It's the most wonderful time of the year! And even better as a missionary! Don't get me wrong, it's still hard, but the most peaceful feeling as well because what better time to be representatives of our Savior, Jesus Christ, when we are celebrating His birth??
Anyway, this week has been crazy, and fun, and cold, and HOT, and all of the above:)
First off... I just want to let y'all know that I FOUND MY SD CARDS!!!! It was a total miracle. Actually quite humorous, because last Monday, after email, Sister T lost her CAMERA!! We were losing everything.. and I never lose things! But we were oddly calm about it all. On, I believe, Wednesday, I decided to call around to the places we had been when I lost my camera case, and Sister T decided to call the zoo, and within like 20 minutes of each other, we found both of them!! It was great:)
We have done so much service this last week-- not a ton of teaching because it seems that EVERYONE is always on the go! No one will set appointments with us, because with the holidays, nothing is ever set in stone. So we just pop in wherever we can and they put us to work! I can't count how many artificial Christmas trees I've helped assemble and decorate this week. At least now I'll know the best kind of trees to buy for the future! Come to me for tree advice... lol.
Had another miracle. Every week we volunteer at the local assisted care center for the elderly. We popped in one day (And we LOVE the lady at the front desk, named Pam-- she's the BEST). We wanted to help with the activities that were going on.. but instead. SURPRISE, they put us to work decorating a tree! After we were done, we were walking down the hallway and this nurse named Katherine stopped us and goes "are you Mormons??" "Yeah!" We both said.
"Well that's cool! I was talking to my friend, Josh, last night and he was telling me that he was a Mormon and that he went on a mission to Brazil! Is that what you're on..? Missions?" We told her yes, and explained to her about what we do, she was SO Happy and excited. Said that Josh was going to be so excited too that she met us! She said she was going to come up with a list of questions to ask us! --- There are NO coincidence, everybody. Heavenly Father has a plan and places us where we need to be. We love Katherine! NEW INVESTIGATOR!
My dad would be so proud of me... I've decorated with SO many lights this week too. In the freezing cold! And we helped one of our members outside her house and I made that tree look so good!
We also go to go one morning to help out of our members at her "Crafters Anonymous" class! She makes wood décor for holidays and needed our help- and let us make our own little ornaments! It was so fun:) During that, we actually met a few more of our members friends that we had met before-- it's a PERFECT missionary tool, these crafters classes.
Speaking of ornaments.. we have a little Christmas tree-- it's a super ghetto Christmas tree.. but it's still 6 ft tall! One of our members, Carol, is letting us borrow this tree that they aren't using. It didn't have a stand.. so it's held together with 4 cans of soup, and 3 shirts supported by a box. We're creative! Then our tree skirt are some extra skirts from past sisters that we found in the closet. WINNER. It's a masterpiece! With our like... 4 ornaments! haha:) I feel that out of all the trees we've decorated this past week.. ours has the most character.
Speaking of Carol-- had some miracles with her! We went to go visit her this week and the first thing she tells me is "I have bad news... I told my husband that I wanted to get baptized, and he freaked out." She was very sad about it the entire time and I had the prompting to read Alma 20 with her-- when King Lamoni and Ammon run into King Lamoni's father-- and his father is furious. We read it with her and it totally made her feel better and said it was "Very familiar to what is happening!" We left, COMMITTING her to January 3rd. Saying that she would get baptized.
2 days later, we went by again and she said she's thought about it some more, and she just wants to stay Methodist.. I was heartbroken.. We invited her to continue praying about it! And we know she still needs to recognize her answer that Joseph Smith IS a prophet. She'll get there! It just might take a little longer! Keep praying for Carol-- and Al!
Had some funny encounters this last week. One thing you learn as a missionary-- is you never know what is going to be behind that door you're knocking on... tried a LA this last week, and older gentleman, who answered the door only in his robe.. oops.
We also passed this really sweet house whose HUGE yard, both front and back were COVERED in those huge blow up decorations! It was pretty intense. We got a hilarious video from it though!
One morning, after studies as we were getting ready to leave, we were having a conversation about receiving refurrals from church HQ and how we really wished we would get one... then BAM, we get a text with a referral from HQ, JUST LIKE THAT. That is only the 2nd one that I've had my whole mission-- what are the odds??? So we went to go try this girl that requested us to visit her, and who requested a bible. This gentleman answered the door, and when we asked if Anessa was home, he was like "She's studying.. what do you want?" So we explained that we had a referral to come and give her a bible. He had his wife come over and talk to us and she goes "what's going on here?" So we explained again, to which she turned around and asked the like 7 year old that was sitting on the staircase, "Anessa, do you want a bible?" ... our referral was for a 7 year old! We have NO clue how that happened... she had never seen missionaries before. We put her info in the area book and wrote "umm.. try again in 10 years? Her parents seemed a little creeped out.." HAHA It was so funny.
You know that guy that I wrote about last week that Sister T and I gave a "he is the gift" card to WHILE we were emailing? Well, he called us this week and said he wanted to learn more-- and then today, we ran into him at Wal-Mart. Again, GOD KNOWS YOU AND HAS A PLAN! THERE ARE NO SUCH THINGS AS COINCIDENCES. He's sweet... his name is Richard.
I made my pumpkin cookies this last week to deliver to those we serve. It was fun!
But amidst all the miracles and good times--- I think this is the most rejection I have faced my entire mission. I can't tell you all the people that I have had turn down even the smallest "He is the Gift" Christmas card! And during the Christmas season too! It's been insane... I don't know if it's because I'm closer to the city-- or what it is, it's been odd, but good! Because it reminds me every day how Christ felt and that He had to do it alone. I have prayed harder than ever, PRAYER IS REAL!! And so is fasting!!
The Christmas Devotional last night was the best thing ever!! If you missed it.. here it is!!
The choir was incredible! Love searching for Mrs. Hayward every time they sing. haha :) And didn't my man Mack Wilberg do an amazing job leading?:) Miss those choir days!! I loved D. Todd Christofferson's talk. We have a purpose in being here, just as Christ did! We all have a role we are to fill, and with communicating with God, we CAN reach that potential! Keep Him in our thoughts always.
I hope you all are sharing the "He is the Gift" video with everyone you can. At work, at school, at home, hand out those cards that came in the ensigns!! It is bringing MUCH success out here, and it totally brings the spirit of Christmas even more into our lives!
We finish the Book of Mormon tomorrow!! Reading it through this time focusing on how the Atonement brings a change of heart, has definitely changed me. The Book of Mormon changes us, teaches us to develop those Christlike attributes, and I know without a single doubt in my heart that it is true. Read it. Read it every day! It works, and don't let anything get in the way.
Go about doing good this Christmas season! Stand for truth and righteousness and be the light that you are-- the light of Christ that you hold. SHINE ON! Put a smile on your face and keep your eye out for the one that Heavenly Father has placed you where you are for.
I love you all!!