Questions first, then I'll talk :)
Any suggestions on packaging your Christmas box? Has everything arrived OK so far? (Halloween box OK?)
So far, everything has arrived just fine, so whatever you've done before will probably work great again.
What will your schedule be like for Christmas Eve and Day?
I have no idea yet...we should find out either this week at interviews or next week at Zone Conf.
Will you just stay in or is it prime teaching time?
I'm fairly sure that ON Christmas day we stay in, but I'm not sure on the details or on either of the days surrounding Christmas. Holidays are kind of tough though for missionary work...on the one hand, everyone's home and with their families (or out of town), but on the other hand, no one wants to be bothered. So we'll see.
Will you be having a zone/district party or anything like that?
I don't know, but I think that's a GREAT idea! Again, we'll probably find out this week.
Any idea what time you will be calling? (Y A Y !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CAN'T WAIT TO TALK TO YOU!!!!!!!!!!!)
Sorry, I'm also not sure on this one, though I am pretty sure that I'll just call you from the cell phone that we have -- nights, weekends, and holidays are free, so I think that that will be the arrangement. I'll let you know for sure when I find out. What time would be best, and what number should I call? Dad mentioned in his last snail mail (which was the only snail mail I got this week -- thanks Dad!) that if I can call before 12 EST, SSs will be there, but we'll see how it all goes down :)
I DO know that I'll have 45 minutes, so be ready for that.
Do you have a CD player? I assume this is the best way to get you music--make a CD and send it to you.
Yep! And that would be great...make me a couple of cds if you want :) I DID actually buy 2 CDs today at the dist. store...just the primary songs in spanish and a MoTab CD...Sounds of Glory or something like that. So I'm still wide open for anything else you'd like to send! OH, and in addition to our normal "acceptable" music, for Christmas we are also allowed to listen to "tradition carols by LDS artists" as well, so anything Christmas you want to send my way would be fabulous!
Is there anything you need me to send to you?
Hmmm...not especially, though if you happen to run across any other cute sweaters from the houses you clean, I certainly wouldn't be opposed to that :) It's actually pretty cold (highs barely in the 60s, lows in the 40s...hey, temperature is relative!) here, so that would be fine. If you feel the urge to include panty hose (I know most elders get socks, etc...), I like jet black or suntan, with reinforced toes.
I got emails from Bro. Tustian and Bishop Tolman this week -- Thank you thank you thank you so much!!! It was GREAT to hear from both of you! ...however, due to mission rules, I need to have any/all emails from anyone outside of my immediate family come THROUGH my immediate family. So if anyone who wants to email me could just send the emails to you (mom or dad or any of the boys), then you can forward them on to me, and that'd be great! I know it seems like a little bit of overkill, but rules are rules, and there are blessings for obedience!
This week was great! We had a baptism this past Saturday for an incredible girl named Karen. She was actually almost completely taught by the previous sisters, so all we did was get the service organized, etc, but it was great! Hopefully we'll have a few more coming up here soon, but it all depends on how they're progressing. It's so great to be a missionary though, and to see all these different people and their different lives and their progression in the gospel! Sometimes when we're out (mostly as we're driving from our apartment to our area each day), I just look at all the people we pass by, and just wonder about them. What are they thinking? Where are they going? What do they do for work, and what is their family like? What big joy or tragedy just happened in their lives or with their families? What kinds of questions do they have? Do they know that there's a God who knows and loves them? There are SO MANY people in this world, and all of them SO DIFFERENT! And Heavenly Father somehow knows and loves them all!!! It's amazing.
Today we got to go to the temple, and boy did I need it!!! I haven't been to do an endowment session since my first transfer (last time we went I did initiatories), and it was so good to just go and sit and listen and feel and remember! Oh, to go and escape from this crazy city and commune with God was so wonderful! If you haven't gone lately, GO!!! And if you can't go right now, GET THERE!!!
I have a quick question in the way of needing advice. Especially from those of you who have served missions, but also from anyone else who has any thoughts, how can I respond to those people who pull the "We all worship the same God" line? It's so hard to figure out how to help them understand that this is SO MUCH MORE than that! YES we all worship the same God, and that's the most important thing, but why don't people get the importance of the apostasy and the restoration and the real, true Priesthood authority, and that it DOES matter?!?! Any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated :)
Well, my little 5 minute warning just popped up, so I'll finish up here. The church is true, the Lord lives and has called a living prophet in our day! The Book of Mormon and the Bible are the word of God to lead us and guide us and help us truly know His will. We CAN all return and live with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and our families FOR-E-VER!!!!!
I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!!!
I LOVE YOU!!!!!!
HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!!!!!!!!!