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Monday, November 25, 2013

November 25, 2013 - Redwood City

This week I received the BEST news of my entire mission. Amber (from Gilroy) called me last night to invite me to her baptism this Saturday at 6!! It's all I've been able to think about since she told me. I still can't believe that it's even happening. If the rest of my mission is horrible, her getting baptized will all make up for it. She decided that she doesn't want to marry her boyfriend afterall and decided to move out to an apartment in San Jose. She'll be getting baptized in the Gilroy ward right before she moves. And I just PRAY that her new ward in San Jose will take her under their wings. So this Saturday I will be going back to Gilroy!!!! I still feel like Gilroy is my home so it will be really good to see everyone. Amber asked me to speak at her baptism and I feel very honored. She really is the greatest inspiration to me that righteousness really is more powerful than wickedness. I would have bet that she wouldn't have been baptized until after I returned home from my mission but I was wrong. And I'm glad that I was wrong!
 
Anyway, besides that fantastic news we had a really good week. Normally we set companionship goals for lessons taught etc. but this week our district leader decided to hold us accountable as a district. On Sunday, we were 16 lessons behind for the month as a district (3 companionships). He told us that we all needed to get at least 6 lessons that day to meet our monthly lesson goal. On a typical day we usually teach 3-4 lessons so we knew that getting 6 would be a stretch. And Sister Bair and I had already met our companionship goal for lessons and we didn't have a single lesson appointment but we pushed ourselves to find more people to teach to help out the district. We ended up teaching 5 lessons and sure enough, our district met our goal and we ended up getting 17 lessons as a district that day! It was interesting taking a team approach though because I know it pushed us to do more than we would have done without that perspective. But missionary work really should be a combined effort and it taught me a really important lesson about working together to bring to pass miralces. I would never have thought getting 17 lessons between 3 companionships (on a Sunday nonethelss) would ever be possible. But the Lord always provides a way :)
 
I had a meeting with the other STL's this week and we had the opportunity to talk to President Watkins daughter who just got back from her mission on Tuesday. She was serving in Arizona and her mission used ipads. She told us of all the amazing things the missionaries were able to do with ipads including scheduling appointments, using it as an area book, google maps with investigators and members pin-pointed, showing mormong messages and communicating with all of the missionaries in the area. It sounds like a dream!! By January there are supposed to be 30 missions in the U.S that use ipads and hers was #8....so I'd be lying if I said I'm not praying that the San Jose mission gets picked to use ipads soon!
 
We had a really neat experience this week. We had just spent about an hour contacting. In other words, we had just spent an hour being rejected by people on the street. We were heading back to our apartment, walking down a hill, and I was thinking how sad it is that so many people just casually reject such a good thing. Then we saw an old lady in a wheelchair with bags of groceries on her lap, pushing herself up the hill with her legs. Clearly she was struggling so I ran down to her and asked if I could help. She said no because she didn't want us to waste our time. I assured her that it wasn't at all a waste of our time and started pushing her up the hill. We took her about a block or so to her destination and had a nice conversation along the way. She was very grateful and let us share a pass along card with her. We said goodbye and started towards our apartment again. As we were walking down the hill, a construction worker on the overpass above us yelled something down to us. We got closer and asked him to repeat what he said. He thanked us for helping the lady up the hill. His simple thank-you made me realize that there are still good people out there. It really touched me that he would thank us. I thought about that experience later that night and just imagined that construction worker watching the old lady in the wheelchair struggle, but not being able to help her. I'm so glad that we were able to help her and that there was someone else watching out for her. The sad part is, several people walked right by her without even hesitating to stop. But there are still good kindhearted people out there! Sometimes you just have to look closely :)
 
