Hey-oh, team!! Happy Tuesday...sorry that I'm randomly emailing on Tuesday. There was a crazy Christmas blizzard that forced us to stay inside yesterday...and to ditch our car a block away from our house on our way home from Christmas dinner. AHHHHHH!! It was such a wild ride- we got stuck in a snow bank as we were turning into our apartment complex and shoveled our way out in the middle of a blizzard...and kind people appeared outta thin air and helped us push it out of the snow. The Washington in me was coming out so strong- I am so ill-equipped to handle blizzards and five foot drifts! But, we were close enough to home that we just hightailed it back and stayed put until early this morn...it was rough stuff. Being stranded in the apartment on Monday is one of the worst things ever- but somehow, we endured and headed out after studies to shovel our car out. We were both way nervous to check on it this morning, totally expecting our dear Patrick to be buried in a big ol' pile of snow...
Tender mercies of the Lord!! (also, I'm mixing things up picture wise...we'll see how it goes, haha. trying to be less annoying week by week!) There was seriously a halo of snow around our car and I almost wept with my shovel in hand- Heavenly Father truly does answers prayers. Even those of stranded sister missionaries, haha.
So, as that intro story probably gave away, this week has been another crazy one- and another totally beautiful one. God is just so good- as seen in this crazy snow picture! Even when we feel alone or abandoned, even when our mission is coming to a close faster than we can comprehend (maybe only applicable to me, lol), even when we feel helpless, God is there. His hand is all over our lives!
Alright, time for the weekly report- sorry for that rather long-winded beginning. I figured I'd better explain why Monday p-day didn't quite happen yesterday...but there's the story. Haha.
So anyway, this week has been a way good one! We kicked it off with normal pday shenanigans last Monday, full of museum exploring and emailing and general goodness. Such a party! We learned oodles about the great North Dakota whilst wandering around the fancy heritage center (including that ND was underwater 80 million years ago, totally bonkers!!)
and we had a grand ol' time- Sis. Larson and I even found a new home, haha! I'll get you our new address soon, lol.
Oh man, such a good pday. I even bought myself some fancy ND postcards and finally caved and bought a fancy photo album...I'm feeling all kinds of sentimental these days. It's bad.
On Monday night, we tracted out an apartment building, met a couple new investigators (yahoooooo!!!!), and got in with the adorable Sis. Gray, one of the cutest less actives ladies of all time- I'm totally obsessed. Man oh man. We helped her finish baking her Christmas cookies and chatted about her conversion- and we have a lunch date scheduled for this Wednesday. So excitable!!
On Tuesday, we helped the Hales hang their Christmas lights and wrap presents...and they fed us the cutest little brunch ever. Man oh man, I love those Hales! Such good people!!
After all that adventuring, we went on an epic less active hunt and did some 12 week...and then ate dinner with the Taylors. OH MAN, they are the greatttttttest!!! Their daughter Tessa is leaving for her mission on the morrow and they are probs the classiest people I've ever- they even gave us fancy gloves for Christmas. They are such lovely people! We ate fancy Olive Garden soup and chatted all about missions and AHHHH, I just adore them. Totally people I needed to meet!! Yahoo for the Taylors!!
And then, we tracted out the town and met a couple cool peeps- way good Tuesday. Total party- all because of the Hales and the Taylors. I'm loving the Bismarck life!
On Wednesday, we took a media hour in the morn and scheduled oodles of less active lessons- tender mercies all around. We also got in with the way cool Ulmers on Wednesday night after trying all the peeps and generally feeling discouraged- Heavenly Father truly does watch out for us.
AND THHHHHHEN, after all that craziness, we met up with the Orozcos for dinner- it was the BESSSSST!!!!! They were in town to pick up Nathalie for Christmas, so we went to dinner at Mackenzie River and had the greatest time...best people I know! Dang flab, I love them so much. All time faves!!! It was especially lovely to see Audrey- such a home slice. I adore that Shrub so much!!
the whole gang- I've missed Audrey so so much!
My sweet Orozcos, all dressed up for winter- the best! :)
Goodness gracious, I love my Grand Forks peeps. Best people ever!! I am just so grateful that I've been able to see so many of my favorite people lately- Heavenly Father is taking such good care of me. Love Him!
After that most lovely dinner, we headed back in and chatted all about those lovely Orozcos- Sister Larson is also totally obsessed with those homies of mine. They're the greatest!!
And then, it was Thursday. We weekly planned away and met a couple new LARCs to teach- the best!! We got in with Sis. Red Horse, an adorable old lady who is absolutely converted but can't make it to church, and the Millers, the cutest newlyweds of all time who think they're active...it was a way good day. We're slowly figuring out how to Bismarck, yahooooo!!
On Friday, we had district meeting in the morn and found even more less actives to teach- and we got in with the beloved Jeremiah, yahooooo!!! Dang flab, I love that kid so much. We taught him about tithing and fasting, and he adorably filled out a tithing sheet as we chatted- he's the cutest. Man oh man! I took a sneaky picture of him because it was the cutest thing that's ever happened...he just kills me. Love that Jeremiah!!
Goodness, he's so cute. Love him!!
And then, it was Saturday- Christmas Eve!! We taught Jeremiah about missionary work and took a family history hour and spent the bulk of our day caroling at nursing homes with the peeps- such a party. We ate dinner with the Hess' and watched "It's A Wonderful Life"...never thought I'd hang with the Hess', man oh man. So surreal! I think we're officially homies, though, so excitable...and weird. Bismarck is just crazy, it turns out! Man oh man!!
But, once back home after all those shenanigans, we jumped into our Christmas jammies and headed off to bed to wait for Santa...such a party!
I'm getting pretty good at carrying people in pictures, haha. Christmas is the best!! :)
AND THEN, it was Christmas- the best!! We opened our presents in the morn and headed off to church- such a lovely time. Man oh man, I just love Christmas. I am so grateful for the knowledge I have of our Savior Jesus Christ- He truly was born to save us all, to provide a way for us to return to our Heavenly Father. His birth and His life is what makes this Christmas season so magical- I feel so blessed to be His missionary, to have that knowledge of His reality. Jesus Christ lives and knows each of us...we are so blessed. Christmas is just the best!!
Oh man, Christmas. Such a good time. We caroled a bit more after church, ate lunch with the Hales, studied away for a season, and then ran off to see our fams- it was the greatest!! AHHHHHHHHH!!!! Dang flab, I adore those peeps of mine. So good to see their cute faces and chat with them about my North Dakotan adventures...and to get a wee bit more excited about the eventual return home. I forget sometimes how nice it is to have people who truly know you, who understand you and love you no matter what- it was just so nice. I love that family of mine!! Best people I know!!
And then, we ate some dinner with the lovely Millers- I really adore them. They made Christmas so magical and it felt like being at home...just the best. Such lovely people!!
We ventured home next thing and then had all of our car adventures- thank goodness that our car works and life is good. Man oh man, Heavenly Father totally protected us! But, we had to trudge through some knee deep snow to send this sucker out...haha, North Dakota is crazy.
Yup. Pretty crazy. :)
But anyway, haha, it's been a way good week...God is just so good. I am so grateful for that knowledge- I truly have seen the hand of God on this frozen plain! I'm getting a bit antsy as we kick off my last transfer as a missionary, but I know I've done the work I was sent here to do- and that there is still work to be done in Bismarck. And I'm jazzed to tell you all about it in the coming weeks! Yahooooo!!
Welp, I love you all so much! Thank you for all you do- Merry Christmas!!
Have the greatest week ever, my dear friends. I adore you!!