Christmas is over. It's almost 2014. Where the heck did 2013 go? Honestly. I look back to last year's New Years (PARTY!) and cannot believe that it's been a full year. It's insane. But, if you lose track of time, you must enjoy what you're doing!
|Saw this and HAD to take a pic. We might be moving to these apartments.|
At our full mission conference on 12/24, President was talking about wanting to give us gifts....and then he put a picture of Elder Holland, the boss that he is, on the projector screen....we just kept thinking about 'when are we getting our ipads?' but then President talked about how Elder Holland is coming to Phoenix, and not Tucson....then he said that, they are booting us up to Phoenix on buses to listen to him speak to all 6 of the AZ missions! HOLY AWESOME. It's going to be pretty crazy to be up in Phoenix, we're STOKED! That week is going to be nuts.- volunteering at food bank with zone. - temple trip. - Zone Training with President and the AP's. - Face. - Word. - PHOENIX. Pretty sweet. Hard to beat that Christmas present...even though all of the other missionaries in AZ will be chillin' on their ipads....
|Trying to stay up for mass...we enjoyed a little nativity show put on by some members. MERRY CHRISTMAS|
This past week was quite awesome. Pres. allows us to go to amass Christmas Eve night, so we went with 6 or so other missionaries to a Catholic mass. It was actually pretty sweet regardless of us having no idea what was going on. Felt WEIRD to be out pass curfew. Christmas came and we went to a few members' home to share messages and enjoy spending time with them. Three or four members even bought us stockings and some presents. The members here are so awesome, and it's quite a privilege to serve with them.
|Opening up a few presents from the Braun family. Coolest family ever. We skyped at their house the next day!|
"Things are starting to come together." - Elder Smith
"I haven't felt like this for a while. The Lord blessed us today." - Elder Smith
Our zone has been on a slower level the past couple weeks, but Christmas tends to do that with everyone going out of town and being busy and all that shtuff. There's a lot of potential out here. Our area is starting to pick up as this next week should be a really good week.
|Elder Alec Hansen! Our dad's work together. Even though he went to Davis High....he's a stud. He was one of our AP's for a while. Stud yo.|
|Sister Dente was in my MTC district and this was the FIRST time seeing her on our mission. haha.|
Me: "Have I changed much?"
Family: "Not really, but you seem more spiritually mature." (whaddup)
Ben: "Still seem like a total tard to me!"
Take it how you will.
About 4 days ago, I swear I got bronchitis or something. I've felt like crap and could barely talk. Yesterday wasn't much better, but we went to Ward Council, taught mission prep, and then Elder Smith and I spoke in Sacrament. My topic was "Relying on the Savior in member missionary work." Good stuff. It's crazy how much easier it is to get up and speak in front of people. It was hard to keep it at 10 mins! I felt this sickness was just a test of diligence...as crazy as that may sound. But it helped me push along without taking time off to rest. The Lord is pushing us everywhere.
Update on the work out in our area:
We're working with a few people/families and should have even more this week too.
Melissa and Lilliana had a baptism date, but haven't been able to get ahold of them...which sucks. So their date dropped for now.
Jen and Jeff are people they were working with a month or so before I got out here. They are awesome people, but are just conflicted on things because of the lack of their luther-family support. Jeff feels like he's hit a block but wants to pursue further. One of the lessons we watched the good ol Restoration video and related Joseph Smith's experience to his in finding the truth. The next lesson was on 'fasting' and he really liked that. He said, "The message was strong today" in one of his prayers. To be continued yo...
DaVictor, his G, and her sister we've taught once and it went well and almost extended a BD, but time ran out. Bleh. Their landlord had "dream" that we were a cult and were going to do awful things to them or something....so we'll be teaching them in another house :]
Lanney is a member who has a crappy situation with her ex, and then Aaron is the father of some of their kids who is awesome. A few days ago, he was smoking outside so we talked to him and intro'd the BoM. The next day they said they had read it and talked about it. YES! To be continued as well yo!..
Last night, we met with a member named Jacob who has been through a few sets of missionaries and has quite a few concerns. The concerns were on somewhat of an agnostic point of view, so he hoped there is a God, but can't understand why our church is heavily weighed on 'personal reveleation' along with a question of why we weren't given the knowledge that God has, or the knowledge we had in the pre-earth life. It was a cool lesson with no contention, so the spirit led Elder Smith and I as we bounced back and forth, testified, and taught doctrine of the Plan of Salvation. We talked about how Satan's plan was based upon having all the knowledge they could and skipping the earth phase where 'progression' would take place. Then we talked about how now is a temporary loss of the knowledge, and if we have room to learn, grow, and progress, there's more happiness that awaits us in the post-earth life when we attain all of that (full) knowledge back. Pretty cool. Got to love those lessons.
Well crap. Time's almost up.
Thank you to everyone who sent me something for Christmas. Wow. After not really expecting anything at all, it was a blessing to have some things on Christmas!
Today we're going bowling with some members, the Whitney's! One of the COOLEST families around.
Although the Zone had a rougher week, it just means more room for progress to show the Lord what SV is capable of! Time to do lots of blitz', exchanges, and all that good stuff to see what's in store.
Thank you for all of the prayers. They are definitely felt!
Love your faces.
-Elder DJ Hales