I LOVED THIS WEEK!! IT WAS A DREAM COME TRUE!! :) but it was also such a hard week! Ever since I arrived in Upstate New York a year ago (which btw.. happy year mark this week to my best pal Sister Anderson and I guess me too.) All that I have heard is things like  "oh watch out for the winter." or "you're not going to stay for the winter are you?"  "Have you ever experienced a New York winter?" ... I was so excited for this winter weather and when it started to end I felt pretty jipped and then BOOM!!! I got to be here for the biggest storm Utica has seen!! It topped the huge storm of '66! YESSSSS!!! Best year mark, present ever!! :) We survived also so that was great!! This week was so awesome!!!

So Monday, we had no car so we were being driven everywhere by Sister Rogers. She spent the day with us and it was so much fun! :) We went tracting with her and then she came with us to see Aida! It was great! we taught Jaidan the Restoration. I love the Benson family so much they are going to be baptized so soon. I love them a lot! :) Then we got dropped off that night at our apartment and all that we heard about from those we tracted into and the news and everyone around was the storm. We also received a warning from the Missionary Department so the Rogers decided to cancel all the District Meetings, Conferences and Exchanges for the week. We were all planning on still working though and Sister Anderson and I go out the door at 10 and we start to shovel for some people and went down and bought a shovel and then... all the sudden we get a text to get back to our apartment and that the Mission was on a Shutdown. We were not to leave our apartments. It was a CRAZY storm! Sister Anderson and I made plenty of calls and just were trying to stay busy but it was soooo hard to be in an apartment ALL day long!! We were going crazy!!

 Wednesday we went out and started to shovel people around the apartment!! We shoveled around 15 cars out of the snow and helped so many people. We met almost everyone at our apartment complex, including a Part-Member family we have been trying to find and lots of others who said that they would be interested!! It was amazing!!!!!!!! We then went out to help others that night and someone said, "Oh yeah, everyone said that the Sister's were out helping shovel." It made me so happy!! We were noticed and everyone was talking about it.. It was really awesome!! :) That night though.. Sister Anderson realized that she lost her GPS.. we have nooo clue where to go to find it because it got lost while we were shoveling which means it could be anywhere but.. it was crazy. I am so glad we got to survive this New York winter! :)

We had some  more hardships this week with still  having no car but... Elder Lee pulled through and we got a 2017 Toyota Rav4... so we have a new car and I am in love with it!! I feel so spoiled!! haha!!! Then we finally got to go and see all of our people!!!!!! It was great! We saw so many miracles this week!! We got to have a Less-Active really decide she needs to come back to church and then saw two investigators that I found when I first got here but we just lost contact and then we got to teach some awesome lessons to our investigators. It has been a great week and I am so grateful for all the things that the Lord does for us. I am going to close this already long email with a quick spiritual experience for this week.

So I love being a missionary but I have just felt like I have "hit a wall" in almost everything my prayer, my studies, the lessons we teach, energy.  I have been trying just to drill through it on my own because you know...I am just that independent. I was praying during sacrament so hard trying to get help and then in one of the talks someone said, "If you are obedient, you should have a baptism in every area in your mission" ... Then I started to analyze my work on the Lord's mission. I haven't been having a baptism in every area.. does that mean I am not being obedient.. I think I am.. I probably am not doing enough.. I need to wake up happier and just be better.. I just really started to tear myself down then I thought. You know what I am doing all I can.. Then I realized half way through Gospel Principles (we were teaching) we watched the current bush video and I realized that "I" am trying to do His work. I need His help and the thought to get a blessing came.. It was so hard for me to ask for a blessing because I am so independent but I asked. The Elders gave me one and I just cried. Every prayer I have said, every worry I have been having was answered. The Lord trusts me in doing His work and He is the Gardener here. He knows what success really is and He is about to show me a miracle if I will just keep being obedient even when it gets hard. I know that the Priesthood is real. I know that Priesthood Blessings are from God. I know that the Elder had NOO clue what I was going through and somehow he answered every one of my prayers. How could he do that, he can't? But God can and He knows. For anyone who might be wondering if He is hearing your prayers, I know that He is and He loves you so much and He just needs you to keep walking slowly but surely he will show you the answers :)

I love you all so much!! Hope you have a great week!!

Love: Sister DeVries

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