Happy News Years Eve - My wonderful week of Christmas!

Sis Wall and Sis Jara

Awhh, I love all of the pictures that you sent me. Thank you. That seems like a really fun time going sledding. We want to go as a zone next week. I am nervous though because I have NO warm clothes! Wahh! In the picture of them taking down the birdhouses, the boots that the girl is wearing are the kind that I want! My feet have been so freezing! Sister Jara gave me one of her coats. It is purple and bright and warm, but it is wool! I have been wearing it though, despite the itchyness. 
I am so sad that I will miss your chinese New Year's Eve food! We might go to a family's house tomorrow and eat Japanese food, though, so maybe it will be kind of the same. haha.
I am glad that you are joining the ARC again. You seem like you always enjoy it. I feel like my face is getting fatter, but the rest of my body is staying the same! haha. What can I do about this?

Today is the last day of 2012 and then I get to start my "One Line a Day Journal" over again.. I am actually really excited about this!! I will make sure to remind you of fun things that we did on the same day last year. haha. 
I know the morning was pretty hectic, but I am so glad that I got to talk with you on Christmas evening! I probably already told you some of the things, but I will just recount my week to you!
Sunday, Sister Jara and I went to the Park City ward for church. They had 11 instruments total, including 2 harps, which were my favorite!! By the way, can I have a harp when I get home? They are only about 8,000 dollars. So.. yes? ...It was a really good sacrament though. Elizabeth Smart played a couple of songs on the harp. 
On Monday, Christmas Eve, we could go anywhere in the mission that we wanted. The Spanish speaking sisters, Sister Jara, and I went down to the valley to visit some families that we know. I got to see the boys that I taught, which was awesome! The oldest moved to California, but the brothers were still living there and taking the discussions with the elders, which made me so excited. In the evening, we went to a mission conference, where we saw Elder Oaks and his wife speak. I had the opportunity to say the closing prayer in front of the entire mission and an apostle! 

Tuesday, as you know, was Christmas! We had a meeting at the Family Tree in the morning. A family from the ward came and gave us stockings with all kinds of presents... It was so sweet! Then the missionaries in our zone went to the Alden family home (they own Skull candy) and their house was a castle! I am sending a few pictures so you can see. They lived IN the mountains and we could literally see people skiing in their backyard. They were a really really nice family!! We had a buffet-style dinner with chef-prepared food! Brother Alden wore onesie pajamas, and I think that was my favorite part about the entire morning. We worked at the Family Tree in the middle of the day and then in the evening, we had dinner with the Portwood family, (you met Sister Portwood on Skype). My favorite part of the day was talking with you and the rest of the family!! I loved seeing and talking to all of you! I am sad that I didn't get to talk to Michael but please let him know that I love him!
Wednesday, we had a really wonderful experience. We visited a home where we expected there to be 4 unbaptized children. (We found their names on a list). When we got there, there were 2 boys about 10-years-old and their mom. We talked to them a little bit and finally I told them the reason we were there. The mom seemed kind of surprised and said that all of her 4 boys were baptized. As we talked a bit more, I figured that we would just share a scripture and leave. I kept getting the feeling that I needed to share a scripture about the Atonement, but kind of ignored it because it didn't seem relevant to the conversation. Then the woman told us about how she was a convert and although she is very active in the church, she has never had a testimony of the Atonement. She said that she understood it, but didn't think it could be applied to her. I felt the Spirit so strongly because when she said that, I knew that we were there for a reason. I read her the story, "The Room," which talks about how Jesus Christ signs his name for the mistakes that we've made. When I finished reading, I looked up and she was crying. We briefly shared our testimonies of the Atonement, but I know that the Holy Ghost can teach more effectively than I can, so we said a closing prayer and got ready to leave. As we were leaving, the woman said, "If you think that your efforts in the snow were wasted...Trust me, they were not." It is one of my favorite moments of my mission so far!!
On Friday, we worked at the Family Tree and I had some great experiences. I am really starting to love it here. The people come in and see us, rather than us having to go out and find them! We are so lucky. I gave out 2 copies of the Book of Mormon that night and wrote a little note to each of the women. Also, Jana (pronounced Hannah), (the member that I gave my CTR ring to), came in to talk to us for a bit. While we were talking, she was saying the nicest things to me!!! She was saying that I am different from every other missionary that she's met before; that I am very natural and easy to talk to; and that I am very good at "convincing." haha. I felt so happy and it was nice to hear all of those compliments! 
Sis Jara, Casey and Sis Wall
On Saturday, Casey was baptized!!!!! I was excited for it the entire day. We ate dinner with him and Courtney, (his friend)'s family beforehand. When we showed up for the baptismal service, Casey was smiling SO much. And when he was baptized, everyone was kind of laughing because he was like a giddy child (he is 22). He came up from the water, grinning, and gave everyone the thumbs up. Then he raised his arms in the air like Rocky. haha. It was the most excited I've ever seen anyone for a baptism! On Sunday, he received the Holy Ghost and was just as excited :)

It has been a wonderful week! I love Park City and feel so lucky to be here. I haven't gotten a hold of Russ' friend, although I've called her about 3 times on each number. I will keep trying.
Tonight we have a New Year's Eve conference, where we will be hearing Elder Christofferson speak. I am really excited! Hopefully I don't have to say any of the prayers, though!

I love you so much! Have a wonderful New Year!!

Our small apartment!!
Our apartment in PC is so small! We walk into a closet like space & have to walk up a ladder to get to our beds & a tiny closet! I had to take my clothes out of my suitcase & carry them up the ladder. haha

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