This week was good, but also a little sad--like it sounds like you have had too. We, along with the mission it sounds, had a lot of investigators stop progressing this week :(. One of the saddest was our dear little family--the little boy who reads everyday and his mom. The Elders have and are still working with the son (who is pretty great), but the mom politely told us that her husband said they needed to refocus on the religion they already have. So we were a pretty devastated about that, but we know the Lord loves them and we do too. Our biggest obstacle at this point is parental/spousal opposition. We know that the Lord will provide a way, but sometimes it is hard to have the patience to wait for His time. But on a happier note, our cute friend came to our ward again this Sunday! She is progressing beautifully and gave her mom a "For the Strength of Youth" pamphlet to try and help her mother better understand this church. We are so proud of her! Her current baptismal goal is December 24th, but our prayers are that our white Christmas will come a little earlier this year :).
Something I was really happy about this week is that we worked soo well with our wards!!!! On Thursday we had a miracle day with five lessons with a member present--all different people and for two of our wards! It was awesome!!!!! When our members become involved, it just makes the work go by better. I love seeing the faith our members have here and for their willingness to serve. Sister Lethco is great at helping our active members, less actives, and investigators feel loved and it is so great being able to serve with her. So I just feel like we have a continually improving relationship with our wards and with the English branch. They were very influential in helping a few of our new members and less actives come to church this week. I am sooo grateful for wonderful members :). Along the same lines, another sister came to church again this Sunday and the ward members were soo great at making her feel loved. We just can't do this work without members!
Into the gospel study, this week I really feel like I've been able to grow a lot closer to my Savior. I have been reading conference talks from last conference (I only have one left now!! I want to be finished before I get the new one) and one I read this week was by Elder C. Scott Grow on the power of the Atonement. He gave a beautiful example of the enabling power of the Atonement in sharing his brother's life. Elder Grow is also so great at expounding on the scriptures of the Atonement. As I followed his references and did my own study, I felt my faith grow. I love my Savior, and I know that He really did atone for me. I am so grateful for Him.
I wrote Jamie--is he still at basic training? I hope so :P.
Don't worry, I am not going to die with the bike seat I have :). It would just be nice to get a new one. But I've kind of adjusted to the old one...I might just super glue it. I just need to take money out a little here and there to pay for random things like dental visits, pictures, bike repairs, clothing repairs, etc.
Love you all---you should be getting a package from me sometime in December...hehe.
All for now--thank you for all you do!! Be missionaries!
---Sister Brooke Smith