The snow is finally there!!
The "Lighthouse" Building where his congregation meets
Can you say "Snow Angel"?
Today was an awesome day. David A. Bednar, from the Quorum of the 12 Apostles, came to speak to us. It was such an incredibly powerful experience and we all learned more than I can even include. He spoke to us for about 3 hours and just talked and let us ask questions and he answered with apostolic authority and it was incredible. Hearing him talk in person, there was no doubt that he was an Apostle of The Lord, called of God, and that the testimony that he bore was true. It was an amazing experience.
Saturday Dec. 7th:
Today, Lilia got baptized! We've been working with her ever since I got here and apparently it's been a lot longer than that, but it was such a beautiful ceremony and incredible to be a part of it. She was just beaming when she was in the water. Her son, Christian (who was baptized about a year ago) got to baptize her, and that just made it so much more special for Lilia. It was great!
At Lilia's Baptism!
Ready for a snow fight!
Happy Birthday Savannah! (Savannah turned 16 on Dec. 8th!) Today we went over to the hospital because Angie (the one who was baptized my first week here) was admitted around 3 this morning. She had some problem with the liver, they think, but she's also 7 months pregnant so that was kind of a scare. We went to the hospital and gave her a blessing and just talked and caught up with the whole family to see what we could do to help, we couldn't really do too much but we talked and tried to make them laugh and we were really glad that we were able to be there.
Wednesday Dec. 11th:
Today, I went on exchanges with Elder Moleli (from the other companionship in his apartment) into his area (English area). We went and did some visits, ate dinner with the Rasmussen family, then we got to do something really cool: we took one of his investigators down to Temple Square to see the Christmas lights. Wow, it's hard to use words to describe how amazing Temple Square looks at night with all the Christmas lights and the Salt Lake Temple in the background all lit up and just shining bright. The spirit felt there is so powerful, and it's undeniable that that place is a place of refuge from a world that is sometimes crazy. We're going to have to take a family trip out to Temple Square in the winter one year, it's very beautiful.
Scottie and Elder Moleli
Thursday Dec. 13th:
Today was a pretty solid and just busy day, but we did get to do something at the end of the night that was pretty special. We went to visit the Jardón family and we got to give their daughter a priesthood blessing. She is 11, and she'd been feeling really bad lately. Her throat started hurting and then her back started hurting and she couldn't sleep well and she started to get depressed because she'd been sick so long. Her name is Ixlandi Naneli, which is a Mayan name and it's really cool. We (Elder Biggs, her father, and I) gave her the blessing and it was incredible. Almost immediately after the blessing, she started talking to us and smiling and laughing and then when we saw her on Saturday she was all smiles and feeling like 100% better. I have a strong testimony that the priesthood power is real and that, through the Lord's help and our faith, miracles have not ceased on this earth.
Friday Dec. 14th:
Today, the funniest thing was that Elders Ghramm, Moleli, Jung, Hearn, Biggs, and I, along with Sis. Vang and Sis. Martinez (sister missionaries in the same district as Scottie), all went to the 8th ward Christmas party and we sang the First Noel. I don't think I ever would have gotten up and sang in front of a big crowd like that before the mission, but with that group of people, it was just a lot of fun and I think we did decent, Elder Hearn (a great singer) definitely carried us haha. But it was a ton of fun, and when I got home I got your packages! The 12 days of Christmas idea is the sweetest thing ever, like, seriously, I can't tell you how much it means to me and how lucky I am to have a family that cares so much about me. The tree is awesome and I'll send you a picture of it decorated and with the lights, and I'm just extremely grateful for you all. I can't wait to get to Skype y'all on Christmas! (Christmas Day will be the first time we will get to speak to Scottie since June, he can call on Christmas day and Mother’s Day).
Christmas decorations from home
Super busy and mission-changing day today. We got up, I was on exchanges with Elder Ghramm and we played some morning basketball with the 1st Ward and some investigators, so that's a great way to start the day for me. Then we went and helped set up about 5000 candles for a candlelight vigil at the Memorial Cemetery that's next to Winder Farms. I'm not sure what it's for, maybe just to celebrate loved ones at the time of Christmas. Then, we came back and made sure our apartment was clean for inspections, and then Biggs and I spent all afternoon inviting people to our branch Christmas party. We went to the party and it was a huge success, delicious food and lots of people (including some non-members and less-active people, so we mingled with everyone!). Then, at 6:15, we got the call from Pres. Swain. Transfers! So Elder Biggs is leaving this area to go be a zone leader in the Granger North stake with Elder Campos (we kinda guessed he was leaving, he's been in this area for 9 months and president almost never leaves people for longer than that). I will be staying in the area and I've been called as a District Leader and a Trainer (district leader means he will be in charge of the missionaries in his district and Trainer means that he will now be training a new missionary just out of the Missionary Training Center). Wow, so my mission is about to be a lot different than it has been so far haha (he has currently been serving 6 months). I'm pretty nervous but I'm also really excited to see who my new companion will be and who will be in the district (Sis. Vang and Sis. Martinez are also training, so we'll have 3 new missionaries in our area!). Lots of exciting changes coming up!