HAPPY BIRTHDAY WADE!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wow was it good to see all of you and hear your voices!! It was really strange to see all of you and especially the little ones that I don’t know! They are ADORABLE!! Little Ivy with her hair all cute and Luke with his smiles! I really don’t feel like I know you all! So much has changed there! And Noelle, you’re looking really pregnant! Super excited for all of you and this next year! Lots of awesome changes will happen!
So this week was a little difficult for the whole missionary work stuff but what a great opportunity that we had to show our love to our investigators and the members! Really I loved the feeling of Christmas day! It felt like it crept up on us for sure!
On Tuesday we met the coolest couple! One of our members asked us if we could go sing to a couple of friends of his so of course we jumped on that opportunity! THEY ARE SO COOL!!! Virginia actually lived in Holland for like 8 years so she was showing me pictures and we had a really good chat about Holland for about 20 minutes! And Gonçalo is super famous! He was in parliament and he has a ton of pictures with a bunch of famous people from the states and all over the world! So we sang with them and ended up singing with Virginia and having dessert. It went really well and our member straight up gave them a Book of Mormon and come to find out Virginia really likes to read! We’re going to take them a cake hopefully this week!
On Wednesday we decided to make presents for the members and families that we were going to meet during the week so we bought a whole bunch of chocolate, gummies, mints, and bags to put them in. Oh my goodness did the members love it! It felt good to give them a little something from the Sisters. And then that night there was the HUGE market in the center of town that stretched for blocks and so Sister Miller and I thought it would be a good idea to go and sing by all the people so we invited the other missionaries and we went and sang at the market! At first I was terrified!! So many people were there and some of them were already drunk! But right when we started we actually had people clapping for us and stayed to listen for a little bit! It turned out way better than we thought! Just another way to get the church’s name out there :)
New Year’s Eve was an interesting day! We went to clean this ladies house and oh my goodness I will never let my house get that dirty...E.V.E.R. The smell itself almost killed me let alone everything else inside. But we were only able to clean one room before we had to get home and go to our other appointments. But before this we were really late because we missed the bus to get there. We needed to call to make sure we could visit Oneida and she let us talk to her daughter in English and it was a Christmas Miracle!!! Her daughter was saying how much happier her mom was because of us and that she agreed that her baptism would be a good idea!!! I wanted to start crying because now her daughter sees the difference the church could have in her life! We’re going to try and get her contact information so that the missionaries can pass by in England! I hope she gets baptized!! But it was incredible to hear that and what a better gift than someone coming unto Christ. Oh and then we get back to our house for lunch to only realize that we left the keys in the house...hahaha always have to have the good with the bad right?? But we were able to climb onto our balcony and slide a card in the door to get it open! It was pretty exciting! haha And then we ended our Eve at Luis Carlos´ house with dinner and reading the story of the birth of Christ. We then went home and opened our packages and the presents we got for one another! It was a great day!!!
Christmas was awesome!! I think I’m ready for the whole wife thing because I was cooking all day long! Sister Bryant and I made breakfast for the sisters, and I got lunch all warmed up, and prepped for dinner! It was awesome! So the buses didn’t work so we walked an hour and a half almost to get to our area but we had TONS of fun!! We took pictures with the huge Santa and with Santa’s house and reindeer! We enjoyed the walk a little too much I think! And then we got to our dinner appointment that we ended up cooking for while the Andrades were gone. I made a cake, and then she decided she wanted potatoes so I made some mashed potatoes really fast and then we set the table and warmed all the chicken and everything up before the Elders and Sisters all got there! Man it was nuts!!! Christmas was a BLAST!!! And of course I got to talk to all of you, which just made my night!! It almost didn’t seem real! The next time this happens will be in May and then I’ll be home in June so that’ll be a really weird call!! By then I might hear that Crystal and Kallie are pregnant again ;) (Please say that I’m right?!?!)
Saturday was a little bit of a blur! Lots of people were still a little hung over from drinking and partying for the past week. That was a little rough to talk to people but it was still good!
Sunday was the best! We didn’t have any promised to go to church and so that was a downer in the morning but then a miracle happened!! Sister Miller had to give a lesson in Gospel Principles (she didn’t even have a lesson from the book and she did awesome!!!!! She’s never taught a class in church before Sunday!! Incredible!!) And then I played the piano and during the sacrament in walked a family!!! So we ended up having 3 at church!!! Such a miracle!! We’ve been trying really hard to reach all the standards that president wants and we met our church goal for the month and a couple of other metas too! Miracles do happen if you look for them! And on top of that, we had members ask us to work with them with their friends at church and were invited to lunch and dinner! It was incredible. Helena Caetano invited us to eat pancakes and play Barbie’s with her little girl (man I just love kids!! Seeing her and the nieces and nephews was awesome!)
I loved this past week that we had to remember Christ. There is nothing better than being on a mission during Christmas. I didn’t appreciate it the first time but this time it has a whole different meaning. I really love the mission and the badge that I wear everyday. Truly Christ changes people and changed people change the world. I’ve felt that so much on the mission. The people don’t always get baptized but they changed. In the future they will be. I learned a huge lesson this week, it’s not about the baptisms, but it’s about the lives you touch and the lives that you help change. This next year will be a year of change for me. I’ve been on the mission for a year now and it’s been nothing but change and I couldn’t ask for better. I want to continue to change and become more like Him. I loved talking to you all but after the phone call I said, `I never want to go home. ` The mission is the best thing and I’m so grateful that I chose to serve. I’ve been torn down and built up in ways unimaginable. I love the mission so much and am so grateful that I still have 6 months to go!!! I’m so excited for everything ahead!! Love my Savior with my whole heart. Love you all and thank you for the support through this year!