It has been so long since I emailed last so I hope i can remember everything!
Christmas week was a blast. It was so fun to spend time with the ward members, other missionaries, and really being able to focus on Christ. My favorite part was being able to buy Christmas for a family the Zone Leaders are teaching. About a week before Christmas I received a letter from a friend with money in it to bless someone that I loved. I talked with Sister Bartsch about it and we couldn't think of anything that really sounded great to us. It was the day before Christmas Eve and we still hadn't used the money. We called the Zone Leaders to see if they had any ideas and that is when they told us about their family. It is family of 8, six kids and the parents. We met up with them at the mall and decided what we were going to get for each person. We decided to get a present and then a stocking for every person. It was so fun to go around the mall for someone we knew would appreciate anything for Christmas. We got about half of the shopping done the night before Christmas Eve. Then we met back up the next morning to finish shopping. By the end of shopping we had more money from other people in the ward and we were also able to buy the family a big Christmas dinner. It was the best! We took everything to the church and wrapped it all up, stuffed stockings, and then loaded it into the car.
At the mall before shopping
We followed the Zone Leaders over to their apartment and had the opportunity to meet this family. They are wonderful. I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to help this family and really help them feel of the love that Heavenly Father has for them. He really is mindful of every person's needs.
Christmas was the best! I absolutely LOVE talking with the family and being able to see y'alls faces! I am so glad i got to talk with Harrison about his mission. My family is amazing.
Pickles in my stocking...of course.
The day after Christmas is hard. It is hard to be focused and most people are still recovering from Christmas. We were glad to survive that day.
New Years was another good day! That evening we had a great dinner appointment and then went and met up with the Elders to set goals for the zone this month. We aren't allowed to do fireworks so we bought sparklers instead and had fun with those. For the rest of the night we had to be inside. Everyone here buys their own fireworks including the church. They set them off around 10 and we were able to watch them from our bedroom window. Then we stayed up and watched Legacy. We stayed up long enough to say happy new years and then went to sleep. The next morning came too soon.
Attempt at MJM
Happy New Year!
New Years day we had MLC and we were able to celebrate a bit in the mission home. That was a ton of fun. We played games and then had sparkling cider. We even counted down again just make it seem real haha it was fun!
Sis Barsch and Me
On our way home from MLC
Russell is doing well! We taught him the stop smoking workshop this week and is doing well! We pushed his baptism back a week so we didn't feel so rushed. We are just about finished with his lessons. He came to church two Sunday's ago but missed this past week. Hopefully we can help him see the importance of church. We have taught it to him multiple times and it isn't really sticking.
We dropped Zac. He was just wanting to know answers to anti-questions and it wasn't a good use of our time. We gave him this website for him to look up his answers so hopefully that will give him what he is looking for: fairmormon.org.
Sister Bartsch and I have been talking with each other and looking at past records. This area does not baptize investigators found while tracting. We baptize those who are member referrals. So we talked with president about it and are going to spend way more time with members and less time tracting. We are only going to tract when we are actually look for people instead of tracting just to get our 7 hours. Sunday we decided that we were going to tract but wanted to make it more effective. So we did inspired tracting. We prayed. I picked 10 streets on the map, then we each picked 5 of those streets. The ones that match we tracted. The last house on the street was a young family who let us right in. Single mom with four kids. Two boys and two girls. The girls were adorable and loved having us there. We had the opportunity to teach the entire Restoration and the spirit was so strong. She wanted to read the Book of Mormon and so we have another appointment this upcoming week. It was the best to be able to see an answer to prayer so quickly. We will never tract in Oak Grove again unless it is inspired tracting.
I am so grateful for this life and the opportunity i have to be a missionary! It is really has been the best thing i could do to prepare for the rest of my life!
Sister Garry (second from the left) finished her mission. I will miss her!
We were all trained at the same time in the Texarkana Zone