Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas!

I hope things are going well for everyone. This has been a crazy week and I better start typing now or I'll never get it all in plus pictures!

On Monday evening, we had a lesson with Jose. We taught him about the Ten Commandments and some of the other commandments (chastity, obey and honor the law, etc.). He agreed to do these things. We love him so much. We then went with the Branch to FHE. We went to Christmas in the Park. Basically, there is this big park in downtown San Jose where they set up all of these Christmas things and you can walk around and look. It was so fun. My personal favorite was probably when we all went into this house and talked to Santa. We even got a Branch picture and then a picture of us four missionaries with him! :D The Branch also wanted to carol to him and we sang "Joy to the World". After FHE, we also set up our baby Christmas tree. I was SO excited!

On Tuesday, my roommates (Sister Hill and Sister Bullcreek) moved out and our new roommares moved in: Sister Hill and Sister Lytle! So, I am living with Sister Lytle again. On Tuesday night, we went with the Branch to the temple. They went to do baptisms and we took Linda with us to the visitor's center. It was so much fun. We heard the Christus message (which I LOVE), watched their little presentation on the Family (Sister Bliss and I cried), and then watched The Restoration again. It was awesome. I love the Oakland Temple! :D Linda loved it too; she really felt the Spirit. I just wish it hadn't been raining so hard. It took us two hours to get there and then we couldn't walk around on the grounds because of the rain. 

On Wednesday, Sister Bliss and I went to the Institute building with the elders to welcome the new missionaries (like what they did for us 6 weeks ago). about 20 missionaries went home and we only got 8 in this time. Only 4 of them were from the Provo MTC, only 2 of those were sisters, and neither of were called to speak English. The mission is shrinking! We then took them all contacting. I went with a Tongan speaking sister and Sister Bliss went with a Spanish speaking sister and we went contacting on campus. It was great. We then said goodbye to them and went on our way to do missionary work. On Wednesday night, we taught Carmina. She is a recent convert in the Branch. We had dinner and taught Elsie. We taught her about The Restoration and invited her to be baptized. She said yes, should she know that these things are true! :D We really like her. She is so nice. Kyle wasn't there, but we were able to call him later and check on him. He's doing well. He just had to work. After Elsie, we met with Ali, another recent convert who we love! After that, we came home. 

We had a slow Thursday. Almost all of the people we planned to meet with cancelled on us! We had district meeting, and that was really fun. We then had lunch and waited for Samantha (a recent convert) to show up so we could teach her. She was running late and Sister Bliss and I fell asleep waiting for her. We woke up to Elder Layton taking a picture of us! We then worked on service for the Laytons until Samantha showed up. We taught her and did more service for the Laytons. We even called the elders to help us with the service. After a few hours of service, we all trained together (Elder Methvin is the same "age" as me. He is still in training). We then went to dinner with Guy and Ali. They took us to a really nice restaurant! We then went for ice cream and came home. It was really fun. 

Friday was another slow day. Our morning was taken up by Advanced Orientation. That is when they take all the missionaries who have been out for a transfer and have another orientation with them. It was fun to see all the missionaries who I came out of the MTC with. After that we had lunch and then ran errands before going to MCM. After MCM, we went to dinner. We ended up going to the graduation dinner for one of the members of the branch. He just graduated with his Masters in Electrical Engineering. After that, we went home. 

On Saturday, we went and did service before teaching Jose. We taught him more commandments. It turns out, he is not going to Mexico, so we have more time to teach him. He is doing really really well! We then had lunch and some training before we taught Linda. We had an amazing lesson with Linda. She is really struggling with some things right now, so we had to change gears and teach based on her needs rather than the lesson we had planned. She is really having a hard time with this change, and she is getting a lot of harassment about it from people close to her. The elders gave her a blessing and we set some goals. We weren't able to see her on Sunday because she was working late on Saturday night. I hope that we see her again soon. We then went to meet up with some other elders in the mission. Sister Bliss is singing at the Christmas party that we are having as a mission and she asked one of the elders to play piano for her. So, we met up with them and they practiced. Sister Bliss is an amazing singer and Elder Davis is an amazing pianist, so it is going to be a great performance! Our little missionary choir is singing too. We then went to dinner. We ate at a member's home and it was super fun. They have two dogs (pugs) and they are the sweetest, dumbest dogs I have ever seen. We also ate gumbo! It was so yummy. We then came back and went contacting with the elders. We contacted a good amount of people and taught some lessons! :D While we were out, we saw a rabbit just sitting on campus and the elders wanted to catch it. I wish I had had my camera and could have taken a video of these elders trying to catch a rabbit! 

On Sunday, we had an amazing Sacrament Meeting. It was mainly musical numbers in honor of Christmas. Sister Bliss sang, the Branch Choir sang, a girl played the cello while her brother played piano, and another girl played the violin. It was beautiful. We then had lunch and did some training with the elders before going to see Ceidy. I lead the lesson and it went really well! :D We then had dinner with the Jepsons. In the car, Sister Bliss and I made a bet on what we were having to eat. I won. :D After that, we came home and did our weekly planning. It went really well. I am starting to feel less stressed about companionship inventory. 
Don't worry about me for Christmas. We have three dinners for Christmas day and a dinner for Christmas Eve. We won't be all alone. I am hoping that President will send us more instructions on how the Christmas schedule will work. I am betting that is what is sitting in my inbox... Anyways, I am really excited to talk to you at Christmas. It will be great! :D

Love you lots!

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