By the way, I got hit by a car on my bike this week. But don't worry I'm fine. I was kind of shaken up from it for a few hours afterwards though. It was a rainy day, but the sun was still out and I was about to go through an intersection when a car decided to turn right at the last second. Luckily they had been at a stop so they weren't going very fast. I didn't even see the car until the last second and I slammed on my brakes but the ground was wet so my tires slipped on the ground. I wouldn't have even looked up to see the car at all but a car behind me saw that I was about to get hit and started honking. Thank you car behind me! By the time I got back on my bike, the light had turned red and my companion was already on the other side. She kept going and going for a few blocks before she even realized that I wasn't behind her. She said she was pretty shocked when she turned around and didn't see me. But we reunited just fine! The zone leaders found out and of course were really dramatic about it and gave us someone else's car from the zone. So now we're in full car :( At least for now. And seriously....I'm okay. I didn't even get a scratch or a bruise on me.
 
But anyway, I hope everyone has a happy thanksgiving! We've been invited over to a members house for thanksgiving with the spanish speaking elders. I'm not sure if we'll be having an american style thanksgiving or mexican....but either way I'm sure it'll be good. I love you all and have a good week!
 
Love, Sister Billings

November 25, 2013 - Redwood City

So remember how I said I would be emailing on Mondays now? I must have jinxed it because here I am on a Tuesday, emailing once again.
 
 The reason why we didn't have time to email yesterday is because we got asked to give a special presentation for a Theology class at a private school. They called the mission office and asked for two sisters and two elders to come and present about our beliefs and some church history. On Sunday, sister Bair and I set aside about an hour to put together a power point presentation with video clips and pictures that we would be using. After working on it for about an hour at the library, it somehow got deleted. It was like finals week of college all over again! Working on a project last minute just to have it be deleted. But this time it wasn't a grade in school that I was worried about. I called the elders to tell them what had happened (they were at the temple with an investigator so they weren't able to help us) and I said, "this is like finals week only worse because people's salvation is hanging on the line!" They thought that was pretty funny but at the time I was pretty stressed. We ended up using a member's computer (with president's permission) and everything worked out fine. Even though we had to take an extra hour to re-do the presentation.
 
So on Monday morning we went to the school to present. It's a small (275 students) private catholic school. We presented for 2 classes of seniors. They had already studied the history of the church in class so we focused mainly on the atonment. The teacher said that it was "good strategy" on our part so as to distract from the controversial church history topics. But we didn't do it to be strategic. We all prayed about what we should present and decided that focusing on the atonement was the best idea. Afterall, it is Christ's church and His atonment is central to the plan of salvation. I wish I could go into more detail about how the presentation went but I don't have time. After our presentation the students had about 20 minutes to ask questions. The usual questions came up but everyone (minus one) was very respectful and accepting of the answers we gave. One lady came to visit for the first class and was looking for a debate about prop 8. She was getting frustrated that we weren't debating with her but we just told her that as missionaries we can't represent the church in political issues but we can say that we believe marriage is between a man and a woman. She found us at lunch and had printed off an article about mormons involvment in prop 8 and handed it to each one of us. We smiled and took the article so hopefully she can feel at peace now. The teacher, who is openly gay, had invited her to come. But he wasn't looking for contention I don't think.
 
Anyway, it was an amazing experience. The students were very well educated and very open. I was nervous about teaching in front of so many people but I know the words that we should say were given to us. I hope that at least one student will remember the spirit that we brought and have the desire to learn more.
 
Okay, so about Jose Luis. His baptism was so amazing! I still can't believe how quickly he decided to be baptized. His brother-in-law who has been baptized for about a year was able to baptize him. It was his first time using his priesthood to baptize someone and he was so touched to be given such an opportunity. When Jose Luis came out of the water he had THE biggest smile on his face. Bigger than any I've seen after a baptism on my mission. He was also really brave and got up to bear his testimony after he changed his clothes. He was nervous but he did a good job. His non member wife, daughter, and granddaughters all came to the service so we're hoping to be able to start teaching them soon. As part of his testmiony he said that it's never too late to change (he's 65). he even got a little emotional during his testimony. It seriously was a miracle! I'll send pictures if I have time.
 
