I got to see my beautiful family's faces this week! I love skyping :) I hope you all had an amazing Christmas! It's never too late to give Christ a gift this Christmas season :) I want to thank you all for the amazing gifts and cards I received for Christmas. I felt so spoiled and I really appreciate all that you do for me. I can feel your prayers and your love. One of the most touching things I heard while talking with my family was about my little nieces and family who pray for me each night. Thank you. I know the Lord hears your prayers and I can feel the strength each day. So Christmas was basically amazing. I got to play "And it Came to Pass", eat two breakfasts, play pool with an awesome family, and talk to my own friends and family. The rest of the week was equally as amazing. We had many lessons this week. Unfortunately we found out today that Chris, our investigator who was planning on baptism on January 8th, left for Virginia to visit for the holidays and won't be back for two weeks. We're not sure if he'll come back at all, honestly, and we have no way to contact him. Things happen... I just hope we're able to find him and continue to help him. He was progressing so much! And he was so much happier! But things do happen. Luckily we were able to contact a couple of people who want us to start teaching them! I'm so excited! These people referred themselves and have requested our visit, so I'm very hopeful for some new people to teach!
We had our mission-wide Christmas party on Wednesday. I got to play my flute and practice for my performance on New Year's Eve at the D.C. Temple Visitors Center! It went pretty well and I'm excited for that event! I also got to help out a less-active who was desperate for some help for Christmas. I gave her a few skirts to give to her daughter for Christmas, so she'd have something to wear for church. Hopefully she enjoys them. Being able to give this Christmas was the best gift I was given. It's so much nicer to see the joy that comes into another's life when service is rendered.
It's been 75 degrees here... and constant rain, but I'm still loving it! It's cooling down a little today, but it should heat right back up. If we just skip winter this year, I'll be SO happy ha-ha. I can have snow next year ;) I hope you're all enjoying it enough for me.
I had the opportunity to speak in Sacrament meeting yesterday. My topic was "line upon line, precept upon precept". I think I did fairy well. I just hope the people who were listening listened to the impressions of the Spirit and had many take-a-ways from the meeting. All of the lessons at church went together so well, and it was a very uplifting day at church. I'd like to share with you a couple of quotes I used in my talk:
"It's never too early and it's never too late to begin this important process." -Elder Foster
"God will take you as you are at this very moment and begin to work with you. All you need is a willing heart, a desire to believe, and trust in the Lord." - Pres. Utchdorf
I talked a lot about growth and how the Gospel really is a process of growth. There is no end to our life and we can constantly progress. Of course, I related my talk to gymnastics (don't judge (; ). I talked about how, just like a coach didn't expect my 3 year old self to do back flips, God doesn't expect us to be any more than we are right now. He can see our potential, just like I could see potential in my athletes, and He wants us to improve, but He doesn't expect us to do it right away. Line upon line and precept upon precept (Isaiah 28:10). He'll take us as we are and work with us. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is like riding a bike uphill. You are either pedaling, working and pushing hard to progress, and you're moving forward, uphill, and towards our Father in Heaven, or you're relaxing. You're rolling backwards, downhill, and farther from our Father. It even takes work to stay where you are. We cannot be stagnant in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That's not His plan. Just like I challenged the congregation on Sunday, I want to challenge you all to start now. Start where you are and work uphill. Pedal on. Little by little, you'll get closer to your Father in Heaven. Say your prayers; read your scriptures; go to church. It all starts at the basics. I love you all and I hope you have an AMAZING New Years! 2016 will be the best year yet! There's so much in store for each and every one of us! Live it up and change people's lives! <3 you!
Quote of the Week: "Well done thou good and faithful servant." Quote #2: "As you submit your will to God, you are giving Him the only thing you can actually give Him that is yours to give."
Scripture of the Week: D&C 121:7-9
My planners I made.
We made breakfast casserole in our pjs.
And had Martinelli's.
I got to see Mary, the most adorable 60 year old with Down's syndrome.
And I got to pet a kitty after Christmas :)