Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

Hi All,
The rest of Christmas was good. Dinner at President Leavitt's house was good. The assistants and a few of the missionary couples were there. One of the couples is the Thatchers. Elder Thatcher lived in the Avenues for awhile. He said that he designed the organ in the chapel on Second Avenue, not the one that we attended, but the one farther east. I want to say it's near I Street, but I can't remember. Maybe you know him? He plays the piano, so he played some Christmas carols and we all sang along.
Something interesting about Canada is that they celebrate Boxing Day on December 26. Many people have work off that day, at least in Nova Scotia. We did a lot of contacting and walking around that day, but the city was pretty quiet all day.
I recently read through all of the General Conference talks from October. Those addresses are so powerful! I received many answers and direction from the Lord through those talks and I felt the Holy Ghost testify these are the words of the Lord, spoken by His servants on the earth today. I loved that so many of the talks focused on strengthening our testimonies and becoming truly converted to the Lord. I know that this is one of the reasons the Lord asked me to serve a full-time mission. I feel my testimony being strengthened each day as I study and pray and testify. As I continue to strengthen my testimony and act in faith, my heart will be changed and my conversion will deepen. I can feel it happening now and I am excited for the days ahead.
President Leavitt has extended a challenge to all of the missionaries to read the Book of Mormon in a month. We are starting on January 1. I am so excited to do this! I love the Book of Mormon. I finished it last week (finally! I started it before Oakcrest and was supposed to finish it before the end of the summer...better late than never, right?). I know that it is true! I learn so many things each time I read it. Particularly as a missionary, I have received so many answers to prayers through the Book of Mormon. It's amazing what we can learn when the Spirit is the one teaching us. I would like to extend the challenge to read the Book of Mormon to you and everyone in the family as well. :) I would love to hear the experiences you have as you read the Book of Mormon in a month.
Have a happy New Year! Love you!
Sister Maren Renda

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