Speaking of miracles. We had a zone conference this last week and our mission president put up a whole bunch of numbers and charts of what we've accomplished so far this year. With the new flood of missionaries and missionaries just working harder we've really seen so many miracles. It was so interesting though because he pointed out that we're doing about double the work but seeing four times the results. You'd think it'd be double the work and double the results right? But when we're working extra hard the Lord blesses us. And it was easy to see that He really has been blessing this mission. We're all working extra hard to finish off 2013 strong..
 
Last story for the week....we went to a christian church that is putting on a live nativity program this december to volunteer. Similar to what I did in Livermore when I first got into the field if anyone remembers. Anyway, a few of us missionaries showed up at the same time and we asked the guy in charge how we could help. He explained our responsibilites for the day and then asked us if we could remove our name tags. He said it was a "non denominational" group and he didn't want anyone asking us questions. We told him that we wouldn't be able to remove our tags and then he said, quite angrily, "Well how are you going to help in people's salvation if you can't remove your tags?" I don't know what he meant by that but I was pretty defensive. I told him that we were just there to help and if he didn't want our help then we could leave. For how defensive I felt, i was pretty surprised how calm the words came out. His entire demeanor changed and he started telling us how grateful he was for our desire to help and let us stay.
 
I know that the tags we wear might just look like tags to someone else but I've learned that the tag I get to wear every single day shows that I don't represent myself but that I represent Christ. I've become very attached to my little black name tag with Christ's name on it. It really is such an honor to represent Him and His church.
 
Well on that note, I hope everyone is having a good week and I can't wait to hear from all of you soon. Cuidense y Dios les bendiga
Con amor,
Hermana BillingsThis week I received the BEST news of my entire mission. Amber (from Gilroy) called me last night to invite me to her baptism this Saturday at 6!! It's all I've been able to think about since she told me. I still can't believe that it's even happening. If the rest of my mission is horrible, her getting baptized will all make up for it. She decided that she doesn't want to marry her boyfriend afterall and decided to move out to an apartment in San Jose. She'll be getting baptized in the Gilroy ward right before she moves. And I just PRAY that her new ward in San Jose will take her under their wings. So this Saturday I will be going back to Gilroy!!!! I still feel like Gilroy is my home so it will be really good to see everyone. Amber asked me to speak at her baptism and I feel very honored. She really is the greatest inspiration to me that righteousness really is more powerful than wickedness. I would have bet that she wouldn't have been baptized until after I returned home from my mission but I was wrong. And I'm glad that I was wrong!
 
Anyway, besides that fantastic news we had a really good week. Normally we set companionship goals for lessons taught etc. but this week our district leader decided to hold us accountable as a district. On Sunday, we were 16 lessons behind for the month as a district (3 companionships). He told us that we all needed to get at least 6 lessons that day to meet our monthly lesson goal. On a typical day we usually teach 3-4 lessons so we knew that getting 6 would be a stretch. And Sister Bair and I had already met our companionship goal for lessons and we didn't have a single lesson appointment but we pushed ourselves to find more people to teach to help out the district. We ended up teaching 5 lessons and sure enough, our district met our goal and we ended up getting 17 lessons as a district that day! It was interesting taking a team approach though because I know it pushed us to do more than we would have done without that perspective. But missionary work really should be a combined effort and it taught me a really important lesson about working together to bring to pass miralces. I would never have thought getting 17 lessons between 3 companionships (on a Sunday nonethelss) would ever be possible. But the Lord always provides a way :)
 
I had a meeting with the other STL's this week and we had the opportunity to talk to President Watkins daughter who just got back from her mission on Tuesday. She was serving in Arizona and her mission used ipads. She told us of all the amazing things the missionaries were able to do with ipads including scheduling appointments, using it as an area book, google maps with investigators and members pin-pointed, showing mormong messages and communicating with all of the missionaries in the area. It sounds like a dream!! By January there are supposed to be 30 missions in the U.S that use ipads and hers was #8....so I'd be lying if I said I'm not praying that the San Jose mission gets picked to use ipads soon!
 
