How amazing was General Conference on Saturday morning! On Friday Sister Pirotta and Moore were able to go to a mission conference at the mission home. Its just once a transfer and they go and talk about different goals that we will work on for the transfer. This one was pretty amazing they said. President talked A LOT about getting a temple and it made everyone even that more exciting. We were all pretty confident that we were getting one, but could never say for sure. Friday night and Saturday morning was like the longest day of our life. We went out in the morning to keep our minds busy, and so time would go a little faster. It worked a little. Finally, we get to the church. Us five sisters went into a room and said one last mighty prayer for a temple. We then went into the chapel and it started. President Eyring did all the announcements and then turned the time over to President Monson. Every single one of us tensed up so much. Sister Call was squeezing my left hand so hard that I thought it was going to break off, but I'm pretty sure I was squeezing back just as hard. Sister Pirotta grabbed my right and we were doing the same. We all held our breaths. Brigham City, Utah-dang-one down, four to go (Congratulations by the way Kenzi! Right in your home town!!! I was totally shocked by that one. It's just a small little town.) Chile-dang-two down, three to go. Brazil-Ugh! Three down, two to go! FORT LAURDERDALE, FLORIDA! OH MY GOSH!!!!! WE ALL SCREAMED AND CRIED AND LAUGHED AND CRIED AND SQUEALED AND CRIED AND CRIED AGAIN SOME MORE! We totally didn't even hear the last temple and made it so the members that were at the chapel didn't even hear it either. Haha we later found out that it was Japan. Cool!
Can you believe it!!!!???? It was so hard to grasp for the longest time! Our works have paid off and our mighty prayers have been answered!!
I have to tell you though why we were so confident that we were going to get it.... A mission council President told us that the Florida, Ft Lauderdale mission is recognized as the best mission and most increasing mission in the WORLD!!!!! Can you believe that!!! He said that we are definitely noticed by the General Authorities. How cool! He's like best friends with all of them, so he's got a pretty good source. We had about 20 baptisms in the month of September in 2008. This year--get this--62!!!!!!! We nearly tripled it! I am so grateful and proud and excited to be a part of this work at this specific time! We're growing like crazy and will continue to in the future.
So Dad, you asked me to share more miracles and blessings and seeing the Lords hand in the work--I'm pretty sure that that answers your question:):):)
We got your packages this week. One on Friday, and the second of Saturday. It was torture to have the first package sitting there all day Friday! We went home between sessions of Saturday and did our fun activity. It was so fun! We got it all on tape. I have a lot of time left on that tape, so I'll talk on it sometime and send it to you in the future. But ya see, I can't send it until I get one from you guys. It's only fair! I'll take good care of it until I get one from you :):):):) Deal? Deal. Okay, though, back to the package. We had so much fun reading the scriptures and opening the gifts. Haha where on earth did you get those eyeballs and brains and hands and mouths and stuff?? It was so fun to do. I am going to attach a picture of us three wearing our vampire teeth. We just took that this morning. We're all excited to decorate our apartment. Thanks!! i just had one question though. What are the magnets for? Did I ask for those in the past? I can't remember.... I saved all the scriptures though and am going to give them to Sister Hale. She asked me to tell her about each fun package that you send me. She wants ideas for when Tanner goes on a mission next year. PS I LOVE getting the pillowcases! I know I've told you before, but I seriously get excited for the beginning of each month! I love the candy corn one:) Oh, and the Jon Schmidt CD is awesome! Very pretty! If you see his Christmas one sometime could you get it for me? Listen to it first though and make sure it goes along with the guidelines of President's email from last week. Thanks! We finally listened to the Reflections of Christ CD that I exchanged for the ones that Melissa Nelson gave me--its AMAZING!! SO beautiful!!
