And that's what it took. It's so hard to go out there and have your testimony attacked every day. I'm just a 19 year old girl. But I know for a fact it is true. I'm here to stay and I'm here to make my mark.

Well, that's about it for now, cuz I'm gonna call you in less than 48 hours!

Love you! Nos vemos pronto! (We'll see us soon!) (like see ya soon, but that's the literal translation)

Hermana Zollinger

Monday, December 16, 2013

As hard as this week was, we have had some fantastic success!

So post accident... things are definitely improving. The first few days we'd wake up and something new would hurt on top of the existing problems. We're going to physical therapy two times a week for the next 2-3 weeks at a clinic that is owned by our Ward Mission Leader's son, so they do everything for free for missionaries! They are saints. Our sessions are like an hour and a half long every time... wow. So Sister Organista and I both have whiplash... which is fun. My neck has been pretty sore. My back is pretty bad too. They focused on my neck last Tuesday and my back Thursday... Thursday Friday and Saturday my back was destroyed.... physical therapy makes it worse before it gets better. But today has been good. It doesn't hurt too much. Just my neck feels tight when I turn, especially when driving to check both ways.... ironic because that's what's going to keep us from crashing. On that subject, I have been a FREAK driving haha.... we took the Elders' car and now their stuck on bikes while they wait for a new one. It's bigger than our last one, and I need to learn the area so I'm driving now. Pues, the first day driving I probably slammed on the breaks 4 times. Like slammed. The second day was only like twice and now I'm pretty normal again.... but man that was TORTURE. Especially because our accident.. there was nothing we could do to be more safe. It was the other car. So here I'm driving and every time I passed ANY car I just begged in my head "please don't turn into me, please stay there, please, please please..." everyone thought I was pretty pathetic, but hey! It was a traumatic experience! Sister O just said last night (in Spanish so it was even funnier) "You have a strong personality but you're scared of everything... I don't get it." Hahahaha.... I had a good laugh with that one. So true.  But we're supposed to be icing everything 5 times a day... pues we can't cuz we're not home 5 times a day. But we do it when we can. And we're always supposed to be on pain killers to bring down the inflammation even if we aren't really hurting. So that's killing my kidneys, but hopefully healing my back. We have PT tomorrow, and I'm excited to go cuz things need to stop hurting! Also I have a cold again.... just a wreck. But hey! Here's the good news from the missionary life!

As hard as this week was, we have had some fantastic success! Just this Thursday we went to contact a media referral in Fresno that we hadn't been able to contact for a while. We stopped by and the mom of the house came to the door and was confused and concerned looking... she didn't seem to want us there. But we explained who we were and her 22 year old son came out and said "Oh, that's my dad who asked for you to come, but I would really like to know more too. Will you come in?" Whoa! A referral who actually WANTS you there?! Hasn't happened to me before! So we went inside and met the dad and the dad's mom also and we had a lesson with all 4 of them! The grandma wasn't super excited, but the rest were super receptive! They are all "searchers" and they just ate it all up! So we went back Saturday to teach them the rest of lesson one, and the grandma wasn't there but their other daughter who is about 24 was! So we taught her too! She's a little less "searcher", but she listened. So we invited them to our Spanish group's Christmas party at a member's house that day and they said yes, and they CAME! All four of them! And they stayed like half an hour after we left! And Elder Casteneda had talked with the mom and explained YSA and she was super excited and asked if the YSA elders could come THAT NIGHT to talk to her children! So the mom and dad came to our Spanish group on Sunday and the two kids went to the YSA ward! President, that is crazy! No one does that! Also, we had left them copies of the Book of Mormon Thursday after our first visit, and by our visit on Saturday the dad was in 1 Nephi 11!!!!! And they all read their assignment! Their la familia N. President, it's a miracle. They have a date as a family for January 22 but we think it will be a lot sooner than that! So amazing.

