Lots of fun little things! We got to make gingerbread houses with the young women, bike around town to drop gifts off and a whole bunch of heart attacks (not literally). During one of the heart attacks, the ladies front door was partially open so it was a real challenge.
Also, we helped Jeff out with his garden again! We finished building the green house! While we were raking out the mulch, Jeff said "Sister Barton does this smell like home to you?" I was confused, so he went on to explain that one of the main ingredients in the mulch is cannabis. Something about how the cannabis helped to create heat so he could do more tropical plants in the greenhouse. Anywho, always a good time with Jeff.
Also also, we have been living with members since I have been here. It has been super fun, but we had to move out because they are having a bunch of fam over for Christmas! We packed everything into our little car and moved in with some other sisters in a cute little apartment. A couple funny things:
-we were relying heavily on the food that the Rowlans gave us so when we moved out I ate peanut butter and oatmeal 3 meals a day for a few days
-I didn't realize that I might need a blanket now, so I have been sleeping under a pile of clothes:)
-You can hear a siren go off about every 5 minutes. I take comfort in knowing that law enforcement is always nearby!
-the sisters we are living with are SUCH a party and its gonna be a fabulous Christmas!!
This week was a tough week. We got a bunch of calls from people who had some not very nice things to say. It was starting to really wear on me and my comp. On Saturday, we called a friend who was wanting to meet with us. She had compiled a list of every reason why the church isn't true. When we hung up, we both started to cry pretty good. I'm not sure why I was crying, but that's what happened lol. We drove back to the church, and when we got there my companion started to tell me how the whole time our friend was ripping on us, she felt no doubts. She realized that there was nothing anyone could say to convince her the church was not true. It was a super powerful moment and it got the water works going again hahaha. I am so grateful for this restored church. I know it is true, and I am grateful for hard weeks like this that help me to become even more certain of that.
Two highlights to balance out that story:
-we invited our friend Elaine to a live nativity put on by one of the wards. Elaine has been battling cancer for a long long time and this has been a crazy difficult year for her. At the end of the nativity, we sang "Joy to the World!" Elaine was crying so hard that she could not sing, and she later told my comp and I that this night was the "win" that she needed.
-Our friend Alexis asked my comp and I to be the witnesses at her baptism!! We are SO excited!!
Finally, I have had the opportunity to share the story of the nativity with many families this season! What has really struck me this year is the story of the shepherds. They were the lowest of the low, and yet they were given the incredible honor of visiting Christ on the night of His birth. They were certainly not the only shepherds around that night, yet they were the ones chosen. They were where they needed to be and who they needed to be at that moment. In Luke 2:17 it says "And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this Child." I like to think that a part of the reason these shepherds were chosen was because God knew he could trust them to share their testimonies. They would witness something that would change the world, and God needed them to share the good news! As to myself, I like to think that God could trust me to share my testimony as I witness miracles and build my faith. I am so grateful for this Christmas season!! I'm so happy that I'm so happy :))
I LOVE YOU ALL MERRY CHRISTMAS AND TO ALL A FELIZ NAVIDAD
Pics: greenhouse, Italian sodas, giving cookies to friends, bye rowlans!, etc.