Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Nenana Nana Bo Bana"

Hello friends! This week has been awesome. We had the incredible opportunity of going to a little tiny town/village of about 500 people called Nenana. We stayed there Saturday and Sunday. They don't have missionaries assigned there. They have had elders in the past go visit, but it's been a long time since they've had anyone. This was the first time they have had sisters come! The members were all so excited. The branch pretty much consists of 5 little families who all come from one one big family, they've just all gotten married and have their own kiddos.They are so great. Nenana was a really cool experience. We got to stay the night with one of the families in their GIANT log cabin, so fun. The town is seriously the cutest. So small and quaint.

It was kind of difficult the first day though, we could barely find people to see. That night I prayed so hard that we could be able to find just one person on Sunday who needed us. On Sunday we went to church, and everyone there was approaching us with all these different nonmembers and less actives they've been working with that they would love for us to see. We were so excited! After church we were visiting with a member, and we got a phone call from another member that they had some one for us to teach and they would come with us. We immediately drove to the members home and they explained who we were going to see. They said a couple of the men had stayed after at church and were talking and a woman approached them. She said she was a member but hasn't been to church in a really long time and asked if she could have missionaries come by and see her that day. They were completely shocked and said YES, we DO have missionaries here and they can come see you! So we went over to this ladies house, and she completely opened up to us. She told us all about her life, she's been fighting drinking, she just went through a divorce and she recently had her son taken. She just had such a desire to overcome everything and expressed that she wants badly to go to the temple, but she feels that it is out of reach. I was completely awed. We were able to share some words of comfort and scriptures with her. We explained that the temple is NEVER out of reach, and that she can and will get there if she puts her trust in the Lord. The COOLEST part was that the whole time, her nonmember friend was there listening. They live together. We asked her friend what she knew about the gospel and she told us her LDS friend from Utah has been chatting with her and recently sent her a Book of Mormon and she'd been reading it. When we asked her if she'd like to learn more she said yes without hesitation. As we were chatting with them, we came to see that the nonmember friend was the strengthening source to the less active member and had helped her stop drinking. How cool!!!

What I realized from this whole experience was that Heavenly Father knew not only that this less active woman needed strengthening, but that this nonmember friend was being prepared to receive the gospel. They felt prompted to come into the church and talk to those men to ask for missionaries on the VERY day that we were there. THAT is a miracle. Heavenly Father is so aware of the details. :)

We have about two weeks left of the transfer and I know I need to work harder than ever because my time in Fairbanks may be coming to an end. I've spent almost 6 months here! I love it and I don't want to leave! We will see!

I have learned so much this week. I have been focusing on the pride cycle in the Book of Mormon and I see how so many of the Nephites fell into pride because they received all these different riches of the world. It's obvious we face the exact same pride today. It's so easy for us to want want want, but I've realized that sometimes those monetary blessings we all crave for can essentially hinder us spiritually. The adversary makes us wholeheartedly believe we need material acceptance from the world to truly be happy. So not true! When we can take a step back and view the abundance of blessings we receive on a daily basis, THAT'S when we can truly access the happiness the Savior promises. We are a blessed people! :)

I love you all so much!!!! I love this gospel! I love the Book of Mormon! I love my Savior! 

The church is true!!!

Love, Sister Hallmark 

A panoramic of the amazing sunset :)

Got a private tour of an old car museum last Pday, (the biggest in the world apparently) and we tried on some big feathery hats. It was fun :)

The Nenana Branch Chaplet.  So Tiny!

One of the members seriously prepared a Mexican feast and had these cute little chalkboards with our names!

The Fairbanks & North Pole Sistas! Just hangin on a Pday :)

Still working on the snow to melt..


Amazing sunset on our way back from Nenana!