Sunday, Dec 23 Last Monday was our first experience with transfers and new missionaries. It was very hectic. We started at 8:00 a.m. and ended at 7:00 p.m. We had loads of mail and information to take to the church. Had meetings and served lunch and ended with a testimony meeting and farewells for those going home. Only lost one new elder's name tag. (Ended up finding it in his Christmas mail later that week. Don't know how it got there.) Here are some notes from the meeting. New favorite Christmas song, "O Holy Night" because of the phrase "Fall on your your knees" - new meaning this year. The sister saying this said, "Today I'm on my feet, but most significant moments on my mission have been on my knees." Another elder said that "Conversion was a process, not an event." Another said, "What we are is God's gift to us. What we make of ourselves is our gift to God." And then my favorite because I sure feel this way - A elder going home said, "When I got here my senior companion sat me down and said - you don't have the talent, ability, or knowledge to be a missionary (I'd add computer skills) ...no one does - only withe the help of the Lord can you make it. You have the Savior on your side." These are awesome young people we work with.
Woke up on the 18th with our first snow of the season. We had a gift this week. The new senior couple is going to spend two days in the office helping us. She loves to do baptisms and worked on them all day long. She loves genealogy and they remind her of that. He is going to do pictures and the history of the mission. This will take a huge load off me. Now it's just the spread sheets. The rest of the week we worked on the "infinity lists." The office elders came to help. It's been days and it is only half done. All this is a result of transfers. I think I will suggest we have no more transfers until we transfer to go home. Saturday was a welcome rest and we went to see the movie "Lincoln." Francis' said we could go to movies, so I'm not asking permission, just taking their word. It was very deep, but very interesting. Spellburg knows his history. I never tied the 13th Amendment so much to the ending of the War. I had always concentrated on the Emancipation Proclamation as the big one. They had a great program at Church today for Christmas. Two good talks. One was themed around "The Law of Witnesses," and used the Nativity as the bases and the other one was "Pretend it's Christmas everyday" - give gifts of gratitude all year long. We have some very accomplished people in this ward. Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas. It will be a different one for us, yet the meaning is still the same.