I know, I know, I didn't write last week. But, I'll give a short run down of what happened. Not a lot actually did happen. A majority of it consisted of Sister Jack packing to go home. That crazy girl had a lot of stuff! But I miss her and love her so much. Don't know what I'm going to do without her. Some fun things we did is that we did a hot chocolate stand with some other missionaries up in Springdale. It was fun! We got to talk to some people and light the world in some small ways. It was cool. We ended up having way too much hot chocolate left over (you will find this is a common theme). So, Sister Jack and I took some of it to take to the church, because we had a parade and our ward had set one up to be in it. There was a whole prep that happened before hand, so we brought it to them to snack on. Later that night, we were in the parade! I had so much fun doing it! Sister Jack and I held the banner in front of it and we walked by waving and yelling Merry Christmas to everyone. I could feel my smile getting bigger and bigger.
The last days with Sister Jack were packed full! We had to get so much done and see so many people. It was craziness. On Wednesday, I had to drive her up to Bentonville for her farewell dinner. I cried. A lot. I stayed the night with my STL, as she had to say bye to her companion as well. Next day was transfers, and it was crazy weirdness. Sister Nelson didn't want to wait around all day, so we ended up doing a bunch of service that day. It was cool as I got to try some new stuff up in Springdale.
Then, I got Sister Fisher!! She is super nice and things are going pretty well so far. After I picked her up, we had to bolt, because we had a dinner that night and we couldn't be late to it. So, we kicked off the craziness right then and there. We shared a message on Christ and how we can focus on Him more during the season and not get overwhelmed with the extra things.
The rest of the time with Sister Fisher has been crazy Christmas stuff. There were so many things that I wanted to still do and we only had so much time, so we have been cramming it in. Saturday and Sunday, we spent the night time going house to house with Christmas lights. We would then knock on the door and give them a thank you card for putting up their Christmas lights to light the world! We got to talk to some nice people and had an amazing experience with this one couple who let us in and we got to talk to them a bit and get to know them.
Sunday was just hectic! We had the special sacrament service for Christmas and then afterwards we had a linger longer with snacks and hot chocolate. It was a good opportunity for Sister Fisher to get to know a lot of the members. Afterwards, we were helping clean up and, as it goes, they had too much hot chocolate left over. So what do we do? Set up an impromptu hot chocolate stand downtown! I still can't believe how well it turned out. Somehow, we were able to pull everything together at the last minute. Unfortunately, we didn't give out that much, but we did touch a few souls and got to meet some cool people. Especially this one guy who is now one of my favorite human beings. He ended up driving by us 3 times that day! First time, he yelled Merry Christmas to us as he passed (we had been smiling and waving to cars for the entire time we were there). 2nd time, he decided to stop by and see what we were doing. He was so enthusiastic and loved to talk to us and he just made me so happy! As we talked to him about what we were doing and who we were, he said that he was going to come to our church next week! Miracles happen!
One thing I really learned this week is more of a thought then a life altering change in my life. But "small and simple things" right? I got this book from another sister (don't know why she gave it to me) but it is an illustrated comic version of the bible. It's not super accurate and there are differences as far as what I believe compared to it, but there are still eternal truths in it and it's interesting to read. As I read it, there have been moments when prophets or characters (for lack of a better word) are struggling and they are beaten down by their trials. But as they are thinking of things, they decide that they won't give up faith. What the author decides to put for them to say most often is "if I can't trust God, then who can I trust." At first, this wasn't too significant to me, but as I was reflecting on some things, something really struck with me. Sometimes it can be easy to ask the question "why do bad things happen to good people" which can sometimes be interpreted as "why did God let this happen?" But the statement of "if I can't trust God, then who can I trust," sort of answered this question for me. All of us are imperfect and we can try so hard, but we aren't able to accomplish everything. We aren't able to reach all the people we need to and we aren't able to fix all the problems. But God can. He is over everyone and He is capable of reaching each and every one of and will do all He can to help us. He will make things right, even if it looks differently than we might think it should.
Thank you for all of your prayers and love. I pray for all of you as well!