Thank you for all of the pictures! I remember that snowsuit, too, and it's cool to see that it's still working. We should make Mochi next year. It looks fun. However, i feel a little disappointed in you all. No New Year's "Ocean's 11" watching? That was one of the traditions that i missed the most!!!
As for us, we had a strange week. The first three day were almost entirely empty, because we weren't able to see anyone on Monday, Tuesday we had district meeting, and then we both got sick, on different days. So, we didn't have a lot happen until Wednesday evening. New Year's Eve, we were able to go over to the Sweat's home again, and watch a kind of strange movie, called The Handcart. It looks like it's made by the same people who made Mobsters and Mormons, the RM, and Baptists at my Barbecue---so our neighbors (whose names i can't remember) probably did the music tracts for it. It was from the perspective of a non member who gets baptized to convince the woman he loves not to be a Mormon. Spoiler: he fails. They both end up in the Martin Handcart company, along with her sister, and a friend nicknamed Moose. It showed a lot of the hardships that they went through, and a couple of the miracles that happened, and it had a really cool preface---it was the main character in a history class in 1905, telling the story of the handcart pioneers to a class of people, including the professor, that were absolutely convinced that no good came of those last two companies of that year, and that it was Brigham Young's fault. The main character told his story, and testified that yes, it was too late in the year, but Brigham Young made every effort to help and save the saints, and that every saint that went through those trials came out knowing that God lives, and that it was by His hand that they were able to last the journey. (That was a long sentence...) It was a good movie, but i like 17 Miracles better, and Ephriam's Rescue even better than that.
The other cool part of that night was the fact that the Sweat's friend, Donny, sat through the whole movie, and the one that we watched with them on Saturday night, Joseph Smith: the Prophet of the Restoration. Donny has been more and more listening to the things we've taught, said, and shown, and he's been coming to Church almost every week. I feel like he is feeling the Spirit a whole lot more, now that he is living with a couple that are working so hard to come back to Christ, and to change their lives for the better. I really hope that he will start to want to do the same, and that Heavenly Father will give him the strength and courage that he'll need in order to do it. As for Doug and Mickey, they are both doing well, though Mickey had to be put on a new insulin that is messing with her a little. Doug, after looking for months, was finally able to get a job with Maverick, and even though he was tired after his first full day's work, he seemed glad to be working again. He'll be working a graveyard shift, so that he can go to all of the mandatory meetings that drug court is having them take. I think that he'll do awesome; i just hope that it doesn't get in the way of his coming to church.
After those first three days of the week, things got kind of awesome. We had promised the district that we would get at least 21 lessons this week, because the week's training was on goal setting and accountability. Well, with all of the slowness from the first half of the week, we realized that we weren't going to make the goal as it stood. So, we figured out how many lessons that we would need to get each day, in order to hit 21 lessons, and it turned out to be 5 a day. That is hard up here. We are lucky if we can get 3 a day usually. But, we wanted reach the goal, so we started truckin'. by the end of the week, we were able to teach 22 lessons, and each one was a good discussion. One of our investigators even seems to be really warming up to us, and in almost every lesson that we taught, the people asked us questions that we could teach on, before we even had the chance to say much of anything. One of the families that we taught Sunday, Joe and Ashley Rasmussen, Ashley was having a really hard day. She had just gotten news that her grandmother had passed away the day before, and Ashley hadn't had the chance to say goodbye to her for a few years. She was really broken up, and they are having trouble finding a way down to Arizona for the funeral, due to lack of funds. I read out of Alma 40, and testified on the Resurrection, then both Elder Riley and i told of some personal experiences about losing someone close. I hope that we were able to help a little; that is a really hard time to go through, especially without a full knowledge of the Plan of Salvation to comfort you.
Anyways, those were some of the major parts of this last week. I hope you all have had a great week, and have another one now!
Love, Elder Stuver