December 29, 2014
Dear Family and Friends,
It's been an incredible week! I can't believe 2014 is coming to a close. Can you believe I spent the entirety of this year out here serving the Lord on a mission? And then I think of those that spent 3 or more years serving missions in the historical times. That is complete dedication.
Early this week, before I get into Christmas, I want to talk about Tuesday! It was AWESOME. We went on an exchange, and I stayed in the area with Sister Pratt. Not only did we have great conversations, were able to quote movies (including Princess Bride), and talk musical theatre, but we saw miracles! We walked for FOUR hours close by the borders of our area in downtown. At one point we had a lady pull over in her van to talk to us. She said that she hasn't answered the door, and she hasn't come to church because she suffers from major PTSD. However, she has a strong testimony of the Gospel, and has had two sons that have served missions. We know the Spirit prompted her to talk to us at that time. :) We had a wonderful conversation, and shared a He is the Gift card with her. We also met new people I had never before been able to contact. My favorite moment of the day thought, was a man we didn't even talk to. As we were walking, we saw someone doing a strange dance on the road, with a HUGE boom box on his shoulder. As we got closer, we discovered he was playing nothing short of MC Hammer's "Can't Touch This." We said hi, but we weren't sure if the guy saw us there. Oh, how glorious.
Thank you. Thank you all for the incredible support that I've felt this Christmas season. You've been such a blessing to me, and you really helped me feel the Spirit of love and of Christ (which is the same thing in my eyes) this season.
I want to tell you a little about my Christmas.
Christmas Eve we spent the morning with the Shea family. Oh how I love them! Pictures are included. We talked about gifts, and about how God has given us spiritual gifts, it's just up to us to come to know what they are. :) And then...my companion got sick. We were a little homeward bound until that evening. A family, the Mahlers, shared their traditional Christmas eve with us. They went out to the Flying Pie for pizza! It was an awesome scene, and we had fun with their family. I drew a (blue creature...what's it called?) from Avatar on the Thank you note. They have them up all over the walls. Afterwards, I had an amazing conversation with their daughter about Disney, and her experience working in Disneyworld. She recommends it for everyone. I want to work for Disney.
Then, we went home again due to Sister Capitan's sickness...and I opened my Christmas PJ's. "I LOVE STAR WARS & BYU COUGARS" pajamas???!!! What could be better??! I was bouncing off the walls I was so excited. Mom and Dad, those ones are the biggest hit yet.
I thought I had outgrown this years ago, but for some reason I couldn't sleep all through the night that night. Ha.
The Bramwells played Settlers of Cataan with us as we took turns skyping, and then made Clam Chowder in sourdough bread bowls, which also happens to be my favorite. They had a simple Christmas since their daughter was married a few days previous, and their trip was basically their Christmas. They all had superhero pajamas. Sweet. We had the chance to share a Christmas message with them, which was wonderful.
Then we went to the Drennons for dinner! They are a less active convert and part member family. There are ELEVEN kids in their family, and with the extended it was CRAZY and felt like home. I challenged myself to memorize all the adults names in the room by the end of the night, since I was told it was impossible. Success! I was so full afterwards. I love them.
Then, we visited a recent convert. She was all alone, having a quiet Christmas evening. We gave her a card, and shared a Christmas thought. As we left, my companion (who is a recent convert herself) turned to me and said, "you know how you told me that we should never turn down a spiritual prompting?" I replied, yes. She said, "Well, the Spirit kept on telling me to go home and make a stocking for her." Let's go! So we did, and it was so very sweet to give it to her. Then, even though we were exhausted and it was getting late, we felt like we should make another one for another recent convert. We did, and that was such a miracle. Right when we got there, he told us we could come in because a lady friend of his was going to be there in a minute. 30 seconds later she came. We gave him his stocking, and then we all watched "He is the Gift." The Spirit was so strong as we bore testimony of Christ and the Spirit of Christmas. We knelt and said a prayer - and some tears were shed. Dear family, I've never felt the Spirit stronger on Christmas as we had the chance to serve. I can't believe how strong the Spirit was. I'll never forget it, and I'm so grateful for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for coming here for me. I'm so grateful I'm here to stand as a witness that He lives, and loves everyone. :)
I love you all! I hope you can keep this Spirit with you year round.
Christmas Morning Chaos
You have the ROBERTS in the first picture! I love them! Tami Roberts is the mom. We have Tim Roberts at the kitchen's helm, and Michael Roberts has the best shirt ever!
|The view from the backyard!|
|One big family.|
|A few days after Christmas we came upon this house. Looks like a Christmas hurricane attacked the yard.|
|And more Christmas.|
|My companion likes to abuse me ;)|