I love being a missionary. Love it with my whole heart.
Things are already looking up. We had more lessons last week then we had TOTAL in our time on the South Hill. But we needed our South Hill transfer. I have a firm testimony of that. But I am SO grateful to cover the West stake area. We are seeing many beautiful miracles.
I'll start at the top:
Monday: The new transfer didn't officially begin 'til tuesday so our evening was stilll full of South Hill appointments. We had a couple member visits set up and some were a little further out. I knew if we tried people between the lessons we'd probably be late. But I felt impressed to try a less-active, Reyna, that we've been trying like every other day for the last month and a half and WE'VE NEVER had luck with. Satan kept telling me we shouldn't go because it wasn't going to amount to anything and he knows just how much I hate being late but we went anyway. AND she let us right in! And she felt the spirit and wants to come back. It was a small victory. We did end up being late to our next appointment and it was pretty far away and I kept thinking maybe we should just cancel and not waste our miles. That dang Satan again, planting doubts in my mind. But our member visit ended up being the most worthwhile member visit I've had a on my whole mission. We walked into their house and before we could even sit on the couch he said, "You serve in Cheney, right? Because I've been making a list of people you could visit since I knew you'd be coming over." And then he gave us like 9 names of Spanish speakers in Cheney. Before we even said the opening prayer! I thought I would cry. Another small victory! (not to mention, they were absolutely hands down the cutest family I've ever met, and that's saying a lot because I've met the most adorable "pinterest" families ever one the South Hill) All I know is that if we hadn't had our South Hill transfer, and hadn't received training from President to have more lessons, we would have never had this lesson or received those referrals for Cheney of all places! God is good and the church is true!
Tuesday: Our first day to the new transfer! While we were serving in Cheney, I went on exchanges with the Sisters in Airway Heights and we did some service and I met this Hispanic lady, Adriana and got her address so we could pass by and tell her about the English classes. I forgot to ever give her info to the elders, but I remembered her immediately and so she was our first stop. And she let us right in and we sang her a Christmas hymn and taught her about the restoration and she loved it! And her husband works for Brother Christiansen (who is another member from the South Hill that we've become besties with) and so it's just perfect.
Wednesday: We taught the Baustistas and sweet, sweet Sister McCombie came with us. And Ernesto told us that the more he reads the Book of Mormon the more he knows there is something good about it. They are so active in their church though that I think it would be a huge sacrifice to be baptized. But God is a God of miracles and I am counting on this one before my mission time is up.
Thursday: MLC! My favorite time ever. Sister Haynes is a sister training leader now! My little baby all grown up! (and Sister Gardiner is training! I'm a proud momma!) I do feel like time is going so quickly because most of my missionary friends are home or headed there. And I'm not too far behind. Freaks me out.
Friday: LA POSADA! Shoot, I didn't take pictures. Don't hate me. But I'm just now realizing and I'm so bummed. Anyway! It was the best Christmas branch activity of ALL TIME. We should do it in all the wards. So you walk in the chapel and the nativity story was playing along with Mormon Tabernacle singing Christmas hymns and we handed everyone an electric candle and told them to wait to turn it on, and then once the seats were filled (and extra filled because MORE THAN 200 people came!) we started the program and President Condon explained the meaning of "posada" which is like when Mary and Joseph went from inn to inn to inn searching for shelter. Then we instructed everyone to remove their shoes in reverence of the Savior, and turn their candle on and small groups went one at a time to follow Mary and Joseph. And a little guitarist followed them playing acoustic beautiful versions of Silent Night and then at each door, the innkeeper would say "no hay espacio" until finally the inn keeper President Condon opens the door and lets you into the banquet hall to have a feast. It was very sweet and touching and perfect. Low lighting and ahh so great! And little cut pine trees all around!
And we took one home and decorated it and it is beautiful!
Wellllll I'm outta time! i'll send pictures next week.
I love this gospel. I love my Savior. I love having this time of year to celebrate His sacred birth. I have never felt so much peace and joy in my life.