Hello my family! I'm glad to hear that yalls Thanksgiving was good.
Mine was great. It was, again, an ALL DAY PDAY. Which is so fantastic. We got up and I decorated the apartment for Christmas! Glorious. I am so excited for the season. It's the best. Our resources are... limited... haha but we did the best we could! I still have all the decorations that you sent last year, Mom and we put them up and I made the little tree and the stickers are on the bathroom mirror :] We love Christmas. I also made a box of cornbread stuffing (which people here in the south call 'dressing') and took it to our first Thanksgiving at the Trahans. They are an active Louisiana-grown family and we love them. They have a son in the Washington Everett Mission right now, so Sister Trahan is always looking out for the missionaries. After that we went to the Kenney family for dinner. Brother Kenney is the assistant ward mission leader and they have one son and... a zillion daughters.. Maybe 4? Yes 4. Sister Kenney is the most amazing cook ever. She made dressing from scratch (and of course, obviously that's possible, but I had never had any homemade dressing before and it was divine) And of course, the mashed potatoes. Yum. I loved it all. After dinner we played air hockey with the Kenney kids for an hour or two and then we went back home. We wanted to go see if the big nice park, Prien Lake Park, had it's Christmas lights lit yet (they are up but not lit. It's gonna be sweet.) On the way we stopped at a tree farm. We looked at the trees and walked around and it smelled heavenly. Just totally heavenly. I learned some tree facts. Douglas Firs are the best ones in that they smell and look the most like pine trees. Next are the... oh no I totally can't remember! There are three kinds. Douglas... and Noble... and ugh! That is so annoying. Anyway the Noble Fir is the one that will last the longest but it smells the least. And then the other one is in the middle. I'm soo irritated that I can't remember what it is called. That night we went in and I fell asleep at 8:30. It was amazing!! AMAZING. I love sleeping.
Other than that, the week was good. We taught a lesson 1 to Susan again this week to get her ready for her January baptism. It is amazing to see how the missionary lessons really do the best job. No matter how many times they've been taught, whether they are active members or less active members or investigators or whatever, the most effective thing to do is to teach the lessons as Preach My Gospel has laid them out. It works the best. It was a great lesson. She bore her testimony to us at the end and said "I didn't even know I had a testimony." Funny how that works. I was reading in Mormon this morning, the last chapter and Christ says something like "To them that believe on my name, will I confirm all my words" and that is totally a testimony. If we believe Christ he will confirm things to our hearts and that is the most incredible gift we could have, a testimony.
We shared a bunch of Thanksgiving messages and asked what people were Thankful for. And then we told them how we are thankful for our testimonies of the restored gospel. I love the holidays, don't you? Everyone is a little bit nicer. Well.. most everyone. We are working hard on talking to everyone and that makes for some truly truly awkward moments. haha. We are also calling a bunch of potentials and formers and asking if we can come see them. That has been relatively effective. Our evenings are waining a little bit, but what can you do.
Yesterday we had our appointment fall through (wonderful! I looooove when people stand us up) and so we were trying to think of what to do and we had planned to go by a potential, Allen. I was so scared to do it, but I thought back to Saturday when I saw these people putting up their christmas lights and went over to talk to them. Before I did, I said "Be bold! and mighty forces will come to your aid!" to sister T and we went and contacted them. They were NOT pleased. But it was okay. I'm grateful for the knowledge that everything can be made alright through the atonement. Even when people are apparently deeply offended by our offering the gospel to them. Anyway, I said that again and we went and had a nice talk with him. Then we set up a more solid return appointment for this week. I'm grateful for the way the Lord blesses us.
OH. MY. GOSH!!!! How could I forget! I just looked at my planner and remembered that we ate at the Morris' house this past Monday and guess what???? I ATE SQUIRREL!!! !!!! Seriously. I have video and pictures to prove it. I ate a ribcage (I think) and then half of the brain. Yep. The meat was okay, just really boney and I was like "I'm eating squirrel." the whole time. the brain, however, was dirt-nast disgusting. But, yall, I ate squirrel! Now when people ask me "Whats the wierdest thing you ate on your mission?" I will have something better to say than "Crawfish" or "shrimp" Cause I really haven't eaten too many crazy things out here. Thank you Morris. Mission accomplished.
