Wednesday, April 8, 2015

How the atonement of Christ is like Harry Potter

Hey! How was everyone's Easter/April Fools?? 
Reflecting back, mine was totally awesome! Basically half of the email will be awesome miracles and the other half will be random funny moments. Bear with me. 
We had zone meeting this week. I was privileged to train on our additional witness that the Savior lives, the Book of Mormon. It was a treat to share that with the community here and help people realize there's more to the story then just Jesus going and locking himself away in heaven after his resurrection. Here's a picture of half of us during the "get to know you" game.

After the meeting I went out with Sister Richardson. I was her STL in Paducah too, so it was fun to re-connect. We had dinner at this Filipino family’s home, and boy did they fed us some AWESOME cuisine!

In fact, while 75% of my area is made up of famous wealthy people (Luke Brian just moved, but he lived on a street nearby, and Dolly Parton isn't too far from here, either), the other 25% are people from other countries. For example, we taught an Iraqi woman who is Christian but has to subdue it because her husband is Muslim. Also an Ethiopian girl who is just the sweetest thing ever. A lot of people are here from India, too. Our zone leaders literally carry Arabic Books of Mormon on them. lol. 
Oh and before I forget! We had dinner with Sister Lasko the other day, and she totally knows the Easter family! Like, she was the one that played matchmaker for Brother and Sister Easter. She knows Sydney and Rowan and Alex and them... small world! 
Oh and apparently Grandma knows the Olivas family here in Nolensville, so that's pretty awesome.
Anyone else have some random ties to people out here that I don't know about it?  

So every week we get to teach our chiropractor, and I wanted to share a snipit from this past Monday’s lesson because it was AWESOME. For those of you who don't know, I'm a Harry Potter fan. And fortunately, my companion and our chiropractor friend are too ;). It was Sister Rawlings genius idea, so don't give me any credit, but here is how we explained the Atonement in a way that made sense to her:
The way we allow the atonement of Christ into our life is like the house elves in Harry Potter. If someone wants to liberate a house elf, his owner simply has to give him an article of clothing. Jesus Christ does the same thing. He loves us, and cares for us. He did everything he did to make a nice pretty sock to give us house elves, and he is standing in front of us holding a sock.
Now, some house elves will turn away from any clothes, mainly because they are so comfortable with their lives the way they are they don't want to change, or to be free. Many people are like this, because they are comfortable with their lives. They don't need Christ, they already made their own success and happiness, etc, etc. but some people will cherish it forever, take it and say in the most grateful tone, "master has given Dobby a sock.. Dobby is free!"
The choice is ours.

On a side note of people giving clothes, Sister Jensen, a local member, is a SAINT. She knew we had like NO summer clothes- and so she went to Goodwill and literally played personal shopper for us. Then she had us come to her house and she dumped out bags and bags of awesome clothes in exactly the right colors and sizes. She let us try them all on and buy from her what we wanted. I got like 7 shirts and 2 skirts for $40.... I'm never paying full price for anything again! 
(note to mom: unless it's those boots I've been eyeing down on Broadway in Nashville ;)) 

The members here in Old Hickory are just so amazing. I have a straight up MIRACLE to share about one family in particular. 
So Thursday night we went over to the Adcox family house. It was a little after 8pm, the kids were in their pajamas, Sister Adcox was feeding the baby, and Brother Adcox was still in his scrubs. Don't worry, we had an appointment. 
They welcomed us in warmly and started getting all the Easter cookies put into separate little containers. We all knelt down and said a family prayer, and then they took us out  from house to house and introduced us to their neighbors. They told them what church they belonged to, and offered our Easter message. All of the houses we went to let us share "Because He Lives" with them and leave them with a link to the website. It was amazing to see how softened everyone's hearts were as the Adcox's with their 4 kids (the oldest is 7) bore their testimonies of the risen Savior at 8:30 at night in their pjs... Sister Rawlings and I wanted to cry the spirit was just so strong! At the end of the night we came back to their house and said a closing prayer. Then Brother Adcox asked us what we thought about doing a monthly family home evening in their home, if they invited non-member famlies? "hmmmm" we thought. "Yeah, that would be okay".... JUST KIDDING THAT WOULD BE PERFECT!  
We have had the opportunity to share this miracle with other members in our ward, and now THEY want to take us out tracting with their families too!  I'd invite all of you to take the missionaries and go meet your neighbors- I promise that it will only bless and strengthen your family and your testimonies as you do :) 
So how did ya'll like conference? I was blown away. Sunday morning session was my favorite for sure. I got a lot of revelation regarding myself and my investigators. I can't wait to apply the things I learned! It would mean so much to me if any of you would write to me about the part of conference that meant the most to you and why- I would love additional insights! 

We had one investigator come for all four sessions--it was AWESOME. 
Speaking of awesome, it was the funniest thing ever when we were in the chapel and these two little girls were running around like crazy and being really disruptive. One of the Elders, Elder Ashton, got up to take them out (they had escaped their parents). He grabbed the smallest little girl by the hand and began to lead her. When he got to the doors, he stopped, and his face went bright red. I thought maybe he was feeling guilty for holding her hand or something, and I was confused as to why he didn't just go the extra 2 steps and open the door to let them out. He frantically signaled for me to come take over... not sure what his problem was I went over there. Then I saw. Her pants had fallen down! hahaha. I kneeled down and helped her put them back on and then sent them out the door. Mortified, the oldest of the two little girls told the younger one "we can't EVER do that again!" It was hysterical. Poor Elder Ashton... We'll be giving him a hard time for that. 
They totally got us though in between sessions of conference. We were going tracting and they had a big chair that they needed to bring to our apartment in their truck. We gave them our house key so they could put it inside for us. This is what ended up happening...
And to end the war, one of the Elders needed some medicine and so we picked it up for them since they're the assistants and have no time to even breathe. We decided to be nice and pick up a few more things as well, and put it in an Easter basket. Some of those things included a mango, a kiwi, and an orange. 
We only left it at their door because we had to get going, but they texted us super appreciative, and said they could "see what we did there". We were really confused about what they were talking about.... the reply was "I, kiwi, and mango, are really thankful..." They thought we were associating the 3 fruits we had picked out with them! We honestly had just picked out the 3 cheapest fruits Walmart had, but now they have these nicknames for each other and have determined who is which fruit. HAHA. They are so strange. I guess we'll just keep letting them think we're calling them a fruit basket ;). 
Anyway, thanks to everyone for all the prayers and notes and Easter wishes, it means a lot! And thanks mom for the baking stuff, I made gluten-free strawberry bread with it yesterday morning! 


Sister Hochstrasser                Write to me!! 
Tennessee Nashville Mission
105 West Park Dr Ste 190
Brentwood, TN  37027

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