Thursday, January 1, 2015


Hey! So maybe you guys have heard about He is the Gift! It's the new initiative that the church is doing to help people remember the true meaning of Christmas! It's awesome! In this month's edition of the Ensign, everyone should have gotten 9 pass along cards to give to people.
Will you all pass out those 9 cards to someone who needs to see the video? PLEASE??? People need this! I've already seen the love of Jesus Christ touch people's hearts through just sharing these cards. 

We had a particularly awesome experience this week working with this initiative. We were out on the chilly, rainy streets of Lebanon one afternoon, looking for opportunities to OYM and pass out our 10 cards for the day. We were walking along 8th street, on the right side of the street. I look across the way and see this family walking and I say to Hermana Landa, "Let's cross the street." So we cross over. I notice that there's this guy walking about 10 steps in front of the family and I whisper to Hermana Landa, "I think they're too close to talk with them both. Go for the family." So as we pass the guy I wave and say hello to him, just to be friendly. I get ready to OYM the little family and then the guy calls out to us, "Wait, did you say hi to me?" And I can't just ignore the fellow, so we turn around and I smile and say, "Yeah! Of course!"
My heart broke when he just looked so shocked. "Why would you say hi to me?"
"Because you're awesome!" I answered. 
Then he saw the cards in our hands and asked us what we were handing out. We took a minute to explain the initiative to him and he looked touched. We asked him his name. He said it was Ryan. We gave him our number and left him with the commitment to watch the video and to call us to learn more. It was so touching to see the love of God touch his heart in such a simple way. 
Our Savior was born in a stable and laid in a manger. There is nothing more simple than that. He lived a simple life. And so it would make sense that to share His love, we do it by simple means! He doesn't ask us to always do huge, extravagant things. He asks us to share His love simply. 
I love that. :) 

I just love being a missionary at Christmas time, that's all. It's seriously the best time to be a missionary. This week we got to have Zone Conference, which was awesome! It was like an 11 hour ordeal, though. kind of exhausting. But I learned how to put air in car tires this week so that was a cool thing to learn! We get our cars inspected every Zone Conference and our tire pressure light was one, so the elders came and taught us how to do that. I'm learning so much! 
Our Zone is also awesome. During lunch hour at zone conference, we had an ugly sweater competition and a white elephant. We were laughing so hard. I love the people that I serve with. 
We also got to watch the mission video. Did I mention that I'm serving in the best mission in the whole world? Cause I totally am.

Along with the Christmas spirit, we had our ward Christmas party this week. It was excellent. The primary children did a nativity play. So hilarious. I love the little children. SANTA EVEN CAME! I was mindblown. I seriously got so excited. Then the elders made fun of me. #whatever
It was great, though. Three of our investigators were able to make it, which was such a blessing. The ward fellowshipped them so well! There was so much love in that room. We also had some less actives show up that we've never even met before! So that was awesome. We should be visiting them this week. I'm excited! 

The best thing has been the outreach of love from some of our investigators. We had three of them tell us this week how appreciative they are that we were able to find them. I always do my best to remind them that it's the spirit that is in charge, and that Christ is the one who leads us places. They readily acknowledge the hand of Christ but correct me by saying, "Yes but he sent us you as his angels."
They call us their angels
It's the sweetest thing. 
People are so cool.

But people are also willing to point out your flaws! Especially when you're a missionary. Sometimes I think that people have this image of missionaries in their heads... like we're supposed to be these perfect robots or something that just preach about Jesus and nothing bad ever happens to us. But that's not true! and some people really get that.
Like a Sister in my ward... Hahaha at our Christmas party, she walked up to me and just puts her pointer finger on my left cheek. (She's from Cambodia, so she's a little different. I adore her, though. I adore her lack of personal space. She cracks me up every single day.) Anyway she touches my left cheek and goes, "Oh, you have a pimple?" With the saddest look on her face. Like she was devastated about my misfortune. Like I had leprosy or something. Hahaha it was so funny. I just go, "yup! I think the Lord uses them to keep me humble." and she laughed and walked away. 
But seriously, if you ever feel sad about people pointing out your flaws, just remember that it happens to all of us. And sometimes theyliterally point them out! hahaha, You are not alone! 

We had a little miracle this week! We were driving down the road to annville to meet up with the elders one day to turn in some information to the zone leaders about our ward. We get this call from a random number and it's this guy named Arnaldo! He's awesome! He tells us that he found a card in his house with our number on it, and that he wants to come to church. WHAT!? So we give him the address. A couple days later, we hear back from him. He tried to find the church house to be ready for Sunday. He couldn't find it. So I give him directions. He says thank you. Then he calls us  again on Sunday morning and says he still can't find it and asks if we could have someone drive in front of him and show him the way.
WHO DOES THAT? Arnaldo! He's so cool! 
So he came to church on Sunday! he loved it! And it turns out, he works with a member in our ward.

Well, I'm just about out of time. I just want to end with a funny story that happened this week (I know this email is all over the place. whatever... haha)
I really want you guys to get the imagery of this scene I'm about to paint for you. Really work with me to imagine this.
We have a mouse problem. The mice like to eat our wonder bread and then poop in the bottom of our bag to mock us. It's so rude. 
So one Monday we were shopping at our local Walmart and we decided to purchase some mouse traps to help with the mouse problem. Unfortunately, they were out of the typical traps. Not really thinking things through, I bought some of the sticky traps.
Let me reiterate. I was not thinking things through.
I set them up at home in places where we had seen the mice, but they evaded my traps for about a week. I had all but given up on the idea that I was ever going to be able to stop them. Until one morning when I hear Hermana Landa screech from the kitchen. She comes into the bedroom, yelling at me, as mad as I've ever seen her. Actually, I've never seen her mad except this moment. She was angry. She tells me to take care of it. Somehow, I thought that the mouse would be dead. Nope. It wasn't! So I just sit there in horror, staring at the poor thing struggling to get loose. The scene is so morbid and Hermana Landa is yelling at me to take care of it and the stress of the whole situation was just too much. So I lock myself in the bathroom and cry. 
Like a baby.
For like a good 7 minutes.
Just bawling. 
Hermana Landa starts feeling bad for yelling at me. she goes to read the instructions on the trap and tells me that if we use vegetable oil, we might be able to get him off. I grab some oil and some q-tips and, still blubbering, sit down in the back doorway and tenderly swab the little mouse until he breaks free from the sticky trap. 
He pops up off of the trap and turns around to face me. We have an epic stare down for what feels like an eternity. He seems to be saying, "why? How could you do this to me" His little paws are folded together. He looks so sad. I start apologizing to him.
To a mouse.
literally was crying and apologizing to a mouse. 
Then he scampered off.
I left a peace offering in the basket on the floor. It looks like he came back, so we must be on good terms... 

The mission changes you, man. 

-Hermana Bills 

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