I hope everyone had a great Christmas and a great Boxing Day!
This past week was a very interesting week. I had many of the “this only happens on my mission” experiences this week.
The rest of Monday we did our shopping and then we went back to the stake center to do a zone white elephant. It was so fun. The assistants joined us and Elder Jones boxed all of the stuff that Elder Murdock left behind. It was so funny. There was a 2 week old pancake that people threw around like a frisbee. I got band aids that are Frozen themed. It’s practical! It rained on Monday. We went and saw some old people in the nice retirement community.
It was raining again on Tuesday. I was going to go on an exchange to Ripon with my Sister training leader, Sister Neely. We went to service at the food pantry, it is so fun. Then I went on my exchange. We taught this lady, we weren’t sure what she was on but she asked me if I talked to the Book of Mormon prophets? The exchange was cut short because they were going to be moving in the morning. The funniest thing happened. While I was taking a shower, the shower curtain just all of a sudden fell. Sister Hogan and I just can’t stop laughing about it because it was just so random.
It was super windy on Wednesday. We tried to see a bunch of people, but no one could visit. We met some interesting people on the street. We had a quick lesson with a less active lady. Some of our appointments fell through. We decided to go caroling. We got a couple doors slammed in our face. This lady’s dog got out and she was mad and we went and chased after it. The dog wouldn’t come because it was deaf. Luckily it went back home and she wasn’t mad at us. (The power of prayer works!) We had dinner with this couple that are like straight from BYU, they are so great though. We saw a Less Active and another lady. It was freezing. I have become a wimp to the cold. I have also become a huge fan of Hot Hands!
On Christmas Eve I finished the Book of Mormon for my 9th time! I love the Book of Mormon so much and continue to learn from it every time I read it! We had our district meeting. It was pouring outside. We watched this really cool video about Joseph and Mary. I wish I knew what it was called because it is so good and I would encourage everyone to watch it. We went caroling as a zone at this retirement home/assisted living place. We went to the mission office after. It was great because we were having a mission Christmas music devotional and the whole mission was there. Some people are really talented. President and Sister Palmer said some really great things. I love them so much, they are the best. We took a mission picture, hopefully I will be able to get it. It is not that often that the whole mission is together. I got to see my friends from my last area and catch up with them, it was great. We drove back and went to Christmas Eve dinner. We played the white elephant. First I had a box of crackers and a giant sausage, but some one thankfully took that from me and I got some shampoo and conditioner. We went to our ward mission leaders house. It was such a great day and it was full of the spirit. I was a little sad I missed out on M&M bingo, I heard that it was quite a party! But I still got my pajamas!
It’s Christmas!!! We got ready really quick and I made monkey bread, a Christmas tradition! We opened our presents with the Spanish Sisters. It was so fun and I appreciated everything I got. I didn’t really feel like Christmas though. After we did our studies, we drove to Stockton to go to a member’s house in the Northland ward with my district for Christmas Breakfast. It was fun. Then I got to make my phone call. We had some problems with Skype, but we got it to work! By the way, Sister Hogan’s family, did the same thing for how we got Ethan in on the phone call so it really wasn’t ghetto! It was so great to hear everyone’s voice. Sadly I only had 40 minutes. I accidentally went over 2 minutes, but I felt better about it because other people went over a few minutes too. We taught one of our investigators. We went over for Christmas dinner. It was weird because they already at so they just sat on the couch while we ate. We went over to 3 other people’s houses. It was a very busy day. We started our weekly planning. It was a long day and it didn’t really feel like Christmas.
We did our weekly planning on Saturday. It was so cold. We biked around all afternoon and nobody was home. We put the bikes away and just walked. The members we had dinner with did not let us go home empty handed. The members take such good care of us. We visited this less active lady who has a bunch of health problems. It was so cold outside.
All of our meetings cancelled on Sunday so we just walked around trying to contact people before church. We had 2 investigators come to church and the ward ended up babysitting the girls that came, it was a struggle. The rest of church was good. We went out in the evening and no one was home. Then it started raining. The District Leader and Zone Leaders called and asked how we were doing and we said wet and soggy, but okay! Everyone feels bad for us because we don’t have a car. It’s tough, but that’s life. It was a rough night, but we had many laughs.
Today I had such a good study. I encourage everyone to read Elder Von G. Keetch’s talk from conference it is so good. I got all of my laundry done before 9:30, so great. Sorry my time is cut short. One of my Zone leaders, Elder Lopez is leaving tomorrow to finish his mission in Canada because his Visa expired. We are going to In N Out and playing sports in Modesto. It should be fun.
I hope everyone has a great week and a happy New Year. I can’t believe it’s almost 2016! My next letter will not be until next year!
All the Love,