I loved Christmas, I was nervous going into it worrying that I would be super homesick but surprisingly it wasn't that bad. We had christmas breakfast at the bishops house, and got to talk to them / see all of their kids having fun, which was good because they'd been sick. it was nice to see them happy and running around. We also Skyped Home, which really nice. I loved seeing the fam and little Tommy and Soren. who are growing to be not as little anymore. when I left Tommy couldn't walk! now he walks! crazy! honestly it was great. It really just made me happy to see you guys and talk like I was home for just an hour. it was enough. now I am back at work!
we also got to go to a member's house, the O'Connells for dinner. they are amazing, because they're this recently converted family who just came in and attacked the gospel. now the girls in high school are member missionaries and live for their standards and they are so excited to go to lessons with us whenever they can. they all got BYU Sweatshirts for christmas and all of them want to go to study at the Y. Brother O'Connell has a calling, and they haven't missed a week of church (barring the last two weeks of blizzards.) we got to play apples to apples, and they gave us stockings! they are the nicest family I have ever met.
some crazy stories: our Investigator who is on date, Sie, has been working so hard to be ready for baptism. he struggles with a couple of things, one being that his family is not super supportive in that he is trying to quit smoking in a household of unapologetic smokers. we've already had to push his date back twice because he can't quit it. but he loves the Gospel! He has fasted twice for strength now, and received spiritual answers, he is excited to join the mission in our challenge to read the book of mormon in the month of january. he understands the significance of the sacrament and has decided he will wait to partake until he is baptized. he comes to church every week, and studies like a scholar. I love him, and his crazy family, and just want them to be the strongest crazy texan-maine mormons there are. it is bound to happen. I know it, by the things that they say, I just know it.
one of our recent converts Sister Grass is an older woman with the craziest life story I have ever heard. she could have the coolest Biography I swear. one time she told us that she is pretty sure when she was born Heavenly Father said to himself, We'll have to watch that one closely, she's trouble. and she was! She told of this one time she went swimming in the ocean running past a sign that said the water was infested with sharks. her Dog had to grab her and drag her out of the water to get her to leave! Her mother and her had a strained relationship, some crazy stories of knives being pulled and lashings with wooden poles, and her brother defending her life, like all the time. she says when she would loose her temper in her own household she would throw dishes on the floor, and her daughters would tease her because they had no dishes to eat off of. her husband she loved, but apparently was a blatant adulterer and she was okay with it?! but the craziest story I think was that shen her father lived down south one night their neighbor who was a surgeon performed a surgery on a black lady that saved her life. the next night the KKK was on his lawn, and her daughter called sister grass to see out of fright. she got so mad that she stormed out of the house and confronted them, "This is rediculous! I will not have you doing this here, Get on out of her Now!" she said one came up to her and said " Now Pat, you should go on home." To which she replied "if that sounds like who I think it is you can bet that we are done. You are scaring my child, It's time for you to go!" along with a lot of other stuff. and they actually left! she said her father was beside himself, like "Pat do you have any idea what could have just happend????" and she was just like "No father, and I don't care to know what people down here do. they were scaring my child and I will not put up with it." after she gets done telling her stories I just look at her and see a petite polite English woman with a picture of Jesus behind her and I'm like WHAAT??
so fun times. It just keep snowing here. I think we're at 4 ft now?? all I know is it is just cold. cold and snowy and cold and snowing, and the snow is perfect little six pointed stars. never seen it quite like that before.
I am greatful for all the gifts and prayers that have been received! I feel your guys's love, It was great to receive all the cards and notes, it keeps me going!
Today should be like the first real P-day in a long time. finally I will be able to clean our bathroom, it needs it!
I am not looking forward to the cold weather that everyone keeps telling us is coming. we're supposed to have negative highs. NEGATIVE HIGHS. I think I might die.
I love you all and wish you the greatest year!