It has been an interesting week here in the CDNM! It seemed like people were either totally chill for us to come share a message with them or they were totally NOT okay with it. Christmas is a strange and wonderful time of year! Sister Packer and I did Christmas very much our own way this year. We decided to start opening packages as soon as we got them so we could really feel the spirit of Christmas on Christmas day. The first one I opened was from Gma and Gpa Harward. They gave me the DVD of the Bible Videos, SOOOOOO COOOL! When I opened it, Sister Packer and I were flippin' stoked. After planning we popped it into the teeny tiny DVD player we have and explored and watched a ton of them and it was really cool because it brought the spirit of Christmas. We started to understand more and more of who Christ really was, what He taught and what He sacrificed for every one of us, His humble beginning and glorious Resurrection. We decided to watch one of the nativity scenes every night before bed and it really did bring a lot of peace.
We were able to spend a lot of time with Ruth this week teaching her and preparing her for her baptism. Being with her was special for this time of year because she too doesn't have any family nearby or even in her life anymore and so when we would teach her and be with her, it felt like we were a little family for Christmas. Ruth was the highlight of our week this week. We saw her every day and on Saturday she was baptized. It was a small baptism, only about 10 people were there. Most of which was the Matayle, Fifita and Tuinukuafe families, Siale Tuinukuafe baptized Ruth. He is the only priest in the ward and is preparing to serve his mission. He is one of my favorite people in the ward. The night before the baptism he practiced with Ruth and it reminded me of when Kenyon performed his first baptism. He was scared out of his mind and even when he was in the water with Desiree he looked like a ghost #WalkingDeadStatus So it was like watching a Tongan version of my brother. It was awesome! So at the baptism instead of playing music or watching Mormon messages while Ruth was changing, she wanted people to bear their testimonies. Man, that was cool! Because there were so few people there almost everyone bore testimony. Siale's mother, Lovey, bore her testimony and thanked Ruth for allowing her son to baptize her. Lovey told us how she married a non-member and had to wait a long time to have the priesthood in her home. She said she was thankful for the times she has been able to see it used by those she loves. It was really powerful. Ruth will be confirmed by Brother Matayle this coming Sunday! :)
One of my favorite things about this week was a service opportunity sister packer and I had. So earlier this week we taught Trish and Ginger, a set of identical twins that have had a really hard life. We asked them how their Christmas was and they said they didn't get anything, they weren't upset but we could tell they were in need. So after the lesson we went and looked through all the stuff we have accumulated over the course of our missions and decided to take some of the nice stuff we had and box it up and give it to them. We took sweaters, shirts, skirts, dresses, scarves, hats, gloves, food, lots of candy that we didn't use or weren't going to use and we turned our bedroom into Santa's workshop! We scratched our names off of post office boxes we had gotten and somehow fit all of the gifts into them. We even made them stockings! IT WAS A FLIPPIN BLAST! Then we put all the boxes that looked oh so nice and loaded them into the car and took them over there. We arranged them really nicely on their doorstep, snapped a few pics, knocked on the door and swiftly and pretty un-gracefully made it down the icy steps to watch them open the door. We hid behind a dumpster.... Yeah.... And it was awesome! Trish opened the door and from what we could see she couldn't believe it. I think that's when we really felt the Christmas spirit. I am thankful for the opportunities I have as a missionary to serve those around me in many different capacities. I am excited for this new year and the next 6 months I have to truly be a servant of the Lord. I have set personal goals that I hope to reach before August and I am excited for the miracles that will continue to happen in the mission as we strive to baptize 1001 of God's children.
|Ruth on her baptism/birthday day :)|