We had a really neat experience this week. We had just spent about an hour contacting. In other words, we had just spent an hour being rejected by people on the street. We were heading back to our apartment, walking down a hill, and I was thinking how sad it is that so many people just casually reject such a good thing. Then we saw an old lady in a wheelchair with bags of groceries on her lap, pushing herself up the hill with her legs. Clearly she was struggling so I ran down to her and asked if I could help. She said no because she didn't want us to waste our time. I assured her that it wasn't at all a waste of our time and started pushing her up the hill. We took her about a block or so to her destination and had a nice conversation along the way. She was very grateful and let us share a pass along card with her. We said goodbye and started towards our apartment again. As we were walking down the hill, a construction worker on the overpass above us yelled something down to us. We got closer and asked him to repeat what he said. He thanked us for helping the lady up the hill. His simple thank-you made me realize that there are still good people out there. It really touched me that he would thank us. I thought about that experience later that night and just imagined that construction worker watching the old lady in the wheelchair struggle, but not being able to help her. I'm so glad that we were able to help her and that there was someone else watching out for her. The sad part is, several people walked right by her without even hesitating to stop. But there are still good kindhearted people out there! Sometimes you just have to look closely :)
 
By the way, I got hit by a car on my bike this week. But don't worry I'm fine. I was kind of shaken up from it for a few hours afterwards though. It was a rainy day, but the sun was still out and I was about to go through an intersection when a car decided to turn right at the last second. Luckily they had been at a stop so they weren't going very fast. I didn't even see the car until the last second and I slammed on my brakes but the ground was wet so my tires slipped on the ground. I wouldn't have even looked up to see the car at all but a car behind me saw that I was about to get hit and started honking. Thank you car behind me! By the time I got back on my bike, the light had turned red and my companion was already on the other side. She kept going and going for a few blocks before she even realized that I wasn't behind her. She said she was pretty shocked when she turned around and didn't see me. But we reunited just fine! The zone leaders found out and of course were really dramatic about it and gave us someone else's car from the zone. So now we're in full car :( At least for now. And seriously....I'm okay. I didn't even get a scratch or a bruise on me.
 
But anyway, I hope everyone has a happy thanksgiving! We've been invited over to a members house for thanksgiving with the spanish speaking elders. I'm not sure if we'll be having an american style thanksgiving or mexican....but either way I'm sure it'll be good. I love you all and have a good week!
 
Love, Sister Billings

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

November 19, 2013 - Redwood City

So remember how I said I would be emailing on Mondays now? I must have jinxed it because here I am on a Tuesday, emailing once again.
 
 The reason why we didn't have time to email yesterday is because we got asked to give a special presentation for a Theology class at a private school. They called the mission office and asked for two sisters and two elders to come and present about our beliefs and some church history. On Sunday, sister Bair and I set aside about an hour to put together a power point presentation with video clips and pictures that we would be using. After working on it for about an hour at the library, it somehow got deleted. It was like finals week of college all over again! Working on a project last minute just to have it be deleted. But this time it wasn't a grade in school that I was worried about. I called the elders to tell them what had happened (they were at the temple with an investigator so they weren't able to help us) and I said, "this is like finals week only worse because people's salvation is hanging on the line!" They thought that was pretty funny but at the time I was pretty stressed. We ended up using a member's computer (with president's permission) and everything worked out fine. Even though we had to take an extra hour to re-do the presentation.
 
