I love you! I love hearing from all of you and the awesome updates and things going on in your life. I'm happy to hear that so many people are sharing in the joy of missionary work and reading these letters. I would be selfish to keep so many miracles to myself. Share them with friends!
Also thanks to the Bakers for the Christmas card! That was awesome. You all look so good. I will miss Christmas "boo-ing" you :)
Some fun things this week: The WA-TAC Christmas party, Anderson Island Christmas party, a solid new investigator Chris, and TRANSFERS!
I'll start with the last because I know you're anxious to find out. I am staying in Steilacoom!!! But Elder Hansen is leaving :( and going to the Poulsbo 2nd ward in the Silverdale Zone (next to Bremerton). He is really bummed he is leaving this celestial ward. Also news: I'm training a new missionary! Yikes! I'm very excited but also very nervous, I still feel like I just got here. I don't who he is yet. I'll laugh if it is Elder Singleton :) We have a lot planned this week, so I am excited. A church tour set up Tuesday night and Wednesday night!
OK, the Christmas party on Tuesday was pretty fantastic. It was from 9:30 to 4:00 and consisted of a white elephant gift exchange (fun way to see what is left in missionary apartments...), a great lunch/dinner with a slideshow of 2013 mission pictures. LOTS of singing (some conducting) and all Christmas music! It actually got pretty wild as we sang "the 12 days of (a WA-TAC) Christmas" but we had so much fun. I'm realizing more and more how unique and special it is that our mission is so close and united, that we get together so often. Some of my closest friends are here: those who I have served with, and seeing them is SO fun! We had skits (each Zone did one) and ended with a devotional. The most spiritual part was when our whole mission read together Moroni chapter 10 and finished the Book of Mormon as a mission! We got to bear short testimonies of the Book of Mormon and of Christ. Then we were able to hear the testimony of our mission president and his wife, and watch a powerful Christmas video of the birth, life and Atonement of Jesus Christ. We ended with President Weaver's favorite "Christmas" song "Amazing Grace." And we'll all be singing it again this Tuesday!
|Elder Hansen and Elder Tommy Webber at Mission wide Christmas Party|
Concerning our teaching work, unfortunately Haopeng and Tiffany were not at church today, which means their baptism will have to be postponed. We haven't heard from them since he left to get her in Seattle. We stopped by his apartment every day I think and texted and called, but we can only do so much. I feel that we can still do it in December!
Our very exciting news (Dad you'll like this), is our new investigator Chris. He lives down the street from our Bishop, he knows their great family and sees something different in them. We found him while knocking our 5-7 PM routine on one of the coldest nights (blessings for obedience!) and heard his crazy story of his wife leaving him and long story short he is very depressed and was praying that someone would come to his door to help him. That's right when we knocked. He talked to us for about 30 minutes on his doorstep (remember the cold) and we got his phone number and invited him to church and gave him a Book of Mormon. We didn't hear from him for about a week until he showed up to church one night on the same night that we had mutual, so guess who was there? The bishop he knows! Turns out Chris likes to park his car outside our church building because of the peaceful feeling he gets there. Our Bishop invited him over for dinner and a Family Home Evening night on Sunday (yesterday) which he came to. We were there and another member, a solid recent convert, came too. Chris loved it, he was included and loved with their wonderful family and had a dinner and Christmas message that reminded him of his childhood. He told us afterwards, "I felt the presence of God in that home." We have a church tour set up with him on Wednesday night with that same recent convert as fellowship. We are excited to see where he will go!
Also of note: IT SNOWED on Monday night!!!! There was snowing as we knocked doors! Not quite Provo status but it was exciting and my Idaho companion got a kick out of my excitement.
Saturday night we got to go to the Anderson Island Christmas party, and take the ferry over, very fun. But I'm out of time!
|On the Ferry to the Anderson Island Branch|
Much love and Christmas spirit,
The scripture this week is Alma 7:7, 10-13. That is the Christmas message! I'm SO happy to hear that you guys are getting your family scripture study in! The smallest bit each night will have the most wonderful eternal blessings.
P.S. I heard at our Christmas party that Dennis has been going to the temple more! The senior couple serving there are taking him to Seattle to sit and watch baptisms. (Since it is hard for him to do them himself as we all learned, ha ha). But I can picture him, in white, watching the font with that huge part-toothless smile he always has, as all of his ancestors are baptized!!!
|Missionaries at Steilacoom Ward Christmas Party|
Here is a message form President and Sister Weaver they sent today I'd like to share:
"We hope this is one of the best Christmas Seasons of your life. You are doing something that is very
special, and your Heavenly Father is very proud of you. May His richest blessings be with you this
season and may you deeply feel the Spirit in your missionary efforts, and His peace in your personal
lives. We are so proud of you and are honored to be serving together with you. We love you."
I love you all too!!!
|Missionary apartment sparse Christmas decorations|