Well, last week I got to Skype my family! It was a great day. So, it started out with a night on Christmas Eve. We went to the Larsen’s house with Elder Harper and the assistants and ate a TON of snow crab legs...thanks Larsen family! Then we played a couple games and went home. In the morning, we did studies like normal. For companionship study, I think we ended up making Christmas cards for bishops. We went to the Larsen’s for breakfast, and I couldn't eat! I wasn't sure why; I don’t think I was nervous. I just couldn't sit still. I was so excited to see my family! Then we talked for a while with a few technical difficulties, but it was great. I got to see Emma laugh a few times, and my mom smiling so much, so it made me happy. We talked a lot about things that needed to be talked about like signing up for school, summer plans and things like that, but as soon as I hung up and realized that was my last call. I was so so trunky. I have never really felt that way, but for some reason I just had no desire to really do anything. Realizing that the next time I would see them was at the airport made me sick to my stomach.
We then went to an assisted living place to sing to some of the people that stay there. I was not in the mood at all. But I learned, once again, the importance of service. Only about half of our zone showed up (the Hispanic ones showed up, the white ones didn’t. Just increases my love for Hispanic people). We started to sing and visit with the people there, and after about 20 minutes, I had a big smile, and I didn't feel trunky or unmotivated at all. One woman told us that we made her whole day, and she started to cry she was so happy to see us. Me and one other elder stayed behind and talked to her about life for a while, and everyone else moved on to keep singing. SOoo, just like that, the trunkiness was gone! I was back to normal and forgot about going home and have been loving missionary work more than before ever since.
The last week was especially slow, but that was to be expected. Numbers in the zone dropped dramatically, so we are just praying that they pick back up. It looks like a few companionships took the whole week off rather than just Christmas. Stress, stress, stres. But that's life. On Sunday we had our usual meeting with the stake president, and he was pretty unhappy with how much things slowed down, and I think is going to get after the ward mission leaders about better communication. That is the biggest struggle right now is getting ward mission leaders to communicate with us. Since they stopped doing the stake wml meeting, it was gotten worse. The reason they stopped it was because they want things to be done more on a ward level, but it's just not happening so they may bring that meeting back just to create some accountability, because we don't have time to talk to all of them during the week and still work the area.
Theresa is progressing fine; she went cold turkey on coffee including decaf and feels comfortable with it, which is exciting. We taught Gavin last night, and he didn't make it to church, but says he will soon. We are really going to push the ward council to invest a lot in Lori (Gavin’s mom); she needs to feel welcomed at church, too. We don't usually focus on her at all, but hopefully, the ward can. I don't think Gavin will progress well unless his mom gets involved. He is a good kid, very analytical; he said he will know he should get baptized by looking at people that have done it and those that haven’t and comparing and seeing if it’s something smart to do. Hopefully, he has some good examples of believers at school!
We picked up a new investigator on Sunday. Her name is Cecilia. She is living with a recent convert right now (a couple) helping take care of their kids. She talked about how she would give anything to be able to start everything over but isn't sure about baptism. I really hope things go well with her.
Finn and Anders got the priesthood this last Sunday. I found out after it happened. I was disappointed the ward didn't let us know to stand in, but oh well, too late now. They leave next week on Thursday. For Christmas they gave me a tie bar with the Salt Lake Temple on it and next to it the name "Kristiansen" is engraved. Elder Harper and I each got one to look forward to them getting sealed next year. It will be an exciting time.
Everyone has been so so busy with Christmas season. Due to things slowing down and our current methods not working we are going to change something up. We will start assigning wards nights, generating a list of all non-members in the wards and having members go with us to contact people. It should speed things up and give people a desire to invite their neighbors without us coming to them and bringing them to do it. We have a couple members this week that are committed to inviting friends, but they usually say give them a few weeks to do it, and I am so impatient. I want them to run over and do it right away! I guess missionaries have more urgency than other people, because we consistently set daily and weekly goals.
Last night our zone had an FHE with President Hiers in our zone. I have never had one of those before, but they are starting to do them to get to know missionaries and show missionaries the importance of FHE I think. It was great; we had a recent convert come and share her story. One that I taught while I was on exchanges. We had a spotlight and talked about an elder who loves cats; Elder Coronado and I made him a cat mask out of a cardboard box. I guess that's the best missionaries can do, but he liked it.
The mission is doing ok…I love working. I have improved a lot on just enjoying the work day to day and not just worrying about unnecessary things like numbers or having lots of lessons. I love being a missionary! I have been having great personal studies this week; that makes a huge difference. I love Elder Coronado; he is a phenomenal missionary. He is a big example to me. I hope to serve with him for a long time to be able to learn as much as I can from him. I love you all so much and hope you have the perseverance, faith, and determination to accomplish your new year's resolutions! Hello to all my fellow missionary friends who I haven't written in so long...I hope they are all loving it as much as I am.