So on Monday morning we went to the school to present. It's a small (275 students) private catholic school. We presented for 2 classes of seniors. They had already studied the history of the church in class so we focused mainly on the atonment. The teacher said that it was "good strategy" on our part so as to distract from the controversial church history topics. But we didn't do it to be strategic. We all prayed about what we should present and decided that focusing on the atonement was the best idea. Afterall, it is Christ's church and His atonment is central to the plan of salvation. I wish I could go into more detail about how the presentation went but I don't have time. After our presentation the students had about 20 minutes to ask questions. The usual questions came up but everyone (minus one) was very respectful and accepting of the answers we gave. One lady came to visit for the first class and was looking for a debate about prop 8. She was getting frustrated that we weren't debating with her but we just told her that as missionaries we can't represent the church in political issues but we can say that we believe marriage is between a man and a woman. She found us at lunch and had printed off an article about mormons involvment in prop 8 and handed it to each one of us. We smiled and took the article so hopefully she can feel at peace now. The teacher, who is openly gay, had invited her to come. But he wasn't looking for contention I don't think.
 
Anyway, it was an amazing experience. The students were very well educated and very open. I was nervous about teaching in front of so many people but I know the words that we should say were given to us. I hope that at least one student will remember the spirit that we brought and have the desire to learn more.
 
Okay, so about Jose Luis. His baptism was so amazing! I still can't believe how quickly he decided to be baptized. His brother-in-law who has been baptized for about a year was able to baptize him. It was his first time using his priesthood to baptize someone and he was so touched to be given such an opportunity. When Jose Luis came out of the water he had THE biggest smile on his face. Bigger than any I've seen after a baptism on my mission. He was also really brave and got up to bear his testimony after he changed his clothes. He was nervous but he did a good job. His non member wife, daughter, and granddaughters all came to the service so we're hoping to be able to start teaching them soon. As part of his testmiony he said that it's never too late to change (he's 65). he even got a little emotional during his testimony. It seriously was a miracle! I'll send pictures if I have time.
 
Speaking of miracles. We had a zone conference this last week and our mission president put up a whole bunch of numbers and charts of what we've accomplished so far this year. With the new flood of missionaries and missionaries just working harder we've really seen so many miracles. It was so interesting though because he pointed out that we're doing about double the work but seeing four times the results. You'd think it'd be double the work and double the results right? But when we're working extra hard the Lord blesses us. And it was easy to see that He really has been blessing this mission. We're all working extra hard to finish off 2013 strong..
 
Last story for the week....we went to a christian church that is putting on a live nativity program this december to volunteer. Similar to what I did in Livermore when I first got into the field if anyone remembers. Anyway, a few of us missionaries showed up at the same time and we asked the guy in charge how we could help. He explained our responsibilites for the day and then asked us if we could remove our name tags. He said it was a "non denominational" group and he didn't want anyone asking us questions. We told him that we wouldn't be able to remove our tags and then he said, quite angrily, "Well how are you going to help in people's salvation if you can't remove your tags?" I don't know what he meant by that but I was pretty defensive. I told him that we were just there to help and if he didn't want our help then we could leave. For how defensive I felt, i was pretty surprised how calm the words came out. His entire demeanor changed and he started telling us how grateful he was for our desire to help and let us stay.
 
I know that the tags we wear might just look like tags to someone else but I've learned that the tag I get to wear every single day shows that I don't represent myself but that I represent Christ. I've become very attached to my little black name tag with Christ's name on it. It really is such an honor to represent Him and His church.
 
Well on that note, I hope everyone is having a good week and I can't wait to hear from all of you soon. Cuidense y Dios les bendiga
Con amor,
Hermana Billings

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

November 12, 2013 - Redwood City

Apparently yesterday was a holiday??! So sorry that this email isn't coming until Tuesday! This last week was so busy and so crazy and SO much happened that I don't even know where to start. I'll do my best to explain everything that happened.
 
