Thursday, January 3, 2013

White Christmas in Big Bear 1/02/2013

Dear Family,

Hello!  How was everyone's Christmas?  It was pretty awesome up here!  So glad we got to have a white Christmas!  Big Bear is still great.  Heavenly Father has done a great job with nature.  It's beautiful in the mountains. 

Anyway, I know there is a lot to talk about from the last two weeks, but sometimes when you sit down to actually write about it, it all just slips from your mind.  So I'll do my best. 

Actually I'll just write about the main events.  So on the 21st we had a mission party.  It was way fun.  We all gathered together and had dinner and then we had a talent show.  There are lots of missionaries who play the guitar it turns out.  Then we all sang some Christmas songs, during which Santa (Pres. Godwin) showed up.  It reminded me an awful lot of the Rowley family Christmas parties.  Those were good times.  Yes, I even was forced to sit on Santa's lap.  I have a picture, but I'm not sure I'll be able to have the time to send it upon this day. 

On Christmas Eve we had dinner at our ward mission leader's house.  He's so awesome!  He had Andy there as well and we were able to teach him a second lesson.  We taught him the restoration.  He like it so much.  In addition to Bro. Nielson, his wife was also there, as were his parents.  They're all converts to the church, so at the end, they ended up being the ones to invite him to read and pray about the Book of Mormon because that's how they all got their answers.  The spirit was really strong during this lesson.  It went so well.  At the end I invited him to be baptized, to which he said he needs to check out his ex-wife's church before he can make that commitment.  BUT then on Thursday Bro. Nielson called us and said that Andy called him and asked what he needs to do to join the church, to which Bro. Nielson said finish taking the lessons and be baptized.  Andy didn't say no, so we were hoping to meet with him soon to talk to him more about that.  I say 'were' because a couple days ago, Andy slipped on some ice and got a concussion.  Shortly after taking him to the hospital, he was life-flighted down the mountain to a hospital in Riverside, where he had brain surgery!  I hope he gets well soon.  That didn't sound to good to us.  Please keep him in your prayers. 

Christmas day was fun!  We had district meeting in the morning, and then went over to the McCutcheons to have a Christmas lunch feast.  We spent a lot of the day there, because that's where we skyped from.  After that we went over to another woman's house in the ward and had a dinner there.  And there's a family from Anaheim who own a home up here, so they were here over Christmas and they really wanted to have us over, so we also went over there.  It was a good day. 

The next day snowed a ton. :)

Today we got to go to the temple with all the sisters in the mission.  I love that we get to do things like that.  Some missionaries never get to go to the temple during their mission.  But we usually go about every other transfer.  I'll probably even get to go twice next transfer, if I stay in the Apple Valley zone.  I love the feeling in the temple.  It is the most peaceful place on the earth.  And it was neat to be able to go with all the sisters.  There were about 24 of us there.  It was packed!  I always feel the spirit so strongly while I am there.  I am excited for when I can go whenever I have the time. 

Well, I guess those are all the major things that have happened.  So I'll just tell you about something cool, that I don't think I've mentioned yet.  We have another investigator named Blake.  He's the kid living with Bro. Nielson.  He's been coming to church every Sunday, and I think he really likes what he's been learning.  We haven't been able to meet with him again yet because he's busy and so is Matt (Bro. Nielson's son that he's really good friends with).  He wants Matt to help teach him, but their schedules don't always match up.  So that's one of the holdups.  But Bro. Nielson asked Blake 'So if Matt baptizes you, who are you going to baptize?'  and he said he would baptize another one of his friends.  That was cool, because we haven't even talked to him about baptism yet.  Bro. Nielson is so awesome at sharing the gospel with others and helping us with the work.  Hopefully we can meet with him soon!

Here's another cool thing.  This one doesn't have to do with the work, but it does have to do with Big Bear.  I hope I haven't told you about this yet, either.  We were helping a member do some service in Onyx and he took us to some one's property who trains lions.  And tigers.  And bears.  And panthers.  And wolves.   He trains them for movies.  His lions were on Gladiator.  We want to help feed them sometime. :)  We got to see them and it was pretty awesome. 

Well, that's about it for this week.  I hope all is well with everyone wherever you're at!  Love ya!

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