How was your Thanksgiving? We had a wonderful one here! Yes, many hispanics do celebrate Thanksgiving, and many do not. But the people who had us over had dishes that were rice or gumbo type stuff. They do make turkey. I didn't see any mashed potatoes, that was bizarre! And it's one of my favorites, so we're gonna make our own sometime. Speaking of, Mom could you please send the recipe for gravy? I know it's simple, but I can't remember exactly how, and I have to make it without you on the other side of the phone, and that's dangerous! Haha! There also wasn't any pie or orange rolls or anything, which I think I'll consider a blessing in disguise :) Made it easy to eat a good portion size and no pastry really cut down the calorie intake, although I'd be lying if I didn't say I missed a good piece of mom's dutch crumb apple out of the oven with some ice cream. :) Thanksgiving in Spanish is "Dia de Accion de Gracias" or literally, "day of action of thanks." I think that's really neat because our gratitude should cause us to DO something! I love learning things like that through learning another language. Different meanings are brought to light about different topics.
We had an amazing week! I wish I was feeling a little energetic today in writing about the details. I'm honestly just super tired and we have deep cleaning today of our apt. Last Monday we had a Turkey Bowl at an awesome park in Metairie. President allowed some missionaries from a little farther away to come play so they had a tournament organized. He didn't allow sisters to play, but it was a beautiful day and it was fun to go hang out, time the games, stuff like that. And they had a little trophy they made out of aluminum foil, I'm sure the pic will be put up on the mission website. We also taught the most lessons we ever taught in a week, almost all to less actives/recent converts. It was awesome! A week ago from yesterday, Merilyn and her two kids came to church, it was the best ever!!!!!!!! And her kids loved it! I feel a really close friendship with her, one that I expect to continue, and coming to church was such a big step for her. It'll be hard when she moves to Texas.
There's a journal entry I made Sunday November 18 that pretty much sums up how I'm feeling. It was in reference to the previous week (so two weeks ago).
"After Coordination all the missionaries stayed and worked on cleaning the ward list. We've all been working on it in our own areas so we came together to pool our info for a grand updated master list. I'm really excited that this is being done because it's going to help us work so much more effectively and with more direction.
"We had 1 new investigator this week, 8 hrs of service and 8 MA/CR lessons. (side note: we had more this week :) We met all our goals (key indicators) except for member presence in lessons. We worked on all, and were able to complete assignments given to us by ward leadership. And some of the less actives we've been working with came to church! That's real growth right there, regaining members. It's an awesome feeling. And it's only the very beginning. I know I'm going to serve in this ward for awhile, and I'm excited! All my life I've had this knowing that I had to serve a mission, that I was needed somewhere, so it's neat to start seeing that come to light. To meet the people that I had such strong impressions I needed to work with. I'm so grateful the Lord has given me this great privilege or working amongst His precious children here."
I feel like each of the last two weeks here have been a year each. There's so many things I would love the share, and you'd think it's neat to know, but I have to go. One day, it'll be fun to share all the stories. That new investigators name is Yaneli. She's not interested in coming to our church because she loves hers, but she's really interested in what happens to families after death. We also have a new investigator from last night. Berta from Honduras. Super sweet spirit. Then her husband came in with his family and they are hardcore southern evangelists. I'm not even sure all what that means. But he kept saying that the Jesus in the Old Testament then "robed himself in a body" in the New Testament. And they don't believe in God the Father and Jesus Christ being two separate beings. I just wish I could call Dad and talk to him about it because I know Dad, that you must know so much about that kinda stuff! I was confused because I could think of a lot of examples in the Bible when it's clear that there are three separate beings. And how grateful I am for modern revelation to make it even clearer. Sometimes, though, I feel so weak as far as knowledge goes, and yet the things that I know, I know. I have a strong testimony of them. And I'm ok to be weak as far as things of the world as long as I'm strong to things of the gospel.
Okay, I kind of went off on a little tangent, and now I really have to go. I love you all! Have a great week.
P.S. I got the package this morning! Thank you so much!! First thing I'm doing when I get home tonight is having some of that zucchini bread while wearing my comfy sweats! Also, I know that was a sacrifice to let some jam go, so thanks :) haha, and thanks mom, for the advent calendar. It's a great reminder of home :)