Also, we have a baptism this week for C.. Her daughter E was my first baptism. And her husband J hasn't been interested really in the gospel or religion thus far, but he's come every Sunday since E's baptism except last Sunday and he is making tons of friends in church. Their whole family came to the English ward Christmas party Saturday and he made his family's secret recipe cake and just is super at ease at church. We had a great discussion with him on Saturday as well! We were teaching C(Sister Organista taught her and I translated into English for him, she only speaks Spanish and he only speaks English, don't know how they got married, but they did!) and he just said that he wasn't very religious but he'd listen while we taught her. At the end I said "J, I know you say you're not very religious, but if there was truth to be found, would you want to find it?" And he said "Yes." And I said "Well, will you pray tonight and ask God if Joseph Smith was a prophet, if the Book of Mormon is true?" And he said yes! We haven't been able to follow up yet, but that's a miracle too President! We'll probably baptize him in January, and then there's just their 10 year old son, and then one year and then we're going to get this family sealed in the temple!

Yup. So pretty stoked. And to answer your question about the little old Catholic lady.... we couldn't see her for like 5 days after the accident, so I was really worried about her. But we finally got to see her Friday. She told us she read the L1 and L2 (lessons 1 and 2) and she said "Well I don't know how to tell you girls this but...." and I was really worried she was going to start preaching to us about how we're disillusion or something.... but she just politely asked how we could believe in something like Joseph Smith. So I just said "You know C, I've asked myself many times if I could believe any of this if I hadn't been raised in it. Joseph Smith can sound kind of fantastic if you're hearing it for the first time, I know. So how do I know? I've read the Book of Mormon and really studied it. I've read it probably ten times on my own, in Spanish, with my family. I know the Book of Mormon to be true. I know it would be impossible for Joseph Smith to write it. I didn't have to meet him, but I know this Book is true and so I know Joseph Smith was a prophet." Or something to that effect and she just looked at me and said "I've never heard anyone say it like that. You talk differently than all the adult Mormons I know." And that was the best feeling ever. Just because it takes the right person to say the truth for everyone. I know I was sent here for specific people like C to say the same truths in the way that she would respond to. Every time we go she starts off "knowing" something about us, and then she is shocked when we explain the truth. And the best part is she takes it for truth! She believes me more than she believes other Mormons who aren't the best examples of what we believe! That's a miracle. So we're going back sometime this week. She loves us, even if she doesn't want to get baptized or anything. Yet. :)

Well that's about it over here! I love you so much!!! Keep up the awesome missionary work! I'm so proud of you, and God is MORE proud of you than I am! (Well pleased I should say....)

Hermana Z

Friday, December 13, 2013's what happened

So... here's what happened. We had just picked up two other sisters (one of them is like my new bff, sister salisbury, she was sis organistas comp just before me) to go to a zone conference sat morning with Elder Porter from the 70.  we were literally five minutes from their apartment when out of no where, the truck coming from the opposite direction just did a U in the middle of the road right into us. It was a huge four door ford truck, F150. I was in the passenger side. Sister Organista was driving and there was nothing she could do, she slammed the brakes and swerved but it SMASHED into us. Pushed us up onto the sidewalk and then we hit a light post in the middle of our front. I just screamed and screamed because I saw it coming and like the only thought I had was "If I just keep screaming everything will be ok" so I just kept screaming. Our airbags all went off and I think I hit my head pretty hard because all of the sudden there were stars everywhere, my vision was not good. We smelled burning and saw smoke and Sister Jorgenson (Sis Salisburys comp) yelled that we had to get out so I just tried really hard to clear my head and the stars, but I was pretty dazed. Sis O's door had been demolished from where the truck hit, so she's panicking and I'm panicking and can't see and I'm fighting through all the airbags and the metal had warped back from where we'd been hit in the front so I had to push really hard to open the door.... so. scary. So we all got out and Sis S and Sis J were in front of me and they could barely walk. I was shaking so bad, my knees were buckling, I thought I was going to throw up and pass out in the grass.... so scary. Luckily I had my phone in hand from when we'd called them to pick them up so I immediately called  911. We were in the middle of the town, so people came rushing to help us, at least 6 people called 911. We had been hit right outside a waffel house and they pulled us in there so we could sit and not freeze (freeze being relative from MN... CA has been in the 30s lately though, coldest in years) and within 10 minutes the police and paramedics were there. The guy in the truck just took off in his truck.. I was the only one who saw him leave, I saw it through the airbags by Sis O. They found his truck a few blocks away, he'd abandoned it. But they had all his info. Funnily enough, his front license plate had fallen off from the impact so they had that too.... jerk. Pretty sure he was drunk. A couple came and talked to us right after and stayed with us for like 20 min... they said he'd just run 2 lights before that and had almost hit them so they were watching him and saw him hit us.... so scary. And another man came after the police had got there and he had seen him right after he hit us, truck all smashed in the front, so he'd jumped in HIS truck and chased after him, then realized he wasn't the police so he called 911 too.... we still don't know for sure if they caught him. So the paramedics took my blood pressure, which was text book perfect and then asked me some quick concussion check questions (my favorite "how old were you when you were 10?") which I passed. Sister O was bleeding in her mouth so that really scared us at first, but it turned out she'd just bit her tongue really good. Sis J did too and had a huge welt on her shin. Sis S had been hit right on the brow bone with Sis S's head, so she had a welt that turned black.... we were all just sore every where, and a few hours later it really started to hurt and tense up once the adrenaline wore off. 

