Dec. 26, 2016
I hope you all had a fun Christmas! It was sooo good to see all of your faces and talk to you for a little bit! It was my favorite part of the day :) I hope you're having a nice break from school and work and just enjoying each other's company for the holidays!
We had quite a few highlights from the week. First, of all, Krista prayed! She's a less active who we meet with weekly, and after the lesson this week, we invited her to say the closing prayer, and she did!! That was kind of monumental! And then we had a lesson with Junior's nephew, Amalio. He's 18. It was our first lesson with him and he is so ready for the gospel! He had been reading the Book of Mormon, and he prays, and he's felt the spirit before. This kid is just so ready for the gospel! And we had it in the ward mission leader's home because Amalio happens to be good friends with his daughter. We have another lesson with him tonight, we're excited for it!
Christmas for us down here was great! The members down here are so generous and kind. We are up to our ears in food and candy. I don't know why, but everybody here must think the missionaries don't get enough food, so they all just give us candy. Haha it's funny. Christmas Eve for us was really fun! We spent the day running around delivering almond toffee (Sister Steadman has a super easy recipe that we made several batches of) and we sang carols to the patients in the hospital. Fun fact: to let you know how small Monticello is, there were 2 patients in the hospital!! There were more nurses than patients. I guess it's a good thing to not have a lot of people sick over the holidays, right? After caroling, we went to a family Christmas Eve party. The Lewis family invited us, and it was so fun! Their family reminds me of your family, Mom. They have a huge family, and there are lots of kids and the adults can joke around and everybody is having fun and the overall atmosphere is wild and fun. The only difference here is all the kids live next door to each other. They have a farm and live out of town, but they're all there together. So the gathering was in the shop. They had a nativity, and then a white elephant gift exchange, which was hilarious! One of the gifts was a $25 gift card, and there was a huge debate over it, and one of the little girls finally got it. Then she realized it was to a store up north in SLC, then she realized it was like 4 years expired. It was really funny :) That night we drove home and there was a blizzard. We drove all 20 miles on the highway at a solid 35 mph, but we finally made it in. The snow was blowing sideways, there is wind here like you wouldn't believe.
Christmas was also really great! They did a singing sacrament meeting in the branch. Brother Hunt came again and we sat by him again. He's doing so well!!! And then in 3rd ward they did a singing sacrament meeting too. We were recruited for the choir, which I'm glad about because it was so special to sing those songs on Christmas day! We also had a lesson later with Robert, our recent convert. He's so good! He has a strong testimony and he gave us 3 referrals! 3 REFERRALS! he introduced them to one of them right then! It's always exciting to get referrals, even if half (or all) of them are in the elder's area. Sometimes it feels like all of their success comes from referrals and investigators who we have to hand over because they live in their area. And it's actually true, but it's okay, we still have plenty of work in our area too :)
If there's one thing I've learned on my mission, it's the fact that the church is TRUE!!! Everything in the world testifies that Heavenly Father is real and he's aware of us. In every hardship, we can rely on the Jesus Christ, and he'll never let us down. The gospel is a blueprint for life. It won't stop trials from happening, but it will help us get through them. When we don't live the gospel, it's kind of like asking for more trouble because you'll be doing it on your own. The Book of Mormon is true! I love sharing the message of the restoration and the first vision, because the spirit always gets so strong and you just can't deny the witness that it's true! I hope you all take the time to read and pray on your own every day.
I love you all more than the number of fireworks that will go off to start the new year :) It's crazy to think how fast time flies!