Monday, December 28, 2015

Week 12: Christmas Week!

Transfer information (since most people probably don't read this super long boring email, but I don't blame you whatsoever! Haha): Sister Holcomb (a sister that I knew from Facebook before the mission) will be joining Sister Thetford and I for two weeks, and then Sister Thetford leaves to open a Spanish area in our zone. So she will still be my sister training leader, and I'll be owning my area! The zone leaders are pretty shocked that Sister Holcomb is joining me because they say we're polar opposites in every way. So this should be very interesting! :)

Christmas Eve brunch with Dallis :)
Deer! Deer in the graveyard!
Tuesday night devotional!
Sister Mola and selfies is probably my favorite combination ever!
Gingerbread houses are too mainstream

Monday, December 21st: 
We had a super early sisters breakfast this morning, where we had to wake up at 5 and then leave at 6:15. Do what you gotta do when your companion is a Sister Training Leader. Today we got to buy all of our Christmas presents for each other! We went with the trio of sisters to Deseret book so that we could split up and buy gifts and our companions wouldn't see. I love the sisters, don't get me wrong. But sometimes I like to walk fast (okay, all the time) and my issues with no longer being independent don't really come out these days until I'm companions with someone that goes around a store super slow and I have to follow her and she wants to buy a bunch of random stuff separately when the line is super long. And then when I go somewhere, she doesn't follow me. And then I'm breaking rules. So there's my rant for the day. It was a good day though! We also had a lesson with Pete and James and it seems like Pete is progressing a lot faster than James these days. We'll get him to do more stuff without just leaning on Pete to keep all the commitments. And we went to FHE with Pete and our member present from that lesson, Allison. We made gingerbread houses out of graham crackers and I love doing that! We're definitely doing that as a competition with a family reunion or something when I get back! We visited Janice really quick after FHE slowed down, and she really wanted us to come by on Christmas!! She said she would be home alone and just sad all day, so we're so there. Also we officially got 3 new wards today! Bonneville, Monument Park, and Foothill.
Tuesday, December 22nd:
Today we met with Adrienne, the Relief Society President of Bonneville ward. She was super nice, and the funniest thing ever was that apparently cute means active to her. As we were going through all the names in the ward list, she would say "oh and that girl's cute too. This one is totally cute. She's so cute! She comes all the time and she's so cute." Haha it got kinda weird after a while. Then we did the last exchanges of the transfer! Sister Mola and Sister Berrett came into my area! I love them, I really do. It's just that Sister Berrett likes to take over even when it's not her area, and has to know exactly what I'm texting to Sister Thetford, and it was fine. I was just in a mood where tiny things bugged me. We met with the Elders Quorum President of Bonneville today too, and his sister was there. They were super nice, and we're giving us referrals left and right! Super missionary minded family! We had a surprise investigator member present lesson today! We had a member message planned with Erickson, and he brought his nonmember friend to hear our message! She was super receptive and told him that she would like to meet with us again! Isn't that awesome!!?? Our fridge broke again and I figured that out by eating sour cream that was a litttttlle too sour hahaha. We had the Christmas devotional tonight that I was chorister for and sister Thetford was playing in like 4 times. She sight read a piece for a group! Crazy talent. It was weird being on exchanges but still being with our normal companions.
Wednesday, December 23rd: Christmas Adam! (Before Christmas eve, get it? This is a thing here)
We ended exchanges early today, so that we could go to Larry's lesson and so that they could all be there for the baptismal interview for one of their investigators. We had a good lesson with Larry where we watched the Christmas initiative and talked about how he feels about God. He says his faith is growing and he has more trust in God. The only problem with this lesson was the CHRISTMAS INITIATIVE. We had played it in Japanese for Shuhei before and it was the same video just with subtitles. We played it in Mandarin for Larry after having never seen the Mandarin version before.... I couldn't handle it. I had to stare at the floor and pinch myself so hard because I was about to start laughing so hard, and it obviously wasn't funny to him, because he could understand what they were saying. That video betrayed me. Please everyone just watch A Savior is Born video in Mandarin and try to imagine me IN A LESSON barely holding it together and about to ruin the relationship we have with an investigator by laughing at the language he holds dear. We had a district lunch today too! We had abelskivers(sp?), which Elder Woolsey made so that they were kind of full of uncooked batter but that's okay! He also made homemade syrup and it was like eating straight candy. It was a pretty amazing district lunch, and sister Thetford couldn't eat any of it HAHAHAHA (That's a terrible thing to laugh at. Sorry sister Thetford!). We also had district caroling tonight and went to Elder Holland's house. He wasn't there but it was worth a shot.
Thursday, December 24th: Christmas Eve!
