Monday, December 14, 2015

"BLESS THEIR HEART!"

We went visiting teaching with Sally and Linda this week. And they taught us a cool new trick. They told us that in the South, you can give whatever insult you want, as long as you end it with "bless their heart" then it’s fine! Cool right?! And it totally works! Haha

It hit 77 degrees this week. Hopefully we can have some dreams of a white Christmas because that’s the closest we are gonna get.  haha It feels like a September in Utah this week. 

Sisters Day Out- 
The mission does an "Elders Luau" in the summer before 4th of July and for Christmas the sisters have a "Sister’s Day Out" activity. IT’S SO FUN TO ALL BE TOGETHER! President and Sister Wakolo got called last minute to an unscheduled meeting in SLC so they weren't there. But they let Jasmin miss school so she could be with us! We started out with a service project. We packed 10,000 bags of food for people in our mission.  President cleared us to listen to normal music #blessed so we got to sing and dance while we packed the food. We did a little "just dance" activity, and even the AP's and "helper elders" were good sports and did it with us!  haha We ate lunch, did crafts and went caroling to the rest homes nearby. Classic sister missionary stuff, and I was more exhausted by the end of it than I am on a normal day but it was so fun to be with everyone. It’s like getting together with family. 
ALL HERMANAS TOGETHER
 
SISTER'S SERVICE PROJECT
SISTER MATHISON
We stayed the night in Little Rock with the Hermanas there from Monday-Wednesday. Tuesday after the sister’s activity we all blitzed Little Rock area. I went teaching with Sister Tester. We had a super cool experience. with a gal that has been a gator for some time now. When she opened the door she started to drop us. But before she could get it all out her car alarm went off. She ran out and took care of it and once she finally got back she lost her train of thought apparently and started asking questions. Long story short by the time we left, 25 minutes later, she committed to attend church that week, said we could bring a member by next week to meet her, and told us that if her car is ever in the drive way that we could stop by. ha ha if God can move mountains he certainly can set off car alarms ;) 
 
HERMANA'S SLEEPOVER
(MESSAGE TRAIN)
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Christmas Devotional- 
It’s been a good minute since all of Arkansas side has gotten together so I can't begin to explain how fun it is to have us all together! It’s one big family. We started with the devotional part. President Busbea and the AP's led us in a discussion about the Atonement. We ate a big lunch, we played a game with gifts, and had a talent show! President and Sister Wakolo walked in right towards the end of the talent show. We were so excited to have them home! It’s like mom and dad being gone from the Christmas Party! So turns out this is where he went; He was 1 of the 6 mission presidents called in the world to have a training session with Elder Bednar, Elder Oaks, Elder Anderson and Elder Nelson. The 4 apostles with 6 mission presidents and their wives recorded a training video to train all the other mission presidents in the world. So basically President Wakolo is the top dog. We can't wait for President to be an apostle one day =) And then for the last activity we watched “The Cokeville Miracle”. Such a fun day. I love the mission.

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Christmas Branch Party-
In the last month we have been doing some planning with branch council of what we should do for the Christmas party. It was decided that we would do a "Tell Me The Stories of Jesus" program. It’s something we've really been looking forward to because of course the normal Christmas traditions that we all are used to are now gone, and so to be able to attend a "church Christmas party" was familiar to me! We showed up an hour early to set up and we walked into our tinsy cultural hall with empty tables and chairs set up. No lights, no tinsel, not even table cloths. I asked President Hall if he needed us to run to the store and pick up some things, and he said "nope! We are leaving it like this!" 

Okay so I'm embarrassed to admit that this was what was running through my head at this point...well first off it made me homesick, I had a slight moment of being annoyed that I was in this tiny branch that didn't even put bright red table cloths on their tables! I was embarrassed for investigators to walk into an undecorated room for a Christmas party and I was mad that it didn't "feel like Christmas" yes I know. How bratty right? 

So people started to show up, including a little girl we are trying to teach and her family!! This was an absolute miracle. And a member brought 3 of her best friends from the Baptist church with her. Another miracle. (Afterwards one of them told us we should come over sometime!) We all ate tons of sugary desserts and enjoyed an amazing Christmas program. Members of the ward council all told their favorite stories of Jesus. We did a nativity activity in Spanish which was perfect because the same little girl and her siblings participated and her mom got to see! We and the kiddos all sang "Noche de Luz" together. President Hall showed the church's Christmas videos and nativity scenes, we sang, watched music videos of Christmas songs. It was all centered in Christ and it was perfect. The spirit of Christmas took on a whole new meaning. It is a bit embarrassing that it took me 20 years to figure it out. I was warned numerous times that this Christmas would be "different" in an amazing way. It certainly "felt like Christmas" in a different yet incredible way. 
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RICKY -GREATEST GUY
(HE'S THE ONE WHO MAKES US PIES!)

So we had an amazing experience on Saturday! When we went and taught our investigator, we walked through the baptismal interview questions and he was so ready! We had his baptism all set for Sunday and he was super excited. His interview was scheduled for 9:00 am before church. Aaaaand.....he never showed up. Wouldn't answer the phone either. M.I.A. We were soo bummed! That feeling of pure disappointment we know all too well but it still hurts the same every time. We went and saw him after church and turns out he had a family member in the hospital last minute so he had to go there. We were able to reschedule his date and all is well again. It’s actually real cool because as many of those disappointments we have, which is pretty much daily, I only really remember the good stuff. I remember having disappointments but I don't really remember the details. Atonement wipes away the bad days. Just happy to be a missionary! Even when your baptism doesn't show up..ha..ha..

So transfers..EVERY SINGLE HERMANA IS GETTING SWITCHED UP. MAC AND I ARE OUT! Danville is being whitewashed! So is Russellville and Little Rock! And a new Hermana area is opening in Memphis and Monticello is closing! THIS IS CRAZY!!!! We were the last to get a call so we thought that everyone else was switching and we were staying, but nope. :( We are crushed. I thought for sure I had another one here. I feel like there is so much unfinished business. I'm extremely sad to leave the members and investigators! I feel like we just barely got things going! I just pray and pray and pray that I made the difference here that I needed to. So so sad. As of right now I'm staying  on Arkansas side which means I'll either go to little rock or back to Russellville! It's super sad to all be switching up right before Christmas :( I really do love it here! :( Ahhh! So unexpected!! I don't feel ready to leave. Also I can't really bring myself to start packing. I don't know if I'm in denial or if I'll get a last minute call telling me I'm staying. President goes to the temple today and usually finalizes things after that. So who knows I could get another call later today or tomorrow morning.  And I don't want to leave Mac!! I think I’ve already said this like a million times but Mac is seriously so hilarious. Not in the out loud way, she is super quiet most of the time but then everything she says is just pure gold. Haha I love her. We've had a lot of fun together and I'm sad to leave her :( 
TRANSFERS :(
Looking back I think the thing that has been the most successful this transfer was getting members more involved and finding part member families. We have 7 part member families we've been working with which is awesome! Cute little Danville will be missed! :'( 
 
LAST DISTRICT PICTURE TOGETHER
Don't send any mail to Danville anymore! I'll get my address to y'all when I know. 

Love y'all 
Les quiero 
LOOK WHO WE GOT TO HAVE DINNER WITH!!! ESPINOZAS!
(ON OUR WAY TO LITTLE ROCK WE ALL STOPPED IN RUSSELLVILLE FOR DINNER WITH DANIELA, JAMIE AND ELIZABETH!)
12 DAYS OF NATIVITY

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