Monday, December 26, 2011

365 Days Til Christmas!

Ok there is a story behind that...

So I am my mothers daughter and I totally had a countdown for Christmas... I would write in on the board at the Visitors Center every day and then Sis Macdonald would erase it every night haha. Finally, we got one of those tree counter things where you move the candy cane every day so that she couldn't erase it. So then on Christmas day I wrote "365 days til Christmas!" on the board and Sis Macdonald about died. It was pretty hilarious. She did cry a little too when I gave her a picture of all the sisters in a beautiful frame. I love that woman so much. They actually leave in like 2 weeks... that will be a very sad departure. They have been such wonderful VC Directors!

The next time I write to you will be 2012. That is the craziest thing in the world. I remember this time last year thinking "Woa... I dont go home til 2012, that is FOREVER away" and now... BAM! It's here. I hope I am a different person than I was at this time last year. I think I am... I am excited for a new year. Not very excited about leaving this place, but I will cross that bridge when I get there.


Oh my gosh. Christmas as a missionary involves this:
Ok I think you get it... I don't think you understand how many treats. EVERYONE brings us treats. And we all eat them. We all have food hangovers today. It's pretty awesome. I can't even thing about cookies. (But speaking of cookies... Court. You read my mind. I had 2 of those almond snow man cookies at a members house once and I fell in love. Maybe I ate like 10 of them. THEY ARE SO GOOD! Thank you!)

Ok Christmas involved a lot of more things too.
-Miracles: SO many non members come into the center... to see the concerts, the light, etc. It is really amazing to talk with them because they are so much more open!
-So many emotions... Christmas just brings so many things out in people. People want to share, to change, to love, to serve. We all feel so much closer together at christmas.
-Christmas music! Probably one of my favorite parts. We had a Mission wide devotional on Christmas Eve and it was all music and talks by President and Sister Baker. It was incredible. I loved it so much and felt overwhelmed with gratitude to be a missionary for another christmas here in LA. We also had a VC concert by all of us Sisters on both Christmas Eve and Christmas. They turned out beautifully! Put a bunch of Sisters together to sing, and people love it. The Spirit helps a lot too...
-Christmas was 75 degrees. RIGHT?! Beautiful.
-Members: They are so good to us. They just make us feel at home for Christmas... So wonderful. Our Christmas feast was seriously a feast. Wow. You wouldn't believe it. And so beautiful too...
-Packages! THANK YOU TO EVERYONE! Thank you for the cards! Thank you for the gifts! The love! I am so blessed. To my new blog-following friends: Thank you for being a part of this special experience :) I love making new friends!

We had lots of fun things... A party with the sisters at the Apartments... Santa Came! See attached pictures :)

Christmas involves a lot more things... but thats a good list for now.

It was a good week! It was difficult to set appointments with everyone Christmas-ing. But we were able to see a lot of members as we delivered treats to them to try and get to know them more. This is a great ward.
We did meet with a new investigator- we shall call her Jasmine. Because she looks like Jasmine from Aladin- twice. She is awesome! Sis Moon met her at the Visitors Center and she referred herself, not really knowing what that meant. We met with her for a bit on Tuesday to just set our expectations (we were on shift so we couldn't have an actual lesson) and she agreed to learn more. Then we had an actual lesson and she committed to baptism on January 21st! WOO HOO! It was a great lesson and the spirit was really strong. Sis Moon shared the 1st vision and I was so proud! She did such a good job with her little Korean accent. She is such a great missionary. We are very excited for Mandana. She's amazing.
Abuelo was around this week, at the Visitors Center etc. We are still at a loss for how to help him progress towards baptism. He went to church yesterday and loved it, of course. He always does. He loves the Book of Mormon. Just will not agree to be baptized. Soon, I hope! We are trying to have faith in the Lord's timing for Luis. We love him a lot. We did him for 12 days of Christmas and he figured out it was us and he was SO funny about it.... Just would not stop saying thank you thank you thank you thank you. He really did seem very grateful to have someone love him like we do... He is so adorable.

I loved being able to talk to my family. I told all the sisters about Travis telling me Jakes throat was messed up and then Jake just making obnoxious noises. They all thought it was pretty hilarious. I do have a great family, if I do say so myself. Love you all so much.
This week I reflected a lot about the Savior. About my understanding of him, my relationship with him. It is the absolute most important thing to me. He is the most important being in my life. I believe in his power. I believe in his words... I am learning how to use the atonement more everyday. It is difficult, but I can see how incremental it is. How each day matters and brings us closer to him, if we will but choose to do so. I want to continue to let Christ be the center of my world. Forever.
Love you all. So. Much.
See you in 2012! AGHJDSHGJLSHJ! Nuts.

Sista Brink

Pictures: All from the Mission wide Devotional and from Christmas!

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