Hello to everyone! I hope you had an amazing Thanksgiving and that it was a blast! I do miss being home for the holidays, but I was able to be with some amazing members here. We went on a SUPER good run (compared to the usual work out) that morning down to the high school thinking the boys would be playing in the Turkey bowl, but they were actually at another high school. I didn't complain though because I enjoyed the much needed exercise- especially on Turkey Day!
My companion and I were able to go to Sister Anderson's home in the afternoon to help prepare the last few food items. We cleaned the dusty china dishes that one usually brings out twice a year, set the table, laid out snacks, and then got everything ready to go! We had 4 other people join us, so we were a happy number of 11:) It was a really good lunch and I paced myself knowing we had another appointment that evening. I only took a spoonful of everything! It was perfect.
|Thanksgiving at Sister Anderson's House|
When we showed up to the Cunningham's there were snacks and games and cooking all going on. We helped where we could, but ended up talking to the senior missionary couples (whom I just adore!) and the marines who were there because they couldn't get back home for the holidays. It was a fun group of people and many laughs were shared. After dinner we played a game that is tradition in their family. Everyone that came had brought candy with them- and not just any candy. But the GOOD kind. The whole table was FULL
once the bags were all emptied. The game went like this. We all sat around the table and passed the dice from one person to the next after our roll was done. If you roll a 1 or a 6 you get to choose a candy from the center of the table or steal what you want from another person. There were only 20 minutes on the timer, so you had to go fast! When the timer rang, whatever candy you had was yours to keep. You'll never guess who had the most candy...yeah...this girl! The one KNOWN for not eating sweets. Haha! It was a good time.
This week we baptized our last progressing investigator. Which means we have to go find more now! That is a good thing...right? In November alone we have had 4 baptisms which is exciting. We are leading the zone in baptisms for the month!
At the baptism I was asked to sing...again. I don't know where everyone got this idea that I am a performance singer, but I keep being asked, and I can't say no! That would be offensive here in the South! So I am getting more and more comfortable at singing in front of an audience. I sang with a woman in our ward (gorgeous voice) and my companion played a flute accompaniment to the piano. It was really pretty and many people said it brought the spirit into the room.
This week I had to participate in what's called the 2nd Training Call-In. All the missionaries that were going through the 12 week program (or our first 3 months) got on a conference call with the President and his wife. We each had a small assignment we were to speak on, and at the end I was called on to bare my testimony. It was fun because I got to hear the voices of all my friends who came out into the mission field with me from the MTC. A fun little reunion!
This week we were able to go Christmas Tree shopping! Okay, not for us, but with a recent convert. They took us with them, and then we got Chinese food for lunch and helped decorate their house for Christmas! The whole shabang. The tree, the dining room, kitchen, and doors, lights, bows and more. They even let us pick out an ornament at the Boutique to sign and put on their tree so they will be reminded of us every Christmas! So sweet.
|This is the real deal; Not an ornament!|
We had a powerful lesson with them afterwards about the temple. We watched the movie Mountain of the Lord, and explained how to be temple worthy and that they will need to obtain a temple recommend so they can enter. Brooke said that she is determined to get her temple recommend before December is over because she NEEDS to be ready to go! She wants to be sealed to her husband Ryan so badly! She can't wait to go and do baptisms in the Raleigh temple; I wish we could go with them for that! It just showed me that I have been so blessed to have grown up in the church and know of all the blessings that I can receive by being married in it. I am so glad that my family was sealed in the Seattle temple; that has become more precious to me the longer I've been here.
On Saturday we were able to go out on exchanges with Sister Tumanuvao from the ward. We saw a few members that are less active and struggling right now. Just talking with them and being in their home changed their attitudes completely! They became more upbeat and positive and talked a lot more than they had earlier when we just showed up. That showed me that when we do have Christ as the center of our home, or when we live worthy to have the spirit dwell in our household, we are happier and more unified.
Sister Tumanuvao served a mission in Missouri when she was in her mid twenties and always talks so highly of her experience! I envy her and the way she talks about her mission. I am in the midst of mine, so I still feel all the challenges and hardships that come with each day. But I hope that I can serve the rest of the 15 months in such a way that will allow me to reflect back on my mission and KNOW that what I did blessed my life. She was saying that all the qualities and traits she inherited and learned on the mission have helped her to be a better wife, mother, church member and friend. She encouraged me to “seek Jesus Christ out in EVERYTHING you do. When you exercise, put Him at the center. When you cook. When you clean. When you serve. Anything and everything you do will become magnified and so much better when you think of Jesus Christ and place Him in the situation you are participating in.” I thought that was interesting because we as people tend to separate our religious and secular life from one another. When really, we should be trying our best to unify them and make them intertwined. Just a thought.
This week we found out that my companion will be transferring out and that I will be getting a new companion. I am staying in my area and will be the one who knows the ropes when it comes to people and places. May I just start by saying I AM FREAKING OUT. I have been so nervous! It is my first transfer and I have no idea what to expect. Each day I am reminding myself that the Lord is still with me. And he knows what will happen. So if I rely on Him, He will guide me. That doesn't make me any less nervous though;) Please keep me in your prayers!
|Sharing one last moment together!|
I challenge you to go and watch the new video "He is the Gift" on LDS.org. Watch it then share it to your Facebook. It is a great message and is a good reminder on what our focus should be on this Christmas season. Speaking of Christmas season...everyone and their dog had their Christmas trees and lights up on their houses the DAY after Thanksgiving. Very eager for Santa Clause to get here I guess!
I love you all so much and hope that you have a good week. You are always in my prayers! Keep writing and e-mailing! It truly makes such a difference in my week <3
Sister Mallory Golden