This week has just flown by! The work had a slower start this week because of meetings, doctor's appointments, and the best part....THE REDLANDS TEMPLE!! I think I mentioned this in an earlier email, but our zone had a football challenge and the companionship that won the most yards for meeting certain goals got to have a free temple trip. Naturally, we won :D So, Monday was P-Day, a day of relaxation. Tuesday was meetings, Thursday was immunization shot for Hep A, and due to my lack of awareness of NSEW directions we got lost for the appointment and had to reshedule for later that day, but all is well and worked out. We were able to see some of the Ontario Sisters and have lunch with them, so I got to see Sister Brinkerhoff!!! She is doing fabulous and loving Ontario. But the best day was Wednesday. That morming a member in our ward picked us up, and though she couldn't go in, she drove us all the way to the temple so we could enjoy and feast in the spirit. The temple has such a powerful effect upon the mind and heart. As we go with a willingness to learn and become a little better, the Spirit teaches us and we are left with peace. I love the calm atmosphere and the beauty of the temple. Also, I was surprised and pleased to see 3 women from our old Orangecrest ward!! Sister Guyaux, Sister Moyer (Courtney's grandma), and Sister LaDeena Christensen! We had a wonderful visit and they want all of you to know how much they miss you (especially you Jason and how proud they are of you). The temple is the best place to see old family members, because these women are like my family. It was a great way to start the morning.
Later that day we had CRECHE festival practice and got to perform on Saturday. It's an interfaith festival the Upland Stake puts on and we missionaries got to perform 11 songs. Sister Stacey had a duet part and she did beautifully! It sounds like our ward is doing something similar to what the CRECHE festival does---they have the cultural hall full of nativity sets. I wish I would have taken pictures! It set such a wonderful mood. I loved singing with the choir. I'm glad you're lending some of your nativity sets for the ward Christmas party. And Mom, you are going to do great with the guitar and the kids, it will be so fun! It sounds like your voice is going to be spent this season, but what a gift you are giving to so many souls :) I hope all the performances go wonderfully. Please send pictures or videos so I can watch :)
Amidst all the practices and other happenings, we were able to see the Carrillo's, Nicole Howell (a sweet Recent Convert who just got married in August), Justine and Sister Smith together--great fellowshipper, Angela, Veronica, David (new investigator) and Jonny (a referral from the Owens actually). All of these people have real hardships right now, but these experiences are helping them to become humble and willing to listen to the missionaries so they can change and make those necessary covenants. It makes me realize how easy I have it and what a wonderful family I have that supports me. All of our experiences will help us to come closer to Christ.
Saturday night brought sad news---both Sister Stacey and I are leaving the Oleander Ward. That was a shocker! We thought for sure one of us would stay. I'm going to miss this ward a lot--it's a wonderful ward with so many people who are missionary minded and humble. We were lucky to be with them for 3-4 transfers. The hardest part of Sunday was when we had to tell Veronica. I was putting it off, and then another member told her we were leaving, (bad news on my part). Veronica took it really badly; it broke our hearts! I pray sisters come into the area, because sisters tend to be more loving. We hope as she is taught she can see that we all love her and have the same good news. It was wonderful to see that the ward immediately enveloped her with love, and that some completely understand her situation. The Lord knows who we need to meet for sure. Veronica is a special woman and she knows it's true. It's just so hard to leave! These investigators are the world to me. But like you said Mom, change is good.
We don't find out where we are going until transfer meeting on Tuesday, so for now, Sister Stacey and I have been guessing. Our apartment is pretty messy right now, and I keep laughing to myself how Dad would have a fit (haha). It's sad to leave the area, but I know that if I keep using my light that I have been given by God, it will bless others and that the Lord knows wherever I go, the people there need that light.
I love you all!
Shoutout: Dear Peterson Family: I am so glad Ryann is doing so well in 5th grade! Teaching the gospel is wonderful and seeing people come unto Christ is the best experience in the world. This work is true and God is leading it. I hope your family has a wonderful Christmas, filled with happiness and the love of Christ. Love, Sister Mills.