Monday, December 30, 2013

1st Christmas away from home!

Christmas morning!! 

Have I mentioned that one of my companions is a hobbit? We call Sister Beach the hobbit and she calls us the two towers. We have so much fun together. Sister Beach usually gets all the short jokes, Sister Eisert gets all the tall jokes, and I get all the blond Canadian Jokes... We balance each other out pretty well. People always laugh at us in church because no matter how we sit in the pews we look hilarious! We always manage to sit tallest to shortest so that we look like steps going up or down. Glad we can be a source of entertainment.

I experienced my very first Christmas away from home this last week. There were brief moments of sadness, but in all it was one of the most fulfilling Christmas's I have ever had! I had so much fun opening packages, reading letters, singing Christmas carols, serving and teaching people. We had Christmas Dinner at a non-member family's home. It was so much fun! At dinner appointments I always manage  to spew out all of my life's embarrassing moments and stories. The family that fed us got some great entertainment while they learned about My "Native Name." They laughed and laughed and laughed as I shared with them all of my families native names. They especially laughed when I got to mine... Which will remain unknown... Sister Beach and Sister Eisert want native names now…

One of may favorite gifts was an advent calender that Cheyenne sent me. It was a plain ol' advent calender that you could buy at walmart... but she made it special. When I opened the first one it said, "Malia I know you have a really bad memory, so for Christmas I decided to send you some of mine." I really do have a TERRIBLE memory. If I don't write things down I WILL forget. I was so touched to read that first one. As I went through I laughed and laughed at all the hilarious Christmas memories that I had forgotten about until Cheyenne reminded me. For example she reminded me about the Christmas when Cheyenne and I accidentally told Tanisha that Santa wasn't real (Sierra don't read this part), and how we tried really hard to re convince her that he was real but failed miserably! And how awkward that Christmas was... Haha Poor Tanisha, We always managed to ruin her joy. I laughed so hard as I read that memory.
As I got near to the end of the days of Christmas I got to one that read (paraphrasing), "Malia, I am really going to miss you this Christmas, Promise me that you will make some special memories, and write them down so that when you come home you can share them with us and they can be our memories too." I went from laughing to crying. That advent calender was so thoughtful. I will always treasure that gift, and I will always treasure my Christmas as a missionary.
Having an ugly cry!

We got to be part of so many incredible lessons this week!
I got to witness a member of the YSA ward decide that she was going to serve a mission because of the lesson that she joined in on with us. The spirit that we there was so powerful! I seriously love being a missionary. I wish I could write about all of the lessons I was a part of, but one lessons in particular was amazing! It was with Patti who I talked about last time. I love patti so much! Patti has been through some awful trials. it breaks my heart to think about. Because of the experiences in her life she has a really hard time believing  that God exists. She meditates a lot to be able to cope with her trials. We taught her a powerful and simple lesson about the Book of Mormon and prayer. We challenged her to pray to know if God is really there and listening. So she took on the challenge again. That night, ( few nights before Christmas) She we feeling really depressed. She wanted so badly to be with her family for Christmas because it had been years and she really needed them. She remembered the challenge we had given her, so she got knees and poured her heart out to God, telling him the desires of her heart. That night her mother called her and told her that the whole family was coming to be with her for Christmas. Her mother didn't know why, but knew she needed to so she did. Patty KNEW that it was a direct answer from God! I thanked Heavenly Father so much that night for the miracle that Patti was able to experience through prayer.
Moment of the week x 2:
1. I think I have discovered my new favorite animal. On our way to the mission Christmas party we got talking about our favorite animals. I proceeded to talk about my favorite animal the goat. Don't judge... Goats are hilarious.
When I was finished the other sisters talked about their favorite animals... For some reason someone mentioned a manatee and I pretty much jumped out of my seat in excitement! I LOVE MANATEES! I would not shut up about how much I love manatees and how they are the greatest animals in the world! And how hilarious they are. I realized how crazy I was sounding and got kind of embarrassed, so I stopped talking. The car went silent for a second... Then all 5 sisters burst out laughing, and sister Eisert said, "Sister Carter, I think your real favorite animal is the manatee..." Haha I think my face went a little red.
2. I have a mission tradition that every night when our district leader calls I make him give us words of wisdom. I thoroughly enjoy words of wisdom! In the past 5 months I have heard all sorts of interesting words of wisdom. It's always very entertaining. The other night our words of wisdom went like this: If you light a man a fire he will be warm for a night, if you light a man on fire he will be warm for life. -Elder Cowley. Haha, I thought that was pretty clever... In a putrid sort of way.

I love you all. Merry Late Christmas, and a Happy early New Year!
Sister Carter

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