Well after all the hulabalu..... car was totaled, did I mention that?.... we got a ride in a sweet little Meixcan sisters car from the Madera ward. Her car was a tin can. Man it was hard to drive in. No side airbags, I only had a lap belt... without our seat belts and airbags we woulda died. So I just closed my eyes. We all cried a bit, it was terrifying. But we knew we were protected by angels and we were glad we were the ones who were hit because other people aren't as protected as God's missionaries. And we were all ok. So we went to the zone conference and were met immediately by our district leader, zone leaders, assistants to the president, the coordinating sisters and Pres and Sister Gelwix. They pulled us into a room to get blessings which helped a lot. Then we got to meet Elder and Sister Porter! Which was a big deal because Elder Porter has a weak immune system and can't meet large amounts of people so we weren't expecting to get to meet him at all! Sadly we were all in such distress that I couldn't take it in for what it was worth.... well the conference was really good. But about half way through things really started to hurt. My hip where the seat belt had been was really hurting, and my back and my neck.... and all I could do was play the accident over and over and over again in my head.... rough. Well after the conference, Pres Gelwix got up and said "I need the following missionaries over here for a minute: Sister Zollinger.... " and then like 6 elders. So what?! I went out into the hall and Pres said that Elder Porter was going to have a personal interview with each of us! So I was the only sister in my zone who got to have a one on one interview with a member of the 70! Again, my body was gone so I was shaking the whole time and super tired and emotional, but it was a neat experience. He just asked about how the mission was doing, how my family was, how I liked the mission, how was my testimony, etc. I was with him for about 7 minutes. He said he thought I'd be a pretty good missionary haha. It was cool!

Well after that we were told that whenever we were ready to drive again we would take the elders car and they would bike... we were told not to proselite for a few days which was really hard to take at first (I'm on the Lord's time here!) but turned out to be a really good idea. We got a ride back to Madera in the same tin can.... but I called Sister Nehring and she picked us up from there. I was NOT going to ride for longer than I had to in that car. Sister Nehring has been so amazing... she's super busy but cancels everything for us and works around us. We got to her house around 3 probably and Sis O had to do a report for the church... which meant I did it and she read. She was worse off than me because the truck had actually hit her (I was the safest one in the car, farthest from impact and I didn't have anyone else's body to bounce off of) and she was struggling with english a bit since impact (we all said a prayer after we were hit and I asked who wanted to and sis S said "not me, I'll sob through it" and sis O said "don't make me, I can't speak english right now" hahaha.... so I said it. wasn't funny at the time. but it is now. we went between tears and laughs all day.... so crazy. so scary) and then some other members brought us pizza... we just wanted to sleep so we went home around 5.... and neither of us could sleep. it was awful. bodys aching, replaying the accident over and over again, we knew we had appointments that we were missing.... just felt awful. Well after an hour the bishop and his wife showed up! They're really young, mid 30's or so, and it was their date night and they decided to spend it with us! So in our pjs we just sat in their van and talked! And they bought us icecream. We were them for like 2 hours. Exactly what we needed. Then we went home and Sis O passed out... I took a shower and read Haylie and Grandpa Steves letters I had just got and slipped back into a low point... thinking about the accident again. So what happens? My zone leader called me! And he said "sister, I can't do a lot for you but I can at least try to take your mind off of it for a bit" so he just talked to me about my family, school, and sports and stuff for like half an hour. Exactly what I needed. And then the District leader called just to check on us. So great. went to sleep at 10:30.... both of us were awake around 230. We checked on eachother, and then I didn't fall back asleep until probably close to 4.... both of us spoke in sacrament the next day, sis o in spanish and me in english. Such a great experience. I talked about how members and missionaries need to work together, and it was just so great... so many people came up and told me they couldn't believe I'd only been in the field for a month. We got so much love from them.

