REMEMBER WHY WE CELEBRATE :)
By the time we went to transfer meeting we pretty much had it figured out that we both were going to Russellville together, but I didn't want to get my hopes up just in case. We were a little surprised because 2 of the Hermanas went to English areas, so they are zebra now. And we were replaced in Danville by English elders (which is kind of hilarious because our apartments was super sistery-ish haha) . Anywho, lots of changes but we guessed right and Mac and I are in Russellville together for the transfer! =) CHRISTMAS MIRACLE!
GOODBYES IN DANVILLE
LEANNE AND ELI
Also fun side note, the Spanish Elders in the district are Elder Moore...and Elder Moore. 3 Moore's in one district. Crazy right? But what makes this even funnier....when I came to the field in April, Carson sent me a letter to the mission office and they forwarded it to the wrong Moore..Elder Moore got it instead..and read it. haha and now it’s coming back to haunt me because he is my district leader now. Good stuff.
It’s taken a few days to catch up to speed with new investigators and even the ones I knew, just trying to contact everyone, introduce them to Mac and see where everyone is at. But the members are the same and amazing. It's a little bit like I never left now that I'm home haha. Back to sports night, getting fed :), my favorite people. The work is still going super good here. For sacrament we got to sing in the choir for the Christmas program. It was the Spanish branch and English ward combined. This place has grown so much it’s insane. Less active members returning, members still going strong. We had 2 investigators come! The ward is super involved with the work and are helping us out lots. They were excited to have me back, which is awesome because I don't think they will ever know how much I love all of them. We sat up front for the choir program so I got a good view of everyone and I truly have so much love for the people here. It’s overwhelming.
CAROLING WITH THIS FUN BUNCH.
THESE LADIES ARE A HOOT. LOTS OF GIGGLES AND BROMAS!
I think the most exciting part about being back is watching recent converts excel.
Quick updates on a few:
Daniela is now the Second Counselor in Relief Society! She and Jamie both have been helping us with the work! In fact tonight Daniela is going teaching with us! They've been introducing us to some of their friends and giving us referrals. Jamie also sent missionaries to his sister in Mexico! So so cool. The day I watch this family get sealed will be the best day ever.
Amber- She is having a baby girl in March! AHH! She, Jake and the fam are actually going to be in Utah for Christmas with Jake's family! There is just a new light to her. She's different in an amazing way. The day I watch this family get sealed will also be the best day ever.
I'll probably have to book the flight back to Arkansas before I even get home from the mish. haha
Grace- We saw her a lot this last weekend! Since she has been baptized in May she and her mom have taken 400 names to the temple. They both are super involved in Family History and Grace's mom is Zach's Sunday school teacher. They've taken him in so well and Zach loves going to her class. Grace wants to serve a mission someday as well.
DINNER WITH GRACE AND KATIE
LUNCH AT FREDDOS WITH GRACE AND ELAINE
Zach- I mentioned him getting the priesthood last week I think? Well actually it happened this week! I got to be here for it! He was ordained a deacon! And he has been bringing his friend to church with him! He is amazing. This family is incredibly special. Zach has made a lot of friends in the ward and the ward is taking real good care of him.
OH HOW I'VE MISSED THIS NINO! COCO :)
LIZZY WROTE ME THIS NOTE WHEN I LEFT!
Seeing all these changes makes me so incredibly grateful for the Atonement. The power it gives us to change. To get rid of old habits, old lifestyles, old perspectives and become new. That no matter how far away someone’s life may be from God, we can always be "reconciled" with Him through the Atonement of Christ. I think that is one of my most favorite parts about being a missionary. Watching the Atonement change lives as they really come to know Christ through the FULNESS of His gospel. Including mine. Missionaries don't change lives, the gospel they preach does.
I love in 2 Corinth. 5:
17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become enew.
18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
I'm excited to celebrate the birth, life and Atonement of our Savior.
I hope everyone has a great Christmas! Remember why we celebrate :)
We will be celebrating by studying Christ’s birth and enjoying a Christmas breakfast, 2 lunches, and dinner with members so maybe I should just spend next Christmas here too :)