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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

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First Things First - Stick Out Your Tongue and Say AHHHH !  
Yap Your Sick Alright !

(Sorry it's so late and sorry it's shorter.  I emailed all my sisters and The Other Sister Irwin back too and had shorter time this week.  But I love you just the same and I'll send hand written emails.

Hey y'all.  How are you doing?  
I had a pretty decent week.  I have been trying to fight off getting sick while one companion was out for
two days because of sickness and one is getting over it.  So that has been fun.  ;)
Thank you so much for sending me those spiritual thoughts - mom.  I really appreciated them.  I definitely benefited from some of them, and some of them I will share with others.  That really helps.  I got the finding ideas from the momma's that you attached.  I will be happy to try some of those.  And I am more than welcoming to any further ideas that anyone has.  The problem sometimes too, is the area that you are in.  But we will power through this.  I know there are people here in Shelby who need us or need the gospel in their lives.  :)

Okay - The Easter bunny picture was CLASSIC!  I almost died laughing when you said that he came riding up on grandpa's chair scooter.  So funny!  But it sounds like everyone had tons of fun!  That makes me happy!  I did receive your Easter Package yesterday!  Tons of chocolate and candy!  I loved it a lot, so thank you!  :)

I heard Beth got to go to Disneyland.  Super jealous!  My companions and I have been Disney hungry all week long.  We will randomly burst out singing Disney songs, talk about our favorite movie, or our favorite thing about the park.  Yes, we are dorks.  But we have decided that we are going to plan a mega trip to Disneyland with all
the people that we have served with, and we are going to call it, "NCCM goes to Disneyland!"  :D  It'll sure be fun!  (If it ever happens)! ;). 
But anyway, it sounds like you guys had tons of fun while you were there.  Apparently I must see Cinderella when I get home.  It got raving reviews from all three sisters, so obviously it's a must-see.  ;)  Funny thing is, I knew it was in the making, but I didn't know it was anywhere near being done yet.  So I'm excited to see it after I get home.  But to be fair, they're right.  I wouldn't have to go far to watch it if we owned it.  Haha  The beach also sounded like fun!  And I can't believe you went to forest lawn without me!  How long have I been trying to get you to go?  I am jealous. We will go when I get back though, because apart from seeing great-grandma and grandpa's graves, I definitely want to see Walt Disney's.  You know me too well.  :)

Sorry this week's email is a little shorter, but not much happened.  I will share some of my favorite moments or miracle stories, but like I said, my companion has been sick and we haven't gotten much done.  No worries though.  I am confident things will turn around based on the miracles we had happen on Sunday.

Experience #1:
We were able to go see a less-active member twice this week.  She has such a strong testimony and knows of the truth of the gospel, but because she is so old, she has been living in a nursing home and can't come to church.  We started seeing her a couple of weeks ago, and she mentioned that she wished she could still read from the Book of Mormon.  But because her eyesight is so bad, she can't see the words.  So we decided to come over and read Alma 32 with her in parts this week so that she could still have it in her life.  Then we would sing songs to her and leave her with a prayer.  Simple appointment, right?  The thing is, it amazes me how much she yearns for that truth and uplifting message that the Book of Mormon has to offer.  One time this week, we asked if there was anything that we could do for her, and she replied, "Sweetheart, you've already done it.  This means so much.
Thank you."  For the past couple of weeks, I have been worried because we have no one to teach, our finding efforts have failed, and I felt like we weren't getting anywhere.  But then I realized something.  Missionary work has many different aspects.  Wait... What?  It isn't all about the numbers, you say?  No!  I realized that while we are
working on finding people to bring closer to Christ, we can also be strengthening the ward and its current members.  It has been so fulfilling.  Because, even though they have been baptized already,  doesn't mean they don't need the strength that the missionaries bring in their lives either.  Look at the things I am learning!  ;)

Experience #2:
We were able to do genealogy with Adam again this week.  After about an hour of searching and searching and searching again, we finally found something.  You see, I am finally starting to understand what my mom means when she says that genealogy is like a treasure hunt.  You never know what you are going to find.  We had been looking at census record after census record, and all I could seem to find was people with similar family names and backgrounds.  But then, Heavenly Father answered our prayer.  They was one random death certificate mixed in with the census' an it not only contained the death date of one of the people we have already baptized that seemed impossible to find, but his parents names which no one knew or could trace.  I can really see the Lords hand in this work as we continue to do it with the members.  It is a divine work that we could not accomplish without His divine help.  And in all honesty, we are helping baptize people not only on this side of the veil in North Carolina, but we are giving the opportunity to our brothers and sisters in the other side of the veil
that didn't have the opportunity while living here on earth.  It makes me so happy!

Experience #3:
We have had a less-active's family on our mind for the past little while.  So on Sunday night, when plans fell through, we decided to go ahead and give them a visit because they moved just recently from over by the church to our apartment complex.  So we went over.  The wife answered the door and let us in because she had met me before.  We started talking with her and shared the Because He Lives video.  She was so touched by it, that it made her cry.  She asked us to come back and share more messages with her because it's exactly what she was
needed to hear that day.  When we left, we texted bishop to see who in that family is actually members.  Turns out that the wife and both of her kids are not members.  So we are hoping more wonderful stories and
miracles come from teaching them.

Experience #4:
When we were about to plan on Sunday night, a member texted us.  She just had her interview with the stake president so that she can put her mission papers in.  Apparently, while talking to her boyfriend about the church and missions, he told her that he would be interested in starting the discussions.  And since we friendshipped her when she moved in, she asked if we would be willing to do that for her.  YEA FOR REFERRALS!  We are really excited!  Good things are happening in Shelby.

Sorry this week's is shorter.  But tell me more about you guys.  How has work/school/life gone lately?  What's new in the family?  I haven't heard from grandpa and grandma Irwin and Deinstadt lately... Or anyone else for that matter.  ;)  So let me know.

Mom, Dad, and my sisters - I will try to send home written letters on Monday with dads birthday present.  Speaking of which.......... HAPPY BIRTHDAY ON Saturday DAD!  And guess what?  I get to be your
birthday present in less than 365 days!  ;)

Also, I GET TO SKYPE YOU GUYS IN 26 DAYS!  Yaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy!

Well... I think that's all for now.  Sending loves and hugs from NC!
Love you all tons!

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