Today was our mission Christmas conference. All of the missionaries came from the whole mission and met at our church building and we had a big conference and lunch. It was fun being around other missionaries and talking to them. We had like 1000 musical numbers and they had people speak in between it all. They talked about all of the Christ-like attributes. Then at the end President Wilson and Sister Wilson spoke.
After the conference we had another missionary stay the night with us. They are having a new district leader training tomorrow and he and Elder Bronson are going to that. We had a pretty cool lesson with him. We were walking around and talked to this guy outside of his house and shared the Christmas video with him. He liked our message and was super great, he even wanted to come to church. We had seen that he had people inside and so we asked him if we could go in and share the message with them and he said yes. We went in and he had 5 sisters that we talked to about how we can come closer to Jesus Christ. They are all new investigators and said they will try and come to church!
Tonight I also slept in my hammock because we don't have 3 beds in our apartment. Brings back good memories haha
Elder Bronson had his meeting until like 1 today so I went and hung out with the Spanish missionaries. We did studies, then went to lunch and went and visited a couple of their potentials.
We were supposed to clean out a brother in our wards gutters today, but we went over there and it was pouring rain and he wouldn't let us get on the ladder. We ended up having an awesome lesson with him and his family though. They are awesome, it's just really hard for them to come to church because of some health problems.
Tonight we went out with Brother Warnick. It was a pretty good night. We had a lesson with a part member family who Elder Bronson and I have been trying to meet for a while. Then we went and helped a sister put up her Christmas tree because she isn't able to do it herself.
Thursday (Christmas Eve)
Today turned out pretty good. It was pouring rain the whole day, like more rain than I've ever seen. Brother Maldonado was in town and he came a went around a little with us. We visited the Webers, a less active family in the ward and shared a Christmas message with them. After that we went to Applebee's and had lunch with a gift card I got for Christmas which was super fun. Then he dropped us off at the place where we usually play bingo. They didn’t have bingo today though, instead they had a Christmas party which we helped with a little. We handed out gifts to all of the people there. It was very humbling to go and see the smile on these peoples faces when we gave them their gift.
Tonight was pretty good. We’re not sure how, but we had 2 dinner appointments scheduled. We went to the bishop’s house first which was super fun. He has a bunch of kids that were super excited for Christmas. Then we went to the Perkins and had dinner. I was bursting at the seams haha. It was a good Christmas Eve though and the members here are great.
First Christmas in Virginia. We woke up at the normal time and went into the office and read Luke 2, just like my family does every year. Then we went out and opened our packages we got from our parents. I am very pleased and grateful to have such an amazing family and girlfriend. Later Terra(Brother Maldonado’s daughter) and Gus picked us up and we went out to his house. He had a huge Christmas breakfast breakfast made, but I was still stuffed from the night before haha. Then we opened some of the gifts they had and he got me and Elder Bronson some hoodies which are way cool.
After that I got to call home. It was awesome to talk to everyone back home and actually see their faces. It was the best Christmas present a missionary could get. Haha I'm not really sure what else to say about that except that it made me super happy until I had to hang up, that part wasn't fun.
After Elder Bronson called home we went outside and helped Brother Maldonado with some stuff he needed to get done. One of the things was to trim his 300 lb. pig’s toenails which had gotten super long. I wish I had a video of it haha it was wild! We got him out to the grass and cornered him in, then pushed him over on his side and managed to get ropes around his feet so he couldn't move. I had no idea pigs could be so loud haha
Today was also raining haha I'm still not sure how I feel about the rain out here, not what I'm used to. We went out and contacted potentials. It was tough because people didn't really want to talk to us and we didn't get in any doors. Tonight though we had a lesson with Tammy. We watched The Restoration and talked about Joseph Smith. It was a great lesson.
Then we went out and contacted Jonny. He's a guy we've talked to before, but haven't had the chance to get inside. We talked to him about the Book of Mormon and committed him to read and pray about it. He's a super humble guy.
Overall this week was kinda slow, but pretty great. I had a really good Christmas and the members here make you feel so at home. I hope you all had a great Christmas with your families and found a way to remember Christ.