Sunday, January 29, 2012

Week 19

December 27, 2011
Hi Family!!!
Since the library was closed yesterday on our preparation day we had to do our emailing today. Sorry if that confused you!

First of all, it was soo fun talking to you on Christmas Day! I just loved seeing everybody and getting to hear your voices. It's official, I have the best family ever!! (Hands down.) It was too bad Dave and Anthony couldn't be there, but I totally understand. That reminds me... Can I get Anthony and Justin Jones' email address from somebody? Thanks!! I hope you all remember the commitments I left with each side of the family and decide to ACT. :) 
Here's a reminder:
-Jones family: Have a missionary experience THIS week. Remember to pray about it and look for opportunities that come. Also, make a profile.
-Bennett/ Jones family: Focus on personal prayers and study Christ's life and the atonement.
I know you will be blessed as you follow through on the commitments you have made. As you do these things you are showing your love for Heavenly Father. (And also me, haha!)

THANK YOU VERY MUCH for the gifts that you gave me for Christmas!! I will be writing thank you cards hopefully this next week if I have time but I just want you to know that I really appreciate everything.

So let me tell you why this was such an incredible Christmas!! I get all happy and excited just thinking about it.
Although I love my family very much, I didn't have any feelings of homesickness or anything like that. (please don't take offense. haha!) I how no doubt whatsoever that this is where I'm supposed to be right now that it takes away any possible feelings of selfpitty or sadness. A lot of people ask, "Are you sad to be away from your family during this season? I bet that's hard." "Aww, I feel so bad for the missionaries during this season." Then I have to respond with, "Actually, there is no other place I would rather be right now and I couldn't be happier!" They look a bit puzzled but it's so true!
I feel like we have a big family here in Grand Island that takes good care of us. So I'll go through real quick what we did on Christmas Eve and day.
Christmas Eve:
-Went to Stuhr Museum with Sister Butler and looked at all of the trees that were decorated and donated by different clubs and groups from G.I. It was really cool and helped us feel like it really was the Christmas season!
- Had a lesson with Michele and her husband Bob. Michele is doing good and bought herself a nice quad scripture set. She loves it!
- The missionaries from Grand Island went caroling at a nursing home. Oh my goodness, I LOVE caroling!!!! I'm probably going to make this a tradition because it's amazing. Not only does it make me super happy but it brings the Christmas spirit to others and puts a big smile on both of our faces. Doesn't get much better than that! Luckily the 6 of us missionaries (Me, Sister Ashby and Elders Meza, Samuel, Elkington, and Edmunds) sounded pretty good together singing, if I do say so myself. We even had some harmony and all that good stuff in the mix.
- Then we had dinner with the Noorlander family! A cute, young family with 3 little kids ranging from ages 5-9. It was so fun to have dinner with them and see how excited the kids were for Santa to come. They gave us each a present with a ton of food in it and also gave us all of the left overs since they were leaving to UT the next day.
- After that we went home and opened presents! It was weird going home so early but President suggested not to be out visiting people or tracting. So me and Sister Ashby had a fun time having Christmas Eve together!

Christmas Day:
-We woke up bright and early to go have breakfast with the President of the Spanish branch and his wife. They had the 6 of us G.I. missionaries over to eat and open presents. The elders brought their presents that they got from home and opened them there. We didn't get that memo so we opened them the night before. It was pretty funny seeing what they all got!
-All 3 wards from Grand Island were combined for a Christmas program with really nice musical numbers. Sister Ashby was part of two different songs. She's a good singer! (That's why we sounded so good caroling. lol)
-After church we went to the Butler's house to talk to the family on skype! YAY!! What a fun time that was! That was the fastest two 30 minutes sessions ever! Time just flew by and I didn't even get to hear much about your lives. Luckily we can email and I can get the scoop there. I loved visiting with you all though. After skype we had lunch with their family and they too gave us all of the leftovers since they are leaving town as well. We have lots of leftovers.
- A little bit after that we had dinner with the Loveday's in the ward with 3 little girls.
-Then we went carroling to Michele and Bob since they are always by themselves and don't have any friends outside the ward. They were just so happy to have visitors on Christmas day.

Christmas was a fun and busy day where we got to spend quality time with a lot of different ward members! It was amazing! It was so nice to be able to really get to spend time and reflect on the Savior's birth as well. We didn't have to get caught up with  gifts or any of the other distractions that normally come with Christmas time. I am so grateful for the Christ's life and for his atonement. I am grateful to be a missionary and testify of him every single day. It's truly a blessing to be representative of Him in everything I do. What an honor. Whenever I think of the Savior I am so motivated to be the best person I can be and especially be the missionary that He would have me be. I am grateful for all of your love and support. Thank you for everything!

I love you all so much and am grateful for your examples and the ways that you serve others. You are amazing!
Sister Jones
(Hopefully this long email makes up for the wimpy one last week!)


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