It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
Happy late Thanksgiving! I hope Thanksgiving was good wherever you were. It has been funny, back home most people put up Christmas decorations after Thanksgiving and for the most part that is true here but there has been a good amount of people that put up decorations before Thanksgiving. I thought it was a bit strange but I'm loving the Holiday spirit. It makes me miss home more than last year but I'm not trunky. Christmas will definitely be a bitter sweet day this year. :)
It was another good week here in Ephraim. Exchanges on Monday went really well. Elder Isbell and I had a blast teaching together. My favorite lessons was to a group of people at a drug rehab center. The gospel has a way of brightening the darkest of places and giving hope to the hopeless. Tuesday we went and had lunch at a pizza place in Mt. Pleasant. We went back to the back and I made my won pizza. It was a first for me and it turned out really good. The mission and especially being a missionary in Utah opens doors to so many fun things I've never done.
One thing I did miss out on was our lesson with R______. Supposedly it didn't go too well and the lesson was off the topic I had planned on Elder H and Elder Niumatalolo talking about. He is a cunning man that's for sure. Today we are going to have Bishop Wheeler accompany us as our fellow shipper. I can't wait to teach with him! He was more than happy to go with us- he is just the greatest guy. Only in Utah do you get on a first name basis with emeritus seventy. :)
Our lesson with C____ took longer than I thought it would on Wednesday. We had to explain the word of wisdom and C____ had some reservations about it. The lesson ended well but I'm praying he will be ready for his baptism on Saturday. We taught him last night and tithing seems to be the straw that broke the camel's back. He said that it is impossible to pay all his bills, send money to his children in Mexico, and to help out his parents. We read with him the scripture in Malachi about the Lord opening the windows of heaven and pouring out enough blessings that he couldn't receive them all but right now he doesn't have the faith the Lord will keep his promise. It really makes me sad because that is the only thing holding him back. Please keep him in your prayers. I also saw Elder Brown and his family on Wednesday. They were coming through the mission to see everywhere Elder Brown (Jason) served. It was ironic to see him in the area he trained me in. I just love being a missionary!
Thanksgiving was a good day. I felt weird because we were not supposed to knock doors but that is all I'm used to. It felt strange and foreign to be a missionary but not be out doing missionary things. The Christiansens had family come down for Thanksgiving so it was different to share our living space and come home to people watching things in the theater area but it was just fine. I think Elder H____ was more fazed by it than I was. The mission is all about learning to be flexible and rolling with the punches. Since we couldn't have normal lessons, out of the seven or so offers to have Thanksgiving dinner we decided to eat with part member families. It worked out really well and we were stuffed in the process. That evening we had a district activity. I suggested we do it at the institute building and it was a lot of fun. We played basketball, pool, air hockey, ping pong, and dodge ball. That was probably the best part of Thanksgiving. I have had a lot of fun with the elders in our district. There are a few I hope will stay lifelong friends.
On Saturday CJ got baptized and I had the privilege to confirm him. It was a really great baptism and I cannot wait to see him grow and one day serves a mission. He did a solo and sang Nephi's courage. He is fearless in being a beacon unto his family and friends. He is a very special kid.
Things have gotten better with Elder H. We had a long talk on Wednesday and he has begun to keep the rules of the mission and made the resolve to finish out his mission striving to be obedient. It has been really great. I've grown to understand him better and to know where he is coming from. Thanks mom and mom #2 for the advice. :) Make it a great week and enjoy the Holiday season! Vaya con Dios!
Soli deo glorial,
(Greek for "to God alone be the glory")
A few weeks ago we got a referral to teach Pamela Anderson then on Sunday we got a referral to teach Scarlett Johansen. Who knew movie stars live in Ephraim? ;)