Hello dearest family!!!!!!
Things have been going SO great!!!!!! It's crazy to see the many ways that the Lord is blessings us here. We found 4 new investigators again last week and had four investigators come to church!! Besides last week that NEVER happens for us! and this week we already have appointments to meet with most of them! so basically the Lord has been helping us in ways we couldn't have possibly imagined :) OH!! I amost forgot! Brianna Poppe is getting baptized on Aug 17th :) we are super excited for her! It's amazing to see her progression in the gospel. She always has questions for us but no matter what she askes we always have an answer that we can find in the scriptures.
So we started to teach this Native American man two weeks ago who was a referral from a Less Active woman that we had been meeting with. The two of them are friends. So we invited her to our lesson with him on Saturday. His name is Adam and we are also teaching his two kids Alexis who is 14 and Dylan who is 13. So jackie (our less active) said she would come with. At the end of the lesson we were going to invite them to come to church and Jackie stepped in and said that she has been struggling to go to church and that she knows she needs to be better at it so so offered to pick the kids up and bring them to church with her the next day. and they came!! Jackie and her son Mathew were there along with Alexis and Dylan. And to our even greater surprise Alexis brought her friend Windyna. Windyna is the daughter of another less active we have been working with named Angel. Windyna got baptized when she was 10 but her family basically hasn't been back to church since. So we were super surprised when she came with them too!! and after church (they stayed for all 3 hours) Dylan told us that he liked it and asked when we were coming back over to their house! so that was our exciting news from Sunday :) the Elders who serve in the Grand Forks 2nd ward had a baptism last night too and that was super great to go to . Baptisms always just give you that spiritual boost that is so important to missionary work. No matter if it's an 8 year old getting baptized for a convert, even if it isn't a convert that we have taught, it's always a special experience.
I am glad that you all had so much fun on the family camping trip! Sounds like it was an adventure :) Though in her email to me Dawnielle made a great observation that I am sure it was fun but it couldn't have been TOO fun because neither she or I was there :) and we are the life of the party! hahaha but really I am sure it was great! and I will be honest I don't miss getting all nasty dirty and having to deal with bugs and being bored :) but I did miss all of the wonderful people! (and the dogs of course too) andI loved the pictures! Oh my goodness the kids are getting soooo big!!!!!! I miss them like crazy but I know that my family is blessed for my diligent service. Plus I have pretty much become bestest friends with majority of the children in our ward. Like for reals :) They all give sister ransom and I high fives every sunday and play with us when we have dinner appointments. I know not surprising that I made friends with all of the small children :)
This coming month should be a super great one for our district. There are 3 sets of Elders and us in our district (one set in a little branch called the Lakes region, the elders and us here in grand forks and the zone leaders who are in fargo) and we have someone on date for baptism every single weekend in Aug!!! It's exciting to see the people here catch the excitment of missionary work! Over the past few weeks it feels like our ward is really catching the fire. The couple that spoke in church yesterday are both returned missionaries and they were asked to speak on missionary work. it was like the best sacrament meeting EVER! The wife started out by saying that a few days after she got the assignment to speak we had come by her house to drop off our ward mission plan. and so she decided to model her intire talk after the ward mission plan. it was for reals the most amazing talk ever. and then her husband spoke about how we need to love our neighbor and how that is everyone! not just the people we like. It was a super good talk too. So basically church yesterday was really good. These past two weeks have been the best weeks of my mission so far. and it feels like these upcoming ones will just continue to build upon them. It's great because we struggled so much for the first 13 or so weeks out here to find people to teach and to get our ward excited for the work. But we never gave up and now we are seeing the Lord pour out his blessings upon us and upon our ward. It's an amazing experience. I just love being a missionary!!!!!!
We also have an investigator who we have been kinda working with who doesn't really know he is investigating the church :) He comes to church with his wife because she decided recently that she wants religion to be a part of her life again (she was baptized pretty young and has never really been active. her name is Trisha Cosgrove... I can't remember if I have ever written home about her. She was the one we have been basically teaching like an investigator. anyway) so his name is Aaron and he comes to church with her every week and recently we have finally made our scheduales work so that he is there when we come over to teach. And he was upfront about how he doesn't want to join the church but then he has TONS of questions for us and he totally contributes to the lessons. So the first time we met with them we talked about prayer and he was like ya I pray and we talked about it's importance. Then the next time we were super sneaky and we brought the restoration DVD and told him we wanted to watch it and talk about how the scriptures influenced Joseph Smith and what happened to him. the whole movie long I was PRAYING that he wouldn't be offended that we basically were telling him the story of Joseph Smith after he was like... I don't really want to learn about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.... but he is a pretty chill guy and at the end of the movie he had TONS of question for us and said that a lot of the things that they say in church make a lot more sense now. He always has super good questions and we can already see his heart being softened to the gosepl. they went out of town for a few weeks to go home to visit family and Trisha joked that she was going to tell his mom that he was converting to the church :) and she told us as we left that they hoped they would see us when they got back! so that is super exciting :) they are they cutest couple ever. Before he knows it Aaron will be baptized! let's just say the Lord (and his misisonaries) work in mysterious ways :) It's been good though because we have been able to commit him to read the bible and pray which we feel like if he really starts doing those things his heart will be softened to come to learn more about the truths of the gospel. So we are excited to keep working with them.
I am going to hopefully send home some pictres from some recent adventures. We have been helping this less active Cheyanne restore an old trunk for weeks now and the other day she convinced me to use power tools to help sand. I know it's a scary thought. Denae and power tools. We usually are not friends. but I did it!! and no one even lost any limbs!! or fingers! :) so it was a successful endevor. Then the other picture is from a tour we took of the aviation center they have on campus that they use to train all of the pilots! UND has this amazing pilot program and jerris (the most amazing recent convert on the face of the planet and also our like BFF) is a tour guide there so she took us on a tour and it was super cool!
I think that that is all the exciting news that I have this week. Life is great! things are good! I love and miss all of you but know that I am exactly where the Lord wants me to be! Thank you so much for all the love and support! it means the world to me. I don't think I could have had the courage to serve a mission without knowing that I have a wonderful family back home who is supporting me every single step of the way :) stay strong the church is true!! I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!
Love your favorite sister missionary,