This last week has been one of the craziest of my whole life.
To start, last monday, immediately after emailing and playing sports, we got home at 5:53. That means we had 7 minutes to get ready to be out the door at 6 to be obedient. I told my comp elder l that we were not gonna eat, and that God would provide something for us if we were obedient and got out of the apartment on time. We quickly changed, got the bikes, and were out the door at exactly 6. Exact obedience. The first 2 appointments of the night fell through. The member we took out with us told us to stop at her house real quick after the sets fell through. We went to her house, where her family had just cooked dinner. And they feed us a quick bowl of pazole, which happens to be straight up amazing! Then filled and warmed we went out to work the rest of the night, and got to talk to lots of people. Exact obedience came before that miracle, and when we count on God, he always comes through for us. Thats how to teach a new missionary obedience.
Then on tuesday we had a super good lesson with beti. She wants to be baptized so bad, she just has a problem with work and being able to come to church. But she is reading the book of mormon on her own and has prayed about it, and knows it is true. We promised that if she put the spriritual things first in her life, that God would make up the difference, and make it possible for her to come to church.
On wednesday, we went caroling. That was super fun. We did it all night, went around to different investigators and recent converts and less actives. It was one of the coolest things to see how caroling honestly touched the hearts of so many people. It brings a special spirit, and it was so cool.
Then on christmas, we went running in the morning, then had our studies, then opened presents. Loved all the gifts, loved the pics from uncle j and crew, loved the ping pong paddles from T and the Boise State Jersey. For real, i got the best friends and family in the world. Then i got to skype with the family, which happened to be the best part of all of christmas. We then got together as a zone and got to watch 'the other side of heaven.' great movie, made me cry, but not a lot, but still a little bit. Then we went caroling again at night, and got to spread some more of that christmas spirit.
Now this is the real part i want to focus on. Christmas on the mission is one of the best experiences of my whole mission. This was my 2nd, and in many ways it was like the first. My favorite parts of christmas were seeing my family and caroling. Being able to make other people happy, and seeing the people i love, that is what made christmas so good. It makes me realize what really is important in life. What is important in life is the people around us. Its not the stuff, its not the location, its all about the people and relationships we have.
And that made a certain fact stand out to me more than it ever has. This Christmas was also a very sad day for me. After watching the other side of heaven, i just felt sad. It was literally like watching a whole mission flash before your eyes, and i began to realize that is what i feel like, like everything has just gone by in a flash. I started to think about why i felt so sad, and this is the reason that i came up with. On my mission, i have learned to love people like never before. I have truly fallen in love with my mission. With the people here, with the culture, with the place, with the language, with my own family, with the new family i have made here. I love my mission, my mission has been just for me. And just thinking that it really is coming to an end is sad. What made me even more sad on Christmas was i realized that i have given my whole heart to my mission. I have given my mission the one thing that i had to give, my will and my heart. And because of that, i think i am going to leave a piece of my heart here. I love it so much, i dont think im going to take everything home. I will always have a part of my heart here, i dont think all of me is every going to come home. Thats hard, but i think its ok. Because i know that life is just going to get better, there will be even more joy than i have yet seen as life continues. But im always gonna have a special place in long beach. I love it here, this place and experience has changed my life, and who I am.
Lots of people make tomales for christmas, like hundreds of them. We ate so many.
Anways, have a great week family, it was so good to see you. Have a great week, hope to see yall soon!
|This the biggest spider I have ever seen!|
|Gingerbread contest! We did the SLC temple|
|Our musical ties|
|I'm freezing here!|
|Christmas tamale anyone?|