Hello family! I hope you are all doing well. I'll try to include a little more about last week, as well as this week's stuff.
Also, I'll probably Skype mid-afternoon, about 2pm PT. I will probably have Sister Rosell call Mom and make sure that's all good, since we're all spread out around the country and I don't want to miss anyone, if at all possible.
I've been practicing the trombone lately to get ready to play for our mission Christmas conference. I have lost a lot of upper and lower range, but my tone is still good, thank goodness! It feels really good to play again, it's been a long time. I have lost articulation skills too (playing fast notes). I'll see if I can get pictures or even a video of me playing on Saturday.
Tatsiana went out of town for the holidays. Her baptism has again been postponed until probably January 28. Maybe Jan 14 if we're lucky. We have stake conference in between there so we couldn't do a confirmation. We haven't taught her in a while, so there's not much to report there.
Her fellowshipper, Yamilda , had her husband come home this week from Afghanistan. He is not in the military, but is a scientist doing something out there. He is a returned missionary, but now is not a member of the church. A few years ago he asked his records to be removed from the church. He will be home for 3 weeks, and Sis Evans wants us to talk to him and see what we can do to help bring him back. I hope it goes well!
Last week I did a baptism interview for a young Marine named Jay . He was very prepared. He knew some members growing up and admired the Church. I have done several baptism interviews, but I bring him up because he had a cool testimony. The last question is something to the effect of "you're about to make a covenant with God to follow Jesus Christ and take His name upon you. Are you willing to do this?" He responded "How can I not? I know it's true. I could keep doing what I was doing and waste my life away, or I could join the Church and do what I know is right. I can't wait any longer for this."
Last Wednesday we had a district meeting that I probably won't forget. The day before we'd had a district activity at the church, and one of the elders invited some high school kids to come join after school and play basketball. We had decided to play volleyball as a district. When the kids came, he asked us to move volleyball to just one side of the court so they could play basketball with him. I tried to talk him out of it, letting him know that wasn't the best idea, but he was very persistent. Eventually we went over, and another elder went to join them as well. The 6 missionaries playing volleyball were very upset and there was a schism in the district, and a sour taste in everyone's mouth when we left. The next day in district meeting, there was some discussion about it. I decided to abandon the training I was going to present, and instead we discussed the issue all the way. There were a lot of apologies but it still didn't feel right in the room. We decided to all kneel down together as a district and I offered a prayer, asking for the gift of charity and forgiveness to come to everyone, and immediately the contention was gone, and the Spirit flooded the room. The sun even came out and shined really brightly in the window. It was a really nice demonstration of how the Holy Ghost can change hearts and attitudes.
This week at the lemonade stand I've been holding our sign that says "Free Lemonade". I've gotten really good at the sign spinning and flipping thing! There's no way I would do that for a job though!
On Friday we had our ward Christmas party at the church. It was very well attended and there was a lot of really neat decorations! We helped decorate between appointments. There were over 230 people that came. Bishop Ferrell said that about half of all the members there brought friends to the party. We were very busy meeting a lot of people! It was a really good event. The best part of the program were the young men. The audience sang the 12 days of Christmas while 4 guys ran around and tripped over each other and tried to hold up props for each of the items that were sung about. It was awesome. The prop for 3 french hens was a KFC bucket. Dessert was a pie contest. Lots of the ladies in the ward brought their best pies, and we had a feast! Dinner was make your own burritos. The tortillas were enormous. They were more than the length from your elbow to the tips of your fingers in diameter. I guess they call that a cubit!
We had a lesson with Beth on Sunday about following the prophet and the law of tithing. She has transitioned to our ward very nicely and will be just fine. We met in a member's home in our ward. She is still set for baptism on the 13th of Jan. We are all very excited!!
Also wanted to mention last week we had dinner at the Beers' house. Bro Beer's nickname that he goes by is Speedy. His email address is cervesarob@ (whateveritwas).com. Translation is beer rob! We thought that was funny.
Anyway, things are going well here. I am excited to talk to y'all on Sunday. Have a Merry Christmas week! I hope Tara's baby comes smoothly! Have a good week