Okay, big news first: William is dating someone!?! And he didn’t tell me!?! Ugh! I’m so mad at him right now, and so happy for him at the same time! It’s exciting she’s coming up for Christmas. It should be super fun. Man, I wish I could be there. It’ll be weird. It still feels so wrong to not be with family during the Holidays. Not really in a homesick way, just in a natural way. I think our divine natures as God’s children, and as eternal families, pulls us back together, especially in times of the year like these when family is together. Since we are an eternal unit, it feels foreign to our souls to be apart. It is so good though, since the reason I’m not there is to make it possible for other families to have that same blessing. And to give Heavenly Father just a tiny portion back of the immeasurable blessings he has already given me.
It’s nice that everyone can be there for Garrett’s farewell. I hope the passes are clear enough for grandma and grandpa to make it down. It’s good that Garrett can go be with them for a few days. I had a great time visiting before my mission. I love that trip, and remember it with great fondness. I love my family!
That’s awesome dad, that you were able to make the crèche! I would love a picture of the completed nativity. It sounds so pretty! I love nativities so much. And it’s good that you’ll, be able to make it a tad taller for Joseph to be seen. You know, he’s kinda important... haha.
Thank you for your kind words of support and encouragement. It means a lot out here. These past few weeks have been more difficult than I supposed they would be when I got the transfer call. Not necessarily in a bad way, just in a new way. It’s been quite the learning experience, for sure. Though, I could probably say that about my entire mission. Each week I feel like there has been new challenges that allow me to grow in ways that would be impossible anywhere else. Every week I have to turn anew to God and Christ, and acknowledge anew my plentiful shortcomings and weaknesses and ask God to cover them, to be enough when I am not, to go the distance when I fall short. The miracle is that He is. He is perfect, and He knows exactly where we each are, and wants us there for His will to be done. The faith that that is true has carried, and will continue to carry me.
Man, as far as my week here, it’s been good. We had interviews with President this week, and that was great. I love him so much. He has a pure, strong faith that has been a huge blessing for me throughout my mission. I’m honored to have him as my president. Tomorrow is our Christmas party with the mission, and that should be super fun. We’re doing a talent show! I don’t know what our zone is doing yet, but I’m excited. I love this type of thing.
We also had a baptism on Saturday! It was of a 10 year old, and his 8 year old sister. His name is Mosese, and was a convert baptism, while his sister's name is Esther, and was a child of record. We’re now working with their parents to try to get them to baptism. The mom's a nonmember, and the dad lost his records, so needs to be re-baptized. I really think they will be baptized soon! Then in a year, they can go and be sealed. How cool will that be?! The reason you have’t heard about the kids before is because I wasn’t really here for any of their teaching, just a bit. I’ve mainly been working with Ulu (the mom) and will now start with Leni (the dad).
We’re also working with a man named Jake, and he’s too cool. His background is crazy hard, but he’s changing, and sacrificing so much to progress! His wife is a member, and he has 6 kids. The kicker is that they’re in Tonga, and he doesn’t know when they’ll be able to come back, because they don’t have money for the airfare... Plus, they’ve already been over there for 8+ months, so he’s having a hard time with that. But! He set a baptismal date for January 27th. And we’re hoping his family will be home in time, or else we’ll have to push it back. He’s awesome though.
Well, I have to go. I love you so much! Merry Christmas!
All my love,
Sister Erika Marks