Tuesday and Wednesday were very full days on our bikes and not much to report out of the ordinary... Friday we had an amazing district meeting about how to help members do missionary work. They are already doing it so we just have to talk to them about it and help give ideas and etc. We are very excited about doing this, even though our ward mission leader hates it. Whatever. I don't care anymore, we have to do work. The Bishop told us to do it and so we will.
Saturday we had our appointments cancel on us as well and we decided to try to find some service to do. We haven't done service in a really long time, so we went and helped Brother Boies with his yard (he's th eone that sent me a package to our house). It was awesome. We were on our way and we stopped by the Mortimers to ask if we could use their rake, and brother Mortimer (aka my HERO) was outside. They had just gotten home from helping a boy in the ward with his eagle project and we told him what we were going to do and he said "Why don't we just throw my lawnmower in the truck and go over and mow it all up? It will take so much less time!" So he just hopped in the truck and followed us over there on our bikes and spent the next two hours helping us with Brother Boies yard. Amazing. I guarantee that he had a huge list of things to do on a Saturday afternoon, but he stopped everything to just come help us serve a brother in the ward. What did I tell you? My hero. I want to be like that.
Well. That's the highlights from our week. This mornin it is rainy and we love it! We had one of our favorite less actives call us and leave a message this morning and tell us "I don't want to see yall until I call you." Which was weird. We called back but she didn't answer. So I was sad, really sad. But then, I seriously thought this: This is an opportunity to apply the atonement to my life. All that is unfair about life can be made right through the atonement of Jesus Christ. And it truly is an opportunity to pray and have him help me feel better. And that knowledge made me so happy and grateful this morning. A year and a half ago, that would have upset me sooo much more than it did this morning. It did upset me, cause it wasn't a very nice phone call and I don't understand why it came in, but I'm not as upset as I could be. I'm so grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ that offers me that kind of strength. SO GRATEFUL. for the change that has come over me since I left home 18 months ago (18 months on Saturday can you believe it??!?! SO CRAZY!)
Mom, thanks for your letters, always. I love you so much!! I'm glad you had a good week and I can't wait to hear about your Thanksgiving break :] How was being with Grandma? How is she doing? How did she enjoy Heber? I thought of yall that day up there, I'm sure it was a treat for Grandma to get to go. I'm so happy you're all decorated. Now all we need is snow!!!!
Dad, thanks for your e-mail! I will pray for you this week about Stake Conference. It will all work out, I'm sure of it! I'm glad you get so much instruction from a General Authority, that is so cool. Didn't he speak in general conference last time? Was that someone else? Anyway I'll pray for yall and I hope it goes as well as you'd like it to! Nothings ever perfect, but I hope you're happy with it in the end.
James, how are you doing? How is school? Are finals in yet? Are you even going to school anymore?? Just kidding. But I never hear about it! Tell me about your life. What is your ward doing for Christmas? How is life? Are you enjoying the football season. Let me tell you, it is HARD to not talk about football with people. that's all they want to talk about and since LSU and Alabama are not friends, really, it is a hot topic at the moment. Anyway, I hope things are going well.
Jonny, what up? I didn't know that you played the guitar! Mom told me. That is sweet!! How is mission preparation going? I hope well. I am so excited for you!!!!! How are finals going for you? When are yall out of school? Ha! you go to SLCC!
I'm so glad yall got to meet Lundgren. I love her so so so so soo much. She was the perfect trainer for me, just likeJames told me my trainer would be. I love her and she is an incredible example. She told me she liked Wilsy. So, she's in. :]
I hope you have a wonderful week ! I love yall so much. I really am so thankful for you, each of you. Please know that I love you and that you are really great people. Wonderful parents and wonderful brothers. This holiday season is a gift, our testimonies are gifts, and the Atonement of Jesus Christ was the greatest gift of all. I love being a missionary. Guess what? It's still hard :] I'm guessing the last 3 weeks will be no exception. The last couple weeks of Christs life were kind of rough, I'd say. But I know that I will be happy during these weeks. I'm grateful for yall. Please remember Christ this season and serve him the best you can. I love Him so much!! He truly is "a thrill of hope".