It was so nice being able to talk to all of you on Christmas Day. Speaking to my family was the best part of the day. It is good to know that I haven't really missed anything big yet. Sorry if I seemed a little shell-shocked at first. It was weird actually talking to my family verbally instead of on a computer. But it was good to have a normal casual conversation with my family again just like we always used to. I miss those conversations that we would have.
After the Skype call we went over to Sister Mollis`s for Christmas dinner. The food was good. Although our Christmas dinners at home are better, it was still a satisfying meal.
For Boxing Day, it was back to work. I had some lingering stomach aches from all the food and treats we got for Christmas but it wasn't too bad. We ate at the Walkers for Boxing day dinner where they had a bunch of people over (The Ross's, Ben Sanford, Wolfville Sisters). It was a full house. After that, we all just visited, played on the piano, played on the drums. Then after all that was over they put some fireworks off. Sadly, we weren't able to stay for the fireworks since we had already been there for an hour and 20 minutes.
We had some pretty chatty doors that we knocked into this weekend. This one guy was Christian and said he thinks that one day all the churches will merge into one. He also kept saying that there is only God and one faith. Then he talked about the world we live in now and how confused it is. He was a friendly guy. He didn't give us much breathing room to talk. Then we knocked into a couple that had O'Brien as their last name. They invited us in and we had a very social conversation with them. The husband did most of the talking. Nothing about religion though. He says he loves talking to missionaries and he likes how friendly we are. He did invite us back though to talk more about what we believe. We don't know if they're interested or not so we'll just have to wait and see.
We met with our new investigator Cody. He is 19 years old. He has some health issues that he suffers from. He has met with missionaries and was about to get baptized but then he started to get into smoking. So then he decided not to get baptized because of his smoking. We actually found him through Facebook using the area Facebook page. We were going through the friends list and we saw his name and we were like hey who's this. So we messaged him and then the next thing you know we set up a lesson with him. So we had the lesson with him. Anyway, he said he remembered the stuff the previous missionaries taught him. He has read Alma 32. He knows about the sacrament. He told us that he wants come to Church and he also told us that he wants to be baptized once he gets rid of his smoking addiction. It was really cool. He seemed very prepared and wants to change his life around. Unfortunately he didn't come to Church.
We got another new investigator named Sean. He was Wolfville`s investigator but they passed him on to us because we're elders. We watched the restoration video with him and discussed it a little bit. We're still not quite sure on his sincerity but time will tell.
At Church yesterday, I saw people from all three of my areas. I saw Mark Carson who is Maye Carson`s (investigator in Halifax) brother that served a mission in Calgary. I saw Bishop Ross (Brother Ross`s brother) form the Saint John ward that I would see every time we went to e-mail at UNB for p-day. So it just made me have flashbacks from all my areas so far. It was weird. Especially with the new year coming up.
It has been quite the year for all of us. We spent January and February wondering if I could go on a mission. Then we found out I could go on a mission in March and I started my papers. Then I sent my mission papers in in April and I got a mission call in May. I left at the end of July. During that time I mainly worked for Dad saving up money and me and Dad went to Denver to get aptitude tests for me in March where I met Asher (cousin's son) and I got to see my Denver cousins before I left on my mission. That`s kind of the general timeline of the year. I have been thinking a lot about some meaningful goals for me as a person and as a missionary. I haven`t quite thought of all the goals I want to set but I have a pretty good idea of what some goals I want to set for myself. By the end of the week I want to have my goals written down in my journal.
I have loved Christmas as a missionary. There was the First Presidency Christmas Devotional, the ward Cantata, the ward Christmas Party, Melanie and Madison`s baptism, 12 days of Christmas packages, Christmas zone conference, going to the temple, sharing the "He is the Gift" Cards while tracting, teaching about the birth of Jesus Christ during Christmas, saying goodbye to Elder Willoughby, teaching the discussions to the members of the ward council, Elder Hatch, spending Christmas at member's houses. But speaking to my family on Skype was the cherry on top of the cake. I was a little homesick for a couple days after but I have been able to refocus. It has been an amazing Christmas.
This week President Leavitt has been talking a lot about principle rule missionaries and rule missionaries. How sometimes we just ask about a rule and not about the reason why we're asking about a particular rule. He explained that there is a principle behind every mission rule and that we need to focus on the spirit of the law instead of the letter of the law.
So for New Years, President Leavitt is making every companionship do a mandatory deep cleaning of their apartment for at least 3 hours. So that`ll be fun :P.
2014 has been very memorable for all of us.
Have fun with your New Years Eve activities!