Friday, January 9, 2015

Happy New Year

My time in Paducah has been lots and lots of seed planting and laboring in the vineyard. Now, as I come to my 4th transfer here and the new year, the fruit is coming like crazy. 

 Monday my companion got suuuuper sick. Like, puking and everything. So we didn't get to pack to get her ready for transfers the next day. While she was home in bed, the Hermanas said we could go on exchanges and Hermana Hoferitza would stay with Sister Cotton why I went with Hermana Lapine to get some medicine for my companion. Ready for the exciting part? Hermana Lapine was turning the car around when we hit a big pothole. We seemed kind of stuck, so I got out of the car to look. Upon stepping out, I found myself standing in a pond! It wasn't a pothole, we had gotten into a huge ditch and the whole back end of the car was off the ground! She tried desperately to back out but the wheels just sprayed water everywhere. We were stuck. "I wish the elders were here to help!" she cried out. Then, 2 giants in white shirts and ties appeared to our rescue! More and more people stopped to help, and after much effort, we got the car out of the pond! It was super cold and I was wet, but it was just all so funny I didn't even mind. The hubcap was torn off and the front of the car was cracked, so we got oreos for condolence and gave Sister Cotton her medicine. We all felt much better after that.

Tuesday was transfers! All 6 of us CRAMMED into one car, with TONS of luggage. I've never been so squished in my life. There was NO room in this inn! Sister Cotton had to wear a mask, so we all joined her. We had the idea to write down different diseases on our masks and wear them to transfers. Elder Keys suggested the black lung, Hermana Lapine said we could do the plauge, then Elder Motes put his mask up on his eyes and said he would do pink eye. We all just laughed. For entertainment we read super old new era articles (church youth magazine) and ate pizza.  Transfers--I got Sister Curtis who I ADORE. She's like the perfect mix of Sister Pinkston and Sister Kohler, but with the wisdom of Sister Smith and the dedication of Sister Cotton. That night we got home and had dinner with a member. Their non-member mom was there and we were able to get her into indexing, which was a HUGE miracle because for years she hasn't wanted to talk to missionaries or take the discussions. Yay for family history! :) 
Wednesday was New Year's Eve, so I took some time to reflect on the things that happened this year. In 2014 I:
-Started college and LOVED it 
-Went to the temple
-Began my mission
-The gospel became reality
-I gained an eternal perspective
-I learned the significance of my family
-I discovered the atonement, and my ability to become
-Learned to love the scriptures
Thursday was super pday, aka all the sisters got together and partied! at the stake center! President approved some movies for us to watch, so Frozen and the Lego Movie were my obvious top choice ;).  After a few hours of playing volleyball, watching movies, and having fun, I began to feel uncomfortable. I'd never gone a whole day not doing anything to fulfill my purpose. I pulled out my area book and tried to update on some people, but I still didn't feel right. Sister Curtis said she felt funny too. We decided to go to the store. While there, we talked to a lot of people about the gospel. I think the biggest miracle was when we were in the check out. We were talking to a lady named Betty about "He is the gift." (movie) Then, the young girl behind us spoke up and said she had just gotten saved, and she really admired what we were doing as missionaries. We asked if she wanted a He is the Gift card too, and she jumped on it! We got her information and are now teaching her on facebook!! Say what?! It felt soooo good to do missionary work after so many hours of not doing anything productive. Where I was once really exhausted, I felt really full of energy and life. It was a miracle. 
Friday I had probably the best weekly planning I've ever had. I was worried about trying to make plans with a companion who doesn't know the area, but we just completely followed the spirit and got a lot done. We also set some goals. One of them was that this transfer we are going to eat healthy. Not but a few minutes later a lady in our ward who was moving gave us a TON of healthy food from her house! I feel like this was Gods way of confirming that taking care of my body is His will. But then we put some of the food in the car, including a jar of pickles.... and now our car reeks of pickle juice hahaha. My life. 

Saturday was our go-hard day. Because the standard of excellence of our mission is 30 lessons, 10 of those being member present lessons, we were determined to get it. Buuuut that meant we were going to have to get 10 lessons this day, and like 4 member present lessons. We planned really hard, but it just didn't seem logically possible. As usual, God provided. We got our 10 lessons, and ended up getting 14 member presents this past week! 

I think Sunday was probably the best church service we had had in a while. I can't even tell you HOW MANY INVESTIGATORS CAME TO CHURCH! The chapel was stuffed full of people and the testimony meetings was perfect. One of our investigators, 16 year old Amiya, even went up and bore her testimony with me! It was so cute as she cried and thanked us missionaries for helping her find the church. Oh man, I hope she gets baptized soon. 
Everything was just perfect. I just wish all of you could experience all of the things that are happening in Paducah right now. Alivia is getting baptized on Saturday! Everyone is so excited about the gospel. I love my companion, the sky is blue and the sun is out, I love the missionaries I serve with, I love this ward, I finally know where everything is, and I got to eat at Panera today ;). I just love being a missionary. 

I know that this next week will be a lot crazier because we wont have our car all week and it's below freezing here for biking, but hey, I've got God on my side, how bad can it get?

Sure love ya'll! 

-Sister Hochstrasser 

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