HAPPY BIRTHDAY JULIA!!!!!!!!!!!!
How was your birthday today? What are you having for dinner? Are you at home right now or are you still living at your apartment over the holidays? The choir class I was in was the University Choral...I think. I had Steve Durschti (?) for my teacher and he was awesome! You should take him. El Paso weather is awesome! There is no snow and it is so warm! It's always in the 60's or higher and I love it! I haven't even had to wear my big coat yet! Yay! How was the Christmas program at church? Did you go to the 14th ward program? How was the school church christmas program? We are having Zone Conference tomorrow, and I am singing in a doublish quartet (I think we are lacking the 8th person), we are singing the prayer of the children. And it sounds awesome so far! And I'm playing What Child Is This for 2 elders to sing a duet, it sounds good, they have to sing it in church next sunday also. One elder is wayyy nervous! But he is good and can sing on key, so that's all that really matters. :) And Sister Bode got sick, so we aren't singing lead kindly light anymore. One of the elders wants me to sing a medley that he hasn't written yet that he is playing on the guitar, so we will see how that goes.
OK, so I guess this letter will be the letter home this week. Oh my goodness! So yesterday we were filling up gas in our car and a lady approached me, she was wearing a dress and looked religious. So she started talking to me and said she came up to me because she saw my tag. So I was like Ok, I'll listen to her, I know what it's like. So she shoved this booklet in my face about her religion, so I asked if I could give her one of our pamphlets. She started making noises like she was fishing for an excuse for not taking our stuff. Then she said that she couldn't take our material because I didn't approach her, but she can only give me her stuff because she approached me. It was so lame! So I asked her why she couldn't take my stuff, and she again said that I didn't approach her. Then she asked me if I believed in the Bible. I said I did, but I really wanted to know why she couldn't take ours. So I asked her again if it was against her religion to take our material. She said no, but said that same thing that when I approached her then she could accept our material. I was so mad! But boy did she want to get out of there, she didn't give me enough time to reply to anything and she left. But after I got in the car I was thinking I should have told her that I couldn't take her material unless she accepted mine. Grrr... So when we got home I was flipping through her booklet and I just got really mad! I have looked through their stuff before, and it just reaffirmed what I was thinking back then. They have NO stance on ANYTHING. They do not talk about salvation or authority or how I can develop a relationship with God or Jesus Christ. I was fuming! Their stuff is so shallow! It just shows me how true our church is. We talk about Jesus Christ and who He is and how we can return to live with Heavenly Father through Jesus Christ and His atonement. Grrr...JW's make me so mad. I respect them to a point, but they really have no religion. It's so dumb. In their material they ask the stupidest questions and talk about the stupidest things. One thing was a fact and fiction. One was is Satan real? Fact. Is Jesus Christ and God equal. Fiction! Is there a spirit realm. Fiction! I got so mad that I threw the booklet in the garbage. No one can tell me that the Spirit realm is fiction! I really want to ask them the next time I see a JW is: where is my mom then if you don't believe in life after death? I want to see her again! It makes me so mad! There is no hope in that church! I am so grateful that I have the knowledge that I do, I don't have to worry about losing hope or anything like that. Everytime I make a mistake and I think that I can't be forgiven because what I did was so wrong, I have to remind myself "Sister Stolp, if you understand the Atonement like you think you do, then Heavenly Father will forgive you for what you did and you can do better next time." I actually was thinking of that on Sunday. It's a new day to start. I am taking the Sacrament and this week I am going to stop all of those things that I know I am doing wrong. It was actually a good feeling. It really does help me understand my investigators better I think what I try to think OK, they don't know that they can be forgiven of their sins. They have probably given up hope and that's why they have a hard time accepting the gospel. So it does give me a better perspective. And I have to be able to forgive myself and not look back on what I did. I do have to remember though that I did do something wrong and that I need to fix it, but I can't dwell on it and always think that I'm a bad person. Anyway! I think I understand better now why I was put in this mission. I know it's not the hardest, but it's definitely not the easiest. If I stayed on the rez, it would have been to easy. Heavenly Father wanted me to have these experiences to grow and to learn what I truly do believe in. I don't know where my life would have gone without my mission.
I hope you all have a great Christmas, and I will call home around 11am on Christmas morning. I hope you're there Julia! Love you! Love you all! Love, Sister Stolp