Merry Christmas coming up:) I am loving all of the trees and songs and holiday spirit. Yes it is possible to have Christmas among the ocean and palm trees:) Yesterday sister Kim and I and two other sister missionaries sang "What Child is This" in our sacrament meeting. I was really sad when the Spanish lady from the Visitor Center never showed up but it was still good. A lot of people were very touched simply because we were missionaries. They told us that all they could think about was how there missionary could be doing the same thing so far away. I'm glad we were able to bring them a little Christmas cheer that way:)
Even more exciting to us than the festivities of Christmas is Nina's upcoming baptism this Saturday! Every time I see her she is more and more ready. She even smiles in her texts to us now:) She is honestly a different person! Yesterday we walked around the neighborhood of our ward giving out invitations that we made for her baptism. She was so excited and I think it was good for her so see how excited the ward members were for this step in her life. Her testimony is so strong and pure now and the ward has been so supportive as well. Our Relief Society President is amazing! She really is like super woman with all that she does and how much she serves and cares for those around her. She has gone out of her way in any way she can to support and help Nina through this whole process. She really has made her feel so loved and special even before she decided to be baptized but especially now. She has worked with the bishop and they have a great calling all set up for Nina after her confirmation. Nina has been through a lot to get to this point but I know that everything that she has been through has prepared her for this time and it's truly amazing to see the Lords hand in her life!
It's also been amazing to see His hand in my life as well as yours. Every day I am so thankful for the lessons I am learning here. Sister Warner once described it this way: She said that throughout our lives we are being carved from stone and some day we will be a perfect sculpture, much like Michelangelo's "David" is considered. Each experience we have, each lesson we learn help chip off a bit of that stone to reveal more and more the perfect sculpture underneath. Our mission is like taking a chainsaw to the stone. Now I figure that a chainsaw is probably not the most effective tool for a sculpture, but the idea is still there:) Heavenly Father is definitely using this time to help me find my weaknesses that I can work on to become more like Him. Sometimes I feel like it is too much. Like He might as well ask me to walk on water as He did Peter, as to ask me to do some of the things He does. Well the good thing about that is that if He were to ask me to do that, as He did Peter, than I should suppose that it would be possible. He would never ask me to do something that is impossible. And if my faith were to waver, and I were to fail, as did Peter, it would not really be a fail. It is comforting to me to read that as soon as Peter began to sink and he cried out to the Lord, "immediately Jesus stretched forth His hand and caught him." Peter did not and could not sink as he cried out to the Lord. And then they somehow ended back in the boat together, so I assume that they had to walk on water together to get there. Truly with God all things are possible! I am so grateful for the gospel in my life and for this opportunity that I have to get to know the Savior a little better.
Just as a side note: we just barely got a voice-mail on our phone saying that tonight we have a general authority, Elder Richards, that is coming to interview each one of us in our zone. So that's pretty exciting! Other exciting Christmas news is that yes we get to Skype! We are looking for someone in the ward who will allow us to use their computer but I will try to make it 7 or 8 if I can so that I can catch you before 11 your time. I will be emailing you next Monday so I can let you know better what time so you can have everything all set up. I was debating whether I really wanted to Skype or not. I was super excited at first but after a bit of thought I think it's going to be super hard for me to see everyone! It will be good though:) I'm excited for Sister Kim to get to "meet" you all too:)
Today I will be mailing my package to all of you! Did you get the Christmas card yet? We spent all last PDay going around Kahuku and Laie to find little gifts for you. I hope you like them! About the "after Christmas package" to "sample all of your goodies" I wouldn't be opposed to that:) And just for anyone that is reading this, I am pretty sure that she will get something because the international sisters usually get random packages from somewhere, but Sister Kim is worried she won't get any Christmas cards or anything because she doesn't think her family "knows about that." So if you want to send her a Christmas card or something she might really appreciate that:) Don't worry, I will be getting her something as well:)
Well, the miracles that happen each day are amazing. I am so grateful for this Christmas and the opportunity I have to develop and use the spiritual gifts I have been given from Heavenly Father and to give him back my heart and will. That is the only thing I can give because it is the only thing he does not have on his own. I am so grateful for my Savior and the Atonement and for our communication with the God of the universe through simple prayer. I love you all and pray for you always!
Les quiero muchisimo!
Sister Kim thought that the breakfast burritos I made were "so fancy" that she had to take a picture:)