Monday, January 2, 2017

The Reason for The Season

This week was long just because of Christmas.  In the winter time here, a lot of people live down in the states and comes back in the summertime.  More people aren't here on top of that because of Christmas.  We have a lot of service to keep up busy though.
Our district meeting this week was not that bad.  Our district leader had us speak more than him lecturing on a topic.  We also played a game for a Christmas lesson called find Jesus so they hid a statuette of baby Jesus for us to find around the room and than talked about how we can spiritually find Jesus this Christmas.  This week we started a district weigh-in where we are competing to see who can lose the most weight by the end of the transfer.  We are really starting this because one of the elders goes home in 6 months and the phrase coined in this mission is "6 months to sexy" meaning the last 6 months of your mission is a time where you need to start getting back into shape before going home.  The average weight gain in this mission is 40 points so it really might have to take 6 months to lose it.  We didn't set a prize and not everyone is really participating but it is enough motivation for me to RUN almost every night this week.  I absolutely abhor running but I am motivated now than I have ever in my entire life.  Imagine getting the best meal where this is multiple entrees and sides and your favorite dessert is to follow.  Now imagine getting that meal every single night.  Missionaries are addicted to sugar.  Getting dessert every night creates the habit and the night you don't get it you crave it so bad.  With this weigh-in I was surprised I didn't gain more weight than I did.  Most people talk about gaining between 20 and 30 pounds in their first area but I only gained a fraction of that!  I have two more week left and I might not lose too much weight, but if anything I am trying to start an exercise habit that will last since I wasn't exercising too much before my mission.
Service on Wednesday was fun.  I had made one of my favorite desserts:  Tres Leches cake.  I made it last Saturday while we were making the cookies for the Secret Santa bags to be dropped off at member's doors.  It was to die for but I'm glad I had only the one piece but then was sent home two more slices ... that is okay.  I'll just run it off.
Thursday's service we went to the food bank, did 30 minutes of service and they said didn't need our service that day.  So later after lunch we did service at the Bishop's attic.  Found out that if we do service for them we get to take some clothes home for free.  Most of the stuff is old and used but my companion found some clothes she used at our next service opportunity.  Friday was the day that had been on my mind all week.  We had the opportunity to slaughter rabbits.  I had Sister Williams go before me and I took a whole bunch of pictures.  Because you have to hit the rabbit over the head to stun them first so they don't feel anything a couple of the bunnies had their eyes bulging out.  It was gross.  It eventually was my turn and I only was doing it to say that I did it but that is definitely the last rabbit I slaughter.  The body was still warm and felt really weird to be cutting.
Christmas Eve we went Christmas caroling for some members and then had district lunch at his restaurant called Buckets.  It was like a Buffalo Wild Wings.  Afterwards we went to a non-member's house and helped her wrap presents for her family and was able to talk about some aspects of the gospel.  She is a volunteer at Abby's farm we work at on Wednesdays.  Later that night we attended a Christmas Eve party and had a gift exchange.  Sister Williams and I were one of the last people to go and ended up with the best stuff.  I got Bluetooth headphones and she got a Bluetooth speaker.  I was able to use my headphones while FaceTiming home on Christmas.  Christmas was so fun.  Both my comp and I got a lot of presents, went to church for an hour and a half and then had lunch at a member's home before we got to talk to our families.  I am glad we have the opportunity to talk to our family twice a year because some things are hard to get across in an email.  Later that night we got together with our district and acted out the Nativity and we drew names on which character we would play.  It was a lot of fun.  I am grateful we have a time to celebrate His life and being a missionary at this time of year helps me see Christ in a different perspective.  I love my Savior and am thankful for His love He has for me.

Sent from ALASKA !
Sister Shelley Willden

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