Such a good week, full of the spirit, love, and Christ.
Couldn't get any better than that! :)
I truly do love being a missionary, I love working hard, I love having a purpose, especially a purpose in and for Christ!
The people I meet around me are amazing!
On Tuesday it was the day ALL the Christmas mail came in. I've never seen so much mail in my life! Christmas was real and alive for all the missionaries! We are well loved! And thank you so much for all the packages you sent me and the Christmas cards! It rule was the best Christmas ever. :)
I felt bad I didn't thank you as much as I should have over Skype so I'll do it now: THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!
On Wednesday we were able to go caroling with one of our ward mission leaders and his family. It was really fun to meet other members in the ward and make them smile. I love caroling! No matter how awkward it might be to just start singing once someone opens the door. Haha. We also went to the food bank again that same morning, the best thing ever! A great service and something I definitely want to do more often!!
We also had a super powerful lesson with Vanessa. We were able to bring a fellowshipper from the ward. During the lesson I just asked a question, apparently inspired, and Vanessa just started sobbing, and this wonderful lady in our ward scooted right over and held her while she cried and they conversed in Spanish. I can now thank all my Spanish teachers in High School! I was able to understand and discern her needs! MIRACLE!!
We also met with our 17 year old investigator Katie and had a really good lesson and she still committed to being baptized January 23rd! She has a hard family life so she's a trooper.
Christmas Eve was the most legit Christmas Eve I've ever had!
We got out of our apartments at 10:00 am and headed over to a YSA less active's house. And while we were walking there was a woman who said hello and started asking about our Christmas. She then led to telling us that her neighbor really needs us and she then led us into her house and showed us all the Christmas decorations. She then showed us her dancing reindeer and proceeded to dance and then shouted at us, "C'MON GIRLS!" So we did our awkward missionary boogie with this 60-something-year old woman. It was fun. She then gave us a huge bag of rice Krispy treats and proceeded to tell us that she knows Mormons, she has a dear friend and she just starts getting emotional. Talking about how she wants the happiness we have. So we told her about The Book of Mormon, and she took it. And meanwhile she keeps stroking my companion's hair because she thinks it's so beautiful! Which of course it is. And then she asks us to come back, we exchange numbers and we ask to say a prayer with her. And she accepted and then pulled us both in for a hug and I said the prayer in Sister Pilkington's hair, haha it was awesome!
Then we got out, and we were talking to her neighbor that was out; not the one she referred, and then all of a sudden we see this woman, Dawn, we had just talked to come around the corner. And she goes up to him and says "I have to tell you about these two girls." And she also stopped these other people from walking down the street so she could tell them too! I DIED!!! She went on to say how amazing we are and is very sweet, but then starts to get into an argument with her neighbor about how loud he is so we slipped away....
Haha LOVE those random people that we get to meet! :)
Especially on Christmas eve!
I also got to see Chelsea and Aaron! Those two are sweethearts. They are Taylor McDaniel's siblings. We tried to see Taylor since she's now in the YSA I'm serving in!!!!!!!! SO PUMPED!!! She wasn't home but it was so good to see them and we gave them the rice krispy treats Dawn gave to us. :)
I also got to meet a recent convert in the Grossmont Ward. His name is John and he is about 65 years old. He is so sweet and since we can't go into his trailer because of the rules of needing another woman present, we sit outside and he makes us some treats as we sit out there and teach him! He's so cute. And he gave us Christmas presents in this big Home Depot bucket! So cool! :) I admire him.
We also then caroled again at Starlight Circle and this time we put up a projector to show The Savior is Born video, and Sister Pilkington and I were able to get a referral for the Spanish missionaries! WOOOHOOO!!! It's all worth it. :)
Possibly the best day on my mission thus far.
shout out to ep for the EPIC Christmas Banner! thanks ep :)We got up nice and early because the mission brought the musical numbers from our mission Christmas devotional down to the Marine Corps Recruits. So spiritual. And slightly scary.
Apparently the recruits are pretty isolated and are not allowed to talk to any females, so not allowed near them at all. So we had to be blockaded by a wall of Elders as we were sitting. Good times. But a really spiritual experience, they are in such a similar experience we are in. Away from home, similar age, sacrifice. And so many of them were crying. And a side note, Sister Carlson sang a beautiful duet with another Sister and I just want to be Ursula and steal her voice! SO GORGEOUS!
basking in the radiance of Sister CarlsonAnd of course I was able to play piano as well for a group of sisters so that was fun. :)
Also, Sister Stewart, my beloved trainer, was asked to be the narrator, perfect Sister for the job! And I'm glad they asked her because it gave me an excuse to give her a hug! I LOVE HER!!!
