We had a man who is surprised that we celebrate Christmas because he thought we were anti-Christ, and another man thought we were Amish... (he asked if we were Amish as we were getting into our CAR???? Was I not putting the right things together??)
Merry almost Christmas!!!!! Being a missionary in December, I have decided, is the absolute best thing ever. This statement is not to take away from the other fact, that being a missionary period is the best thing ever. Also, Christmas music is SO good. Pentatonix and the Piano Guys are all that we listen to in the car. And David Archuleta's (<3) Angels From the Realms of Glory. That plays at least 7 times a DAY and I'm not mad about it.
We had a mission-wide gingerbread house competition, and I will not lie, our district's house was preeeeeeeettyyy sweet. We took it apart and built a nativity scene and no winners were announced, but we know it was ours. They just didn't want to make the other missionaries feel bad. It was a pretty tight competition, but Elder Ibarra's marshmallow wise men pushed us over for the victory.
We also had a ward Christmas party this week for Converse! I will not lie, theirs was nowhere near what my home ward's parties have been in the past, but we had a woman we are teaching and her son at ours, so that made it better than any Christmas Party I've ever been to. Plus-- Santa was there! He asked me to sit on his lap, and I had to inform him that as a representative of Jesus Christ, I don't think I could really do that. (I thought Santa would know that- so I'm a little skeptical to be honest)
I have now learned that kids in the 8-10 age range are my favorite people ever. We're celebrities to them. There's one girl Emily who gives us the biggest hugs every time she sees us, and always sits with us in church. We had dinner with a family who had an 8 year-old-boy, and he brought out his scriptures to read us his favorite one (his scriptures were in a camo case so I don't know how he found them), and wanted us to stay after and play board games. Something I've learned in Texas is that everyone loves to talk about themselves, and has a veeeeeeeerrrryyyyy thin filter. Kids are also the best because they have even LESS of a filter than the adults do! A girl at the ward party runs up to us and goes, "Hi Sister Missionaries!!! Look at my dress! How old are you? Oh my sister is 19! She's married. Her husband is abusive." Then they announce dessert and she goes, "COOKIES!!" and runs away. Precious.
There was also a kid that wore the coolest electric blue cowboy boots to church. I want to be him when I grow up.
Here is a quick list of people who could use your prayers:
Margie is a woman we are teaching who is the absolute sweetest thing ever. Her son recently passed away, and we are hoping to get her to church sometime to meet the ward family because she is alone now, and are really trying to bring her some hope!
Lalita is an inactive member in one of our wards who is being forced to move by the end of the month, but she has no place to go. Throughout her life, she has collected so many things, and packing it all up before the new year seems quite impossible. Pray that we can help her get out of her house with everything safely, and that she and her daughter will have a place to go!!
Ray has had the hardest life I have ever heard. He referred himself to us at his lowest point, so we gave him a call and were able to get to know him a little better. We asked how Jesus Christ has helped in his life, and he ultimately said, "Never. Jesus Christ has never helped me. He doesn't care about me." Let me tell y'all, that couldn't be further from the truth!!!!! We've been helping provide resources that can help Ray change his life, and helping him see that God really is aware of him, but he could use all of the prayers he can get!
God knows each of us. He loves all of us, and he is aware of you. God answers prayers. I KNOW that is true. He is ALWAYS there, even when we might not be able to see him. Something that has helped me see God in the harder times of life, is counting my blessings. Maybe we didn't teach anyone one day, but we called, and left voicemails, and planted seeds. It didn't rain on us as we were outside for hours. We had a member feed us. We have a car. A lesson cancelled on us, which gave us the time to call Ray! There are ALWAYS blessings to be seen!
Have a good week :) Sister Roberts District and gingerbread house (x3) Pretty sunrise Santa!!!! My companion's siblings made snowflakes and sent them to us in her most recent package - so we made a wall of snow in our apartment Our other Christmas wall - also contributed to by the Stoddard children Our elders think they're funny