Hello my wonderful friends, family and others who may read this! I had a fantastic week because it was CHRISTMAS!!
Okay so we decided to do a white elephant gift exchange with the Zone! I ended up with a hobbit doll haha but everyone brought really good gifts and it was a great start to our week of Christmas celebrations!
Tuesday was insanity! We drove down to Antelope to drop off our 2014 Chevy Cruz and pick up our 2017 Chevy Malibu. There were about 7 other companionships getting new cars so we carpooled down to Sacramento (Rancho Cordova) to pick up the cars! It was pretty exciting and probably the only time in my life I will drive a brand new car off the lot. It only had 9 miles on it! Plus tiki isn't installed yet #wootwoot We had to drive back to the mission office, pick up food then went to the Stake center to eat with some other missionaries because we didn't want to eat in the car. Nicole was home so we stopped by her house to say hi! It was probably the last time I will see her on my mission! It's been such a blessing to serve in the mission one of my best friends lives in!
We headed back up and went straight to dinner! I don't remember what else happened that day because I was exhausted from literally being in a car the majority of the day! But I really can't complain because we have a beautiful car that will really help us be more effective. We are so so grateful!! Truly blessed!
Wednesday we did our best to be diligent in the morning and we had a miracle! We met E! We were coming back to our car after trying to see an investigator who wasn't home! He called out to us and said Hi, Sister Cowden and I both looked at each other than headed across the street to where he was. We shared the Christmas video with him and he loved it! He even said we could come back anytime!
That afternoon we had our half mission Christmas conference! It was just so good! We talked all about the Light of Christ and what Christmas is really about! Sister Marston spoke about why everyone loves Christmas so much. She said that it is partially because it's on old familiar story, one that we heard before we were even born. And it's so true! When we lived with Heavenly Father before we came to earth, He presented His plan and Christ being born was a big part of it. He was born of bible circumstances, but what made His birth so special is what he did much later in life. When he performed the Atonement for each of us. I loved in the Christmas video last year, one of the kids said, "He was born, so that we can be born again." He gave His life, so that we can repent, change and have new life through Him. How grateful I am so my Savior Jesus Christ, for His love and care for me. I know that when we follow Him we really can change and be better.
Thursday we had a miracle! We had plans to see J. who is a former investigator. We knocked on the door and Jen answered. We introduced ourselves and she says "That's funny your here, I'm a less active member and I've been meaning to contact you. I want to come back to church". WHAT THE WHAT?! So stoked! So she invited us in and we share the Christmas video with her. She cried and told us she wants to change her life. We testified of Jesus Christ and that because of Him we can change, we can be forgiven and we can be clean. She is going to come to church this week and we are meeting with her on Wednesday. Please keep her in your prayers!
We got into the car and celebrated because we saw how perfectly it was timed. We saw the Lords hand so clearly. We both cried as we prayed to thank Heavenly Father for the miracle.
Friday was crazy we had lots of set lessons which was so nice but got no weekly planning done which stressed us out a bit. But we were able to see B. and it's been a few weeks so we were grateful we followed the prompting to go. He's doing well, still dealing with cancer so please keep him in your prayers.
That night we went over to L's with the Hermanas to make s'mores and cookies! I just love L. she is just so wonderful and has such a desire to follow Christ! She is super fun too and helps us feel normal! I love watching her grow in the gospel!
Saturday we had our usual meeting with Brother Eccles then went to the care home for caroling! The old people loved us!! Some sang along and clapped! We then caravanned to the Stake center for Zone brunch. Really it was lunch but we all brought different food to make breakfast. We had eggs, bacons, pancakes, cinnamon-sugar bread, fruit and juice. It was so good!! I love my Zone!
That night we made a fire in the fireplace and roasted marshmallows and made s'mores! I am so grateful to be in a four Sister again for Christmas. It makes being away from home for Christmas just a little bit easier when you are surrounded by good friends!
Sunday was CHRISTMAS!! We got up and opened presents! Thank you so much for all the gifts! They were perfect and made me feel so loved!
Skyping was honestly the highlight of the day. I miss my family so much and honestly this Christmas was harder than last. I cried a lot and laughed a lot. So grateful for them and their endless love, support and prayers.
We had dinner with the H's! We got to participate in their annual marshmallow snowball fight! It was a blast! It probably lasted a good 30 minutes. We made a few more visits and headed home. We had another fire and drank S'mores flavored hot cocoa! So good!
I am very excited for this coming week and to ring in the new year!!
Sister Emily Gore