Sister StewartShe's leaving soon which makes me sad...... So I'm gonna make these days count with her!
President Schmitt got up to address the Marines and talked about Fearing Not! How the shepherds were told to fear not as they were watching over their flocks and if they follow Jesus Christ they should FEAR NOT! And being Marines they are pretty loud when they repeat things, and President Schmitt had them repeat "Fear Not" back to him; let's say it put a little fear in me! But so motivating. :)
And President Schmitt also invited all of them to seek the missionaries if they hadn't already and be baptized! So cool. After the program it was amazing to see all the blessings being given. Whether of healing or of comfort. Truly inspiring. Since the marines are on a strict schedule they just went three or four right there, off to the side. So cool to see God at work. And the Assistants work with the marines there an it seems to be going pretty well! It was cool to see all the marines with a Book of Mormon. That was probably the highlight besides SKYPING WITH MY FAMILY!!!!!
Oh my gosh that was so cool to see all of your faces and sorry I'm such a baby, crying has become a thing for me. But don't worry, it's not out of sadness it's out of joy! BECAUSE I LOVE YOU ALL SOOOO MUCH!!! :) :)
It went by way too fast and it was so hard to hang up. I feel like Mason was trying to say something as I was hanging up and I feel so bad! I might have cried because of it. BUT I LOVE YOU MASON! I can't believe you're almost as tall as me!... Ahhhh, skyping was the coolest!
We were also able to teach our investigator Anthony who got baptized on SATURDAY!!!
All the sisters who taught him plus his girlfriendThat was way cool, I was able to play the piano and teach the restoration with my companion while they were changing. That message is always so strong. I love it! If you haven't heard it in a while have the missionaries come teach you it! And then kneel with them and pray to see who needs this message! It works. :)
We then caroled as a district, and our district is made up of Spanish missionaries (except us) so it was fun to carol in Spanish for part of it. We just went around to investigators and less actives in our different areas. The best way to end the night!
our districtSaturday was the baptism. It was awesome. We might have filled the font with luke-warm water which then became cold, but it's okay! Anthony's a member now!!!!!!! He's so cool. So faithful and we were able to teach him last night. We taught him the plan of salvation and he had a notebook and pen so he could take notes! HE'S SOOO COOL!!! :)
Also our investigator Julio showed up to the baptism. We were able to teach him afterwards the plan of salvation with two recent converts there as well. They were awesome at teaching and I was so impressed! This church rocks! He is very quiet and very observant. Opening up slowly but surely. He lives in Chula Vista so we will have to pass him off to other sisters. But that's okay because he will be a member of the church, I just know it! :)
We then had lunch with some members and were able to find a less active in their house we had no idea was there! And he came to church on Sunday! Win! The Lord is good. Then Sunday was super fun with going to two different sacrament meetings and the YSA had me speak, just bearing my testimony . I talked about how we don't need to fear with the Lord on our side. Quoted Isaiah 41:10, look it up, it's a good one!
On Sunday afternoon we were able to add an investigator! In the past the sisters had street contacted this boy who referred them to his dad (who is a member but hasn't been to church in a while). So they went and taught him and he is so cool! So ready, just needed some motivation! He said he wanted his daughters to learn so we were able to go back and teach Julie and we invited her to be baptized and she said she would be! Date to be determined. The Lord is amazing! And nothing is by coincidence!
Monday was FUNday with Anthony's lesson and rain! Our prayers have been answered! It's awesome to see it raining! God is good!
after our morning run in the rainAnd our Bishop gave us a big list of members who he hasn't seen in a while and we were able to teach a couple of them yesterday and set appointments with a lot as well! God is good! And I love this area! We also walked out of one of the houses with a wooden toy turtle. It's legitimate. It's head moves. :) And it's homemade. He and dad would be best friends. :) And being on a mission and seeing people's circumstances and how much can go wrong in their life truly makes me grateful for mine! And for this gospel. I've never been so happy than on my mission and I've never been so happy to be a member of this church. The Lord blesses me too much! :)
And I hope he's blessing all of you and you can see his hand in your life!
Thanks for all you do and once again thanks for making this Christmas for me the best one yet!
I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!
And don't worry, I'm still cheering for you!