Well we went home, slept for two hours and what do you know? Woke up feeling horrible. My sternum was like a knife in my chest. Hurt so bad. So guess what? God sent two more sisters at exactly that time. People have been showing up at our doorstep nonstop.  These two sisters were so great. One had been prompted on Black Friday to randomly buy two sets of warm, snow flake pattern sheets and so she brought those to us and they remade our beds! They were so comfy. Just that gesture was so comforting. And they gave us some medicine. So great. They brought us to our dinner appointment with an amazing family to watch the Devo and eat.... they had SNAKES. A big boa and a python.... I have pictures, I'll show you later. I want a ball python so bad now, they are LEGIT. It psyched me out a little at first but so cool. They also had a chinchilla and three big dogs and like three breeds of snakes.... so cool. They made us feel like family, it was so great. 

After that we went home and went to bed, another sister stopped and brought us food this morning, Sister Nehring has been doing everything for us. We are going to a physical therapist this week sometime, he is a member and sees missionaries for free. Such a blessing. I'm going to be driving now, we're getting the elders car tonight.... I'm still a bit traumatized though. Today Sister Nehring was backing up and couldn't see and asked us to check from where we were seated in her van. A big red SUV came speeding by and it took me several minutes to calm down because I could just see it crashing into us again. But we are ok and things are definitely going upwards. Just hard still.

Favorite proselyting story of the week!!!!:

High light of my week investigator wise was a little old Catholic woman we met named C. She's 80 years old and lives by herself. She as a referral from a member, they are neighbors. C answered the door and was in the middle of painting her own walls while struggling with arthritis. She's about a foot shorter than me. We asked her if we could please please help her paint and she said we were an answer to her prayers, her arthritis was really starting to hurt. She also informed us that "she knew all about our cult" which I laughed a bit at and immediately corrected a few of her ideas about who we were. We explained a bit about our beliefs on the Godhead that were different from what she had heard and also the sacrament. We didn't think we'd get far with her, so we just painted for her and got the job done fast and well. She was very pleased. We actually ran home to change first and she said "I mean it, just walk in. My door is always unlocked to my friends." That was about 5 minutes after she met us, and she is one independent and sassy old woman. It really touched my heart. So we painted everything and then she asked us some questions and we immediately sat down and started with Lesson 1. We only got so far as prophets and apostasy because she knew the Bible very well and had questions. But we read part of Amos about apostasy (she wasn't thrilled about the idea at first) and she lit up and said she'd never noticed those verses and accepted apostasy. We also left her with the Lesson 2 pamphlet. She loves to study. We were supposed to go back yesterday but with the accident we haven't been able to. We will probably see her tomorrow. I knew from Ammon how important service is to missionary work, but that really solidified every thing for me. We were able to bless her, even if she doesn't accept the gospel. I was honestly shocked she accepted those pamphlets, I thought there was no way. It was great! Especially because I've been trying to mean it more when I pray to find those prepared people. Before it was just saying words, but the day or so before we met her I tried to really mean it and have faith and boom, there she was!

Well I'm glad to hear every one is good at home! I love hearing about all the missionary work you are doing! It really is imparative to have members involved! I'll send you a copy of my talk later.... but I promised my members that as they involve the Lord in their missionary work, it would never be a burden to them. That promise is true!!!! Thank you for doing it!!!!

I love you all so much. Sorry for all the accident details... it was so crazy! I am so grateful to be alive, to know God is watching out for me, and to know of all the people who pray for me everyday. THANK YOU.


Hermana Zollinger

Let me start by saying that Sister Zollinger is FINE and SAFE

Sister Nehring of Kerman, California, texted the following to Kelsie's mom last Saturday:

Let me start by saying that Sis. Zollinger is FINE and SAFE, however, she and three other sisters were in a car accident this morning.  They were hit by a drunk driver who fled the scene.  All the air bags went off and they all say that it was Heavenly Father's protection that kept them from being more seriously injured. They will most likely be sore tomorrow, but they were checked by EMT's at the scene and released.  If they feel dizzy or faint tomorrow they have been instructed to seek more medical attention.  She will be in contact with you on Monday, but I offered to let you know so you can keep them more specifically in your prayers (as I am sure you pray for them all the time anyway!)  The ward here is poised to take care of any and all needs they have as they recover.  Feel free to call me if you have any other questions.  I will forward a picture of the car in a seperate text.

