MERRY CHRISTMAS !!!!!!
You'd best sit down for just a moment...because you're probably about to be excited out of your mind :)
You get TWO phone calls!!!
Ok, ok, so it's probably not a CRAZY super exciting deal, but still. I'll be calling sometime Thursday night to set up a time to call again on Friday. Now keep in mind that it will be a really quick call -- just long enough to set a time for Christmas day -- and may be fairly late but it's a phone call nonetheless :) We have to be in by 6pm on Christmas Eve and Day, so it'll probably be at least around 9-ish your time when I call on Thursday.
And if there's anyway do a 3-way for at least a few minutes with Joseph and his fam on Friday, that would be great. He wrote and asked if they could have 5 of my 45 minutes so that his boys could say hi and hear their Aunt Hermana Sallie's testimony, but we only get to do direct phone calls to parents; my District Leader DID say that a 3-way would be fine though.
We'll be getting mail again on Christmas Eve, so I should get your package then! I DID get a little box with some goodies from Rilda this week!!! Please make sure that she gets this little message:
Thank you SO MUCH! It was really great to get a little something from you, and to hear how your family is doing! I love the handkerchief, and the wrapped present is sitting "under" (more acurate would be "next to")our tree, just waiting to be opened up on Christmas! Thanks again for all you've done for me while I was at school, and for storing all my stuff while I'm out here on a mission! Oh yeah, and for helping me make it into the world in general :) You're really a wonderful and remarkable person, and have been such a great friend to me and our family!
It's kind of weird that Christmas is almost here. Of course the weather here is a little different -- not exactly what most people would think of as "Christmas-y," but what can you really expect in southern California? I think the main thing that really makes it feel like Christmas for us is the lights and the music. Living up at the temple apartments, there are several companionships of young sisters, as well as all the Senior missionaries that live up here, and we've been borrowing some of their Christmas music for the last week or two :)
Sis Dickson and I are really looking forward to this week! Tomorrow is packed full of appointments, then on Wednesday we're going to go caroling to a bunch of our investigators and ward members, and we also have some little gift bags to take around to several of the widows and shut-ins in our ward. Wednesday is also transfer day (and Mom's birthday :), but we're really hoping that we both get to stay together here in Marina del Rey for another transfer, though we won't find out until tomorrow night.
I'm sure you're wondering what my Christmas day will be looking like. Well, we'll probably get up around 6:15 am, go running, come back and get ready for the day (down to the shoes, just like FlyLady says!), have personal study at 8am, companionship study at 9am, and depending on our service, maybe language study at 10am. We have some sort of zone service project at a convalescent home at some point Christmas day, possibly another service opportunity at the UCLA hospital where one of our members works as a nurse, at least on visit to make to a member of our ward who will be having nonmember family members over, then Christmas dinner at our family ward RS president's home at 4pm. We'll be in at 6pm, and have the evening to study, open presents, call our families, and whatever else we decide to do. Then at 9pm we'll have our "Sacred 30" nightly planning session, then bed by 10:30!
I'm hoping to get my little package to y'all off today...totally ran out of time last week. I'll just send it to Sam and Suzan's house, and hopefully you'll get it in time for Christmas! If not, well, sorry! It's hard to plan ahead for this kinda stuff as a missionary, not to mention working it into the schedule! I know, I know, you probably don't think I should even worry about it, being a missionary and all, but it IS something I want to do :) It's nothing big -- just a few little things, as well as my latest camera memory card, so whatever I end up getting in there, enjoy!
We were talking to one of the counselors in our singles ward bishopbric yesterday, and he said something that really struck me. He just told us to really enjoy this Christmas on the mission, because (for me anyway) it's the only one I'll ever have like it! He mentioned how yeah, it's kinda sad that you're away from family and friends and all that, but we'll have how many more of those after the mission -- probably at least 50 or 60 or so! This Christmas can be extra special because it's just me, my companion, and the Savior. So I really want to make it extra special like that! This week, I've decided to study the Christmas story a little each day, and to study by characters. So today was Zacharias and Elisabeth (and John), then there's Mary and Joseph, the Shepherds and Wise Men, The Star, the Angels, and of course, Jesus. I'm excited to do this, and make it a little different and special :)
OH, and a quick little update about this last week! Sasha didn't get baptized yesterday...she backed out on the day of her interview. She's just not quite ready yet, but hopefully in a few more weeks or so! We DID have a young lady come up to us after RS on Suday and say, "So, do I have to take my lessons in order to get baptized?" JHDGKSAH;TEIWHOALKGJKLA;FOE8WYAOT4WAKFL;DSI;AYFAJ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
She's a girl who has had all the lessons before and is a really strong and active (non)member of the church. Basically a "dry mormon," but she's finally ready to take the lessons again and get baptized!!!! IT'S A MIRACLE!!!!!!!
Well, that's all until Thursday night!!!
I LOVE YOU!!!!!
I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!
HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!!!!!!!!!