December 28, 2015
Hey Family and Friends,
Hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas!!!! We had a great Christmas here!! It was great to be able to skype with my family and see how they were doing. It surprised me how much my brother and sisters are growing up! We spent most of Christmas day with one of the members in the ward. We ate a really good dinner with them and then they invited us to work on a 500 piece puzzle with them.
We spent Christmas Eve with the Pinder family. We talked to them for awhile and then Brother and Sister Pinder read a few Christmas stories to their kids. It reminded me a lot of being home with my family. Every Christmas Eve we sit around the fire pit, eat chicken soup and drink hot chocolate as Mom and Dad read Christmas stories to us.
We also had our Christmas conference with all the missionaries in North Carolina. President Baker met with us in Kinston. We watched the Muppet Movie and A Christmas Carol. We had a really good lunch and then some missionaries performed musical numbers.
Luck was on our side this week in terms of food. We ate food with members every day this week, and twice we had dinner with Hispanic families. We had some really delicious tacos with chile de arbol and then some Guatemalan carne asada.
We were able to teach some lessons this week and found a few new investigators this week as well. We have a pretty busy week lined up.
I hope that everyone has a great week and Happy New Year!
January 4, 2015
Dear Family and Friends,
Feliz Año Nuevo!
I hope everyone had a really good New Year's Eve and New Year's day! I know we did. We weren't allowed to proselyte on New Year's Eve after 5 p.m. We got a bunch of missionaries together to play some soccer and basketball. Elder Claridge were back to our apartment by 9 p.m. Apparently there was a lot going on outside because Elder Claridge said he was up all night listening to fireworks and sirens, but I must have been so tired that I slept through all that because I didn't wake up at all until the alarm went off the next morning.
With the new year, church changed from 1p.m. to 9 a.m. That meant we had ward council at 7 a.m., and man that was rough.
Elder Claridge and I found two new Hispanic less active members this past week that we didn't know about. One of them happened to be at her brother's house whom we have been trying to contact for some time now. She lives on the other side of town and we actually were able to go to her house on Saturday and teach her. She hasn't been to church for like 10 years so hopefully we can help her come back. We found the other less active members while tracting. We were in a trailer park in Ayden and our lesson had fallen through. We knocked on a few doors near where our lesson was supposed to have taken place. Then we decided to leave and go to another trailer park. We were walking back to the car and I turned to Elder Claridge and told him that I felt like we needed to stay, so we did. We kept knocking on doors and asking people for referrals and to try to determine where Hispanic people in the trailer park lived. We got down the street a little further and a woman opened the door, saw who we were and said she wasn't interested and started to close the door. I told her to wait a second and I told her that we also spoke Spanish and asked if she knew of any Hispanics in the trailer park. She pointed out a few houses and then her son told us that a Hispanic family lived in the home where a red truck was parked. When we knocked on the door of the home where the red truck was parked, a Hispanic man opened the door. His wife recognized who we were and said "Los Mormones" in a Puertoriqueno accent. She let us in. Her husband didn't seem too happy about that and so he went into the other room. Lillian told us that she was a member and was baptized when she was 9 in Puerto Rico. However, she fell away when she was 16, and she hadn't been to our church for 30 years. She also said that she hadn't seen any missionaries at all in the two years that she had lived in North Carolina. She remembers a little bit about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. She has attended many other churches since she left the LDS faith, and believes that it doesn't matter what church you go to. I'm super excited to start teaching her and hopefully she comes back to church.
I hope everyone has a great week!
District Elder New Year's Eve Basketball game