We have had a really good week besides Conference though. We tracted into a couple that knows all about the church and is really excited to learn more. We are going to call him today to set up an appointment and hopefully see them tonight. Their names are Mardine and Isabella. Pray for them. We are also seeing a family tonight, the Capverde's. They have been taught in the past by Elders and didn't progress for some reason. We feel REALLY good about them, so pray for them too. Thanks! Also, Jose. He is a Catholic Deacon in his church and has studied many religions. He's read the entire Book of Mormon TWICE and really likes it. He actually gave his first copy to a friend who later joined the church! He's a missionary already! Those Catholics though and the blasted tradition of "my father was a catholic, and his father was a catholic, and I will die a catholic..." yada yada yada who cares that they were Catholics! The important part is that he knows it's true and needs to act upon it! We are going plan a killer lesson this week and then go see him and get him converted! Pray mightily for Jose and his wife! I don't know how to spell her name. Sorry.
We have had to do a lot of finding and tracting and contacting this week because none of our investigators are progressing. Its sad and frustrating. I hate tracting because 99% of the time it has no benefits and is not successful at all.
I read your short email and am so excited for Jason and Mysha!!! Holy cow! That's so awesome!! And then, Paul and Erin!!!!!! FINALLY!!!! That is so amazing!!! Twins too?!?! I'm SO happy for them!!!!!!!!!! They totally deserve this!!!! AND Landon and Jill! Holy cow this has been a good week!!! Tell them all I said Congratulations! I'm excited to get the pictures!
I don't normally read the long email before I email you guys. I don't have time to, so I usually just print them out. I did read down to the part that you went to Farmington Canyon--those pictures are BEAUTIFUL by the way. I love that you added some of you and the dogs too:) I'm so sad that you weren't home to hear the announcement, but I'm grateful for Brandi texting Maddi. Mom, I love that you screamed in the middle of the fabric store. Hahaha! Where was Dad?? Just to let you know I'm coming back for the open house, and then again to go through it. You are all more than welcome to come with me too! Agh!! I'm so excited!!!
What were your favorite talks from Conference? First session I loved Elder Bednar's and talking about families. It was really good. I love that he always talks about families. And President Uchtdorf's was so amazing about love! I love how he tied it all back together after going in every direction about love. I couldn't pick a favorite though from Saturday--unless you count President Monson's about Temples:):) Sunday, hands down was Elder Hollands. Mal- I always think of your cool experience each time I hear his name. I love how blunt he his and how bold and how convincing! He's so amazing! I want to take that talk to each of our investigators and have them listen to it. I want it on video though so they can see him and how passionate he is about the Book of Mormon. Gosh, it was amazing!
I loved how so many of the talks were centered around the spirit and how to better become a servant of thy Lord. I loved listening to conference as a missionary! Although, I'm not gonna lie-- it was weird watching it in a church and in a dress with tight and a jacket on. Yeah, we had to get in our full attire to watch it. Lame. I wasn't in my jammies... It was really good though. I was alert though each session and was able to take notes on each of the talks. Yay me! Oh, except I think I did get sleepy in the Saturday afternoon session. Oops:) After the Saturday afternoon session we were able to go the Muench's (Minch) home for a new member lesson. I'll also attach a picture of that. They are a very Japanese cultured family-although you'll notice that they are just as white and you and me. I'll tell you about it sometime. They're definitely one of my favorite family's in the ward. They are so fun to be with and Dad, I think you and Brother Muench would get along SO well. He thinks so too. I talk about you all and he's said before, "I like your dad!!" Haha who wouldn't??
Sister Priotta took the picture, so it's Brother and Sister Muench, Renata-the new member who brought her friend to church and we are now teaching her, Valerie--me and Sister Call. We had fried rice with shrimp in it, so I tried shrimp this week. Yuck, the texture is gross, but the flavor wasn't bad. Here's the funny part--being true Japanese family-we ate them with chopsticks. Hardest thing I've done in my entire life!! You guys know how my fingers move! Or the lack of movement! Haha yeah, my hand hurt once I was done!! It was a fun experience though.
Well, I've got to go! I love you all so much and thank you for all your prayers and excitement about the FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA TEMPLE!! Doesn't that just sound amazing??? :) I love it:):)
I love you all, have a wonderful week!!!!!
Love--Sister Sammi Denson