Second Christmas Out

Blog 12/26/16

Wow where to even start....  First off I just wanted to say thank you for all of the Christmas wishes and emails and cards yall have sent.  It’s crazy to see all the things that are happening back home. 

So Monday was a pretty good p-day.  We are trying to save some miles so we had a pretty chill day instead of going out and doing something.  Tonight though we had a pretty interesting lesson with a guy named BJ.  I don’t remember if I told you...  so here it is again.  Sunday night we were out and about and were about to head home.  We were driving and I had a feeling that we needed to go check on this former named BJ.  So, we went over to his house and it was so cool.  He let us right in and was asking us all the normal questions about where we are from and telling us how he got involved with the missionaries and stuff.  He is a white guy from here and his wife is a little Filipino lady who is super nice.  So, we set up an appointment to go back Monday.  Well it also turns out that a family in the ward knows him and they're half Filipino too!  So, we called them up and set it up to have them come with us.  

Well Monday night at our lesson we got there and were waiting for BJ because he hadn't gotten home yet and he shows up with pizza! Yeah it was the best haha I wish every investigator would do that.  But we had a good lesson with BJ.  It seemed kinda bashy at first but then we were just able to talk about the things we believe and re-introduce those to him.  He has actually read the Book of Mormon all the way through, marking it up and everything , but hasn't received an answer about it.  He knows the Bible is true, but when it comes to the Book of Mormon he’s still working on it. 

Tuesday was a pretty good day.  We had our all mission Christmas conference which was super fun.  Got to see all my friends from other areas and that was nice.  For the morning session we had some trainings from President Smith, then we were able to have some talks from other people.  The talks were cool because we actually Skyped them in and put them on a projector in the chapel.  The first guy was from the missionary department and he talked about the technology that we have been allowed to have now and did a Q&A session.  Then we heard from one of the UVA football coaches that just came out here with Bronco.  The last one was interesting, we actually skyped President Wilson[Tysons first mission president] and Sister Wilson and talked to them for a couple minutes.  They're planning on going on another mission within the next year or so.  Besides that there were a bunch of really good musical numbers and we got to hear some short messages from some of the stake presidents from around the mission. 

Wednesday was a pretty good day of seeing people.  We knocked a couple doors in the morning and were able to teach one lesson.  Then in the afternoon we saw Sister Worrell.  Ive probably said before but I think one of my favorite things I’ve noticed this Christmas is that without Christmas we wouldn't have Easter either, or the atonement.  That's what we shared with Sister Worrell and talked about how the atonement can help us in our hard times. 

Tonight we also saw Zay.  He’s a kid we met last week who the missionaries taught a while ago.  He is pretty interested and told us that he was kinda bummed when the missionaries stopped coming by last year.  We talked about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon and how he can know about it.  He is really doing good and I think he can become one of our main investigators. 

Friday we went to a funeral that was in our ward.  It was really sweet and it was good to help the ward.  Then Saturday was the best.  We mostly went around and visited less actives and some other members.  Saw a couple people who I haven’t seen in a while like Brother Garza.  He is a really great guy and wants to know about the gospel.  He is a member but hasn't always been and it was really cool to hear his story.  He is working really hard to gain a testimony of the restored truths and some of the newer commandments.  It was a really good visit. 

 After that we went over to the Hise's.  They're a great family and I’ve been looking forward to this for a while.  They both love to cook and may have been to culinary school...  not 100% but Id believe it.  We had a HUGE seafood dinner that started off with this stuff called Foi Gras and Umi.  Its duck liver and sea urchin, he also had an oyster with it and made a homemade teriyaki sauce to go with it.  I guess it was one of the famous recipes on iron chef and it was unreal.  After that for the main dishes we had Alaskan crab legs that were huge, homemade crab cakes, trout wrapped in bacon, and crab and bacon mac n cheese.  Holy cow it was so good!!  Then for dessert she made lemon tarts that were all homemade even the whipped cream.  Honestly it was sooo good I wish I had pics to show you. 

We talked about Christmas after that and I shared with them a little story about the true meaning of Christmas that I had found.  After that we went over to Kathy’s and saw her for a minute.  She is doing a lot better and her daughter was there too.  She also had one of her neighbors over and it was soo funny haha.  His name was Todd and he was wasted.  We were singing Christmas hymns with him and he didn’t really know the words but then he started talking about his favorite hymn which is "Amazing Grace".  They played that song at the funeral the other day and I was thinking about it when Todd was talking about it.  Its so amazing that so many people can know about Christs love and his sacrifice for us.  Todd doesn't have the fullness yet, but I really think that he has a grasp on what Christmas is really about.  Grace is amazing. 

Sunday morning Elder Gordon and I woke up and unwrapped the presents that we got.  Lots of socks and ties which is just what I needed, it was awesome.  Im gonna be in huge trouble but I forgot to take pics...  sorry....  Bur then we went to church.  It started at 11 but we went at 9 just in case anyone showed up early without knowing.  Lucky we did cause it happened haha.  Our sacrament meeting was combined with the other ward and it was awesome.  They had lots of songs and the bishops spoke at the end.  The spirit was definitely there. 

Afterthat we went over to the Halsteads and talked with them a little.  They had a bunch of family over and lots of kids that had gone on missions so it was cool to talk to all of them.  We also skyped home while we were there which was awesome.  Sooo fun to see my family and talk to them.  That is literally the fasted 45 minutes of your life, but it definitely completed my Christmas. 

The rest of the night we were pretty much just eating haha.  We went to the Whiteheads and opened presents with their family and then had dinner there.  They're a lot of fun and even got us presents!  Then we went to the Bucks and Brother Buck made prime rib which was unreal.  I think I gained like 15 pounds tonight. 

It was a really amazing Christmas this year.  It felt so different than all the rest but I think it was because we have been trying to spread the true meaning of Christmas all year.  I really have a testimony of Christ and I know that without Him we would be nothing.  He really is the meaning for this season and we should all try to keep Him in our lives all year long.  I am so grateful for all the people in my life here and in Utah.  And thats really what its all about.  This gospel and our forever families. 

I hope yall had a merry Christmas! Mine sure was. 

Love yall! 

Elder Larson