Monday, December 9, 2013


Good morning :)

First off, only 16 days until Christmas, we're pretty excited about it! Our ward Christmas party is this Saturday, it's gonna be good. Also, it's been a pretty good week. We had a multi-zone conference all day Thursday, receiving some good trainings from President and Sister Howes. We traveled up to Emu Plains for trade-offs. It was scary to see all the damage from the fires and all the homes that were lost. Apparently, there haven't been as many fires as they had predicted at the begining of the year...still looked pretty bad to me :/ 

I had a little miracle in the city the other night. We were out in the city talking to people and it was getting a little late and that's when the weirdo's start to come out. So, we were walking home but decided to stop at a bus stop to talk to some people. We saw this Asian guy and Sister Campbell and I both looked at each other and smiled, "Yep...let's talk to him." So, I went up to him and started chatting. He's from China and just graduated from UNSW. We had a really good conversation about our different cultures and religion, when the bus, as always, came too soon but I gave him our phone number. A few hours later, he texted and said he was really happy to meet us and hopes he can meet again soon to talk more :) Sweetie. 

We had five of our investigators come to church yesterday, that's the most we've had at church in a long time! I've mentioned we have 3 investigators who have baptismal dates. One of our investigators, ________ started the church's "Stop Smoking Program" last week and he hasn't smoked since! It's only been a week but he's confident the worst part is over. He's so excited for baptism! And another investigator, ________, is so cute. We taught her the Restoration and throughout the whole lesson she was saying things like, "Wow! Amazing!" haha, she's lovely. My little miracle ________ from Taiwan also came to church! She texted the night before and said "I'm going to wake up extra early for church!" Love her. 

I believe I've mentioned before our Mission President's grandson, Ethan, has cancer. He was diagnosed maybe 6 weeks ago or so...he's been going through chemo for the past few weeks. The mission has been praying together for him every night and I got an email from Sister Howes today that I'd like to include in my email:

Dear Wonderful Fellow Servants,

I just wanted to give you an update on Ethan (our 5 year old grandson who has cancer). The surgeon was super excited about what he saw on last week's scan! He kept saying how amazing it all was and that it was the best possible outcome from the chemotherapy. The shrinkage has been huge! The oncologist was amazed.
The initial diagnosis had been that they were hopeful that they might be able to save some of the right kidney but that he would definitely lose his left kidney. The scan shows that the tumour in the right kidney is now really small. They will just slice the top of the kidney off with what’s left of the tumour. He will be able to save 95% of the kidney!

For the first time ever they were actually able to see some of the left kidney as opposed to just seeing tumours. They found that there are two tumours on the left kidney which are now visibly separate. The big one is in the top of the kidney and the smaller one down the very bottom – leaving good kidney in between. That means that they will try and cut the tumours out and save some of the kidney. They saw the surgeon on Friday to get the results of the scan and today (Monday) he is going in for surgery.

We are grateful for your faith and prayers in his behalf and in our behalf.

They are all hoping to come to the Christmas Conferences. Originally, before anyone knew about Ethan's cancer, they were going to come and help out with serving but now they would like to come along and Ethan wants to say thank you to you all. He has always been super excited at the thought that all the missionaries were praying for him!

We are so grateful for each of you, not just for your faith and prayers in this time of our need but for all that you do and all that you are and all that you are becoming. You are amazing individuals and precious to us. Thank you.  We love you!

Sister Howes

It's been a miracle. I know there is great power in prayer.  I've said before, this family has so much faith, they are so positive and doing really well. 

Sorry things are a little short this week, it's the busy Christmas season! I love you all, have a great week!
Sister Raitt

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