Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas Miracles!

Hello, my dear friends and family! I can't believe how fast time is flying- already onto week three of this transfer, and I turn five months old tomorrow! Yahooo!! This past week has been pure bliss. I'm still a little in shock that it's actually four days until Christmas, and that December is winding to a close. What the hey! Man oh man, time is funny on missions. I still feel like I just got off the plane...but it's been five crazy and wonderful months! What an adventure! And also, let us take a moment to appreciate my subject. I'm pretty pleased with it this week! 

But anyway, this past week. PURE BLISS. Every single day was filled with beautiful Christmas miracles and tender mercies and just so much joy. Random Christmas presents and food practically getting flung our way- that's a pretty normal thing for Beulah, but I feel like the holiday season has amplified the leftover efforts- and fancy North Dakota holiday traditions and so much perfect snow! Such bliss! 


We started our week off with a wonderful p-day of random errands- it was perfect! It was also Sister Luker's two month mark (yahoooo!!) and I made her open a Christmas present, haha. We both vowed that we wouldn't celebrate month marks...but it just didn't happen. We even got a celebratory lunch at Subway (used up the last of Grandma's perfect gift card- shout out to the world's greatest grandmother!!) and feasted on R2D2 sugar cookies and fancy Swiss style chocolate milk from Fargo while cleaning. I love month marks! The North Dakota chocolate milk is a hot contender with BYU for the best ever- I think I'll have to do a direct comparison to really nail down a winner. It was delish! After cleaning and laundering (is that even a word? I'm just going to roll with it), we got our car washed-- and, for the first time ever, I pulled up close enough to not reach my whole torso outside the car! I'm becoming a car wash queen! It's the little things.

We ate dinner p-day night at the Humphreys', and it was just the best. Sister Humphreys' mom was in town for the weekend, and she was the most delightful woman I have ever met. Okay, maybe not the most delightful EVER, but she is high up there. So personable and pleasant! Sister Luker remarked after dinner that I could grow up to become the amazing Kim Jensen- and I almost DIED. AHHHH, SHE'S THE DREAMMMM!! We had fettuccine alfredo and the greatest twice baked potatoes and conversed with my new BFF and soul sista, Kim. I'm obsessed with her. AND, she's going to come up again in this email! You thought I was just going to freak out about this beautiful woman and never talk about her again- but she's a recurring character! Yahooooo!! My biggest regret of this week is that I didn't get a picture with that sweet lady. I'll just have to meet up with her again so I can grab that pic, man oh man. She is from Spokane, so there's definitely future hanging out potential. AHHHH. Needless to say, it was the perfect end to a perfect p-day. 

Tuesday was also magical, of course. I'm realizing from this week that everyday can be beautiful and incredible is you just let it be. And truly, as I have found reasons to be happy each day, I've been happy. I know that logic isn't as profound as I'm making it out to be, but it's just the truth! And Tuesday, even though it was a kind of crazy day, was still beautiful and wonderful...and my mission is making me become a total cheese ball. It's cool. 

We kicked off the day with the morning routine and headed out right after lunch to tract for spell. We sprinted back to our place, slipped on our service clothes...and our sweet mail lady came to our door and hand delivered our mail- it was beautiful! Sister Luker and I both got our Grandma packages and two letters each...and we may have taken a moment to revel in our sweet, sweet mail. What a tender mercy! Our tree gets happier and happier with each package, haha! It was pretty darn joyful to chat with our beloved mail lady and get some hand delivered mail! She's all overwhelmed with our crazy amounts of Christmas mail- we all had a good laugh about that. It was great! 

So anyway, we peaced outta there after opening up all our mail and headed over to Barb's, where we moved her furniture around so she could get her carpet all cleaned. As we rearranged, Scott (Barb's adopted son) was cooking away in the kitchen- he made us knephlia soup! It was crazy delicious. We ended up having a really good conversation with him and Barb over that insane soup, and left with soup leftovers and homemade mac and cheese leftovers. Pure bliss! About midway through our visit, we got a random call from Sister Humpheys, telling us to come by when we had a free moment. So, after we chatted and prayed and rejoiced in our delicious food, we ran over to the Humphreys'. 

ANNNNNNNNND, as I'm sure you were was a glorious time at the Humphreys'! Our dear and beloved new friend, Kim Jensen, gave Sister Luker and I Christmas presents!!  She told us that she was so impressed with us at dinner that she just had to get us a little present. Man, it was pure bliss. I just want to grow up to that sweet Kim Jensen. What a perfect lady! 
our cute Christmas tree (post Kim Jensen presents- see the adorable bags at the front of the tree. I LOVE HER!!)    

We ran back to our apartment after that, changed back into our skirts, and were running down the stairs...when we ran into Tony! Yahoooo!! We were able to share "A Savior is Born" with him and say a quick prayer- it was so sweet! It was crazy that we just happened to be there and just happened to teach him right when he did- what are the odds?! It was straight up amazing, ah man. We headed out after that and ran over to the Relief Society activity, with pretty gloves as handouts and a yummy dinner of taco salad. We spent the last of day tracting...where we knocked the door of a mildly attractive man and giggled lots. It was great fun! 

