for what? I don't snow
"It's beginning to look a lot like summer, everywhere, no snow. There's a palm tree over here, and one over by the pier, the sturdy kind that doesn't mind the sand."
Christmas in Crestview
facetiming the family yesterday my mother said:
"I want to hear more about what you're doing during the days. What's your prep day like?"
*see white missionary handbook
but here's the run down of a normal preparation day in the life of a missonary
We email our families/friends/randoms
for a two or three hours
Which consists of
1. Feelings of guilt because you don't have time to email everyone the heartfelt thank-you-for-being-in-my-life communication that you want to
2. Feelings of shock and awe at how many engagement pictures/wedding pictures from your friends/family at home there are to look at... what the.....
3. Feelings of shock and awe at how your baby sister is now grown up and looks like a model.
Then we have Nerf fights/play basketball/go to the beach(rarely)/Ashley does work outs with us/we get haircuts & facials at the Corbins house/clean our apartment
but only one of those things a week
then we grocery shop
attempt to write letters
and we are out and about by 6pm to do normal missionary work.
Now about the last week of my life.
-Christmas conference was awesome, half the mission, all of the fun, skits, musical numbers, the works. I played my version of the LIGHT the WORLD song played in the video on mormon.org, and mixed Joy to the World with it on the piano. Sister Jamison played the violin Silent Night it was amazing.
-Was able to spend the night in GULF BREEZE after the conference... that's right... I went back to my first apartment OH THE NOSTALGIA
It was so therapeutic. No kidding. Sister Jamison ran with me to the dock the next morning, the same run I ran all those times five months ago. My dock. Woah. We watched the sun rise and ran back. We also made a pit stop to the Baxters, which was very needed and so much fun, and Paul and Paulas! YAY and I was able to see Matt as well. He's home from his deployment and planning on baptizing his two kids in February. MY CUP RUNNETH OVER to the dock. ;)
- Back in Crestview, on our way home Christmas eve, mainstreet has a lot of pretty lights and a giant Christmas tree!
We had to take pictures with the tree. Of course.
So we pulled over and not long after, a car pulled into a stall right by us and we saw a man looking at us. Obviously, he noticed us taking selfies and he kind of chuckled.
We felt a tad bit awkward because no one else was around, just us two Sisters in skirts taking pictures with a giant tree. Well he rolled down his window and said, "I'm sorry, I didn't pull up to watch you take pictures, I'm on the phone and didn't want to be distracted."
We told him it was alright.
A few minutes later we walked up to his window, he was still on the phone, and we gave him a LIGHTtheWORLD card.
He was still on the phone, but he told the caller he would call him back and talked with us for about 20 more minutes about our message. Turns out his name is Willie, and Willie has a good friend in Utah, plus Willie loves the Mormon Tabernacle Choir :)
Willie just retired, and as we all shared our experiences of coming to know Jesus Christ, the Spirit was felt, and he actually asked us when he could come to our services.
I ran to our car and grabbed the Mormon Tabernacle choir cd Sister White left for me, (shout out to Sister White still doing missionary work and doesn't even know it)
and I gave it to him. He was so happy.
Now none of this is super out of the ordinary yet, because we often have experiences where others feel the Spirit and desire to know more and even make the commitment to come to church...but they unfortunately, usually don't follow through.
Well lo and behold CHRISTMAS MIRACLE Willie came to church yesterday and set up a time to meet with us tomorrow.
We are so excited to continue to share the good message with Willie.
One more Christmas eve memory, The Curdys in the ward invited us over to do their family traditions with them and I just about cried because how sweet are they? SO sweet and thoughtful of them.
They have a really fun tradition where the kids all grab blankets and pillows and "sleep" while dad reads Twas The Night Before Christmas.
While he reads, their mom puts one present under their pillow.
After the story they turn the light on and pretend it is Christmas day and open their gift. Yes, sister Jamison and I enjoyed it immensely and we even got a gift. We were touched by the sweet spirit always felt in their home. I love the Curdys and I'm grateful for their example to me.
Christmas was insane. We got to the Fetters at 7 to watch the kids open presents and even help them assemble some heavy duty Nerf guns to which little 4 year old max shot the guitar across the room and literally it struck a perfect cord so we all laughed our heads off. Their dad is in Afghanistan this is his first deployment and their first big holiday without him, so we were happy to be there and hopefully make their Christmas a little merrier even thought their dad was not there. God bless the USA
We went to the Harts who were so sweet to let us eat breakfast with them and then we went to church, taught Willie some more, enjoyed the amazing feeling and excitement that comes when an investigator comes to church, and then we were off to eat a yummy meal with the Howes...
...dropped in on some more favorites~the Baltimores, and then to the Nelsons whose home we were at to Facetime our families.
So much fun. Seeing my family was incredible. LOVED IT.
Ya'll are perfect. I miss you so much but I love what I'm doing here, which made it so much fun to see you. I love you, and I am thankful you still love me even if I got a little preachy on that Facetime call ;) lol
*grandma Pat sits down and says
"Are you going to interview me?"
me- "Are you doing your home teaching grandma?"
her- "No, but I'm doing my visisting teaching.." ;)
me- "Good. That was a trick question, and you passed."
hahaha I love my family and I loved this Christmas and the love of the Savior I have felt the past two days especially. I feel like the wise men who left all they had to find the Savior. I am following that star more carefully than I ever have, and sometimes, I even get to be that star to lead others to Him.
Well the rest of the day, Paul and Paula came to visit and gave us the coolest thing ever. Sand dollars with our names and palm trees airbrushed on it. SO AWESOME
Then we had a district devotional, exchanged white elephant gifts and I won an actual white elephant christmas ornament it's adorable.
I left out so much, but it was all filled with sugar plums, mangers, wrapping paper, and nights that were suuuper silent.
Grandma Pat, Nanny & Grandpa, Mom, Dad, Family, Friends, Crestview Ward, Gulf Breeze Ward, Missionaries, THANK YOU for the love and prayers, support, cards, presents, and again...
the love. I LOVE YOU.
I'll write some more next year... ;)
Make it a great sleigh
|The Tree of Life ;)|