Merry Christmas to everyone. So, Monday was Monday (as in nothing really happened), Tuesday was Tuesday (I cant even remember what happened that day), Wednesday I think I remember a native-Spanish speaking missionary from across the hall laughing at me as I tried to speak spanish, but I can't remember exactly because I feel like the native-spanish speakers are always laughing at us! Thursday was Christmas eve and that day my fellow zone members and I gave some presents to our teachers. We created some binders for them with our testimonies and thoughts written down. As I wrote down my testimony I realized how truly helpful they were for me, and how much I'll miss them. We gave them the presents and Hermana Imbler was crying (haha whoops) she really liked it I guess. Hermano Savio was tearing up a little bit too, which was nice to see. Hermana Imbler also shared with us a spiritual thought that I'll share with you later in this email (because you got to end these things with a good note). So then friday was Christmas, bets were placed by some of the guys in my zone as to who would come and talk to us. We narrowed it down to Elder Bednar, Holland or Christoffersen. The verdict ended up being Elder Bednar, which I learned everyone was super excited about because apparently no teenager can handle remaining mature and keeping there YEEHAS and WHOOPS to themselves. It was totally obnoxious to me though! But anyway, he shared a great talk. He is a great speaker and his wife shared something that really helped me with my goals. Elder bendar also made it kind of seem like he's read the Book of Mormon a lot.... like a lot, a lot. He gave some advice that might come in handy... he said that when he wants to work on a Christlike attribute or if he has a question then he takes a cheap paperback book of mormon and and he reads the whole thing, marking up, as he goes, all the parts that deal with that single idea or question he had. Then after he is done reading he reviews all that he read and all his notes and then writes a one page summary about what he learned. Then, on the spine of that Book of Mormon, he'll write what that one taught him. For example, he might write... "patience 1" Or "qualities of God" and then puts it on a shelf so that he can go back and read it again if he needs too. This was really amazing to me.
Then we all got 20-30 minutes to call home. I loved talking to my family. I miss them so much. I got to share my testimony with them. My parents asked me what I've learned that will help me the most as a missionary. I feel like the most important thing I've learned is how much our Heavenly Father loves each and everyone of His us. Every time I'm teaching an investigator I feel such an overwhelming feeling of love and concern for them and all I want to do is help them. I'm positive that my feeling of love is just a tiny spark compared to our Saviors love for us. I've also learned that because of that love, Heavenly Father inspires His missionaries to teach and say the things His children need to hear. This has been a great testimony builder for me. I also got to tell my dad that EVERYONE around me is sick, but not me!!! Ha! My dad sent me with every vitamin and herbal remedy and drug he could think of to help me stay well. My roommates are constantly making fun of me every morning as I pull out about 20 pills and take them one by one! But I'm healthy and they're sick, so.....
Later that day we went back for another devotional but they tricked us and it was actually David Archuletta who came and sang for us. I wish I was a bigger fan girl or something because that would have totally been awesome and I can imagine it would be kind of fun to freak out like some sort of super fan nerd. But...it was whatever, you know? He was a really good singer though and he's kind of funny too. Sadly, that was like the closest thing I've ever come to seeing a concert, haha. So my first concert was me, sitting in my church suit, with a passive face, and clapping when appropriate. He did share his testimony, which was great by the way.
Okay, so I know I already shared this thought that my teacher Hermana Imbler shared with the class, but it was so impactful to me that I want to share it again with more detail. It's something she learned in one of her college institute classes. She warned that this is not necessarily doctrine, but when she shared this I felt the spirit so strongly that I'm inclined to believe. So she was saying that in Isaiah 53 it talks about Jesus Christ with some great imagery about the things he went through for us. Verse ten says "