We had an awesome brunch with Dallis today! You know I love Dallis, she's the best! She made me put cream cheese on an English muffin, it was terrifying. Lol just kidding it was fine, but apparently that's a normal thing? Sister Thetford didn't see anything weird about it. We then had district meeting, where we exchanged secret Santa gifts and I got the most amazing gift from Leo, and I got a TON of Christmas cards! Thanks so much everyone! We mostly brought gifts and treats to investigators and less active people until 5, when we went to the YSA potluck. And then I got to Skype Mom, Dad, and Ayden, and have Leo on speaker! It was so great!! I was worried it would take me away from the work to use Skype instead of just a phone call, but it was totally fine after. It was good that I was busy and got to go straight to caroling at an old folks home with the potluck. Sister Holcomb was there too! She seemed a little annoyed at everyone for some reason... She kept saying that she just wanted a car and that she needed a car, but there's no reason she would have a car because she's not leadership, language, or YSA (they were invited to the potluck because they live right next to the mission office). She was just kinda mean to the old people at the home...So there's my rant for the day! I need to get over it, I'm sure she was having a bad day. BUT BUT BUT at caroling this old man kept interrupting while we were singing to say that he wanted to steal the young ladies for a Christmas present, and it was funny until he kept saying it and started threatening to take our keys and lock us in the building, and saying that he would punch the elders if they got in his way. Soooooo we left haha. But then we were locked in!! And he was coming for us and the elders formed a blockade in front of us, and when we were finally buzzed out we had to close the fence on him and he started climbing the fence! All in all it was kinda funny, scary, and just kinda super sad. What a way to spend Christmas eve on the mission ;)
Friday, December 25th: Christmas!!!
We had breakfast this morning at Bishop Millett's house, bishop of the Hillside ward. It's kinda awkward sitting on the edge of a family celebration where they're all opening gifts and have little kids and their own traditions, but it was great! Sister Millett got us scarves and socks and they're super nice! And breakfast was way good, and a super treat start to Christmas. We came home and opened presents, THANK THANK THANK THANK THANK YOU BY THE WAY. Basically I was freaking out the whole time opening presents. I'll send the time-lapse in a separate email and you can slow it down, but we took some screenshots that we like :) the pajama pants (that I would totally wear as regular pants) and the amazingly beautiful purse and the custom stationary?! Life is good, and I have the best family ever! :):):) after that we visited Emily, a girl who was all by herself for Christmas in the central 2nd ward. She seemed super down, and I feel like our visit didn't do anything. But she was kind and she seemed a little brighter while we were there. We just really worry about her when she's just alone with her thoughts, because her thoughts don't seem to like her. We went straight to the Institute building after that so that sister Thetford could Skype her family! So sweet :) they asked me questions and i was like lol what? If my daughter was on a mission I wouldn't care to talk to her companion! You only get 40 minutes! Haha but I guess when this is your 3rd time calling home, it gets pretty chill. We visited Janice after that and watched the testaments with her. Her cat is so sweet, and she's really struggling with the fact that her cat probably needs to be put down. It's so sad! We had dinner with Rosemary and her sisters and that was so fun! She had contacted our moms to ask what we always eat for Christmas dinner, so she made Sister Thetford an almond loaf and told me that she was going to make cinnamon rolls if I came over for breakfast, but we already had plans (she invited us that morning and everything! She's so sweet!) and they involved eating cinnamon bread at a different breakfast so hah! After that we tried to carol Elder Holland again with our district, but he wasn't home :(. So we headed off to zone caroling and had a grand old time spreading Christmas cheer for all to hear.
My new purse!
Too much excitement in this picture Smiling face with open mouth and cold sweat
I think this was her reading the card I gave her 
Timelapse captures dance moves. Noted.
After companion presents :)
Okay so I don't feel like writing anymore.
Here's the highlights: 
  • tonight (Sunday) we had a pass off lesson with the zone leaders and Thomas, a new investigator we inherited. Here's a direct quote from Elder Haight (Who already is known to be kind of a TV preacher with  his intense speeches and Elder Siebert and I are always dying laughing and trying to keep it together during lessons and zone meetings): "Thomas, I can promise you that the Lord will lead you, and he will guide you. Thomas (we were just waiting for it at this point), he'll walk beside you!(Does he stop there? No) He'll teach you all that you must do, so that you can live with Him.... Someday." I can't tell you how many times I had to pinch myself to keep from laughing (for anyone who didn't grow up in primary at church, please go look up the primary song 'I am a child of God'. It's the most common one that you learn in primary :))
  • Two sacrament meetings were combined this morning and they were 2 of our new wards, so we went! The bishop of one of them comes up to us with arms outstretched and says, "Sisters! You're allowed to hug Bishops right?" He looked so disappointed when we said no and he had to awkwardly put his hands down. Soooooo funny!
  • We took Larry to a baptism and we took Amanda to Savior of the World yesterday! It was such a good day :)