So last Monday I forgot to tell you that we taught seminary. We got up at like 5:45 and got ready and biked up to the church in the freezing cold. It was raining and windy and I did not like the bike ride haha. But when we got there it was great, we had the senior class and taught about Exodus 20, 1-17 aka the Ten Commandments. We played a game at first to see if they could remember them and get them in order, then we talked about the first 5 a little more in depth and how it applies in our lives. The kids were awesome and I learned a lot too, its funny being the teacher now instead of just sitting in the seats.
Nothing else really happened Monday, just a regular p-day.
Today was Elder Bronson's Birthday! For breakfast I took him to Einstein’s Bagels, then we went back and did our studies. Then for lunch the Spanish Elders took us to Arby’s, which was Elder Bronson's pick. After that we tracted a few streets. It seems like as time goes on we are hearing more and more controversy about the new handbook change which is really interesting. There are a lot of people, members and non-members that have concerns about it. Tracting's always a good time.
After that we had a lesson with Latashia. We talked about a couple things, but one of them was her doing her spiritual CPR (Church, Prayer, Reading) with her family. I think that’s a huge thing that we should all try and focus on, family is so important.
Tonight we went out with a Brother who is on the high council for our ward. We talked to this amazing part member family and they agreed to start meeting with us! They are so welcoming and we had a great little lesson. I can’t wait to see what happens with them.
Today was kind of slow to start out with. We biked to an apartment complex and tracted in the rain for a couple hours. We got a few names and numbers, but nobody was super interested. We had a really great lesson later that night though with Tammy. We talked about the importance of church and praying to find an answer to questions, she really liked it and the spirit was definitely there. She really is committed to finding an answer and I know she will soon.
Today was a super busy day. We started at 9:30 and biked to have a lesson with Mark. He is a great guy with tons of faith and a huge testimony, he just has some personal concerns and so he won’t come to church. We talked for a long time and really got him thinking, he said he would pray and see if he should come back to church which was really awesome!
After that we biked to Sister Romans’ house for lunch and service. We moved all of her Thanksgiving decoration boxes from the downstairs to the attic, then got all of her Christmas stuff down from the attic so she could finish putting it up. She has tons of decorations haha its great! After that she gave us ribs for lunch which was amazing. She and Brother Romans are really good cooks.
Then after we left the Romans' we biked back down and went to BINGO. Everyone at my table won except me and the guy I was playing with haha, but that’s how it goes sometimes. I still love going over there, it’s way fun to be with all those people and they really brighten our week.
Then (yup still Thursday) we went back home and Brother Amos picked us up and took us out to Brother Maldonado’s house. We left straight from there and drove like 20 min or so to a lesson we had set up. When we got there they told us that tonight turned out to be a bad time and she wanted to reschedule. On our way back, we were trying to find people to see, and we felt like we should stop at Belynda and Rogers and give them a lesson. They come to bible study and are really great. We talked about charity and love and the spirit was so strong there. I forgot the scriptures we shared, but it was a great lesson.
Then to finish the day off we went back to Bother Maldonado’s house where his daughter had made a cake for Elder Bronson's birthday. It was great, they really know how to take care of the missionaries.
Today at 1 we had a zone meeting. It was a really good meeting. Some of the trainings were on Jesus Christ and The Atonement, Love, Consecration, and Pride. A couple things I really loved from the meeting was a talk that was shared called "A Summer With Great Aunt Rose" by President Uchtdorf. It was in the Women’s Session of Conference this year and is a really amazing parable. I also loved the training on consecration, he broke the word down which was really cool. Con-secra-tion. Con means to use intense force on something and secra means to make it holy; so when you put them together you are using force to make it holy which I thought was kind of cool.
Tonight we went out with Brother Baird and knocked on some people's doors. We also had a lesson with Cindy B, and it was a good lesson with her. We shared the new Christmas video from the church and talked about the purpose of Christ in our lives. It was really great to talk about the reason for Christmas so much. #ASaviorIsBorn
This morning we went to the church to help set up chairs for stake conference that is this weekend, more on that later.
Today was also Brother Maldonado’s birthday so this evening we went and did some stuff with him. Every year he takes his family and the missionaries and a couple other people to go and do a thing called the Bethlehem Walk. It’s a really cool thing they do out here in Goochland where they set up this big walk through and it looks just like Bethlehem. As you walk through they are all dressed like they would have been in Christ’s time and they are all selling stuff and talking to you and whatever. Also, the most important part, they play it out like you get there the night He is being born. You have to go through the guards to get in the gate and then as you walk through you see different parts of Christ’s life. It was great and I took a bunch of pictures so go look at those. (my camera died halfway through so sorry about that).
After going through this event, which was put on by a bunch of other churches in the area, I am really grateful for my belief and that I know about the things I know. It really brought the spirit of Christmas and the reason we have it and also strengthened my testimony of Christ and our gospel.
This morning was stake conference. We got there and it started at 10. It was a really great conference. They had a change in the stake presidency and so the brother being released and his wife spoke. He said how grateful he was for his calling and some other things and she talked about modesty and how it’s an inward decision that shows on the outside. We also had the temple president and his wife from the DC temple speak. They talked about temples and it was really awesome. I wish I could go to the temple more but oh well.
After conference we had a lesson with Tammy. They were supposed to come to church, but at the last minute they weren’t feeling well and so they couldn’t. So we went over after and we shared with them what was talked about. They really are awesome and Tammy especially loves temples and the thought of being together forever. The spirit was so strong in this lesson and we asked her if she would prepare to enter the temple and be sealed to her husband in January of 2017. She said yes! She also said she would be baptized in January of 2016 so that she could be ready! The spirit was flooding the room and it was so amazing.
That night we had a Creche exhibit and performance at the church. It was put on by the stake and people from everywhere were coming, member and non member. There were around 500 people there. We started off with a choir program which was really, really amazing. Then they had 3 big rooms with hundreds of nativity scenes set up and people got to walk around and look at them while the missionaries were there to talk to them and lead them around. It was really a great night.
This week was really good. The mission may be hard at times, especially during this season being away from family, but it is such a blessing to have this gospel in my life. If you haven’t seen the new church Christmas video I would really encourage you to go watch it. I am so grateful that we have this season to celebrate Christ’s birth.
Transfer calls are this Saturday so I’ll see if I’m staying in Gayton or going somewhere else.
Love you all and I'll talk to you in a week.