We went on exchanges on I headed up to Bismarck and my sweet baby Sister Luker took over Beulah for the day! Nothing too crazy happened in Bismarck, just crazy amounts of snow and freaky roads- but Sister Luker killed it at our home base! I was such a proud little mama. It was such a great day with Sister Jenson, our new STL, as well! We ate yummy food together and laughed a lot as the day kind of fell apart. And, I had my first blizzard experience! We were stranded inside for the evening and made lots of companion crafts- it was a great day! 

We got back to normal on Thursday- and there was glorious mail waiting for me when I got back to Beulah...INCLUDING MY FAM'S PERFECT CHRISTMAS PACKAGEEEEE and two wonderful letters! It was magical, to say the least. All the Christmas joy (and the reindeer headband) gave me the motivation to weekly plan like a maniac. Not one meltdown this week! I didn't even need to wrap myself in a cocoon of blankets! Yahoo for progressively becoming less of a baby about planning! 

Me and my fave reindeer headband (and also the Abominable snowman sucker- planning needs to be endured!)  
We ran to Brother Lee's lesson midway through planning (and checked the mail again- even more mail waiting for us, huzzah!!) and it was pretty dang perfect. We read Alma the Younger with him and helped him download Gospel Library- hopefully he'll listen to some Book of Mormon! Turns out, the man just hates reading. We should've seen it coming! It was really good to just talk to him and figure it all out. 

We finished up planning after that and headed to the Cline's for dinner, where we crazy good soup and painted ornaments. Sis. Cline was acting uncharacteristically suspicious and kept asking us if we needed anything...Christmas is making everyone in Beulah crazy people. I have been on the hunt as of late for a new earring holder and I told Sister Cline that- and she ran downstairs and came back up with a perfect earring holder! Yahoooo!! Goodbye, overstuffed Altoid container! It was pretty joyful to go back home, pop on my reindeer headband, and fill up my new earring holder while planning. Joyful! 
painting at the Cline's    
my adorable new earring holder (shoutout to Sister Cline, holla!)    
me and my ornament (I think her name is Paula...but I'm still pondering)    

Friday was wonderful. See, it really was a great week! We rode to Dickinson after the morning routine for district meeting, spent the last of our December riches at Wal-Mart (and I bought a photo album for my stickers- thank you, Sister Jenson! What a delightful thing to buy with your last little bit, haha), and headed over to our meeting. It was a pretty rocking time, Christmas talk all around and secret district meeting shenanigans afoot. Elder Wright has some crazy-needs-approval-from-President-Hess plans and we're all FREAKING OUT. Why does Christmas bring out everyone's crazy!? I don't understand. I'll have to report what happens next week with district meeting, haha. 

We rode back to Beulah after that and dined with the Roundy's, who remain a total fave. Love those hooligans! We had prime rib dips and gooey brownies- so delish. The only sore spot was that my dear Bro. Roundy was out of town and his sassafras was sorely missed. We still laughed tons and swapped crazy stories...and Brigham told me that we're still friends- yahoo! That cutie chatted with me all though dinner, and it was delightful. I love that boy!

We helped Barb move her furniture back in place after dinner, during which we chatted about church and she gave us her New Year's card- it's adorable! I made Sister Luker put hers on the door so I could glue mine into my journal, lol. I'm a great companion! I think Barb gave us both one because she made us rearrange her front room and she was mildly being a crazy person (and not even Christmas related, just normal crazy) was kind of adorable. AND AND AND, we're going to her place for dinner next week! YAHOOOOO!!! 

Oh man, Saturday was CRAZY TOWN. We went through the routine and were in the middle of lunch hour...when we got an ominous call from Sister Lee, giving us crazed directions to a random farm south of Beulah and instructions to wear pants to said random farm. Yup. Neither of us knew what to expect, but we packed our pants and headed out.

We went to Hebron and Glen Ullin, tracting all the way- it was sweet! We met some amazing people and met even more very uninterested people- goodness all around! I saw my first, "No Mormons, please" sticker on a was a little disheartening. But, we soldiered on! We were able to chat with Gordy for a sec and play with Gabe and Issac in the snow before heading over to Glen Ullin. It was kind of funny, because we tracted tons and no one answered. We think we might have wandered into community naptime, haha.

the mildly mean sticker    
We headed over to dinner after that- and realized that Sister Lee and Sister Cline were butchering pigs all day at this random farm! AHHHHH!! Thankfully, we missed all the true drama...but I realized that I am a city girl through and through. We ate fresh pork chops (yikes, yikes, yikes) and helped my new faves Val and Rick (the owners of the farm) make pork sausages- no growth in the comfort zone, right? Oh man, who even am I? It was just such an amazing experience. As I helped roll the freshly cased sausage, I was able to answer Rick's questions about the gospel and missionary work...and, in a crazy and unexpected turn of events, the Spirit was totally there in that little back room of a barn. Incredible! I'm a true North Dakotan now! 

We had a delightful Sabbath as well, with a visit to Ashley, Gayle, and dinner with the Clements. Sis. Clements made us delish Mexican food- and Bro. Clements says "toasty" instead of "spicy"- it was truly adorable. We left their place with sweet little Christmas presents- it's going to be another wonderful week! 

Merry Christmas, my dear friends! I love each of you so much, and I am so grateful for all you do! Next time we chat, it'll be almost 2k16!! I can't even believe it, people. What craziness!

Sister Robinson