It has been a crazy week even though it has been really slow with the holidays. Our investigators don't want to meet with us during their break. It's ok...we will keep working hard. I still love it! I am just so tired. I am running myself ragged! I love it more than anything. Everyone knows that I love to be busy. Christmas was awesome, although there was like no one at church. It was really strange. I think I would rather work, because I got a little bored just sitting around all day. I have almost no time today. I loved all my presents that everyone sent to me. The one new thing we are doing is playing dodge ball on p-day! So much fun...but my arm is in so much pain! I am going to die...but it was really fun!
Got to go. Peace and blessings. I love you so much!
Wow! What a week I have had. I have loved the mission this week. Everyone knows that we have been working hard and our numbers show it! We have had so much success this week. It is really exciting and fun to know that you are making a large impact in the lives of others. I enjoy my mission and this area so much. The work is hard but it is rewarding. Elder Morris and I are trying to get lots of things going. We are close to having a great explosion. The branch is growing and improving immensely. We are trying to work with the youth and get them going. We would like to get our branch up to 70 people...we are getting close. When I got here, we only had 11 people coming to the branch (and that included the 2 missionaries)! We have been working and praying to get our numbers up.
We just started our new transfers this week. We got a van to help us with all our meetings. We named our van Hazel...so funny, Elder Morris made it up! It is way better than the Corolla...the chick car! I didn't like it...I'm not gonna lie! We got a new roommate. He is a good guy. I need to try to find a way to communicate to him at his level. I am still the District Leader here for my second to last transfer. It is weird to say that...but I guess this is coming to an end soon, even though I don't want it to.
This week we had a Branch Christmas party. We were playing musical chairs and Elder Morris ate it so hard! It was so funny. We got teased so bad. White people just can't handle the hispanic parties! I came in second place...I guess that I have been in this culture long enough to play with them! It was fun...we just ate and talked....it sounds like a Phillips reunion! I am not going to lie...the hispanics do it better than us...we have a lot to learn still. I also got volunteered to play Santa. The things we do as missionaries! I tried my best...it was fun.
On a more serious note, we had some of the best lessons that we have had on my mission this week. Some were new investigators and some were people that we have taught for a while. They were so spiritual and I am sure that they are bringing people closer to baptism. It is awesome to see them grow and flourish as they learn more about Christ. It makes me realize that I have some things I need to change in my own life...I am a work in progress.
What a magical week I have had! It has been so much fun to bring people to Jesus Christ this week. I have had a few experiences this week that are unforgetable. There is a lot going on in our little part of the Lord's vineyard! We got to go to the temple twice...which is unheard of in our mission. It was so great to go to the temple and have a zone meeting. We got to hang out with people in the zone that we never get to see. I also got to see Elder Dawe for the last time before he goes home. It is really sad to see people that I have been serving with my whole mission go home. This was such a fun day, even though we got stuck in a terrible traffic jam!
The next trip to the temple was with a member that you see in the picture. It was awesome, this was her first time to the temple and it was quite the adventure. A man escorted us...so that we could keep the mission rules. The two ladies are twins and such good friends! They love the missionaries and always feed us and take care of us. They help us role play with Elder Morris so that he can practice giving the discussions. One of the twins is a little miracle. I had the pleasure of helping her come unto Christ by helping her understand that there is more than baptism. Her sister had recently gone to the temple and she had seen the blessings that her sister had received. We have been teaching her what she needs to do and what she can't do and what blessings she could have if she went to the temple. She took the temple preparation class and we have seen her overcome such struggles. We have seen such a difference in her. She has become such a happy person. What a magical experience to see her face in the temple! After the temple, we realized that she had left her lights on in her car the whole time we were in the temple! Her car wouldn't start! We sat there for a long time. We said a silent prayer and God stepped in! Right after our prayer, someone showed up from the English ward and jumped the car and got us going. They followed us home in case we had more problems. It was so cool to see the love that God has for us.
Sunday rolled around and we were in charge of Sacrament meeting. I had prepared a talk but didn't have a lot of time to work on it. My companion said that he was going to talk for 7-10 minutes...but ended up talking less than 5 minutes! I guess I am a better bull-crapper in Spanish than in English. I had prepared for 20 minutes and ended up talking for 30 minutes. By the end of my talk, the Branch President was signaling me to wrap it up! I think I have developed to be more like my dad than I thought! There was a really funny thing that Elder Morris said in his talk! I know that I shouldn't tease him about his Spanish...but instead of saying "I miss my family!" he said, "I am weird to my family!" He said it like 4 times during his talk! I don't blame him, because they are similar worlds in Spanish and it was his first talk in Spanish. He did really well and got lots of compliments! After he said it 3 times the Branch President had this funny smirk on his face...it was pretty funny! He is learning so fast. It is awesome. He is teaching more and more. He puts up with me so well and we have so much fun. He helps me relax...which is good! He helps me with the load. I try to tell him nicely what to do, but he gets bothered..just like anyone would. But, we apologize when we get frustrated. I love him so much. He just forgives and we get better. He is an amazing kid!
What a great week! The area is growing and there are evidences that we are getting more people and more leaders in the area. We have a good amount of investigators and a couple that are getting ready for baptism.
Well, what a crazy week! I can not believe that it is December. It is weird over here right now because it is still really warm. I am having such a great time. We are walking more and more of our huge area and have a plan to get bus passes this week, which will be good. I am just loving this area and cannot believe that Christmas is approaching. It is surreal how fast time is going by. Next week is transfers and by the time I write next week, I will only have 2 transfers left.
We are making progress with a few people. We are working hard and I really love the work. Everyone got sick this week. It was awful! Even one of the missionaries in the apartment had to go to the hospital. We had to leave church to give them our car. This weird throat thing is going around. I was only sick for one day and I am almost completely over it now.
I have no idea what will happen during transfers next week, but it is almost a guarantee that Elder Morris and I will stay together to finish his training. He is improving so much and just doing great! He is understanding more and more and getting more involved with the ward and everything. It is weird that Elder Morris' first transfer is ending...it seems like he just got here the other day. We are even closer than ever. We have so much fun walking and talking and testifying and teaching all day long! We are excited for a few of our investigators that are really seeming to get it. They know that the Book of Mormon is true and that the gospel is restored. It is awesome! A few cool things have happened. First, we were told that a less active member that we were visiting is going to go to the temple. We might get to go to the temple with them, which would be really awesome! It is just fantastic to be a missionary! Next, we got to go to Providence for a Zone meeting. During the zone meeting, 5 elders were celebrating their 99 days left on the mission! It is a tradition that at 99 days left we go have lunch at the restaurant called Ninety-nine! Instead of celebrating, we mourned because no one wants to go home yet! It was fun and I was able to take a few pictures. I never thought that I would celebrate going home...it still feels like I am in the middle of my mission! Lastly, we were excited to go to church this week and see how many people would be there. We had quite a few new people tell us that they were coming this week. As the time approached for church to start, there are only 15 people there! We were really sad because we seem to having so much success and feel that people are really progressing. Then slowly by slowly, the church just filled up! We had a few investigators and a few less active members come! We are working so hard and it is fun to see results! To see the branch grow is such a good thing!
I love you all so much! Peace and Blessings! Have a magical week!