First off is JoseLuis who will be getting baptized on FRIDAY! He's another story like Ines Alvarez back in Gilroy. He had met with the missionaries off and on for years both here in the United States and in Mexico. We started teaching him when I first got to Redwood City and he told us that he wanted to join the church and be baptized in our second lesson. What a surprise!! Sometimes it really does take years and years. I realize that the missionaries who have worked with him in the past are probably never going to know that he has decided to be baptized but they played a HUGE part in his conversion. Even bigger than the part we're playing right now in being the missionaries that actually get to see him be baptized. He has such a strong testimony from what he's learned over the years. He finally decided and recognized that God's church  needs to be a church of organization that doesn't change. And he found it! Please pray for everything to go smoothly this Friday :) His wife and daughter will soon follow his example we hope!
 
Another investigator that we've been working with is Enrique. He is really humble and wants more than anything to do God's will. He works on Sundays usually but is trying to get somethign worked out with his boss. Unlike a lot of people we teach and visit, he is sincerely trying to find a way to come to church on Sunday's. We've been teaching him at a member's house and at one of our visits we wanted to show the Joseph Smith movie. As always when we try to share the story of Jospeh Smith, somethign goes wrong to try and prevent us from sharing this message. This time it was the DVD player. The member didn't know how to use it so she had us call her son who had just left for work. I tried to listen to instructions being given over the phone in Spanish and somehow we finally got it to come to the main menu of the movie. We were really short on time and we had already wasted a good 10 minutes trying to get the dvd to play and THEN we couldn't figure out how to change the language to spanish. We tried EVERYTHING (except the right thing) and I started to get really frustrated so I stopped trying every button on every remote, bowed my head, closed my eyes and said a quick silent prayer. As SOON as I said amen, the son walked in and said "Oh do you need help changing this to spanish?" I told him yes so he changed it to Spanish and then left again. I thought he was at work?!?! It was as if he came home JUST to help us. He literally walked in, changed the language, and then walked right back out. I barely even had time to say thank you. Anyway, long story short is that there will always be opposition. Especially when we're trying to share a message as special as the restauracion. But God answers prayers and he will always provide a way!
 
Another neat experience this week happened when I was on exchanges with the Stanford YSA sisters. I was with a sister who was new to the area so she didn't really know her way around. At about 5 she expressed how much she wished they had a map so I (who was driving at the time) decided that we'd go get one at the local firestation. There were 3 fireman at the station and they were really nice in providing us a map and then they couldn't stop asking questions about our misionary service. We started talking with just one of them and then eventually all of them were involved in the conversation. One of them told us that we should wait 10 minutes until the captain got back because they told us that he's a member. So we waited until the captain and his crew got back and had another missionary service conversation but this time with 8 firemen. In the firestation I might add....I never would have imagined!
 
 Long story short, one of the firemen (non-member) ended up inviting us to dinner at the firestation. Apparently they have a kitchen and theater room and everything for the firmen who have to stay overnight.We had to leave the door open because there wasn't another woman present and apparently every fireman knew this rule except one. He got up to close the door because he was cold and the other 7 firemen all said "No no no!" in a panic. I felt very respected and relieved that we didn't have to be the ones to explain the rules. We had a really nice, home-cooked meal, prepared by 8 firemen! I'm still trying to figure out how it all even happened. We found out that one of them is married to an active member in our stake and actually had the other sister missionaries over for dinner the other night, another of them has been less active since he was twelve and the captain is very active and has been trying to share his beliefs with his crew for years. All 8 of them are very family oriented and have large families. So naturally we shared the family proclamation pamphlets with each one of them and bore our testimonies about how the gospel blesses famillies. The captain also bore a strong and powerful testimony. It was probably the most random and unexpected dinner that I've ever been invited to but the spirit was there and I have no doubt that we were supposed to be there for at least one, if not all of those firemen. 
 
A couple more stories from contacting experiences this week. One guy tried to tell us that our church doesn't do missionary work the way the savior would because we don't go tracting (door to door) and we're implementing social media. He said jesus would visit people in their homes. Which is what we do, obviously! We tried to explain to him how much of an advantage it is to have technology but all he could say was that Jesus didn't use techonolgoy. Anyway, I tried to give another man a picture of Jesus but he declined. As he walked a way I heard his son ask him why he didn't take it.  The dad said to his son, "she just wants money". It made me so sad to hear because it was completely opposite of my intentions. But that's why we have to keep trying because people don't realize what they're saying no to. But I do! And I know it's something extremely important! And that's why I keep trying day after day.
 
