Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Gratitude Attitude

Team Turkey Bowl
Dearest Family of mine!
Where on earth do I even begin.... 
This week was all sorts of normal for missionary life...intermingled with the random parts that are just never ever normal. Yup. 
     First off, thank you SO MUCH for the little package with the talks from grandpa's funeral in it and the music! I loved reading it! I'm so stoked for this Christmas season! It's going to be a blast! Everyone here goes all out for Christmas! Lights started popping up on people's houses all week before thanksgiving and we could see several Christmas trees in windows! Yay for the holidays!
      I don't know if you have heard about the new Christmas Initiative the church is doing this Christmas season but it is going to be epic! It is called He Is The Gift, and you can find out all about it on christmas.mormon.org and watch the video! The church is pulling out all the stops to spread this around! So check Youtube on Dec 7th to see He Is The Gift as the main masthead on there, and it will also be in Time Square and there will be a lot of push for it on social media sights, so look out for those! In the Ensign there will also be an article by Elder Nelson all about it. Discover the gift, embrace the gift, and share the gift! If you want I can send you some He is the Gift pass along cards to hand out to people! We have been handing them out like crazy!!!
      My companion (Sista G!) and I get along really well! We have a lot of fun together. We talk a lot and laugh a lot. This week I broke out my Pride and Prejudice CD to listen to in the car and she kept asking me what was going on in each song, and because she didn't know the story line, I ended up telling her the whole story. It was really funny to watch her get all excited over the different parts even though she wasn't even really watching it. When I asked her later this week what her favorite movie was, she answered with Pride and Prejudice! And I laughed and said "you haven't even seen it!" and she said "It's still my favorite!" haha! 
      Last Monday we had fun going to FHE in the Kolob ward. We played an epic game of mafia that was sooooo fun! Except it was different than normal Mafia. It was called Vampires and Werewolves and it was super fun because there were a lot more characters and nobody had to be a boring townsperson! Everyone kept accusing me of being the Vampire because I had thick tights on to hide the sunlight! And whenever they asked me what my defense was when they voted on me I always said "I am a servant of the Lord! I do not kill people!" haha! It was super fun! Me and Sis G have been talking about getting a copy of the rules and playing it for zone activity. 
      Tuesday was super busy! We had a lot of lessons! We met with J again, and he made some amazing comments on our lesson! He told us about how going to Chayanne's baptism last week was a huge spiritual experience for him and how our last lesson on the plan of salvation helped him out a lot! It was great! He is still progressing and we are hoping he gets to meet with one of the mission presidency soon!
      Tuesday night we met up with the STL's to start exchanges. Our STL's are Sis Nielsen (You all know Megan, right? :) ) and Sis Neaf (Sis Neaf is also from the Tri-Cities! she lives in Pasco and we rode the plane here together!)  We did a lot of catching up and we had a blast! She had a bad cold, that I'm pretty sure I caught from her, but mine isn't as bad. I've just had a slightly stuffy nose, but other than that I'm fine. We took some crazy pictures, and maybe I'll get her to send some to me! She goes home this next transfer, which is crazy!!! I think her release date is the 17th or something like that! CRAZY! Everyone I know is going home! AH! :( sad....
     So Thanksgiving....What a day!
      Thanksgiving on the mission is nothing like thanksgiving back at home! For starters we have 7 turkey bowls going on in our mission, zone against zone! Our zone is the Wasatch Zone and we got matching T-shirts with our names on the back, our number, and Utah Provo Mission. Super sweet! We had a blast playing! And I think I've finally figured out how football works....I'm not necessarily good at playing it...but I understand it now! President McCune, Stopped by to play with us a bit, but I felt really bad for him because he had a pinched nerve and couldn't run. So he just played the quarterback for both teams threw the ball. It was touch football, so it was pretty funny when the sisters got the ball and started running and the elders would all hesitate and not want to touch them! haha! So funny! It was really great! 
       Later we went with Sis Neaf and Sis Nielsen to a thanksgiving dinner with their senior couple who ran a catering business and they made some of the BEST food! They had these cheese balls and one of them was a chocolate and cream cheese ball that you dipped graham crackers in! It was so good! They also made pumpkin pie bars that were delicious! I will have to send you the recipe! They gave me a copy! It was so good! And then we had another dinner later. It was all left over thanksgiving food from earlier that day...haha but we had fun visiting with the family and sharing the He is the Gift video with them. We went to one of our less actives homes who lives waaay deep in the canyon, so we drove up there and shared a message with his family and played liars dice with them! Super fun game by the way! If you have never played it before, figure it out!  Then we had a lesson with another less active named S. It was a hard lesson because his dad and brother were playing very loud violent video games in the same room and refused to leave, which was really frustrating...so we are going to have to find a new place to meet with him. 

Turkey bowl
      Friday was pretty normal and busy. Friday night we at with a fun family who were from Canada so Sis G connected with them really good! They invited us over the next day to help them decorate for Christmas! So Saturday morning we were able to help decorate their Christmas tree! It was super fun! I haven't decorated a tree in 2 years! But their tree wasn't white trash Christmas like ours is...it was super fancy....I think I like our white trash tree better! It has more character and love put into it! Sunday we were busy with a lot of church! We teach this nonmember boyfriend and girlfriend who live together and they live with a member family. Their names are B and K, and they get so distracted. Somehow when one of the family prayed they prayed for stem cell research to be successful and then everyone got in a huge discussion about stem cell research and Sis G and I were looking at each other like "uh....what do we do?"  Crazy things that happen on missions. 
      I'm so thankful for the opportunity I get to serve. That's what I'm thankful for. I'm thankful for eternal families, and supportive family members who help me so much! I'm thankful for the chances God gives me every day to share this joy I have in my life. I'm so grateful for the gospel we have! Aren't you?? It is seriously the true source of happiness in our lives. It makes me so sad when we get rejected. It hurts to get rejected. And that makes me sad. But it makes me more sad that the people who reject us don't get the blessings. And then it makes me even more sad for my Savior who has atoned for them regardless of if they accept Him or not, and I mourn for the pain he goes through for their loss. I am so eternally grateful for a Savior who made eternal life possible for all of us. He really truly is the first and last and every gift we could ever need this Christmas season. Don't forget it. I love you all and miss you! I love the pictures you send and the videos! You are the best! I miss you and will talk to you in 24 days! :) (the last time I talk to you before I see you in person...)
Love Forever,
Sister Lenise Diane Volmer!

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