It has been a great Christmas week! I loved getting to talk to you and see your cute faces. Favorite part of Christmas! And it hit me that it has been almost a year since I have seen you all, because you all looked so grown up! Time is flying. This week was an incredible one with lots of Christmas miracles! Feeling very blessed.
Monday: P-day! We had a white Elephant gift exchange with our zone. Funniest thing ever. I got a bowling ball and my companion got a chain. #elders. It was a good time with some awesome missionaries! After p-day ended we went to the Day's house (investigators), and had Family Home evening with them. We made gingerbread houses and shared the Christmas story. It was awesome.
Tuesday: District meeting. So on Halloween, the mission was challenged by the mission President to read the 5 Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, 3 Nephi) by Christmas. It was one of the best experiences I have had. I loved being able to read about the Savior and His life and to focus on it. I learned so much and grew so much closer to Him. At District meeting, we discussed what we learned, and it was awesome to be able to hear everyone's insights. The thing that stood out most to me was Christ's love and compassion for each of us. In 3 Nephi ch. 17, the Savior has just finished teaching the people and He tells them to go ponder what He taught. As He looks at the people, they all have tears in their eyes, and they "want Him to tarry with them longer." So He does. And He doesn't just hang out with them, He heals the sick, and teaches them more. I LOVE the way that He responded. He truly is the Gift, and I am so grateful for Him! We also had exchanges and I was with Sister Weiler. She is awesome! She is from New York and totally has the accent. We had a fun day with lots of appointments in Rupert and getting lost in the dark! #missionlife.
Wednesday: Christmas Eve! We did some service in the morning and helped some older members cut wood. It felt good to be serving and doing as Christ did. The rest of the day was spent planning for the week, since we had the holidays and exchanges. We spent the evening at the Bishops house with his family. We had an awesome dinner, complete with a nativity play and spiritual message, and gift opening. It was super sweet, they got us both really nice scarfs and we had a great time with them. It was nice to feel like part of the family!
Thursday: "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas....." And we got one! We were like little kids again. My first white Christmas ever #caligirl. It snowed like 8 inches! We had breakfast at a members house, and then did the normal routine. We decided to study before we opened gifts because we knew we would be all distracted. We just stayed in our room and opened packages. It was super funny because it was just the two of us going, "no you go next, no you go next." Haha. It was different, but we had fun! We spent the rest of the day visiting members and investigators and sharing Christmas messages. And of course I got to Skype which was awesome! It was a great Christmas being able to focus on Christ. Missed you all!
Friday: I had exchanges with Sister Hansen in Rupert. It was super fun to be together again. Awesome experience: We were making programs for the baptism we had the next day. Heather(the one getting baptized), texted us and told us how her week was awful and how she really felt the adversary and she was ready to give up and call it quits. I was freaking out, because I just wanted so badly for her to feel okay and to be happy. I wasn't sure what to do. We were going to go visit her, but realized she was at work. I had the thought to pray, so I told Sister Hansen and she suggested we go to the church and pray in the chapel, so we did. We knelt down in the chapel and offered probably the most heartfelt prayer I have ever given. After the prayer, we sang "A Child's Prayer" together, and I had the most overwhelming feeling that Heavenly Father heard my prayer and that He was aware of Heather and that He was going to take care of her. It was amazing. So grateful for that experience.
Saturday: This morning, we went over to Heather's house. We showed up in pants because she had been working all week, and with 4 kids under the age of 5, we knew that it would be chaos at her house. We helped her clean and get the kids ready for the baptism. It was a really neat experience to be there for her. She said that the night before when she was ready to give up, she decided to read her scriptures even though she got home at midnight from work. She said she turned to the chapter in Luke when Christ is performing the Atonement. She said that reading that gave her so much comfort and she knew that He knew how she felt. Heavenly Father hears and answers prayer, I know that with all my heart. He loves us so much and I am so grateful that He knows Heather and her struggles. Her baptism was amazing. The spirit was so strong, and afterward, she told us that it was all worth it. I am so excited for her family and this new journey. They are now working on going to the temple to be sealed as an eternal family!!! I love being a missionary. The Day family is amazing. Even in the short month that I have been here, I have become really close with them. They are one of my favorite families and I am so grateful for their example. Heather's sister joined the church not too long ago, so she introduced Heather, and now her other sister is investigating! Coolest thing ever. #miracles.
Sunday: Church is always the best. Heather got confirmed and her blessing was amazing. She said,"He said everything I needed to hear!" So amazing. On Sunday nights, we have lessons with a member family. They have 4 teenage girls, and they just wanted us to come teach them to have the spirit more in their home. 2 of the girls are adopted and they are African American and they are hilarious. They asked us what we got for Christmas and we told them the usual, clothes, deodorant and things like that. The one girl goes, "Why did you get deodorant? You smell heavenly, you smell like berries, and Jesus." Haha. #dying.
It was a wonderful week, and I thank you all for your love, support, and prayers. I hope you all have a Happy new year! I encourage you to think of a gift that you can give back to Christ in this new year. I love you all!
Love, Sister Bigelow