Sunday, December 4, 2011

December 5, 2011

Dear Mom,

Thank you so much for that wonderful e-mail!  I love reading about everything that's going on, and I'm becoming a pretty quick reader, so no worries about making them TOO LONG!  

I don't know if you remember, but Elder Jones is from the Savannah Zone...  He knows all about that area and he said that where he was  there was a lot of Ghetto and kinda freaky things, but actual Savannah is beautiful.  He told me about how he used to go around on P-day and look at all of the sights and go into shops and everything I'm sure you were doing.  It still just weirds me out to think that if you had seen missionaries in Savannah that they would have been missionaries from my mission...  And that you were only like 2 hours away from where I am right now.  

The Orange Park 2nd ward is still trying to get over this change in bishopric, but what can you do.  I think that some things only come with time, but we did get out to see a couple of people this week with some of the English members, actually...  It was interesting going over to teach Adriana with her English neighbor that served his mission in Portugal, but really successful.  She is great!  She is from Colombia and used to live in OK and attend church over there, but with time let work take over her Sunday mornings...  Her husband is a less-active member that changed his "look" after he stopped going to church, so he claims that's the reason why he doesn't want to come back, but once we get him feeling good about coming, Adriana will be baptized.  We set up a date for her to be baptized this weekend on Monday, but when we said it we didn't realize how soon December was, so we'll probably push it back so she can come to church a few times before.  

I think that this week our investigators were avoiding us a bit, but I think it's because it was Thanksgiving break and they wanted to be with their families or WHATEVER haha...  So we didn't get to see a lot of the people we are usually teaching, but they are still there.  Jose told us to call him this week, and as far as we know he is still reading in his Book of Mormon.  He told us the last time we went over there that he believes the church is true, so that's good.  Haha!  Jazmely and Patricio, a couple from New York, went back up to New York on Friday to pick up their son and bring him back here.  They told us to call them tonight to come over and visit and it's gonna be great!  Elder Garnica and I actually started teaching them and they both told us that they need to get baptized, but didn't want to do it until they were settled in and had their baby with them, so now that they are on their way back with him, they have NO EXCUSES!  They are so wonderful...  We went over and taught them about the Law of Chastity and the next week they were out looking for rings.  I think that there is a great miracle coming up in regards to them :)

The camping trip was fantastic!  We didn't do any missionary work that day, sadly, but it was still so much fun!  We drove out there with a member, Elizabeth, and then played games for a while, took some pictures, and then ate the BEST food ever.  They made turkey and ham in a smoker overnight and it was so delicious.  There were so many different foods from so many different cultures and the Willis family even made Elder Jones and my favorite berry pie!  We closed off the night by playing some games around the campfire and talking about what we were grateful for and then Sister LaFontaine (a Navajo Indian!) told us all about these spooky things called "skin walkers" that are like the native-american equivalent of a werewolf.  They are people that turn into animals and night and come to your house to collect your fingernails and hair to put a hew on you.  Sister LaFontaine was telling us about how when she was driving one night on the reservation, her sister told her not to look and she looked and saw a wolf running on its two back legs (kind of a funny picture to me...) next to their car going about 60 mph!  Honestly, if it were anywhere other than an Native American reservation, I probably wouldn't believe it!  Creepy!  Isn't that fun though?  Who would think to go camping on Thanksgiving as a ward?!  All of the talk about tradition and things that everyone is grateful for reminded me of back home though, and I got a little reminiscent.  You're GREAT!  Just know that I'm being provided for out here...  This ward really is so wonderful.  

We are going to have a Christmas Devotional sometime soon and I'm getting really excited because of that!  Apparently this is a great time of year to go out and find people to teach as well!  Maybe we'll give some people the best Christmas present they could ever receive this year...  I'm almost 100% positive that we are allowed to Skype.  That will be great, but it just makes me a little woozy thinking about actually seeing my family!  What if I shave my head and you yell at me??  I've been trying to get a haircut for the past little while actually because I don't want to shave it again, but no such luck.  It's funny how when my hair is long it's TOO LONG and when it's short it's TOO SHORT.  I guess I'll just try to be a bit more of a square or something...  

That is so wonderful that Jordan is going out to Japan!  Is he going back to the MTC or just going straight there?  Either way I'm sure he is stressing out about learning that language!  That is so great for him and for Russell as well!  I can't wait to see where he goes. 

I love you so much and I hope that you saved some leftovers for me!  I am so happy Heavenly Father chose you to be my Momma and I couldn't ask for anything else than all that you do for me.  Your prayers help me every day to remember why I'm out here!  



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