Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year!

This was a beyond awesome week! Christmas Eve, Christmas, and some other fun surprises! It was great. I loved being able to be a missionary on Christmas and have the special opportunity to testify of Christ on Christmas. I'm truly thankful for my Savior and for His birth.
I'll start at the beginning of the week! On Monday night we went to the Hill's house for dinner and Family Home Evening. We had steak for dinner (score!) and got to read all the scripture stories about Christ's birth and watch Joy to the World for FHE. It was really nice to prepare us for Christmas. After that we continued to go caroling with our zone. Thankfully no one kissed us this time...
On Christmas Eve we went to the Gorman-Payne's house and spent time with their family. They had family there from Florida, so that was fun for Sister Harrison! Christmas Eve dinner there was probably the best dinner I've had on my mission. Sister Harrison and I were SO full by the time we left. I literally thought I was going to burst. We set up for Christmas a little later, after caroling yet again. The Sisters stayed over with us that night so that we could all wake up and do Christmas together!
Our whole zone met at the stake center at 5:30 a.m. on Christmas morning... Yeah, I guess we were all just excited about Christmas. Plus it was one of our Elder's birthdays, so we had a mini birthday party for him. Then we all played crazy ball for what seemed like EVER, and then went home and all opened presents! We all sat around our mini little Christmas tree! We were all so thankful to be with each other, even though it was sad to not be with our families. Good friends make things so much easier. I love Sister Harrison, Sister Stinnett, and Sister Cummings. I have served my whole mission with Sister Cummings, from the MTC to now! She is like my sister.
I made sure that we all had waffles for breakfast, because let’s be honest, it wouldn't be Christmas without Belgian waffles for breakfast. 

We did our studies and at 1p.m. we went to the Brown's house to Skype our families! IT WAS AWESOME! I loved being able to talk to and see my mom and dad! I wish I had taken a picture of it. That was the best part of Christmas by far. The best.
After Skype we got to go and watch Joy to the World again and wait for dinner. It was so good and we had a lot of fun with the Brown's! They are so sweet. We also stopped by some other members and our Bishop's house! And, of course, our whole zone went caroling that night.
Although I missed all our traditions and being home with my family and the Murphy's, this was one of my favorite Christmases. It was so Christ-centered, and I felt like I really got to focus on and understand the true meaning of Christmas.
The rest of the week Sister Harrison and I worked on our "member areas".  I don't remember if I wrote about it in my last email, but we came up with this idea to try and get the members more involved in missionary work. It's really hard to get referrals here because 1. Our area is reeeeeeally tiny, and 2. Our members pretty much only hang out with other members. So what we've done is we've driven through every community we have (they're all smaller, gated, neighborhoods) and drew out the community and put every house and house number on it. We put where each member, less active, and potential lived. Then, we divided all the communities up into smaller areas (where the members live) and assigned the members their neighbors to work with! We are really excited about it, I mean, who's not going to get to know their neighbor? And the members we've done it with have been really excited about it, as well as our Bishop and Ward Mission Leader. We are pumped! Then we are going to have different monthly events that they can invite their "area" to! What a blessing to have a small area where you can eventually literally know every single person in it!
On Friday morning we had a Christmas zone breakfast at our Stake President's house.  He talked to us for a while and then had all of us share our family Christmas traditions and what Christmas meant to us. It was pretty awesome!
On Saturday we did more of our maps. At the end of the day, Sister Christensen told us to stop by and JAMES NISH WAS THERE. It was so awesome! I got to see one of my best friends! We stayed there for a little bit and talked. I was so happy to see him!
Sunday was nice too, there was a mission homecoming (which was why James was there), and Sister Harrison gave a really great lesson on repentance in Gospel Principles. Then we had a combined third hour on missionary work and every one wrote letters to the missionaries that are serving from the Paseo Verde ward. It was sweet!
Today we are having Family Home Evening with a family from the ward and will do other fun p-day stuff!
We get transfer information this Saturday! Sister Harrison and I will most likely stay together, here. Yay! We hope we stay together for a while. Oh, and on New Years we all get to go to the mission office and watch a movie! Yay!

Happy New Years! Make some good goals and be sure to add one spiritual goal in there :)
I love you!

Love, Sister Coltrin
Christmas Morning:  Sister Coltrin, Sister Harrison, Sister Cummings and Sister Stinnett

An Oreo snowman for Diane

Sister Coltrin and James Nish

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