This is a video a member made of the service we did after the hurricane
It is a touching video. I am so grateful he documented this experience because it is such a vivid reminder of the hours I have spent serving there.
I found out I can SKYPE for Christmas! You need to email me and tell me what time would work best for you. We need to coordinate this. I'm pretty flexible but I'm not sure where I'm going to skype yet. Do you want to skype or talk on the phone? Let me know!
I hope you are enjoying this special Christmas season. There are so many feelings, emotions, and memories we can experience during this time of our lives. It can be some of the richest and warmest times of the year. It can also be the coldest and loneliest time of the year.
The magic of Christmas is that Christ can make any Christmas season warm and bright. He is a everlasting source of light. He can make the broken whole. He embraces us with a tender warmth of love when we have nothing gentle or strong to turn to or when we are tired of fighting. He welcomes us into the fold, he desires and longs for us to be there, but He needs us to be humble and let him lead us.
During the new year it is a great time to evaluate and examine our lives. What went well this year? What went poor? Was it in our control or a trial we had no control over? How did we treat others? How have I grown as an individual? What did I do well? What do I want to improve? Did I spend quality time with those I love most?
There are a lot of questions that we can ask ourselves during this time.
The best way to achieve our new years solution is through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It is infinite, continuous, divine, and hopeful. Christ asks us to come as we are and let Him make us new... help us start the process of becoming our best self.
During this season I invite you to:
-prioritize serving others with love
-allow Christ to be an active part of your daily life
Wednesday Dec. 5th
We made Pot Stickers with the Chinese Sisters =) I also got a package from Tristan Mouritsen! What a glorious day it was. I was able to hear recordings of his voice and it was so legit! Thanks TAM!!!
I also got a complement from my mission president in our weekly letters that we write to him. He said, "You're a great missionary and I appreciate your dedication."
Thursday Dec. 6th
I had a wonderful day! It started off a little rough, but got much better =) We had a great lesson with one of our investigators (Jeff-see pic) After the lesson we caroled with other missionaries and a few members! We were giving out free hot chocolate. It was a blast!
HARLEM MOMENT: When we were caroling in front of the church the police came and arrested a group of people right next to us. They had the people being arrested lined up against the wall of the church! Our investigator Jeff was there and actually got a picture of it. He's going to send it to us but he's checking first with his teacher for his journalism class because he wants to use it in his project.
The situation in general was a beautiful example of opposition in all things! hahah
Friday Dec. 7th
We started teaching a new investigator who was a referral from the ward. One of our members had us over and we taught her friend Brendan =) They are both involved in theater! He is a great guy and very prepared for the gospel. He's already been coming to church a few weeks and has already been reading the Book of Mormon! We are working with him on prayer. Once he starts doing that he will be on his way to receiving an answer. He is very funny. I look forward to teaching him again! We have an appointment for this upcoming Friday!
Saturday Dec. 8th
We went to a pizzeria where my companion has been somewhat teaching one of the workers who is Italian! He didn't have time to when we went this time but we ended up teaching another Italian guy who came into the restaurant! Sister Maldarizzi gave him an Italian Book of Mormon. There was a lot of weird things that happened later this day. Nothing extremely significant, but just weird people in this crazy world. I felt like I was in the lone and dreary world more than normal. I know that this life is necessary on our way back to our loving Heavenly Father. Sometimes I don't like having to deal with the other people around me lol, but I know that when God's spirit is within me I know I don't have to worry or be afraid.
Sunday Dec. 9th
Sunday was our "Come and See Sunday" The rest of the stake had theirs in November but ours got delayed because of service.
Once a year our stake (NY NY) does a come and see Sunday that is directed in a way that is intended for investigators and non-members to come and see what our church is like. A lot of people had friends or coworkers come =) After an extended sacrament meeting we had a "Linger Longer" on the fourth floor of our chapel. There were a lot of pies and desserts and tables set up for people to socialize. We had three investigators there, one of which was a new guy we met there. He was invited to church by the Spanish Sisters on the train. He just moved here from Iran.
Highlight: Quentin showed up at my ward! Quentin was in some of my institute classes in Flagstaff the semester before leaving on the mission. He's graduated now and is looking at grad schools for vocal performance!
Monday and Tuesday
were productive and lively! It has been a great way to start off the week!
Today, Wednesday, December 12th, we had a zone Christmas party! It was a blast!!! We played basketball, had lunch, and a gift exchange. My gift was a funny penguin hat =) I really like it! Thanks to Elder Scaife!
Something I am trying to make a conscious effort of doing is to take time when I'm journaling and record how I felt about the day. Not necessarily what happened during the day, but rather what I think Heavenly Father wants me to learn from my feelings and experiences of the day. I have only done this two times now lol, but I am hoping to implement it more.
I am thankful for the love and support I have felt from family, friends, and neighbors.
Transfers are coming up on the 19th. I think Sister Maldarizzi will be with me for one more transfer but we will see.
The whole mission is coming together on the 21st for a Christmas party! I'm looking forward to that =)
Have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!
I love you!!!
Sister Emily Johnson
A picture of my zone at the christmas party =)