Sunday, January 4, 2015

RIGHT BACK AT IT AGAIN ;)‏  12/29/14

-Christmas in England shuts the city down. It's amazing.
-I <3 Christmas carols
-I <3 Christmas spirit
-I'm staying in my area and getting a new companion.

Well our holiday was a lot of fun! We went to Strasbourg with "C" to visit her family. It was nice to be able to Skype everyone and have some time off to go sight seeing and relax. 

Anyway, the holiday had to end and we have to get right back at it. It has been hard to get back into the routine because Elder Oleson leaves me tomorrow. He's going to follow up train a missionary from my group from Twin Falls that I got on well with so that's cool. My new companion is named Elder Tidwell and the only other thing I know about him is that he served with the other missionary Elder Oleson trained.

This next week will be very busy with moves and getting settled after the holiday. The future still looks bright with lots of promise for referrals from the He is the Gift initiative. We will continue to visit less actives by area as I explained before, and I plan on adding active members to the routes so we can ask for more referrals. Although street contacting can be fun, we can do that between houses. It'll be pretty sick!

I am going to miss Elder Oleson but I am also excited to learn and grow through new experiences with my next companion. I'm glad I'm not leaving this area yet. I feel like I just got here and I have just gotten to know the people.

So whoever doesn't know, Christmas was last week. We were challenged to make it effective instead of spending days inside of our favourite active members' homes. So instead we decided to make it effective by spending it inside our favourite investigator's home. We are over so much that "C" makes it feel like a home for us anyway so that was really nice. We were able to visit multiple investigators and quite a few less actives so it turned out be a good holiday.

Christmas morning was sunny and warm when we went down to the promenade and contacted for an hour. The entire feeling was different. The moody English attitude was gone for the day. The air smelled fresh, and people looked happy. We said "Merry Christmas" to everyone we saw just to see what they do. Most people replied, "Happy Christmas" after they got over the shock. We read Luke 2 with a few people but most wouldn't hear it. One man tried to give us two pounds but instead we made him promise to pay it forward.

My favourite day was Christmas eve. Our ward hosted a carol service that was well attended. "C" brought nearly a dozen friends and loads of less actives made it out. Our chapel was nearly as full as it can get, which sadly is less than a hundred but it was packed. They alternated Christmas carols and scripture reading about the story. Most carols we sang from the hymn book all together which was a positive way to get everyone to praise the Lord. It was brill.

After the carol service Elder Oleson and I went to visit "D" and his family. We took some Christmas decorations and a Talking Thomas (the train) for his two year old son. We were able to share a little FHE type lesson with them about the symbols of Christmas and how they testify of Christ. I wrote the meaning of each item on the back of the paper object that the Mattingleys sent me and handed it to "D"'s wife. We testified of Christ and then let the boy have his present. The mum put the papers I read off on the tree and the little boy shouted "I LOVE THOMAS!" in Romanian. That was a precious moment, my favourite by far.

We also had some time to play a couple games and relax. It was weird. I used my free time to write in my journal. It could only get better if we were watching Joy to the World, again! Haha Christmas was different but I am grateful I was able to experience it like this. It was spiritual and I will appreciate having family around even more when I am home.

There are a few things that everyone needs to write their senator about. First, it's all about Boxing Day. The sales are better than Black Friday but maybe only because there was less people shopping and way better clothes. Second, on Christmas every business is closed and the roads are nearly empty. Third, sales tax is included here. When the price tag says 20 quid, it's amazing, you pay 20 quid! So there's my bit.

As always, I love being a missionary and I have being trying to find more reasons to smile since Christmas. Apparently you can work hard and laugh along the way too. We'll see if I can make optimism the next fad, like skinny jeans.

Love, Elder Price