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January 7, 2014


 So it might be kinda quick today since we have to drive for 20 years to get down to Platte City for zone p-day and exchanges!  But I feel like we’ve had a lot of meeting this week and S. Bowden has been sick so it wasn’t maybe as eventful as usual.  So it works.

 We tried to find some folks in a few small towns on New Year’s Eve and then came home and made pancakes and bacon for dinner–the two funny pictures I’m going to include at the end are from that day.  Goats on a porch and a funny sign–Papa, you’ll love this one.  It made me think of you.

 New Year’s Day it snowed!  And it looked bad, but it really wasn’t.  Plus, I learned how to drive in this kind of thing so we were fine.  I was careful and we still got to go out and see people! 

 The highlight of the week by far was yesterday.  I love Sundays SO much.  I really do look forward to the sacrament all week.  We sang “‘Tis Sweet to Sing the Matchless Love” which is among my favorite sacrament hymns and the word “renew” really jumped out at me.  When something is new, it’s bold and confident and hopeful and ready to work hard because it’s fresh.  The flip side of new can be cautious, uncertain, not quite grounded or shy.  I’ve been in Albany for 3 months now.  I’m very familiar with the area, the people, the culture of rural northwestern Missouri, etc.  So this New Year was a good time for me to renew.  I’m working on getting all the bold, confident, excited, fresh energy I can while retaining all the knowledge and skills I’ve gained here.  Albany has held a lot of joys and a lot of disappointments for me and this renewal is all about refocusing on the JOY and going at it better and stronger and harder than ever.  I’m trying to regain that naïve, gung-ho “I can do absolutely anything” attitude even though I know now exactly what the challenges are.  That wasn’t really why yesterday was the highlight. 

 Best for last!  Michael got baptized yesterday!  Michael is the 8 year-old son of a less-active couple in the branch.  We’ve gone to their home at least once or twice a week all 3 months of my being here to prepare him for baptism.  Their family came to church for all the meetings yesterday and most of the branch stayed for the baptism–HUGE!  

 As Michael was coming down the hallway in his little jumpsuit, I shook his hand and said, “Are you nervous?” He nodded deeply and didn’t say anything but his teeth were chattering.  I told him it was ok to be nervous.  Then he told me he was also cold–it was about 20 below yesterday. When we were all running around trying to get everything ready, Michael’s dad came and got us and told us that Michael wanted a picture with us.  Obviously I wanted one with him too, but knowing that this sweet little boy really cares about us enough to ask for a picture really got to me.  Since he’s 8 and his parents are members his baptism isn’t considered a “convert baptism” but that doesn’t matter one bit.  I have loved being able to teach that little boy the beautiful saving gospel of Jesus Christ.  And he just glows.  I’m excited to be a mom and see that glow in my own kids.

 I love being a missionary.  I love the JOY of the gospel.  There truly is sunshine in my heart.  “And your soul with glow with love from the Perfect Light above when there’s sunshine in your heart.” (Hymns 228–Kirsten.)  I love my Savior Jesus Christ.  I love His gospel.  I love being able to become better each day.  And I love all of you people.  Shout out to my wonderful siblings and cousins out on missions!  Getting emails from Clayton, Dunn, and Brittany today just made my whole week!  I love my family!  And I get to keep them forever because of the gospel!  JOY!


Sister Rackham


1. Classic small town Missouri.  Dad, this one’s for you. 😉


2. Allendale, MO Goats. On the porch. Trying to eat our bags.


3. Michael!



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