Monday, December 8, 2014

Share the Gift!

The Elders got creative with their Share the Gift cards

 I sure love being a missionary! And I also really love being a Sister Training Leader :). We've been working reallllly closely with some of our sisters this transfer. Normally what happens is one sister comes to our area with one STL, and the other STL will go to the other sisters area with her companion. After doing this the last week, we realized that one of the companionships was going to need a little more exchanges than the rest. We prayed about what to do and felt like Heavenly Father gave us some out-of-the-box inspiration! SO this past week I sent Sister Cotton to go spend almost 3 days with that companionship of sisters. So what did I do? I was a missionary by myself! It was a really good learning experience for me. I had to go out with members and even have them sleep over so that I wasn't alone. But even having them there I felt a little bit alone. It really opened my eyes to just how important preaching the gospel two by two is. It's a lot of work having to teach all the lessons, plan all the days, and just run a whole 2 cities by yourself! Luckily, I had the spirit to be my constant companion. I will tell you though, I sure was grateful when Sister Cotton came back! We talked about how her exchange with them had gone, and determined to do another one again soon. This time, we are going to have BOTH Sisters come to OUR area with us, so they can work here and kind of get an idea for how they can do things in their area! This is all way different than what normal Sister Training Leaders do... I'm sure the sisters all think we're crazy. But hey, we are in Paducah, Kentucky, that's like the strangest place you can serve in our mission so normal is long gone by now. Especially after serving in Sparta, I'm way open to trying anything unusual if it works! 

I will admit though, sometimes I get a little TOO unusual. Sister Cotton is really great about wanting to not waste ANY FOOD AT ALL. So the first few weeks we ate all the normal food, and now we're down to all the random things nobody eats. I was trying to figure out how we could make a normal meal out of what we had left (canned crab meat and noodles just to name a few) and I got a brilliant idea. I'd just make up some seafood alfredo like they sell at Olive Garden! I had remembered one Sister I went on exchanges making alfredo sauce for our spaghetti one time, she used like milk and butter and flour I think.... So I grabbed all the ingredients and got to work making a sauce. Meanwhile, my companion heated up the noodles. I put a saucepan on the stove and poured in the milk first. Except, we didn't have regular milk so I actually was using vanilla almond milk. Then I added in a bunch of butter. Next was the flour, but all we had was this brown whole wheat flour stuff so I just used that. Then for spices I found some lemon pepper. I also remembered that people usually put lemon with seafood, so I poured in some lemon juice too. It looked pretty good! Once the noodles were done we mixed it in with the sauce and the canned crab meat. This was the result. 
It was disgusting!!! I just couldn't even stomach it.... so we threw that out and looked through the freezer and found some stir fry sauce. We made Asian noodles and that was a lot happier on our stomach.... HAHAHA Man, I'll never get married. 

Aside from being a super great cook, I'm also a hardcore sports player. We actually just started the church's first basketball and volleyball teams so we can bring our investigators! The basketball team has been going pretty great, but the volleyball team... not so much. The only people that showed up was a few primary kids, us, and our investigator. So we played some really pathetic games and called it quits. I'm really glad for church volleyball back home teaching me to be really spirited and make any game fun, otherwise no one would ever come back. [thank you Falter girls for teaching awesome team spirit!] HAHA. 

I also had an exchange with Hermana Lapine this week! She is so funny, we had a really great time and learned a lot. 

Sister Cotton and I have been working super hard to get all of our investigators to church this last Sunday since it was fast and testimony meeting. We did everything we could during the week, we taught, we testified, we committed, we promised, we called, we texted, we messaged, we had others remind them, we set up rides, we made plans, we did everything in our power to make sure they could get there. Then Sunday morning we woke up and made muffins and went around to all of our investigators homes and knocked on their doors to deliver breakfast and make sure they were up and getting ready! We tried the first person, and she wasn't home, even though she promised she would come. We tried the next person, and she was home, but never answered. We tried a family, and the kids were up and playing and said their mom had left for work. It goes on.... we gave the last family all of the muffins since nobody else was home or answered the door to get them, and sadly went to church. It was really heartbreaking. Not even because our efforts were wasted, but because every single person we have come to love and care about let the devil come first that morning. It was pretty depressing. I think about that scripture that says "no man can serve two masters" and how if we choose not to put Heavenly Father first by obeying his commandments, then we are choosing to serve the devil. In Revelations it says "because thou are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth". You're either in, or your out. Like in football, if one player decides to just stand around and not do anything, he's not just hurting himself, he's hurting his whole team. Even worse, he's helping the opposing team. By not putting in the effort, you automatically are helping your enemy. I just wish people would understand that. Laziness is an actual sin, not keeping your commitments is a sin; choosing to not make a choice- is making the wrong choice! 
However, Sunday got a whole lot better after the Christmas Devotional. Did ya'll get to see that? Member of the church or not, definitely go watch it at! I got so many new insights on Christmas that I hadn't even thought of before! AND it was really cool because we got to tell everyone we saw to go check out youtube- because the church bought out the main screen ALL DAY so that the only thing you saw was the "Share the Gift" video. Holy cow, it's the coolest thing! The church is doing this huge initiative... they are buying bill boards, the corner of time sqaure, tons of pass a long cards and all sorts of things. It's a great way to spread Christmas the RIGHT kind of way. I encourage all of you to pass out the cards found in this months Ensign magazine to all your friends and share the gift! 

Sister Hochstrasser

Write to me!
Sister Jennifer Hochstrasser

447 Hutchinson Ave 
Paducah, Kentucky 42003

After Christmas, my permanent address will go back to:
Tennessee Nashville Mission

1 comment:

  1. Easy Alfredo Sauce
    8 servings
    * ½ cup butter, room temperature
    * ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
    * 1 cup heavy cream

    PREP: 5 mins READY IN: 5 mins

    In a medium bowl, beat butter and Parmesan with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add cream, a little at a time, until mixture resembles softly scrambled eggs. Toss with hot pasta to serve.

    Quick and Easy Alfredo Sauce
    4 servings
    ½ cup butter
    1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
    2 teaspoons garlic powder
    2 cups milk
    6 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
    1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

    PREP: 5 mins COOK: 5 mins
    • Melt butter in a medium, non-stick saucepan over medium heat.
    • Add cream cheese and garlic powder, stirring with wire whisk until smooth.
    • Add milk, a little at a time, whisking to smooth out lumps.
    • Stir in Parmesan and pepper.
    • Remove from heat when sauce reaches desired consistency.
    • Sauce will thicken rapidly, thin with milk if cooked too long.
    • Toss with hot pasta to serve.