We had an amazing leadership council this week with the zone leaders and the other sister training leaders. I felt such an urgecy for the work. I also realized even more that great things really depend on my individual exertion. Sometimes I wonder if I can exert any more! But this work really is urgent and I know that I'm responsible for helping others find the truth...so I keep exerting :)
 
Last thing. I realized this week that the secret to avoiding bad is to fill your life with good. If you're so busy donig good things then you won't have time for the bad. Easy right? No wonder the church gives us callings to fill our time serving others. We complain about "not having time" for things such as visiting teaching without realizing taht they're such a blessing in filling our life with something good.
 
In additiong to missionary work, we also had a lot of fun this week! Yesterday we went on a tour of the Stanford campus. It is BEAUTIFUL! If only I could go to school there. Being on a college campus actually really did make me miss school. I'll send pictures the next time I have time.
 
Sorry for such a long email but I hope everyone is doing well. Love you all!
 
Love, Sister Billings

Monday, November 4, 2013

November 4, 2013 - Redwood City

Well it feels like I just emailed everyone yesterday! Even though it wasn't very long ago, I feel like so much has happened. First of all, I LOVE the ward I'm working in. It's such a different feel working in a ward as compared to the branches I've been in. There is so much more organization, love and support from the members. The ward was very accepting and welcoming on Sunday but unfortunately we only went to part of sacrament meeting and then had to leave for a meeting with the mission president and stake president so we missed the rest of church and I didn't get to meet very many members. 
 
 I can see that the church is supposed to function at a ward level. I hope the branches in Gilroy and Livermore can one day become wards. However, because there are so many members I'm worried that I won't be able to get to know all of them. I already have such a hard time putting names and faces together. But I'm sure the Lord will help me learn this new area fast.
 
Starting this new area makes me feel similar to how I felt when I started my senior year of track. I knew I had worked hard previously but my senior year was my last chance to give it all. This is my last area and I'm ready to work harder and give even more than I have the last 13 months. 13 months?! Where did the time go??
 
As far as investigators go we have plenty to work with. I still haven't met all of them but we're teaching 14 investigators right now. About double to the amount I've had in the past! 4 of them are progressing and 1 of them came to church on Sunday. We currently don't have any baptismal dates but hopefully we get some this month.
 
 Our area is huge which makes sense that it's split between 7 missionaries. We live in the city and it's a completely different feel from my other two areas. First of all, there are people EVERYWHERE. It used to take almost an hour of contacting to contact 30 people and we got to 30 people last night within 15 minutes. It's also really loud. Did I already tell you that our apartment is really close to the train tracks? I feel like we leave in the leaky cauldron! I think I'm getting used to the train though because I've been sleeping better.
 
We also live really close to Stanford. We drove by the campus last night and it's beautiful. I think we'll go to campus on a pday pretty soon because I want to see it. I heard that BYU will be playing Stanford next Monday! Anyone coming to the game? :)
 
I know that so much happened this week but I still am trying to get a feel for everything so it seems like just a big blur! I feel more motivated and dedicated to do the work here though. I think that's why transfers are inspired so that we don't get too content in a certain area. I also feel closer to the Lord. I've become more focused on doing His will than my own and I know He has a great plan for this area in the next 5 months.
 
I hope everyone remembers the invitation that Elder Ballard made at General Conference. He invited every single member to share the gospel with at least ONE person before Christmas. If every single member does this, MILLIONS of lives will be touched. It's such a simple thing with such dramatic effects.
 
Well I love you all and I hope that everyone is doing well and I can't wait to hear from you soon!
 
Love, Sister Billings
 
PS- What are everybody's turkey day plans?