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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

October 8, 2013 - Gilroy

I made it a year!!!! One year on the mission has come and gone and I can't believe how quickly the time is passing by. It's been a great year and I hope to make these last 6 months even better than the first two.
 
For my year mark Sister Burch and I (who came out the same day) burned a shirt. Don't ask me why. Stupid tradition if you ask me. But it was still fun to celebrate one year with all of the missionaries. We also got some Fro-Yo but that was it....not much else we can do to celebrate as missionaries. Oh but that night was pretty exciting. We were getting ready for bed and all of the power went out. Of course we got scared so we called the elders and they were scared too....which made us even more scared! One of the elders, with complete panic in his voice, kept telling us not to panic. Then he told us to turn off our flashlights and stay low. That really made us panic! Even the security lights from our apartment complex to as far as we could see were out. It was pretty eerie.  About an hour later all the lights came back on but Sister Champlin and I were still scared so we put both of our mattresses on the floor next to each other to sleep.
 
So this week started out pretty slow and we were starting to get discouraged with some of our goals. On Wednesday night we decided to fast together and sure enough we saw some miracles! They were all small ones...but we know the Lord works by small and simple means. One of the miracles was our encounter with a young woman named Alexis. We met her outside the apartment complex of a lesson that fell through. We had already met her at the park once before and she recognized us. We talked to her about how the gospel blesses families and she just started crying. We also taught her a shortened version of the restoration, focusing on prophets, and invited her to general conference. She downloaded the general conference app on her phone right then and there! She was so excited to learn what she could do as a single mom to help her 2 year old daughter. I love being able to provided the answers to those type of questions! The gospel is always the answer and I take for granted how many people don't know about it.
 
Violet and Rosa are still progressing quickly. We invited them to be baptized and they said they want to pray about it first. Then they asked for some scriptures about baptism so that they could study it. Those are the kind of answers I like when we invite people to be baptized. When people say yes right away it makes me nervous because I don't know if they're taking it seriously. But I know violet and Rosa are taking it seriously. Which means they'll get an answer (verdadera intencion!)
 
How did everyone like General Conference? I LOVED it! I can't wait to study the articles in the Ensign when it comes out. My favorites were D. Todd Christofferson, Holland, Uchtdorf and Nelson. All of the missionaries watched conference together at the church. We had a few investigators show up for a couple of the sessions and our less active,(Ivory 13 years old) came to two of them. She reminds me so much of Amber from the stories she tells us about when she was 13. I hope she doesn't go down the same path that Amber went down. But at least she came to Conference! I even saw her taking notes :)
 
For pday yesterday we went on a beautiful hike with some members who just got back from a couple mission in France. I think it was Leon, France. They showed us all of their pictures and I think I would love to go to France one day! Dad, do you want to go visit your mission when I get home?? :) But the hike was really fun even though my legs are sore today....I'm definitely not in shape anymore.  I'll send some pictures!
 
Well I hope everyone enjoyed conference and I hope everyone is doing great! Hope to hear from you all soon. You're in my prayers and I love you all!
 
Love, Hermana Billings

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