It doesn't really feel like Christmas Eve haha. Mission Christmas' are different. All the congregations/wards that we cover had their Christmas programs yesterday. In the Rio Colorado branch we had little talks given and lots of singing. We were only at the Yuma Valley ward for a few minutes so didn't see anything. The Cibola ward had lots of choir numbers and instrumentals. We got there late but saw the harps and violins. It was nice.
We had a Christmas miracle yesterday. Back in October I wrote about a family that was just starting to come back to church with three daughters who were never baptized. The family is increadibly busy and we have not been able to have a lesson with them since October. Every week it gets cancelled. Well we finally had one set up for Sunday (yesterady) and our mission president told me to get the Bishop involved since it's a unique situation. We did. The day before on Saturday night I was doing some stuff in our apartment and out of nowhere felt a very strong impression to give the three daughters a baptismal date. For next week. I sat there kind of dumbfounded thinking to myself that we have only taught them three times in three months and how there was no way etc etc etc. But the impression stayed with me so I planned on extending that date during the lesson the next day. We met with them after Church and she told us she was very rushed and only had a few minutes to be with us so we started the lesson and taught around the Gospel of Jesus Christ (faith, repentance, baptism, gift of holy ghost, enduring to the end). At the end that prompting came back and I extended the invitation to be baptized the following week. The three girls, very excitedly, said yes. The mother looked at them and said that she was ok with it and would check with her husband, who doesn't love the church. I promised her that if she went to him and bore solemn testimony that he would say yes. We are supposed to call her this afternoon to see how it went but I'm optimistic. Through a miracle the family is where they are. Through a miracle they have accepted a baptismal date for next week and through a miracle it will happen. I believe in miracles.
The miracle of that story is even better when compared to the disaster of this past week. One of the people we have been teaching with a baptismal date for last weekend came to us and told us she didn't want to listen to us anymore. We sat down with her and tried to figure out why but she just got up and left. It was pretty sad to see someone come so far and then just disappear.
Where one falls away, three fill it I guess. It looks like we can pass our monthly baptismal goal if the father OKs the baptism. Miracles!
This past week was the Christmas party in Tempe. It was fun to drive up and enjoy the program and go to the temple. The Christmas program itself included talks from President and Sister Howes, the area authority, and the APs. In between the talks were multi zone musical numbers. Two-three zones were paired up and given a song to practice and perform at the party. We were put together with Chandler and Maricopa, both 2 hours away. We never practiced with them or on our own. Turns out they never practiced either haha. We were called up in front of the mission to sing and man, terrible doesn't even begin to cover it. One Elder was conducting who had no idea how to do it. To begin, he held his hand and just waited. The choir of ~30-40 people sat in silence for a good 15 seconds. The pianist told the conductor to start and so, naturally, the conductor started singing thinking that we would all join in. No one did. So he sang the first three notes way off pitch and the whole room just started laughing haha. Finally the pianist just started playing and we all tried to join in. Well, throughout the two minutes we were up there, the pianists music fell off so he stopped playing, the singing was waaaaaaay off tune and no one can count beats and it was just the worst musical performance of my life haha. I don't think I've ever had such a hard time trying not to laugh. As soon as we were finished we all walked back to our seats and I just about died of laughter. Most of the performances were pretty bad, not as bad, and President Howes just got up and laughed it off and said they probably won't do that again. Golden. It will be one of the funnier memories of my mission I think. After that we had a huge lunch/dinner given to us by members in the area and got to get together with all the missionaries in the mission. It was fun to see my MTC district again and to say goodbye to some of the missionariesI've come to know who are going home in a few weeks. All in all a good experience. The Mesa temple is unbelievable.
This week we were walking in the ghetto part by the farms and a 747 flew over us at like 300 feet. Suuuuuuper low. I took a picture of it and looked at it later on my camera and zoomed in. It had, written on the side, "Trent 100 - First to power the Boeing 787 Dreamliner." and then I noticed that one of the four engines is the very engine that is on the 787. Pretty cool. Picture attached. Guess they were advertising to the farm workers?
Jeff Jardine showed up this week in Yuma! Got a phone call from a Virginia phone number and picked it up and he said that the mission president had OK'd him taking us out to lunch. Sweet! We met at In 'n Out the next day and had a good time. It was nice to see him and his family. Thanks for stopping by!
I met two people this week who know where Sweet Home, Oregon is and have been there recently. The Slaters and the Borgersons. Those sound familiar to anyone?
What is it called when there's like a halo around the moon? I've never seen one before but remember learning about it in Physics. I got a sweet picture of it on exchanges this past week. Attached.
Remember the family of the the man that Elder Sawyer and I baptized? The ones who hated us then loved us? They're getting baptized tomorrow and the father, the man we baptized, is going to be able to baptize them. I can't even wait. So exciting. Just a complete turn around in their lives. That means that 4 of the 5 people that Elder Sawyer and I taught all the lessons to will have been baptized in the last 2 weeks. Very cool. They challenged all the missionaries to a game of softball afterwards. Challenge accepted.
Not a ton else happened this week.
Tonight from 6-9pm is P-Day and all day tomorrow is P-Day as well. We are going carolling as a district tonight to recent covnert houses. Should be fun. . Thanks Sister Hines, the Lewis', Grandpa and Grandman, Mom, Natalia and Annie. Tomorrow I'm catching up on letters for the last few weeks, I promise.