Okay, so I was cleaning up (because Elder S. is getting transferred) and I found my stack of cards I got from home and realized that I hadn’t sent any thank you letters back. Thanks, Mom and Dad, for the birthday gifts and all the packages you send. That sweater has saved me on a few occasions already. Also thanks to Elder K.’s mom, who sent me a card even though she doesn’t know me. Thanks Aunt Amy and family for your card (yes, I got it). I know these are all a long past due, but I really do appreciate your love and support. I really hope I didn’t miss anyone there.
I’m not getting transferred, but as I said, Elder S. is. It’s a little stressful just because I’m not sure what this new companion will be like and we could stay companions for quite a while. Apparently Elders tend to stay a long time in Shawnee (Elder S. was here for six transfers). I’ll also have to lead for a while because Elder L. won’t know anyone.
I’m not sure what type of coat works. Elder S. had a very similar coat to that olive one I wore, so something like that would work (or maybe that coat if you can find it). And no, I haven’t heard of that sauce, I’ll keep a lookout though.
So this week we continued out Christmas initiative with the #ASaviourIsBorn cards. We put together a video of people at the mall sharing what they thought about during Christmas in one word and that really helped us talk to a lot of people. I hope that we start to see the results soon, though. We had to drop quite a few investigators who weren’t ready to progress. Kind of sad because they said they wanted to be baptized, but they just wouldn’t keep any commitments.
We also helped out an elderly sister by building a gigantic ramp from her house. It was a two-day project and we were extremely tired, especially with Fast Sunday the next day. It was a good Sunday, though. One of our investigators brought her 22-year-old son to church. He had been through some really humbling experiences and I think that might have brought him out. He’s really cool and it seemed like he enjoyed church, so we hope he’ll sit in on the lessons.
We’re Christmas caroling once a week now and that has been really helpful in finding potential investigators (besides just being a really fun and spiritual experience).
Elder J. volunteered me to play the hymn for district meeting and Elder S. volunteered me to play the hymn for priesthood meeting. I didn’t know any Christmas songs, so I just chose “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing” and prayed that I wouldn’t mess it up. I didn’t do too bad I think, but there were a few a cappella (I think that’s the spelling) portions of the song. Elder S. seemed to think it was pretty funny.
We visited with more members this week, and with how well that investigator’s son was received I think the ward is making progress.
I hope everyone is enjoying the Christmas season. I’m really getting into it, but in a way that I haven’t tried before. Christmas out here really is just about the Savior. I haven’t heard the name “Santa Claus” more than three times thus far and all the decorations are Christian ones. Maybe that will change, but I hope not. I feel that you all know the true meaning of Christmas, but just to make sure you don’t forget, try to make this the first of a long line of Christ centered Christmases.
Email to Mom:
I kind of wrote to you a lot in the family letter, but I’ll see if I can share more.
We had to drop F., even though we set up a baptismal date for her two weeks ago. She really wants to be a member, but her boyfriend is living with her and he’s married and won’t get a divorce. She can’t seem to get to leaving him, even though he’s not doing his part. It’s just a hard situation. There’s no pretending in her when she says she wants to be baptized, but she won’t take steps—like coming to church or reading the Book of Mormon—to do it. At one point, she was coming every week for six months. Now she’s in a depression and has a hard time doing anything, even praying.
I’m also really nervous about transfers. As much as I know that whomever I get will probably be a good person, I’ve seen how it can be difficult with other companionships. With Shawnee, I feel we need to just get down to work, not have to sort through personal problems before we can do anything. Maybe I’m just overthinking it.
Here are some pictures I got on my flash drive: