Last thursday we had a tri-zone Christmas Zone Conference with the northern half of the mission. It was absolutely incredible!!! I love my mission so much!! We have the best missionaries who truly have become my brothers and sisters. We got up at 4:30 am and caught the 6 am train down to Albuquerque. We spent the day with President and Sister Miller, and all of our fellow brothers and sisters. Incredible talks, musical numbers, a fun talent show, and a great Christmas dinner. Christmas ham. ;) Reminds me of you guys. Then we got spoiled and santa left us all our Christmas packages. Haha. You guys spoiled me! I could hardly carry it all back on the train! We recieved the greatest gift from President and Sister Miller, that I guess most wouldn't see as a gift, but It changed me. He gave us a document on becoming consecrated missionaries and people. It focuses on our desires, who we really are, and the outward effects of that. It gave be a great desire to strive to be even better, and I can see such a difference in the work, those around me, my life and future. I've never felt so good.
After wards we got to take the Hogwarts express, :) haha, the 'Railrunner', a double-decker train back to Santa Fe with all the Elders up around us. And OH did it snow!!!!! It's only snowed once here before, and only stuck around a night. But on thursday, it SNOWED, the train was stuck for a period of time, and we were caked with it. It felt so much like Christmas.
And the time was such a miracle. In the hours of stalling, Sister Perez and I were able to really get to know the people around us. They became our very close friends. It was neat to see all their stories unfold, college kids coming home for Christmas. People visiting old friends. Parents going home from a work commute. Everyone has a story. I'm honored to be able to read a chapter of theirs. We had a great Christmas party on the train sharing 'Biscochitos' :) yummy cookies a lady brought and talking of Christmas and the Savior. It was an absolutely incredible day. And the Elders were able to teach a first lesson to one of our train referrals for them last night. They were so kind and invited us all over for dinner this thursday. I am amazed at how Heavenly Father works. We can hardly keep up with the blessings he is giving us!
Thank you SO much for the GPS! I can't tell you how much easier it makes the work!!! I LOVE you guys. I feel absolutely spoiled, and I know it will help so much. We are more organized now and can work even harder. And you guys are so sweet. I feel so absolutely spoiled to have been given so much. I can't tell you how many families you have blessed with the things you sent. And I feel absolutely spoiled!! haha, and the sweats came on a perfect day! I had some warm jam'jams for our first snow-day. :)
This week has and will be absolutely incredible. I don't feel jipped at all for Christmas, instead, I feel so absolutely blessed. Especially to remember the real meaning of Christmas. We had 'our Christmas' early last thursday. And I will spend Christmas Eve and Day getting to do the things the Savior would if he was here. Giving gifts to those who need them, giving meals to the homeless and work waiting shelters. Blessing families we know need it, visiting widows and the nursing home, and making some good Mexican Tamales. :) And most of all, I can't wait to talk to you all!!!!!! :) It's strange, but being away from you has made me appreciate you all a thousand times more than I could imagine. And this Christmas means more being away, because it reminds me that Christmas isn't about gifts or materialistic things. It's about family. It's about the Savior. My greatest gift will be spending some precious time talking to you, and serving as the Savior would.
The best Christmas ever. :)
I wish I had the time to tell you all of the incredible stories of how the work is booming. Investigators missionaries have taught for years that we are finally making progress with. People coming out of the woodwork completely ready for the gospel. Just an hour ago, we got a call from the Elders to quickly contact a referral with a beautiful native american lady, I love her! (a single woman so they couldn't go alone, and didn't have notice to get a member). It was amazing. She had the hardest of nights last night. Her life fell apart and she became completely alone, to the point of breaking. She texted a friend asking for some prayers in the middle of the night. Instead, that friend, who is a member called the elders this morning and we were all able to go over and create a lifelong friendship. Embracing a complete stranger in her tears and sorrow and lifiting her, I feel absolutely honored. She is incredible. You could see her soul healing. I could feel the power of missionary work as every one of us said exactly the thing that needed to be said. The spirit is real, it is so strong. She is going to be baptized on January 29th and I am honored to call her my friend.
This gospel is incredible.
I love my mission and wouldn't trade it for anything.