Monday, February 13, 2012

Gretchen's New Companion From New England

Hello Family!
So my new companion is Sister Birrell from....MASSACHUSETTS! Isn't that crazy?! What are the changes that there are two of us together from New England? She is from Lenox, Massachusetts, which I wasn't too familiar with, but she is in the Springfield Stake. She went to BYU before her mission as well, but she is a New England girl through and through. She actually is SO much like Amber, it is not even funny! Even though I am not serving with Amber, it is like I get a chance too! She looks like her (kind of) and has the same mannerisms and styles. It makes it so much fun! It has been a great first week together. She is a hard worker and loves the people so much. She is a spiritual giant, and she is teaching me so much! She doesn't need much training at all! Sister Birrell is truly a wonderful missionary already, and I love serving with her.
So this past week was a great week! We decided to always be looking for miracles, and we found a lot! Yesterday at church we had Mark Trczinski, a recent convert, bless the sacrament for the first time. That was really amazing to see. :) Church was wonderful yesterday! Many miracles.
1. Mark was the first one! It was great to see him using his priesthood to bless the ward.
2. So, we have church in a weird order because we are partly combined with Highland 2nd. We have Sunday School, RS, and then Sacrament. We met with a couple on Saturday and committed them to baptism. We were really hopeful that they would both be at church. They still hadn't shown up during RS and Priesthood and I was just praying that they would be here for sacrament, and as we are sitting down for sacrament, I see them sitting in the back! It truly was a miracle to have them both there, and we were so excited for their progress.
3. Nicholas, Savannah's older brother, has been pretty against the church lately, but he came to church yesterday! That was huge!
4. We had 5 investigators total in sacrament meeting!
It truly was a great week. Sister Birrell works so hard, and everyone loves her so much!
Funny story for the week:
So we went to this couples' home for a lesson. Anthony and Sharon. Sharon is an interesting woman, with LOTS of jewelry. Like 4 to 5 rings on each finger, 4 inch earrings, and lots of piercing. She also is very dramatic, and is just an interesting woman. Entering their home, it was an overwhelming smell of smoke and lots of clutter. Just a very interesting couple. We were having the lesson and Sharon was really having a hard time. She was very emotional. We asked her to say the closing prayer and she said a beautiful one. But after the prayer she immediately jumps up and says, pointing at Sister Birrell, "I have something for you!" She runs into her room and we can see her searching in her stuff, We both were getting a little nervous. She then comes out with something in her hand, and says to Anthony, "Can I walk them out?" Anthony agrees and we start walking to the car. We reach out car and Sharon say, "I have something for you," again pointing at Sister Birrell. (I was like, "What about me?" ;) ) Sharon reveals a HUGE ring with a pink stone surrounded by fake diamonds, to which she says, "It's real." Then she starts pointing at Sister Birrell's hand where she has a ring. Then she says, "I want that one..." Sister Birrell had a blue ring from her dad on her finger and Sharon didn't really want to give Sister Birrell anything, she just wanted to trade! Sister Birrell didn't know what to do, but hesitantly, she switched rings. I tried to tell Sharon that that ring meant a lot to Sister Birrell, but Sharon really wanted it. We got in the car and both thought, "Did that really just happen?" Sharon just manipulated her way into getting a new ring!
Sharon then came to church on Sunday and Sister Birrell wore the pink one, in hope of switching back. Well after talking with Sharon, Sister Birrell got her blue one back, but Sharon wanted another one that she had, so she gave that one up instead! It was crazy! But we are trying to figure out how we will get ALL Sister Birrell's jewelry back soon... Next time we meet with them though, we are both not wearing any jewelry! 
Then, I found 5 dollars... (That was an awful story was much funnier in person and if you have met Sharon, but just take my word for it.)
Well, it really was a great week! We had a wonderful lesson with Maria and Walter, a couple that we have been teaching for awhile. We got them on date for baptism next month, which was very exciting! They just need to get married...or...separate...We won't know what they are going to do, but they know what they have to do for baptism!
All is well in Riverside! I can't believe that Peder leaves tomorrow! It will be my 5 month mark tomorrow and his 2 month mark! Time is going fast. :)
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY! I love you all!
Yesterday I spoke to the Young Women about how I have found joy and happiness in my life and I said,
1. I know that we are happy when we keep the commandments. (Mosiah 2:41)
2. I find joy when I work hard. I know that I will not be satisfied if I don't work hard! (Thank you Mom and Dad! You taught us how to work hard and I am so grateful!)
3. I have to find my purpose or focus for each time in my life. Right now it is service. Before my mission it was education. After my mission, who knows? ;)
It was great to be back in YWs for a little while. :)
The church is true. Jesus Christ lives. The Book of Mormon is another testament of Christ. Joseph Smith was a true prophet. I know that this gospel brings joy and happiness!
I love you all so much! Have a great week!
Sister Gretchen Schillemat

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