I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas spent with family and friends! It was super weird being away from home on Christmas but actually super awesome too. Just like super special. We woke up at 6:00 like children (actually just so we could have time before studies at 8) and opened all our presents and then made ourselves a yummy Christmas breakfast! It was great. Church was great and then it was like 4 hours of torture before talking with the family. It actually went by fast. We were knocking on doors before we went to skype and someone told us "No one is going to want to be bothered with a prayer on Christmas..." What? It's Christmas. It was kinda sad to see that the true meaning of Christmas was gone, but we can keep that spirit with us throughout the year.
We had a Christmas conference this week with half the mission. We aren't allowed to do it with the full mission, but I did get to see some great people that I've served around before. It was great to see everyone! We did a white elephant thing too and I actually got a cute little nativity... another sister got a toilet seat. Thanks Elders.
We just saw so many miracles this week. One of them happened on our exchange with our STL's! We went to go contact a referral and when we knocked on the door she like immediately invited us in. We were like "Um, do you know who we are?" and she was like "Yeah! I'm actually a member!" We were shocked. She has been a little less active lately and no one had left any notes on her, so she was kind of missing, but we went in and shared a quick Christmas message with her and she really has great desires to come back to church. It was awesome. She was just so sweet and knows that she needs to come back which is amazing!
The ward here spoiled us and gave us so many wonderful presents and tried to make it like home. The families we ate with on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day asked us our traditions and I said, "Oh don't worry about it, we eat Mexican food on Christmas.." They both got me tamales to take home! What? Too nice, it feels like home. We have way too much candy so maybe it's a good thing we're on bikes this week.
I was reading President Uchtdorf's Conference talk this week and just loved this part:
"That Day of Judgment will be a day of mercy and love—a day when broken hearts are healed, when tears of grief are replaced with tears of gratitude, when all will be made right.Yes, there will be deep sorrow because of sin. Yes, there will be regrets and even anguish because of our mistakes, our foolishness, and our stubbornness that caused us to miss opportunities for a much greater future.But I have confidence that we will not only be satisfied with the judgment of God; we will also be astonished and overwhelmed by His infinite grace, mercy, generosity, and love for us, His children. If our desires and works are good, if we have faith in a living God, then we can look forward to what Moroni called “the pleasing bar of the great Jehovah, the Eternal Judge.”
Everything happens for a reason and God really does have a plan for each and every one of us! I love you all and wish you a happy new year! Start it off right and remember to keep that spirit of Christmas with you all through the year!
1: Cute Polaroid me and Sister Adams took at the Christmas Conference!
2: Skype with the family!
3: Christmas Eve with Sister Tilby!
4: Sister Halversen!
5: Sister Evans again