Merry Christmas ya filthy animals! And a happy new year!
I will be hard-pressed to adequately describe with my weak vocabulary how amazing this Christmas experience is! There is nothing quite like serving the Lord full-time in the season we celebrate Him, our Savior and Redeemer. There is ALSO nothing like seeing the positive chain of events resulting in hard work in the Lord’s vineyard.
Allow me to begin from the start...
Mom, you will be so happy to know the top of the Christmas tree we helped decorate is equipped with an angel. Dad, I tried to tell them how wonderful the tree would look with a star instead. Regardless, I am proud the Baker’s family Christmas tree looks so wonderful!
It is Lynnde Baker’s birthday at the Baker’s home. My exchange companion, Elder Bonnemort (who quickly received the nickname ‘Voldemort’), draw Lynnde birthday pictures. This is my contribution:
One of Lynnde’s favorite animals is the elephant
Later the same night, we discover Grace has atrociously procrastinated an art project of decorating 30 Christmas party favor bags.
Another of my contributions
She wouldn’t turn around for the picture
One of the greatest highlights of my week is the baptism of Vaida! Elder Miller and I are invited to attend. To my great surprise Vaida requested Ian Englebright to baptize her! At the baptismal service Ian gives a talk on baptism and the Holy Ghost prior to the baptism as though he has been a member of they church his entire life. There are so many people at Vaida’s baptism! A ton of Vaida’s family and the wonderfully supportive members of the Bel Aire ward are packed into the rooms like sardines!
Ian and Vaida step into the waters. There I am, sitting near the glass like the children surrounding me, watching. A young man I taught the gospel holds and immerses a young girl I also was once blessed to teach. Elder Bischoff and I are blessed with the wonderful occasion to teach the congregated members and nonmembers why Vaida and Ian are dressed in white, why Vaida is fully immersed in the water, what the priesthood is, and why it is necessary the gospel to revealed to and restored through a young prophet by the name of Josephy Smith. A wonderful opportunity!
The bishop, Bishop Labrum, welcomes Vaida to the ward. He says to Vaida, “You have such a cute smile! Do you think Jesus is smiling as big as you are right now?” Vaida doesn’t miss a beat and responds with the happiest look on her face, “No. He is smiling much bigger!” My heart melts!
The Three Amigos!
Elders Saari, Bischoff, LaMont, Ian Englebright, Elders Folwell, and “Fluke” Fluckiger, little Miss Vaida at the bottom
Tacos for lunch with the squad
Thank You note from Grace for the art project help
I absolutely LOVE talking to my family on Christmas! It is the best Christmas present ever! Mom, Dad, Claire, Vivian, I enjoyed talking with you SO much! My family is such a beautiful light in my life! Thank you for being my Ohana!
Love each and every one of you as well! Thank you for your support and prayers!