Sorry there are many pictures being sent this week but maybe that means I can write less. :)
I am grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ's birth, and that we are able to celebrate it every year in remembrance of Him. I hope your words were kinder, and that your thoughts were outward. It was a great experience to be His missionary during this time of year. People are more open and receptive to hearing a message about him or watching A Savior is Born at christmas.mormon.org.
Honestly, it didn't feel like Christmas with it being in the 80s and no family around. But it was a great week to spread the Gospel nonetheless. We had many lessons with investigators. One named Missy we tracted into and she invited us over on Christmas Eve to help her wrap gifts! We did and watched Meet the Mormons (which is on netflix and youtube if you haven't seen it, super good).
On Tuesday Sister Judkins went to the temple so I went on exchanges with the Hermanas, Spanish sisters in Tampa 5. I went to 2 Spanish lessons with them and it was a lot of fun! I am super glad that I got called English speaking though. Heavenly Father knew that I needed to learn the gospel before a language...
Then we had a Christmas Devotional with the whole mission. President and Sister Cusick spoke, encouraging us to find those who are prepared this time of year and to spread the Christmas spirit! They also told some funny experiences from past Christmases. The missionaries leaving the first week of Jan had the opportunity to bear their testimonies as well which was nice. Then they catered chick-fil-a! Yum! I hope those come back to Oregon or I am not sure if I can live there. :)
We spent Christmas Eve with Peggy, my recent convert, I love her! We basically just searched the scriptures with her to find answers to questions she has. She seriously knows the gospel better than me now but makes me feel so good when she says I taught her everything she knows. I didn't, the spirit did. And her own personal studying. I know I came on a mission to find her. And the Gerovacs of course, I love them so much.
Christmas was pretty good. We had breakfast at Taylor's and she gave us each stockings! She is a true friend and so caring. Then we drove to South Pasadena to video chat with the family at the Smiths. I loved being able to see my parents and talk with them for a little bit, and then my siblings and nieces and nephews. They are so big now, I hope they will remember me! I love my family. I have been blessed with a good family who supports me in the Gospel and encourages me to be my best. I am glad that I was able to see them then get to work, lucky for me I don't get homesick so it was just a nice experience and I am glad that I get to talk to them three times on my mission. I can't imagine not seeing them at all, thank goodness for google plus video chats :)
After that we had an appointment with Donna but she ended up finding some anti-Mormon stuff online that shook her and made her rely more on her head and opinions of others, than on her heart and how she felt when talking with us. It makes me so sad when people are so close to finding the Gospel of Jesus Christ and God's plan for them and then turn it away without even giving it an honest chance. I know that this Gospel is true and that Jesus Christ is at the head of this church. People have so many questions and I can promise that they can be answered by praying, reading the Bible and the Book of Mormon, going to church, and following the prophet. I just wish people would hear us out, but everyone has their own agency.
Well, that is it for me! l love you all and wish you a Happy New Year!
Hermanas Gibson and Baugh
Elder Raloux and Sister Day at Christmas party
Christmas at our apartment!
Nice tree topper, all natural!
I got more Christmas cards than I probably will my whole life!
I got a lot of love!
Our bow tree on the wall :)
Christmas Morning at Taylors!
"Taylor Made" stockings!
I got way too much candy, this whole box is full!
Tropicana Field stadium
Christmas at the Smiths
View from the Smith's apartment