From: Jessica McKay <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Marriage Plans and Ward Business
Date: December 9, 2013 10:34:04 AM MST
Greetings from the Liberal Clan! Of course some changes have been made since we took this picture…but we just got them yesterday, so I had to share. Our sweet member Sister Poulson took them for us a week ago for our Christmas present. It was way fun. So….drum role please…the moment we’ve all been waiting and praying for: This is my first official letter as a missionary serving in Liberal…WARD! It was made official yesterday! What an incredible experience to have been here to see the branch grow from 100 members to a steady 160+ every sunday! To top it off (as if that wasn’t enough to make it one of the greatest Sundays ever), Jan was baptized on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday!! The baptism was such an amazing service and I’ll be honest: I cried. He was so excited and happy when he got into the font and even happier after. When I asked him how he felt, he said, “Really happy and clean.” And I said, “Well, GOOD! Because you’re the cleanest person on the earth right now!” I almost cried during his confirmation too…but I restrained myself because I was writing it down for him and didn’t want to cry all over the paper…However, the BEST part was when the branch president (I mean…bishop) had him announce at the pulpit what would happen in a year. Jan said, “On 12-12-14, my wife and I are going to be sealed in the Denver Temple.” On their anniversary!! Two years to the date. You can count on me being there…I already promised Jan and Sami I would be :). (So those are the marriage plans mentioned in the subject line…don’t worry, they’re not mine…unless I left it up to some of the members I’ve met who would love to marry me off to a son, nephew, cousin, uncle–wha??–as soon as I step off the plane. oh dear.) Jan is progressing so well and is so solid, the bishop decided to ordain him as a priest and already had a calling in mind to extend. Wow. And Jan and Sami are cooking us steaks on Friday… I was so happy at church I was almost giddy. The stake presidency came, President and Sister Bell came, the former stake president came, a whole bunch of investigators and less active members came, and we even worked it out so Sister Hunter and her companion could be there because we were doing exchanges that weekend (the perks of being a sister leader haha). The chapel was packed! This is how I felt at church:
My new companion is Sister Fuller…from my MTC district! We are having so much fun and I love her to death! I have no idea what will happen next transfer, because I’m training her to be a sister leader right now, but next transfer she will be one, and we won’t have three in Liberal, so one of us will be leaving. We’ll see what happens. I’m content with whatever because I just love being a missionary wherever. Besides, Liberal is so close to my heart that even when I leave, I know I’ll be coming back in just a few short months. I won’t be gone for long. For this reason (and others), I am SO GLAD I am serving in the states! I’ve made some life long friends, so it’s a good thing they’re only a couple states away!
It’s so fun to be companions with Sister Fuller because I feel almost like I just came out again. I think I caught my second wind. Since I didn’t have a camera in the MTC, I don’t have any of the pictures we took…But Sis. Fuller does! I had the time of my life looking at those pictures and was filled with gratitude to Heavenly Father for such a great district in the MTC. It’s weird though because my hair looks about 3 shades darker than it was when I first came out. And some other physical changes…thanks to members and meal calendars haha 😉 President Bell played a mean trick on us at MLC and read a fake official letter that was supposed to be from the first presidency saying everyone’s missions would be shortened 6 months effective Jan 1. Elders would serve for 18 mos and Sisters for 12, so if by January you’d served that amount of time already, you would immediately go home. Whaaaa?!?!? That meant I would only have a month left! I felt so shocked and sad and hurt and scared and was so upset because I’m not finished being a missionary!! Thank heavens it was a trick. Actually, about two weeks ago I had a dream that I was home for Christmas with the family, but I was so confused because I knew I still had 6+ months to serve and I didn’t know why I was home. I kept saying, “I’m not supposed to be here, not supposed to be home yet.” So all of these things have just made me even more overjoyed that I am still a missionary right here and right now.
We are getting ready for our “Living Nativity” display at our church building next week. We’re going to have live animals, real actors, small nativity displays, hot chocolate, and the lights are already up on the trees around the church. It’s going to be good!
Love you all! Debbie came to church last Sunday, but we didn’t see her this week 😦 Keep her in your prayers! And Stephanie wants to be baptized in January! Please pray for Stephanie, Alfred, and Lil Alfred, as well her grandma Sister Nunez (who is a member, but could use some prayers).