So I haven't written a group e-mail in 3 weeks. I was very firmly chastised during my call home this week. I have now repented and will get better at e-mailing weekly.
Here are some of the things that have happened in the past 3 weeks, the good and the bad.
-We had a zone activity. We made gingerbread houses and had a white elephant gift exchange. It was more enjoyable than expected. The highlight was definitely Elder Bishop opening the dried sardines from Hermana Austin.
-Our entire district has been sick pretty much the entire transfer. First Elder Moncayo, then elder Grisham and then me, all with a stomach bug and just when we thought we were all over that Hermana Austin, Elder Moncayo and Elder Grisham all got colds. Now we all are healthy, but Elder Moncayo and Elder Grisham have cut thumbs and Hermana Austin has a cut wrist. These things always come in threes.
-Sabrina (our progressing investigator) had her baby! He is adorable and sweet, and sleeps really well so we can still have lessons. Now we are helping her prepare for her baptism in January.
-We had a really fun service activity. We helped make packages of food out of the food that stores can't sell anymore. It did include a lot of sorting through rotten fruit, which was a lot more enjoyable than you might think. At the end they also gave us all bunches of flowers to say thank you which really brightens up the apartment.
-There was the mission Christmas party. There was a program with each of the zones singing a song that corresponded to parts of the nativity story. They got really creative. There was also a testimony meeting, a dinner and 6 piñatas to finish off the day. It was a party.
-Elder Grisham has been having some serious bike troubles. 2 weeks ago he got hit by a car. He's fine, but the bike is ruined. So please please, if you drive please keep your eyes out for cyclists. They
could be a missionary.
-We had exchanges. I stayed in area this time with Hermana Evanson. We had a great day. The work was good and we taught a ton of lessons. Then we ended the night by going caroling with some members of the Ward and making tamales. It was super fun.
-Today for p-day we visited a really cool place called the Huntington. It is a park with gardens and a library and art gallery. I highly recommend visiting it if you ever are in Pasadena.
-The biggest thing of course was Christmas. There were so many things I loved about it, the meals of pozole and tamales alongside the meals of ham and potatoes; seeing Sister Xia's joy as she opened presents for the first time on Christmas morning; a Dodgers bobble head from Elder Moncayo; calling home and talking to my family; and writing a talk for my home Ward. But probably my favorite part was the few quiet moments I took on Christmas Eve. Hermana Austin had already dozed off but it wasn't quite 10:30 yet so I took a few moments to read the Christmas story in the scriptures. I started in Isaiah with the prophesies of Christ's birth and finished in Luke 2 with the baby being taken to the temple. During that time I pondered about my Savior. I testify that He was born all those years ago in a small town, and because of that we can all be born again. I testify that because of His death and resurrection we can now all live on after death. Because of Him we can always change and always move past our mistakes and failings. I am so blest to right now be a missionary and bring the same message that the angles brought to shepherds so long ago. "And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."
I hope as always this e-mail finds you well. ¡Feliz Navidad y próspero año nuevo!
Hermana Anna Christensen