Monday, December 29, 2014

December 29, 2014 - Christmas Time!!!

Hello friends and family!  How are all of you this week?!

With this week being Christmas, we were busy with many Christmas activities.  I should have taken pictures, but I didn't.  Oops.

So, anyways, Monday.  We went and started having Family Home Evenings with the Higleys.  They are so awesome!  And it was fun-- we just talked about the "He is the Gift" video.  And the best part is that Sister Higley is starting to understand English better, so we're all able to communicate better!  And Selina, Brother Higley's daughter, joined us for the first time for the lesson!  How awesome is that?!  That was super exciting. :)  We're really hoping that by holding FHE with the family that it will bring them closer together.

Then Tuesday night we went over to the Chestnuts, where we gave a similar lesson.  It went over pretty well I think.  Nothing too crazy was said though.  I love that family. :)  They're awesome.

On Wednesday, we did a Secret Santa exchange for our district.  And the name I drew last week for Secret Santa was.........

Sister Stevens.  

When I drew her name, I was like, "Are you kidding me?!  Not only do I have to buy presents for Sister Stevens, but I have to get a SECRET present for her?!"

But I am basically the best Secret Santa EVER.  I had the other sisters buy the present for me.  Once they gave it to me, I wrapped it up, then wrapped it up in another box to be given to someone else.  At our district meeting, we placed our presents in another room.  So when the other Sisters got to the meeting, I went into the room with the presents with one of the other sisters, unwrapped the doubled-up present, and hid her gift in another part of the room.  By the time she opened up the gift, she had no idea it was me who bought her the gift.  :D  She really loved it too-- it was a necklace with an anchor on it (she loves ships and wants to be a Boat Pilot).  I of course told her afterwards that it was me, since everyone was revealing anyways. I got a Celtic Christmas CD from Elder Horne.  :)  Needless to say that I love that CD.

We spent our Christmas Eve with bishop Trautman and his family in 10th ward.  It was a lot of fun-- they had us judge the different types of pudding they made to determine who would be the "Holiday Cheermeister"-- with a crown and everything!  We determined that the dirt-in-a-cup won-- Cody & Carsen.  It was tons of fun. :)  Also, it turns out that Mallory, their daughter who came home from her mission early, was in the MTC at the same time as I was!  So we spent some time talking about Christmas last year.  After that, we went to go pile in the Trautmans cars to go the chapel and sing songs.... AND IT WAS SNOWING OUTSIDE!!!  It had already snowed, like, half a foot outside!  We had a white Christmas!  YAY!!!!  Everyone was super excited, and started throwing snowballs.  I don't think Bishop Trautman was too thrilled with all of us tracking in extra snow into the church with what was clinging onto our coats and such, but it was fun. :)  It was really nice to sit in the chapel and sing Christmas songs on Christmas Eve.  I think it's something that ought to be done more often.  After that, we went and caroled to a couple of houses, then retired back to our home, where we went to rest for the next morning.

So, Christmas Day.

First off, we got up at 6 to open presents and read Luke 2.  I don't think I have ever really read it all the way through.  There is a really special spirit that comes with reading it.  To me, it's the beginning of everything.  Without his birth, the Atonement would have never taken place, and the Atonement is everything for me.  It's how I make it through every day.  That's what I'm helping others find every day.  It was very nice to start out our day with reading Luke 2.

Anyways, after opening presents, we went to the Carrolls in 3rd ward and had breakfast.  It was French Toast.  Do you know how long it's been since I've had French Toast?!  I can't tell you the last time I had it it's been so long!!!  It was yummy. :)  We then went and made phone calls at Bishop Dunns to family, I called dad, which was super nice. :)  After that, we went home and rested a little bit before we went to the Merideths.  They had Sister Stevens and I compete to see who could make the better gingerbread house.  I won. :)  We then had a late lunch with them, and went back to the Dunns so that I could make my call to mom, and we had dinner with them.  We then spent the rest of our evening at the Assisted Living Center, visiting those who were alone Christmas day.  We then finally retired back to our beds.  That's the short version.  Christmas was such a blur that I can't do a long version.  But it was a great day. :)

Anyways, that's really it for this week.  I'm so tired I don't remember anything that's happened from Friday on.  Oh, except yesterday.  We gave talks yesterday at the Assisted Living Center.  That's always fun. :)

I love y'all!  Keep the faith!

Sister Empey

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