Monday, December 2, 2013

December Already?

 Thanksgiving was so great! The members here just love us up. Everyone loves elders, but people ADORE sisters, they give us so much stuff! Literally everywhere we go we are given food and treats. The elders almost never get anything haha, they get a little jealous. Luckily we are disciples of Christ and we share everything with them and invite them to our dinner appointments so they can eat.... haha. Thanksgiving we just studied all morning like usual and then we went to the RS president's house with her husband and grown son and his three kids (his wife was sick) and had a great time and then we went to a SECOND dinner with another family who is great in their CASTLE (coolest house ever) and they had their family and another two families and the bishop's family... FULL house. So good. I was dying after eating so much, but we just spent the whole days with members... After our second dinner we all (us 6 missionaries) went to the bishops and watched most of 17 Miracles (we can watch a movie on Thanksgiving). It was desperately sad. And we didn't watch the end which is where it resolves finally.... it's about the Pioneers. Nuf said. But it was great. Love the members.

The work is moving forward as usual!!! Here's an update on some investigators, taken from my pres's letter.

We have had just a great couple of days. We are still working with L! Her girls got confirmed yesterday and it was just beautiful. They also brought her step-son O. O is 21. The sisters had been working with him before, he lives with L and her family, but since I've been here he's basically disappeared. Well last week we got him to sit in on their first Family Home Evening and then after that he's been sitting in and then he agreed to go to dinner at a member's house last Saturday which is HUGE he's so shy, and then he came to church for the first time yesterday and prayed in CLASS (he's never prayed with us before) and he's coming next week! So great. Their family is really coming together. Another family that we're working with is progressing really well too! E got baptized about three weeks ago (my first one) and her mom is probably going to baptized at the end of December. Her stepdad J has been coming to church, at first just for E's baptisim and then the following week for her confirmation. Well he came again yesterday with the whole family again! He attends all the classes, the brothers at church are just welcoming him in, and yesterday I asked if we could start teaching him and he said yes! We've been praying for that for a long time!!!! So we're going to get this whole family baptized and to the temple. SO. Excited. Love being a missionary.

So lately we've been reading The Fourth Missionary during companionship study and I've been thinking a lot about how I can become the Fourth Missionary and what it means to give up my will and my heart and my mind. I've been working on it a lot this week and MAN it has made being a missionary easier. My mood is better (not that it was bad before) and I'm happy, I feel the Spirit pretty much 24/7, I can feel him guiding me what to say and where to go... I love it! I love feeling like I am changing. At the beginning of my mission I wanted to change but I didn't like the process... it hurt a bit! But now I am just relaxing and learning to trust that God is not going to change me into someone that I won't like. That's probably the biggest thing I've learned this week. Just relax. It makes our lessons go better, it helps our companionship, it makes me happier, I can hear the Holy Ghost more... great thing to learn!

So yeah, the next thing I was going to tell you is that you should read The Fourth Missionary with the kids! It's kinda long but it will give them a heads up of what they should be preparing for here... man it's hard, but it is so great!

ALSO my spanish is rockin! We had a conference on Wednesday for Trainers and New missionaries... so great! Learned a lot. But we had to role play a lot as usual (we role play allllll the time, it's great practice) and all the elders who'd been out here a while were like "Hermana!! Where did you learn to speak Spanish??? You are throwing down your past tenses and everything!" And Sister Organista said I'm about as good as her last companion, who'd been out for 6 months. So, feeling pretty blessed, but working hard to get better! Love it though! It's not as frustrating as it was in the MTC... like now I actually can have a personality when I talk! And the Mexicans think I'm hilarious.... cuz I'm white but I pretend I'm Mexican hahaha. It's great!

I love you all so much. There is just great stuff out here. We should be baptizin at a pretty good rate this month. LOVE IT.
Love you so much! Talk to you soon!!!!

Hermana Zollinger