So I am so sorry for the lack of an email to all y'all for the past few weeks.. or well... pretty lame short ones. Anywho. In all honesty Missionary work was super down hill during the Holidays. No one was home... or if they were home... well they were home with their families and wanted to spend time with them :) We were kinda like the back up to a back up plan for people. Fun I know. So on Christmas it was pretty great. In the morning we went to the Burningham's. They are an awesome stellar family; that just is awesome, I don't know how to even describe them. They are super busy though. Sister Burningham is the Relief Society President, and Brother Burningham is the assistant ward clerk and a Dentist!!! They do a ton in their days. But anywho, they invited us over for Christmas Morning and they got us stockings with toothbrushes, and toothpaste, and floss. Don't worry everyone I will have good dental hygiene for the next... well really long time. I could make an awesome floss ladder with all the floss I got for Christmas this year :)
While we were at the Burningham's, Sister Thomson played her viola! She plays it awesome!!! She doesn't realize how well she plays! I wish I knew how to play a string instrument, but at the same time... I don't mind just sitting in the crowd listening and being filled with de spirit :) Sister Burningham's older sister was there for Christmas as well. She is a pretty awesome lady as well. She was telling us how she and her husband just got a job with Hershey in Pennsylvania and how they have like a boarding school there for kids who want to have a better life than the one that their family can or is giving them. How hard it is that it is a completely religious free schooling area? So they have to be really careful on what they say to the kids because they can get fired if they share their beliefs. But she told us how neat it is to work with kids that want a change in their life. They want something better. They are actually motivated. It's sad that they aren't allowed a Religious aspect of things. They go to a "non-denominational" sermon type thing on Sundays. But it just isn't the same, as being filled with light. But hey, at least they have Something!
After the Burningham's we headed over to the Crockett's to make phone calls home. Funny thing that happened! Skype CRASHED!! well... everything crashed at their house. and they even have like their own internet connection system. So it was weird. Like none of the missionaries were supposed to call home at that time. So I did get to call home though so that was pretty great :) I got to hear Cindy and half of the families updates on stuff. I was kinda just soaking it all in. Not really saying anything. I didn't really know what to say. But I do know that I love my family and that they love me, and that even though I didn't get to talk to all of them that I hope they know that I love them very much! All of my family! They are a blessing to my life, that I have not yet come to fully appreciate or understand. They have taught me so much about different aspects of the gospel. Change is an awesome thing. So Christmas was pretty fun, not as fun as back home because there was no fireplace... :) but there were pretty cool missionaries: Elder Simmons, Dean, Raffensparger, and Hughes. As well as the Missionary Couple: Beagley's. and the Crockett's are pretty cool. The Crockett's bought us presents as well they are such giving people. They do so much for us missionaries.
Christmas should be remembered all through the year. In our hearts. A forever giving. What can we give to another, what can I change to become better; who can I be a friend too? It's a forever changing process. We need to remember Christ all year long. Not just twice a year. Easter and Christmas. Not just on Sundays. But always in all things that people do. I guess I don't blame others for not remembering Christ all year long. I know that before my mission it didn't even register in my mind. But when we make an effort to see Christ and God working in our lives Oh how we are blessed or more happy are we. We can see that God does really care about us and what we go through. He cares about the little things. Because they matter to us. God is our loving Heavenly Father - I have learned of his character here on my mission. Who he really is to me. Who Christ is to me. Who others are to me. I have never asked a 'What If' question since deciding this Gospel was true. I do ask the questions of Who, Where, and Why. But these questions bring me closer to God. because they are something I sincerely want to answer and understand. They don't always come in the way I want them too. Like a billboard, or a spiritual shovel to the head. But I learn it the way God knows that I will remember and grow from it.
Another Experience I had.. Was on New Years day. because we didn't do anything on New Years Eve... well we did, but learning how to play pokemon on my mission doesn't really sound like a thing that needs to be shared. :) Oh but we did find out where everyone was going for Transfers. At least one person in each companionship was leaving in our zone. Except Sister Thomson and I we are the only one that isn't changing. Sister Sholle is leaving (she is our STL) and guess who is replacing her? Sister Richards!!!!!! My Mother!!! (aka my trainer). AAHHH!!!! I totally guessed it too. I just knew that she was coming here. I don't know why. But she is an amazing missionary and this area needs her. Anywho, we found out where everyone was going and then we headed home because we weren't allowed to stay up all night as we thought we could (we stayed out till 10!) Sooo on New Years was P-day because Transfers was the next day. We did all of the usual stuff, but we knew that everyone was leaving. So it was a bit sad... But also all of the Libraries and such places were closed as well. Soooo... yeah. Anywho, For our last P-day together with everyone we watched "Ephraims Rescue". Such a good movie. 17 Miracles is pretty awesome too. But it just was something special to watch "Ephraim's Rescue". After the Movie was over, Sister Reed and Sholle were going through their messages that they received during the movie and they found some pretty devastating news to end their transfer on. One of their Investigators dropped them, and another lady in the ward that they had been visiting every week for two transfers had died. They didn't know how, or why. But things have just gone so down hill these past few weeks that all emotions went loose. It was a very emotional moment. The Elders stood awkwardly there because they can't really give any comfort... I myself am not very good at comforting people, I'm still kind of an awkward person around emotions. It still isn't my strong point, but I discovered something as I tried my best to comfort them. The importance of Love. I have learned while I have been out here, how to look into peoples eyes. To see what is on the inside. It's kinda freaky sometimes, when it happens. I can't remember what I said or talked about. but I knew that I discovered something about Love. Wonders and miracles happen with the key which is love. Charity. Embrace it. To truly know and understand it and to be able to give/show it to others you must understand and know how it applies in your life. De love that our Heavenly Father has for you, me, and everyone. Love is the Key to figuring things out and making it work. God loved us so much that he found out a way for us to be able to return to him. As you give love, You must learn how to accept it as well. God loves us, but we must learn how to accept it or understand it. Love is such a complicated yet simple thing. It has boggled my mind forever. I know it is important. Just getting that through my head is the hard part.
So that is how this Transfer ended. In tears and learning different things.
This new Transfer is something different and amazing. The different part is that our phone has been having problems. So we decided that it was time to get a new one... unfortunately they decided to deactivate and send our activated phone in the mail to us. It was supposed to arrive last Saturday... It still hasn't come... SOOO having no phone is awesome! NOT! you don't realize how much you use it until it is GONE! This is why I cherish our car now, because I don't want it to go away. It's flipping cold out here, but there is no snow. But the amazing thing about this Transfer is the difference in the Spirit. With the new Missionaries. This area received the powerhouse of missionaries, and you can feel it. We had our first district meeting on Saturday (two days after Transfers) I saw Sister Richards for the first time.... in oh such a long time!! It was wonderful seeing her. The Spirit that was in that meeting was awesome. It is going to be a good Transfer. I just need to learn how to change to follow with this spirit. I have lost all things and I am ready to gain new. It has been a struggle this last transfer, but I am ready for a change. But it's gunna be a hecka lot of work.
My Motto for this time is: You haven't failed until you quit trying; Live, laugh, love, llamas!
I love you all. I pray for each of you. I hope you are all doing well. Be good!!!