This week was so fun talking to you! It was good getting to see you all as well. Especially the babies and cats....just kidding, I love all of you. But seriously. One of the things that is crazy is that we can't hold babies on our mission! And if I could pick one rule to rebel against in the white handbook, it would be about keeping pets. I miss having cats around! And one of our members would love to give away their giant sweetheart of a cat. I wanted it so bad! But don't worry, I won't rebel, I will be obedient! :)
So since I just talked to you, I will send pictures of our Christmas zone activity, service project, Lucia's baptism, and working at the Visitor's Center.
We are back working full proselyting time in Walnut Creek, no more VC. So we have been struggling just a little actually having appointments, because this is the horrible awkward time when everyone is out of town, or can't seem to afford 30 minutes with the missionaries, until after the magical January 1 date. "Come see us after new years" is the key phrase. But we did have some cool experiences already this week. First of all was that we lost our house key at night. Our key ring was loose, and that was the one key we lost. Our land lords recently moved, so there is no other way into the house. We were freaking out, we called our previous dinner appointment place asking if they could look out in their driveway, we were searching all in our bags and outside the appointment we were at. Finally we had the sense to calm down and pray about it. As the prayer was ending, our phone rang and it was the dinner appointment saying she didn't see it, but my companion had the prompting to just look in the backseat again. So we did, and there it was! But at this time, we had cancelled our next appointment because we thought we were going to have to look for it all night. We were sad we had done that, but then we realized we had been parked next to another house with a lady in the ward who is really struggling right now. We had been asked to visit her before, but have NEVER been able to get a hold of her. She happened to be home, with her daughter. We came in and asked how their Christmas was, sang a hymn, said a prayer, etc. She told us to come back again, and we left that place knowing we had not lost our key coincidentally, we were meant to see her that night. So prayers are answered, we just need to ask, and also Heavenly Father knows us individually and His plan is always better than ours.
Also this week we talked to another older lady in the ward, she served a mission back in the 70's. She served in Arizona/NewMexico/Texas/Indian Reservations! She showed us her pictures, and shared her testimony of the Lamanite people, and the Spirit we felt was amazing! She told us she has taken a college class here in Calfornia on the Native Americans, and her professor from Berekely had listed the top five references he would use for the information in his class. Number five was the Book of Mormon! A kids in the back raised his hand and asked why the BOM, and the professor looked at him and stated " it's one of the most accurate records kept of the native american people!" This professor was not a member, he was actually Jewish. I have been reading so much more of the Book of Mormon in one day than I ever have before. I know it has a Spirit about it that brings conversion, and I know it is true, but not because of Indian records, but because of the Holy Ghost.
I REALLY LOVE YOU ALL!!
picture 1) at zone conference, I got to pick a gift from that pile (which had been bigger than that before) and steal gifts, etc. All the missionaries were really getting into it, chanting to steal and everything. So was our mission president! It was really fun, and I got some good presents, like toilet paper, toothpaste, blanket, candy, and cd in my bag. We were so spoiled! ;)
picture 2) also at the zone conference, they had a display of a collectin of nutcrackers, including star wars ones(i don't know if you can see them in the picture or not)? so i took a picture because I thought of mom's collection of nutcrackers.
picture 3) at lucia's baptism with: the member lady who referred her, the elders that began teaching her, my companion and I that taught her, and our bishopric member who baptized her.
picture 1) at the warehouse service project, you can see only one corner of all the bags we had filled.
picture 2) all the missionaries in our shift who helped: top l-r: elder watanawongworakula, sister stewart, elder anderson, me, sister chan. bottom row l-r: sister hewett, sister chan, sister lau. sister lau and chan (in front) were the chinese sisters who rescued us when our car battery died in oakland! our chinese angels! :)
picture 3) in the mexican ghettos of oakland after the service project, eating our cactus flower and corn flavored icecream, and waiting for our burritos. i loved the burrito, but not so much the icecream.
picture 4) all the VC sisters in our outfits for our Christmas concert performance. this was not our final performance picture, because we realized after this picture was taken how bad the scarves all looked, I think mine in particular is pretty awkward, and of course I am right up front. We made them look uniform for the actual concert, don't worry.
picture 5) on the phones/mormon.org chat in the VC. so when mormon.org says chat with a representative, that's us (or other VC's around the world). it was actually pretty fun!
picture 6) me and sister hewett all ready for the last Christmas performance (so you can see the fixed scarf, and a pretty ribbon thing we had to wear as well)