Our Christmas was so random and so great! We started out having breakfast at our wonderful Stake President Craig's house and it was so fun to be with the other missionaries! I had a blast talking about competitive cheer with Sister Craig and their two daughters who are doing it! One of the random parts of our day was when we went home to "open presents" ( which I had none because I accidentally opened mine on Sunday night and the night before-whoops!) and I looked up at Hermana Sticklin and I told her how much fun I was having with her and how happy I was but how guilty I felt because the other missionaries didn't look like they were having that much fun that morning! Why are we so happy?? We called ourselves to repentance and made a list of ways we could be more obedient and be better missionaries. I was like crying because I was so conflicted. I know how ridiculous this sounds, believe me! We ended up calling President Andersen about it and he just started laughing and asked us if we were teaching lessons..yes..if we felt close to Christ...yes...he then told us that our whole mission isn't going to be like this- it's going to get harder and we're going to have other companions that we don't get along as well with and so we should be enjoying our happiness while it lasted! He told us that the adversary will be sending us trials soon so we need to appreciate this time where we just feel so at peace and happy with everything. President spoke a little too soon because an hour after our call we walked into the Kinley's home for Christmas dinner and the dog they were watching bit Hermana Stricklin! It was so scary turning around and seeing this German Sheperd clenching onto her thigh! The Kinely's felt horrible and covered her hand and thigh in tea tree oil. We got to talk to our families right after which made us feel 1000% better!
I had SO much fun talking to my family! I have the best family ever! It was such a treat to see little baby Gwen for the first time! I can't wait to have her in my arms! I especially l loved watching my nephew Connor walking across the screen in his underwear- best kid ever! Once I realized I only had a few minutes left on Skype I lost it and started blubbering- I don't ever remember what I was telling them! I love my family and am so grateful for their love and support!
We had little Christmas party with Sister Carlisle afterwards and it was marvelous! She cooked a lovely dinner and we played charades and did a white elephant gift exchange with the other missionaries! I am so grateful for the members here that take care of us and make us feel so loved!
We had 4 investigators at church on Sunday and it was awesome! We had our friend Jesus come but in exchange we had to go to Catholic Mass with him afterwards. The Catholic chapel here is so so pretty! I have never been to mass before so it was definitely something new! A lot of standing and kneeling! I think that the Catholic church is beautiful and I appreciate their traditional beliefs. While we were sitting there I was so grateful to know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the true church and the Spirit confirmed that to me while we were there. One of the priests there was just visiting for the day and he was so nice. He knew about our church and thanked us for the work that we do and wished us luck.
One cool story I wanted to share was actually about Jesus and his roommates. So, we've been teaching Jesus and his roommates Leopoldo and Alsombro. We went on Christmas eve to sing them a song and wish them a Feliz Navidad and this guy I have never seen before answered the door. He invited us in to sing and I looked down at his hand confused- then he looked up and asked who we were- when he told him he was like "That's so weird! I just picked up this little booklet about something called the Plan of Salvation, is that from your church?" And we were like yaaaaaaa! He said he always asks his roommates what the Book of Mormon is and they never tell him! Those little punks! We sat down and explained what it was, gave him a copy for himself and left him with Alma 7 to read about Christ's birth and the Atonement. He took the book and went straight to his room to read it! We had a follow up appointment yesterday and it went great, he loves the Book of Mormon so far! He isn't religious so when we asked him why he had a desire to read the BOM he said because he wants happiness and for some reason he feels like he'll get it from this book. Fermine is so amazing!
I got a bit of a cold going on so I've had a rough time getting up and staying out all day. It's so hard being sick as a missionary because you really need time to sleep and get better but there is no time! I've been pushing myself the last few days to just make it through the days but I finally wore myself out and we went in at 6 last night and I just slept forever. It's so frustrating being sick because I would much rather be out visiting with people I love here!!!
So, I need to tell you about our dear friend Archie. The day I moved into the apartment here I heard a tap tapping on our bedroom window. To my surprise it was a little finch. I named him Archie. I thought it was adorable that he would spend his whole day, everyday, flying from the tree branches to our window and tapping to tell us hello. Well after a few weeks, it began to be less and less cute! At one point Hermana Carrell and I were trying to sleep and all I could think of was the movie Failure to Launch and Zooey Deschanel's character! I can relate to that character so perfectly! I just want to get a BB gun and shoot little Archie- but just enough to scare him so he'll stop! But I could never do that because I would feel guilty for the rest of my life! He is such a smart bird- the second we wake up at 6:30- THE SECOND- he starts tapping away! Then he'll stop for a little while and you'll go to lay down and nap during lunch and the second he realizes you're trying to sleep he'll start tapping away! Does anyone know why birds do this? I think he's just a little coo coo! We opened our window one day to see if he wanted in and he was about to fly in until he realized what was going on and backed himself up and started tapping on the other window! What does he want! I gave him bread the other day and he looked me right in the eyes, took a piece, ate it and then went right back to pecking on the window! He's crazy! I love him but he's crazy! The past couple of days he has had one feather sticking out of his head sticking straight up and he just looks so crazy! He's such a good example to me of persistence and diligence!
I am so excited for New Years! It's our only full whole day off! We will be at the Kinley's place for breakfast because they're the best and then we're watching the Disney movie "Monster's University!" Party! We're also going to the church to play games with our zone- it should be a fun day!
Well, I love all of you so much and I want you to know that I LOVE being a missionary! I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ that has been restored in it's fullness is the only thing that will bring us lasting and true happiness. The gospel is what gives us strength and hope through Jesus Christ. I know that He is our Savior and Redeemer.