Sunday, February 16, 2014

Additional Pictures (Mostly from MTC)

Sister Sarah Noakes did some clearing off of her SD card. Here are some additional pictures she sent from her MTC days.

Email from 12/23/2013 -- Christmas coming soon!!

Haven't gotten any Christmas packages but I'm sure they'll arrive today or tomorrow. I won't be opening 'em til Christmas morning anyways. Hahaha.
Oh and about skyping. We're having lunch with a member family, the Guevaras, on Christmas day around noon. I can call you and let you know to get on Skype just before I get on there. So probably somewhere between noon and one? I was thinking about Google Hangout and I kind of thought that might be better too, I don't know. Also I realized I'm not sure I remember my skype username for login... is it just my email? I'm dumb and forgot to write that one down. Hahaha.

So, about my week. It's still cold here in Junction and there's still snow and ice on the ground. We're trying really hard not to die every time we're out walking. On Saturday my companions told me I don't know how many times to "BE CAREFUL!" because I kept sliding everywhere. Yep.
Oh, so "companions" - yes, I'm in a trio now! Still with Sister Keihle and we're training Sister Donald! She's from New Orleans (actually Covington, LA), and she's super awesome! She just talks to everyone with that Southern drawl and it works wonders up here in cold Colorado. Hahaha! She's a convert and we're loving our time together, even in our tiny apartment.
So this week has been a lot of fun. We picked up Sister Donald on Tuesday afternoon. We had dinner at our bishop's house, and we got pancakes with blueberry syrup! Yes!
On Wednesday we went over to our recent convert Debbie's apartment to help move her stuff in with the elders. Debbie wasn't there, but her roommate Dixie helped us move everything in. It's been kind of a long week, because of Christmas. You wouldn't believe how many people have told us we can come back "after the new year". Sigh. But it's still been a good week!

We taught a new investigator, Robert. As we taught the first lesson, I remember being so impressed by his willingness to learn about the gospel. He was so accepting! I hope he remains that way. We, sadly, didn't get to see Joyce this week, as she's been sick, but she still came to church and we can still see her exercising her faith. She was sick, and she asked her boyfriend to give her a blessing. She texted us and said "[boyfriend] just left and did give me a blessing so I know I'll be fine." I love her so much! Her faith is so inspiring to me!
I also went on splits with Brittanie Steele. We went tracting while Sister Donald and Sister Keihle went to visit some other people. Brittanie and I saw a miracle, as we found a new investigator. His name is Francisco and he's super awesome! He really opened up to us and I felt the Spirit very strongly as Brittanie and I taught him. I'm really excited to teach him again.
I've also been forced to use what little Spanish I have in my vocabulary lately. We keep running into people who say "No habla ingles" so I try out my "pocito espanol" on them... unsuccessfully. I'm pretty sure they just play along and are like "Let's see how bad this white girl is at this." Hahahaha. But it's been fun.
We've been Christmas caroling to people we see on the street and we are having fun, even with the cold and all the people who don't want to see us for two weeks. Sigh. But it's okay, we are trying and that's what's important.
I hope you all had a great week! I love you and I'll see you in TWO DAYS! :) :)
Love, Sister Noakes

Sister Noakes uploaded a ton of pictures to Dropbox, clearing off her SD card (she couldn't find the second one she took with her). Some of those will be posted separately. But here are some pictures she sent to Spencer. The dad in a family in the ward collects souvenir swords, so Sarah took some pictures for Spencer to drool over.
The "Heronmark" from The Wheel of Time

Bottom sword is Arwen's sword from Lord of the Rings.
Middle blue-sheathed sword is the Heronmark.

Sister Noakes wielding The Heronmark.
(Sword of the spirit, perhaps?)


Email from December 16, 2013 (very, very late ...)

I had written to Sister Sarah that our ward was getting sister missionaries the next week. Obviously, she thinks that's super awesome!
I'm so excited you're getting SISTERS! Because obviously sisters are the best.

This week was a really good one! Sister Keihle and I have been taking what we learned on exchanges and applying it 100%, and we're seeing the benefits! It's been really wonderful. Debbie, our investigator, was baptized on Saturday! Saturday was a crazy crazy day at the baptismal font - there were 7 baptisms in the stake! Debbie's baptism went really well. The spirit there was so powerful. More than anything I felt the power of God's love for her as she made this choice to draw nearer to Him. It was wonderful. Sister Keihle and I sang "Amazing Grace" at the baptism. I hate singing in public. Hahaha. The single's ward sisters were supposed to sing with us, but their baptism was right after ours and they ended up having to rush out. Sad. The baptism was great and then we went over to Debbie's for homemade chili right afterwards. Mmm, delicious! The elders in our ward also had a baptism on Saturday. It's just a testament to me that the Lord is hastening His work!

Also this week, we taught Joyce again! Twice, actually. Joyce is amazing! She's so prepared and ready for this gospel. When we taught her on Friday, we brought the bishop's wife, Sister Thornton, with us. Having Sister Thornton there was perfect. Sister Thornton is a convert and we were able to have a really good discussion about God answering prayers. Joyce is concerned that January 4th is coming up really fast for her baptism, but we know that if she prays about it she will feel that it is right and be ready. Sister Thornton gave a beautiful example/testimony of God answering prayers quietly, and Joyce said that she felt that God has really been answering her prayers! HOORAY! I love Joyce so much! That lesson was incredibly spiritual and it was great to know that Joyce is feeling more and more ready.

So, transfer news - I'm staying! With not only Sister Keihle, but a 3rd sister as well! Sister Keihle and I will be training a new sister together. So send all your packages to 246 Belford Ave #7, everyone!

Oh, and mom, since you've been asking, we have a Christmas tree! A sweet lady in our ward, Sister Mayo, fed us dinner last Monday and told us she usually gave the missionaries a little tree, but that she'd have to find it. Well, we got a phone call on Friday and she found it, so now we have a little, fiberoptic Christmas tree that came with preattached ornaments! I'm alllllll set! :)

Let's see, other fun things from this week: Sister Keihle and I went to Cafe Rio for lunch on Thursday, but we had members pay for us! We were also given money anonymously at church. The members here (and I hope everywhere) are so generous and kind! I love the love we receive daily. I challenge you to do something super nice for the missionaries back in good ol' Edison ward. Make 'em some cookies or something.

I love you guys! I hope you had a great week :)

Love, Sister Noakes

Mom note: Alas, no pictures this week. Sister Keihle had an appointment and they didn't have time to send pictures. But the bonanza came the next week!!