First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY GREATEST MORTAL HERO, MAMA!!!
Second of all, I'm going to try to keep this speedy quick!
My most important updates are about Carol and Anita ... some background.
Carol is this beautiful woman who hadn't been to church in many years. Then we went and contacted her and she came to church the next week.
We went back again for another visit and met Anita, who at first didn't seem at all interested in our message. We went back one more time to see Carol, but Carol was gone and Anita was house sitting for her.
We shared a message with her and asked her about the Book of Mormon. She said, "I don't believe the Normans." (No idea what it is about Kansas and the Book of Normans, but I probably hear that more than I do the real title.)
Anyway, we taught her the restoration and she felt the spirit so strongly and believed that it was true. We invited her to a baptismal date, the sixteenth, and she accepted.
That was last week. Since then, her and Carol have quit smoking (she's been smoking since she was eight and now she's fifty eight) and came to a church tour and to church. She is also SO EXCITED for her baptism.
Meanwhile, Carol has been coming to church as well. And we were talking about the temple, and now both of their goals are the temple. Anita wants to get baptized to get to the temple, and Carol volunteered herself to start paying tithing with the tiny bit of money she does have to get to the temple. She said, "If tithing means that I can get to the temple and even help build more temples, then I'm going to tithe. It's the least I can do."
THEN both of them thought of friends they have who need the gospel and we are now working with them! How lovely :)
A few lessons that have been driven home by all this sweetness ...
1. Don't you ever EVER give up on anyone.
2. The gospel fire is contagious, and its effects are far reaching and eternal.
3. There are always people around us who need us and need the Savior. It's interesting how to Carol, who hadn't had the gospel in her life for years, it was so simple to share something with her friends and neighbors that was bringing her joy and changing her life for the better. But then for so many of us who have had it all our lives, we make it a complicated, careful, scary matter of political correctness and proper timing to share with those around us the most important thing in our lives! I've been guilty of that way too many times!
Anyway, it's been a glorious beginning to a glorious new year :) good luck with those resolutions and what nots!