Well Everyone, I am in Berthoud, CO for my very first area and I am with Sister Mathews, from Idaho. Her and I are very different from each other, but we both bring different strengths into the companionship. She is helping me learn how to more fully recognize the spirit in our decisions. Wow! It has been so long since I have emailed. Like 2 weeks! Ok well, the last few days at the MTC were great. It was so hard to say goodbye to everyone. We really became so close and I will keep in touch with them for sure. It made coming here a little tough to be honest. This mission is very...diffferent. I am still getting used to it but...I was having MTC withdrawals because of the wonderful, hard working, dilligent people I was surrounded by. I live with the E family. They are Wyoming ranchers through and through. Their whole house is decked out in Wyoming stuff. Makes me feel right at home. I get discouraged some days but Heavenly Father helps me out. On my really hard day yesterday, He gave me a tender mercy of llamas!!!! One of the members we visited had llamas as pets! It cheered me right up:)
Berthoud is about the size of Lyman, WY, maybe smaller. The people here are really wonderful. The ward is very open, friendly, inviting, and nonjudgemental. We are teaching a lot of less-actives here and we have 2 investigators we are teaching. The F family, don't know if I can put names or not..., they are a less active family, Italian, and the father is not a member. But for some reason, over the past few months, he has gained a desire to learn about the church and eventually be baptized. Sister F, has struggled with going to church over the years and so we have been meeting with her too. She has one of the strongest testimonies of our Heavenly Father and our Savior, that I have ever felt. She is incredible! We have lovingly tried to help her understand the importance of being fully-active in the church and this Sunday both her and her husband came to church and stayed almost the whole time. They are amazing and as soon as Bro. F gets baptized, I feel that the rest of the family will come back as well.
Another family that we have been teaching, less-active, is the W family. They we baptized where they were younger and didn't really grow up with the church so it is basically like teaching non-members. Bro. W has such a desire to find the truth and is finally reading the Book of Mormon. He has some interesting ideas on some concepts but we are teaching him truths and I was able to testify to him that he would be able to feel the truthfullness of this gospel and know that this is the true church he has been looking for. Our lesson last night was great. He has come so far in his life and their family would benefit so much from being fully active in the church.
It is so wonderful. The members here feed us every night! They are so kind and treat us so well. Along with teaching less-actives and investigators, we also teach the members that are willing. We strive to get 20 lessons a week here. Also, random fact, EVERYONE here has animals. Not just one, but multiple. haha, cats, dogs, birds, llamas, etc. So...good thing I have a lint roller and I am not allergic to animals right? Oh, and another thing, everyone here has Broncos football everything! Blankets, hats, coats, flags, everything. The weather has been freezing! It has been in the negatives all week until yesterday when it finally got to like 15. Good thing this is nothing new to me.
So, in this mission they have a program called, Just Serve, where we try to get 10 hours of serve all week. It is based on the story of Ammon in the Book of Mormon, when he served the king dilligently and then his heart was softened and he wanted to know about the message that Ammon had to bring. While we serve in the community, we don't proselyte at all. If someone is interested, we set a time for later. But I really LOVE the opportunities to serve here. I love serving and working and meeting new people. Every week we serve at the Assisted Living Home and help with Bingo. It is so nice to get to be with those people and help brighten their days. We also usually will serve at thrift stores and Flood relief. But we didn't this week.
Ohhh by the way, you know how much I LOVE driving....not, haha. I am the designated driver because my comp doesn't feel comfortable driving in snow. So good thing I grew up in Wyoming...:). But Sister. M has trouble remembering where everything is around here, so we get lost a lot...ha. I think I am giving in and buying a GPS today. The first night we were here, we got sooooo lost in a huge snow storm too. I was already overwhelmed with everything and then I just got stressed out driving in the snow not know where we were going. Ha. Oh well:)
We are setting goals to help the work progress in this area even more. We are striving to use our time to the best of our ability and always striving to Focus on our Savior, Jesus Christ. His atonement is incredible and can change your heart. The Lord will always be there through hard times. This church is so true! Keep praying continually. Thank you so much for all your prayers, letters, packages, and thoughts. I love you all!! Have a Happy Valentine's Day! Don't forget Christ's Charity on this day of love. I challenge you to each find someone to serve and love this week, and as you do that, you will feel the Savior's love as well.
Sister Karissa Young
|My wonderful MTC zone|
|Our matching Minnie and Mickey PJ's|
|LLamas! I told you I would find some llamas in CO|