Mom, I loved your email!!!! I was sitting here in the library just laughing to myself about some of the things you said. ... Vianey came to church yesterday! And, they came to our stake Christmas party!!! She and her two boys, but not her husband, he was working. But we had a lesson with them Friday night and found out that Hugo is not a member. Wo! Yeah, he's worked with tons of missionaries and we thought he was baptized a year and a half ago with their oldest son, Bryan, but he wasn't. So that'll need to happen before we get them sealed in the temple :)... Hugo told me a while ago that he really loves it when he gets to connect with missionaries and who they really are and their families and everything. Their boys' names are Bryan and Oscar. ...
I think that was really our miracle this week - that Vianey and the boys came to an activity and to church, because it's real growth, and shows promise - not just a one time thing. Her boys love music but I can tell they can't really afford piano lessons so I offered to help. I wasn't sure what she thought, but she asked me this week if I really would do it. ...
Hna Blauer and I [Mom note: talking about improving their companionship and dealing with homesickness during the holidays] ... have some plans to try and replicate some traditions that her family has at home (like making breakfast pizza Christmas morning - never heard of it but it should be fun :) and we have lots of ideas for little service/gift ideas we could do for people in the ward and the elders in our district, so we're getting excited about that, and I feel really strongly that in looking outward we will have the love of God more in our companionship, and that through that, we will become a lot closer. We're excited! I really am, because after me, I want my second convert to be my companion so it's great to work on these things.
We decorated our apartment this week!!! Between things we've found, and going to the dollar store, it looks pretty good :) We had been looking and looking for a tiny tree or branch that could look like a tree, or something... but then we got a package from Sis Blauer's fam and there was a little tree in it! So we stacked some cardboard boxes, but a cloth over it, and the tree on top. We have our advent calenders hanging, and we got stockings from the dollar store (I wrote Hermana Marks on mine :) so those are hanging. And we made a little Christmas chain (15 more days!) I just love Christmas!!! And we're experimenting with all the things you can do with one pad of construction paper.
I love you each, have a grrreeat week! A little thought from President Hinckley this week:
“Generally speaking, the most miserable people I know are those who are obsessed with themselves; the happiest people I know are those who lose themselves in the service of others...By and large, I have come to see that if we complain about life, it is because we are thinking only of ourselves.”
What a wise and dear man!
Love you All!!!!
Just a little something that I put in Will's email that I realized I forgot to write about to you guys:
... it's hot here! What the heck!! Our AC is still running throughout the day, and I'm still in short sleeves every day... Also, we had this great Christmas party with the stake the other night. This choir came from what must be a private Christian school on the Westbank (other side of the Mississippi). They were all African American and they were in traditional orange and purple choir robes. They sang in the chapel. Some of it was traditional Christmas music, other was more gospel and I don't know how to call it..."soul" music. It was sooo neat!! ...And then we all went outside and they had a live nativity on the grass behind the church. Everyone (again in short sleeves :) sat on the grass and watched as Mary came in on a mule, they had this whole production thing and we sang songs throughout, it was awesome!
Alrighty, now that's it. Love ya!