Monday, December 29, 2014

35 - I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas

Last P-day was pretty awesome. We went to Sam's house and we watched..... a MOVIE.... WHAT?! 

We weren't being disobedient though, because our mission president has authorized us to watch this movie on P-days if we so choose. You know what this movie is....?.....
Saratov Approah. Aka, a mormon horror movie. haha. It's only about two missionaries getting kidnapped and held ransom in Russia! And the scarier thing is... my companion's had an experience that was very similar.

The movie:
They just wanted one more lesson, but the spirit prompted them not to go in as they knocked on the door, but they went in anyway. And they were beaten and held at gun point and kidnapped.
Sister Burt in Wyoming:
They just wanted one more lesson, but the spirit prompted them not to go in as they knocked on the door, but they went in anyway. They just needed one more lesson to meet their goal after all, and when the door opened the spirit just left, and as they were teaching her it was very scary, but the biggest freaky thing was she told them that if they had knocked on their door just a month earlier, she would have let them in only to kill them.
So! That's that! 
It was a super awesome movie though.

Bishop Taylor and Family
Christmas Eve
But onto happier topics, we spent Christmas Eve night with the Bishop Taylor and his family! 

They played some Manhiem Steamroller, which I thank them for, because it's not really Christmas without Manhiem Steamroller! 

And they gave us both beautiful journals! How nice!

Our awesome tree began to have presents under it a couple days before Christmas. We were glad we didn't have to wait very long to open them!

I love Christmas morning, rushing out to open presents in your Christmas pajamas as soon as you wake up!

Oh, and we can't forget the stockings of course. ...I sent my family chocolate coal for Christmas. They were quite offended. haha.

Weeeee had a lot of appointments scheduled for Christmas, to just go and share the Christmas story with people. But they all canceled except for one darn it! 

Spontaneous going out of town, not getting home in time, just not 'there,' sigh. 

The one appointment that did not fall through was the family who fed us an early dinner.

Sister Hartl, Daughter, Cat and Blankets
A good ol' Christmas ham, and rasberry pie after, yum! 

So we at least got to read the Christmas story with one family!

And Sister Hartl is so nice and made us blankets!!! Mine has a purple corner because she ran out of thread for mine, which I think is awesome. haha.

The "Phone Call" Home
And then, it was time to call my family! Oh, it was so wonderful! I was able to facetime them for about an hour on a member's ipad. Oh man, my heart was pounding soooo hard before I called. I think it's just because it's so rare and special and you are 'not' allowed to do it except for as this time so I almost felt rebellious. But oh man, it was so good to see my family, as well as my friends who were there who are basically family to me. 

The biggest changes are 1) My dad has a beard which I don't know how I feel about but have to accept, and 2) My youngest brother Marshall is going through puberty and his voice is like, practically an octave lower, which I definitely don't know how I feel about but have to accept! haha. 

And I got to watch my family open their gifts which I sent them! It was soooooooo good to see they are all doing well!

And I opened my gift from my family that got here just in time on Christmas Eve and the tradition lives on! My mother always buys me a nice Sunday outfit for Christmas, so she sent me a super cute outfit! Thanks mom!

Sam with Her New Book of Mormon. :-)
And at the end of the night we gave Sam her Christmas present. We gave her a Book of Mormon because her two-and-a-half-year-old gave her other one a bath... which is super sad because it had all sorts of markings in it from when she first joined the church a few years back. 


So we gave her another hard cover one like the one she had and wrote our testimonies in it and little sticky notes throughout the Book of Mormon. She loved it!

Oh... and by the way. I thought we were going to have snow.... I mean, this is the midwest, South Dakota, has already snowed and it was super cold during Thanksgiving! I should have been a guaranteed white December but....

After Christmas

Day AFTER Christmas...Now That's More Like It!
Christmas Day...Where's the White Stuff?
I LOVE the Snow!
 This was the extent of my 'white' Christmas. 

And then...

Oh course, the day after, it snows. 

The irony. I can't help but laugh. haha. So, I'm still dreaming of a white Christmas.

But man, the day after Christmas was crazy. You know why? Because we had somebody give us harmful substances that night after much struggle and turmoil. It was an increadibly huge step. And we come to find out that -- remember that guy who we found a month or so ago when we went over to teach a lesson that we had to let the Elders teach him because he wasn't in our area? Well he gave up his addictive substances to the Elders that night as well of his own desire and free will. 

So all in all, this week was a real treat. We did not have very many lessons, but this was one of the most special and treasured and crazy weeks in my mission. I am already sure of that, despite having 10 months left to go. 

I have only nine days left with Sister Burt, and I'm confident they will be good ones. It's tough to go home, especially when you grow connections to select people in your mission that are so strong. But it'll be alright.

Also, it's Sister Hawkes's birthday today! 

The big two oh! Twenty years old! 

And haha, she loved the shirt that my family gave me for Christmas. 

(Don't worry, I'm not giving away my present to her. I was just letting her look at it and she approves.) 

So we took her out to breakfast today.

By the way, I think this is the official winter. I think it is here to stay now. It was 7 degrees outside and I don't think it's going to get above freezing again for awhile. I am so blessed that December has been a mild month though! Seriously!

I hope you all had a great Christmas and were able to witness Christmas miracles. We were sure able to the day after! The miracles came a day late, just like the snow haha. But it was definitely all in the Lord's timing. 

Give something back this Christmas season (yes,it's still the Christmas season) and you will be so much more satisfied with you life! 

I love being here in South Dakota serving the Lord!

Have a Happy New Year Everyone!
Sam's Cool Black Cat

Look at this cute cat that Sam has haha. 

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