SO this week has been CRAZY. So many ups and downs, kind of an emotional rollercoaster really. Plus we had so many meetings! On Tuesday we had our mission Christmas party. It was really fun to get to see almost all of my MTC friends. Our party was the north half of the mission, so about 90 missionaries, plus a few senior couples and of course President and Sister Lewis. (look for pics on Sis. Lewis' blog!) It was especially fun, because my zone all got together and did a musical number "Mary's lullaby", and I played guitar!! Woo hoo! It was so fun. We had a great lunch together, with some amazing apple juice freshly pressed from apples grown in that very orchard where we were! (I'm obsessed with apple juice) and we got to watch “Meet the Mormons” together. I forgot how good that movie is. Especially the part about the Candy Bomber. I love history.
Home Grown Apple Juice!
Amazing "Ranchion" where the party was held
(those that know Alison well know how much she likes
to talk about her future mansion on a ranch, or "ranchion")
Tuesday night was pretty rough, because my companion got really sick. We ended up staying in and not teaching anyone and asking Bishop and Larry to come over to give her a blessing. Then we wrote a song together! I told her it's the best kind of therapy, and it really was. She did so much better after that.
Wednesday was a day of miracles. First we had a district counsel with the other hermanas, and three sets of elders. I gained a lot of knowledge and spiritual inspiration, and then the elders gave us some blessings. Then later that day after some appointments, we went to dinner at Bishop and Nancy's house, and Nancy texted my mom :) She ended up taking a video of me singing "Merry Christmas Darling" and sending it to my mom. I almost started crying in the middle of the song, and I'm sure mom was just bawling, the lyrics that say "We're apart that's true. But I can dream, and in my dreams, I'm Christmasing with you." Gah! I'm getting choked up right now just thinking about it. I love you, Mom, so so so much.
Then after our dinner we went to Anastacio's house, and seriously, a miracle happened. He is an old man, probably about 80 or so, and in the past he has been very prideful and stubborn. His wife, and son, and his sons' family are all converts and really active in the church, but Anastasio said he doesn't need church because he doesn't sin... he's a good person, but not perfect! Anyway, when we got to his house his whole countenance and disposition was so different. He was warm and inviting and his heart had been softened so much. Apparently he had this dream where his uncle, who is dead, who he looks up to so much, was talking him and telling him he is being foolish and stubborn and that he needs to listen to us. Then he had a dream about being lost, and a huge scary black dog was chasing him around. And then these two people came to him and saved him, and they were us! Anyway, now he is taking lessons from us and really progressing a lot just in the last few days.
Then we had a really great lesson with Maria and Elmer. And the gift of tongues was SO real. Usually I don't get to talk too much in Spanish lessons, because the people just talk to Hermana L because she is a native. But we were just teaching, and all of the sudden I was speaking perfect Spanish and they were listening to me! I can't even totally explain it, but it was just awesome. Miracles are for real.
So something funny about Royal is that everyone here is related in some way! Sunday we were at a meeting with some of the leaders in the ward, and I was trying to take notes of how all everyone is related. It was so funny. Then they were all like, "Sister Knight, I would love to see your notes! And see an outsider's perspective." then we decided I'm like a detective. Haha! It's pretty funny and crazy!
Go Royal Knights!
Thursday during the day we went to Yvonne's and cleaned out and organized her entire bathroom, it was so hard but so refreshing and fulfilling. My mom would be proud. I should have thought to take before and after pics. Also, Yvonne gave me a brand new Hot Tools curling iron that she didn't want! It's awesome! Then Thursday night was the English Christmas party, and it was so fun!
Friday we had to go to Les Schwab because Ruthie (our car) was sick. But don't worry, she's all better now! Then that night I got to do a couple more musical numbers at the Spanish Branch's Christmas party. My roommates and I all sang "Noche De Luz" and "El Burrito de Belen" together. I've gotten them hooked on 3 part harmony of course... haha.
Only white person at the party!
Saturday was a pretty weird day. But we did end up driving about 50 miles out to the very border of our area and found a grocery store!! It was amazing! There were so many people there that we talked to and gave Pass Along cards about "A Savior is Born!" It was like the Promised Land. Haha! We were so excited.
Sunday we had our Christmas service, and it was really beautiful. So many people came too! It was very exciting, and then we went to see one of my favorite families. Their mom is SO much like me, but she's extremely inactive in church. She has a lot of issues with Utah and her childhood, and is having a hard time separating Utah culture from actual doctrine. It's really a struggle. They have three daughters who remind me a lot of my sisters, and the cutest little dog who is just like Tobie. I feel like they are some of the people that I was specifically sent here to help. Usually the mom is pretty closed off about spiritual things, but last night when we were talking to them she really opened up to me. It was amazing. We had a total heart to heart for about an hour, and then her youngest daughter who is nine bore her testimony about how when she feels sad or alone she knows that Jesus is always with her and understands how she is feeling. And then she started telling all of this stuff she was remembering about the last lesson we taught them. It was so amazing. She really brought the spirit into the room and her mom even started crying. She is a seriously good kid. I just love that family so much. Please keep them in your prayers, and pray that the spirit will guide Hermana L and I to know how to help them come back to church.
Merry Christmas, everyone! I am so excited I get to Skype my family!
Winter in Royal City
All bundled up! It's FREEZING here!
I love my little Christmas Tree! Thank you Mom!
So many presents!
Each morning we've been receiving Secret Santa gifts!