Merry Christmas, everyone! In three days, I get to talk to you all. :) I am pretty excited. Except for the fact that I forgot my Skype name and password... that could present a problem, so if you could figure that out for me, it would be lovely.
Sounds like things are pretty great back home. Christmas time, and Troy got accepted into Oregon! That’s pretty exciting stuff.
Not going to lie, part of me is not wanting Christmas to come...that means all the markets go down, and the lights are off, and people go into depression. People are just so happy right now! And soon it will be all over. But I guess we can just go and cheer them up with the things that really matter in life.
This week, it was a pretty fun week. We found a new investigator, David! Remember that street display that we had a few weeks ago? The one where we had absolutely no success at until the last ten minutes? And then we got a guy’s number? Well, we finally got an appointment with him, and it was great! We found out that he apparently has met with missionaries before. He started off telling us what he learned, and what was still confusing to him, and basically, it sounds like he didn’t really understand too much. But, he just wants to get it this time around. He said that maybe it wasn’t coincidence that he ran into us again. Maybe? Definitely not!
We taught him the Restoration and he would stop us like crazy to ask us questions. He was definitely paying attention. Some of his questions are difficult to answer, but it is teaching us to discern between what is actually important and will help him verses what is distracting. But the thing that really got him was the Plan of Salvation. We were talking about the apostasy and saying how things had gotten lost, and truths were changed and he stopped us and asked us what things were changed. We started listing off some things until we got to the Plan of Salvation and he stopped us again, and said, "This…I want to know more about this." Time was running out and so we gave him some things to read in the Book of Mormon and a pamphlet to talk about more the next time. He texted us two days ago and said that he had already read all of it and found it really good and was excited to meet with us again. So we have an appointment for Christmas Eve, and I am really excited. FINALLY, someone that actually keeps commitments!
We also met with Leticia. It was my first time meeting with her. She didn’t end up reading in the Book of Mormon, so we spent the lesson just reading together. We talked a lot about her role as a mother and how this gospel can bless her family. She agreed. We are going there tomorrow, and all seven of her kids will be there. SEVEN. That’s a lot of children. It’s going to be crazy, but quite the adventure. The best part…her kids have names like Prince, Prophetis, King Lordrich, and Queen. Quite the royal family, I'd say.
This week, our ward had an annual caroling activity. The whole ward meets up and we all go down to the Zeil and sing hymns. It was so great. A ton of people showed up. And the best part…we decided to swing by the Carricondos on the way and make them come. Three of the kids came! THEY CAME…the 15-year-old boy, and the 6-year-old twins, and they loved it. Rodrigo found out that one of his friends from school is also a member in the ward. So they hung out and it was great. So great! And while they all sang, TONS of people stopped, (because naturally it sounded amazing), and the missionaries worked their magic and talked to them and we handed out boxes of “Joy to the World,” over 70 “He's the Gift” pass along cards, and had tons of great discussions. Yayyy. Christmas magic!
And speaking of singing magic…we went caroling the next day with the APs and a family in our ward, the Southhalls. It was so great. They have two adorable little kids that didn’t want to go AT ALL at the beginning. We had to drag them out. But we hit up like seven houses and the kids worked their magic. I decided that we need to hire some cute kids to go out dooring with us. People never even stop to listen to what we say and just automatically slam the door on us, but in less than an hour, one of their neighbors invited us in, gave us a house tour, and we got to talk to her about the church, the kids were given countless things of candy and chocolate, and they got 27 EURO. 27! These kids just got money handed to them. Needless to say, they were begging to keep going by the end—ha-ha. But really, I have never had such success at dooring. Why can’t it always be that great?
We also met with Agnes again this week. Rita came, too, and translated into Hungarian for us. It was good. It was hard because by the time she would translate something, I would forget my train of thought, but the spirit was definitely there and Agnes opened up a lot and told us a lot of stories and experiences that we were able to use to help teach the Restoration and God's love for her. It was really great and the Spirit was definitely there baring testimony.
As far as our other attempts to find…a complete failure! But it made for good stories. On our way to a previous investigator we got lost, and this car started following us, so we got freaked out. I was searching for my pepper spray just to be safe (yes it was dark and I was paranoid, ha-ha). Then I missed construction in front of me and tripped and fell straight on my face. KG (“Klumsy” Ginger) strikes again. I had a nice bloody knee and hand, and we couldn’t help but laugh at ourselves as the car drove away, and we realized how dumb we must have looked.
Thinking about it, we got lost a lot this week. Whoops. We also attempted to have a really cool street display. We brought out the TV and played “He’s the Gift” on repeat, which would have been cool if anyone had been there. The spot was AWFUL and nobody walked by. And the only people that did wouldn’t give us the time of day. What did I learn that night? The way to talk to Germans is by not talking to them. They run away if you try to contact them. No joke. One girl literally started running. So we decided to take five minutes and all of us just sat on the bench to see if anything would change. We just let the TV play, and people came! How sad is that? They only came when we weren’t there. We had a good conversation with an Italian guy Christmas shopping for his mom. He wanted a gift and asked us if the Book of Mormon would be something that she would like. She is Catholic. We told him this would be the best gift we would ever get, so he tried to buy it and we said it was free and he walked off just so happy at the gift he got his mom. I wish I were there to see her open it! That will be a nice surprise for her.
The elders both had baptisms this week! Mildred and Elo are now members of the Kirche Jesu Christi der Heiligen der letzten Tage.
|The fruit of the week...pretty on the inside....|
I also had my last Zone Conference this week...that is a weird thought, and my exit interview. That is still weird. President came up to me after the baptism and asked if I had time to have my exit interview. I got some advice on dating and marriage and it just made me sick to my stomach. I felt so ridiculous because I walked in and he asked me to tell him about some of my experiences on my mission and I just started crying thinking about how it is all going to be over soon. I have learned and grown so much, and I just don’t want to leave it! It is going to be hard going home…being in America again.
|The inside of the fruit....|
definitely not my favorite.
Yeah, this was quite the eventful week. Can’t really put it all to words, but these were the highlights. Overall, I just love Christmas time. This week is basically just going to be members wanting to feed us, which I can’t say I will complain about. It was made for fun! I am excited. JA WEIHNACHTEN.
I really do love my mission. I love meeting new people like David that just soak up everything that you say and want to learn it NOW. As I was studying more about the Atonement this morning, I just realized how much MORE we know thanks to the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. We have so much more knowledge about everything. And I tend to forget that because I have just grown up knowing all of it and living by it. But I have tried to imagine my life without the gospel and without even the Book of Mormon. And I can’t! I just can’t! It is just too much a part of my life, and I am so grateful for that.
I love you all. I CAN’T WAIT TO SKYPE WITH YOU ON WEIHNACHTEN. See you soon!