So Christmas in Colorado certainly is a bit different from Christmas in California but it was great! A bit of a slow week but we are working hard and trying our best.
On Christmas eve, we went to the Dory’s house. They are an awesome family in the ward. we got to have enchilada soup and butterscotch pudding (probably one of the most magical foods I have ever had). We played games with their family and got to share a little Christmas message. It was really fun and they are such a sweet family. In a lot of ways, It felt almost like home.
On Christmas, we went to the Nichols. They are an awesome family too. They had like half the ward at their house for a giant meal with everything you could possibly imagine and then a white elephant gift exchange. We didnt bring a gift but they invited us to participate. We won a table cloth. I was pleased. It was better than going home with massive victoria secret underwear or half used face wash. I feel like the missionaries got some fairly conservative gifts, which was great. 🙂 After, we headed to the Birch’s house. They are also an awesome family here in town. She grew up in Socal so I feel a special connection with Sister Birch. They have two young kids so it was really fun to spend the day with them. We skyped!!! Thanks again family and Haylie and Steven. It was AWESOME to see all of you. I LOVE LOVE LOVED IT!!!! It makes me excited for next Christmas when we can hang out in person. After our skyping, we got to watch a movie (with Pres. Brown’s permission). The Birch’s have this awesome theater room (even cooler than the one in the abandoned mansion) and we got to watch wreck-it ralph. The movie was great but it felt really wierd. I felt guilty. Even though, I know I was allowed to watch the movie. We also played with the kids as they showed us all their new christmas stuff. It was really fun. Then we had dinner with them and headed home. It was really sweet.
On Thursday, we had a district meeting down in Greeley. I felt like I was going home. It was so fun and so wierd. Our district is awesome and we are all working really hard.
That evening we also had a dinner with a sister in the ward. She is a divorced member, who found the church a few years ago. She is a rockstar!!! We talked to her about everything. She shared with us a lot of the hardships that she has gone through in her life. We sat on the couch and cried with her as she shared some of the struggles that she is going through with her family. It just broke my heart. I was so humbled that she would open up to us. I shared the quote by Chieko about the atonement. I have shared it with lots of people. We talked about the Atonement and how it brings so much peace in our lives. It reminded me why I love being a missionary. I just get to testify of Christ all day every day. I get to testify of my Savior. I get to talk about how I know He loves you and me. It is so amazing. I know there is such a power in the Atonement. It is so awesome. I feel so blessed to be able to study about it and testify of the Atonement daily.
Both Thursday and Friday, we did a lot of less-active contacting. On Friday, we went out with a sister to contact a bunch of people. We got to visit with Hope. She a in her 80s and is less-active. We got to talk to her about her life ans shared a message about God’s love. It was awesome. We also contacted a semi-active single mom who is really trying to come back to church. She could really use some help and we got ahold of her. We are going to meet with her this week. She seems awesome!
On Saturday, we visited with a less-active spanish speaking member. She is a champ! She is bilingual but encouraged us to speak in spanish. She is a really hard working and amazing mom. She cant come to church much because she has to work on Sundays but we adore her. I was really grateful to be able to use my spanish. I didn’t realize how much I had missed it. That evening we visited a fairly recent convert. She has only been a member for the last 18 months. She is really cool. She also prefers spanish. She told us it was challenging for her to come to the english ward because she feels like she doesnt get the same out of it that she does in spanish. I totally relate. My first few months in the branch were challenging because it was hard to learn a lot during talks and lessons because I didnt understand it totally. Anyway, we talked to her about scripture study and she seemed really grateful to have spanish speaking missionaries around again.
On Sunday, we visited with two less-actives. One english and one spanish. It was great. I am so grateful that we are starting to gain ward trust and starting to really get to know who we can help and how to help them. The work is certainly challenging at times but I feel so blessed that I get to be apart of it, especially in this ward. Fort Morgan is a special place and I know we can accomplish miracles here if we work hard enough. I think for awhile I was in a bit of a slump and I was pretty nervous about opening an area. I still am nervous about opening an area but I know my faith has grown. I know miracles happen when we work hard and pray hard. I know there are people here who need the gospel, we just have to find them. We also did our weekly planning yesterday and made goals for the transfer. We made a goal to have a baptism. I know it is a lofty goal but I also know that everything is possible if God is on your side. I feel like if we work as hard as we can and do everything we can, Heavenly Father will give us the means to accomplish His work. I know that to be true so family and friends please pray for me. Pray that Hna Luke and I will be able to find someone to teach and that they will start preparing for baptism. We will do everything we can on our side but I know the prayers of others will help.We would really appreciate it.
Also, I had a goal to finish Jesus the Christ by Christmas. I ended up finishing it the day after. I just want to end with my testimony of Christ now that I have studied His live so much over the last few months. I know that Christ lives (present tense). I know that He is my savior and your savior. I know that He suffered for us because He loves us. I know that He literally the begotten Son of God the Father. I know that He understands everything that we feel and go through and suffer. I know that through Him, we can have everlasting peace and happiness. I know live can be challenging. I know it is challenging for everyone but I also KNOW that have Faith in Christ makes life easier, happier and more fulfilling. I know because I have seen the light that comes into people’s lives as they start to develop a faith in Christ. Many times their situations do not change, they are still impoverished or uneduacated or hating their job but somehow they are happier. I know that Faith in Christ can help ALL people, no matter their financial status, native tongue, amount of education or their family life. Faith in Christ has blessed my life is ways that I cannot explain but most importantly, it is faith in Christ that has kept me going. When it is freezing here and I am trying desperately to communicate with someone and I am tired and we have been rejected all day, it is that faith that keeps me knocking doors. When I am anxious and overwhelmed and homesick, it is my faith that keeps me here and keeps me going. Many people talk about faith as something naive or childish but I want to testify that it is not. It is powerful. Having faith is not just positive thinking. Have faith (at least for me) is believing that Christ is my Savior and that He and my Father in Heaven love me. It is believing that whatever life throws at me is part of God’s plan for my life. It is believing that my life is better with the Gospel of Jesus Christ than without. I know this church is Christ’s church on the earth today. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t. I wouldn’t be here in this tiny colorado town if it wasn’t. I am so grateful for this knowledge and the Gospel in my life. I am so excited to share it with others. I love you all so much!
I love you all so so so much! Thank you for the continued prayers, emails, letters and love. Your support is so very helpful. I love you all and I hope you have the most wonderful new year!