I got a card from grandma the other week and it said something like “when your parents visit us” and I thought I just misunderstood. Since when are you going to Hawaii?????? What fun! Scatter some sunshine while you’re at it! Or mail me some! Just kidding – I have sunshine sufficient enough, it’s like a balmy 30 degrees or something. But say hello to my future home. And tell grandma and grandpa that I love them. They mentioned me in their Christmas Card!!!! I feel honored. 

Yes – we survived house arrest. On Monday we passed the mailman in our apartment and handed him a stack of letters each. Those letters were our only contact with the outside world that day. (By the way – freezing boiling water in midair is possible). It’s warmed up quite a bit and things are getting BETTER! We got to go to church yesterday!! Soooo good – and now people are finally back in town from Christmas break and things are rolling forward.

I feel really good. Like, for real, it’s almost strange! I believe it was because of the increased humility, faith, and prayers from all of you. Thank you. Another thing that has been helping is praying specifically before I go to sleep that I will have a peaceful, real sleep. It’s been helping a lot! 

We picked up A LOT of new people this week!! We had a really interesting referral named Janice. At our first meeting she pulled out a notebook full of questions – usually lessons like that don’t go to well, but it was awesome! We were able to teach the restoration and some plan of salvation just by her questions. Basically – she knows it’s true, but isn’t willing to change. Yet. She’s really interested in the Book of Mormon – I’d be surprised if she doesn’t read the whole thing in like a week. She’s a really interesting person, very smart. 

We were knocking in come neat apartments downtown and met a lady named Esther. She said she’s met missionaries before when she was in Ghana. That’s a good sign! I love it when people have previous missionary stories!! The Lord works in mysterious ways and it’s not a coincidence we showed up to her place. We have another time to meet with her next week and I’m excited! 

Working more with members has gotten better this week – we’ve been setting up fellowshipping plans and rides for everyone to church and activities and such. 

Tanneh and Joshua are doing pretty well! We’re a little nervous about their slow pace and sort of lack of commitment – but Joshua came to church! They want it – it’s just been hard to change. Joshua still has some word of wisdom issues and marriage – it’s a thing. 

We started teaching two children – Alex (9) and Nora (8). Their mom is a very sweet member and there dad is not – and they’re basically deciding if they want to get baptized. So we’re teaching them like they’re any other investigator. It’s fun! Simplify our lessons and we color pictures and stuff. 

Hopefully this week and keep getting even better! I’m truly grateful for what we have here and for all of you at home too! Oh – guess what?? I got a letter from none other than Allan Johnson last week!!!! He told me about when they lived in Ohio and worked with missionaries a lot! Very inspiring! It made me realize that we are blessing member’s lives too as we involve them in the work! Good stuff! 

I love you all and I’m doing so much better! Keep praying! In gratitude! 
Have fun in Hawaii and/or utah. 

love, sister gessel ! 

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