Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas in Santa Maria


This has been another wonderful week! We had such a wonderful Christmas Eve and Christmas day! We had a great meal with a family in the ward for Christmas Eve, and they even got each of us a couple of Christmas presents to open. They spoil us!

Christmas Eve! We decided to wear our "thrift store"sweaters
to our dinner on Christmas Eve. We actually have been
taking every opportunity to break them out :)

On Christmas we opened presents early with the family we live with. The wife came and knocked on our door at 6:30am to tell us that we could come up and open a little stocking she prepared for us, and open presents!

Cookies! I also bought this super cute apron. It made my heart
hurt it was so cute and so inexpensive! Merry Christmas!

Later that day we baked tons of cookies and went around to less-active members and investigators to wish them a very Merry Christmas! It was one of the craziest days because we didn't have as much time as usual and we were trying to squeeze everyone in. 

We had an all out Christmas feast with another family from our ward on Christmas day. The wife reminds me SO much of Granny, so I felt like I was spending Christmas with my sweet Grandma. They also got us each a mini Christus statue to put in our apartment. They are maybe 3 inches tall. That was just so sweet and thoughtful of them! Even though it didn't really feel like a normal Christmas to us here, the members really tried to make us feel at home and enjoy this Christmas. The ward here really is incredible!
It was also so great to talk to everyone at home!! I was so happy that everyone was there! [By "everyone" she means Dad, Mom, Grandma, Brock & Liz & baby Chloe, Blair & Britt, Chase & Michelle]

Calling home for the first time!

This week was kind of an odd week as far as missionary work goes, but it was a great week nonetheless! We were finally able to have a real lesson with M. Before, we would only be able to share a quick thought because she was busy, or we would just do service for her. Last night we finally had a great Restoration lesson with her!

She had been taught by missionaries before but we decided to go ahead and start the lessons over with her. It was just a great lesson because I felt like Sister Blanchard and I were really able to listen to the spirit to adapt the lessons to her needs. It was just a very natural lesson and it was completely tailored to what she needed to hear. It ended up being a completely different lesson than what we had planned but the spirit helped guide us to teach her in the way that she really needed at that time.

It was incredible and she opened up so much! She said that she is now finally open to reading The Book of Mormon and praying to know if it is true! That is a huge step for her. She also said that she has been wanting to come to church and go to ward activities. She has some amazing potential and it is just so great to see that she is finally at the point where she is open to the gospel!

Sister Blanchard and me

We also met a man this week who was originally a referral from the Spanish sisters in our district. We met him Saturday afternoon and we found out that he had read and researched the pamphlet that the sisters left with him. He really wanted a copy of the Book of Mormon and was excited to learn more. We invited him to come to church and he came yesterday! We were able to find a ride for him and he stayed all 3 hours! He said that he really enjoyed it so we are excited to see what happens with him.

He is a little difficult because he is down syndrome but lives on his own and is very high-functioning. He was able to understand everything that was going on at church but I am just interested to see how this works out for him. He is very open to learning so we are excited to meet with him again this week!


We also were able to pick up a wonderful former investigator this week! She is the sweetest lady. Sister Higgins and I had met her about two months ago. This week we stopped by and she invited us to come and have lunch with her. We were able to have lunch and get to know her more and teach her the Restoration again.

We also came back on Saturday and helped her make tamales. This is the second opportunity I've had this month to learn how to make them. Get ready to have some amazing tamales next Christmas because I am now a tamale-making pro!

She is such a great woman and she already has a few really good friends that are LDS. She was really busy when the missionaries were teaching her before, but now she has a little bit more time and she seems very open. She said we could come by again in a few days for a lesson and we are hoping to be able to bring one of her best friends from the ward.


It has overall been a great week! We had many great referrals from people on the street and from ward members. We got one referral from a member in Arizona to visit her friend. We contacted the friend and she was very welcoming and asked when we were available to come back. We are very excited about her and hope to meet with her soon.

We also met such great people this week! There were a few people that "just happened" to be along our path this week that were very open and invited us to come back and teach them!

Also we are teaching some less-actives that are now coming to church! A few haven't been to church in such a long time and they were there on Sunday! Some times I feel like we aren't making tons of progress with them. We just love them and try our best, but it is great to finally see a little progress!

Sister Blanchard's mom sent us some footie pajamas for Christmas!
We are obsessed with them. This was us bright and early
on Christmas morning.

Okay so I just love Sister Blanchard! Every day I am just really impressed with how she teaches. Her testimony is so powerful and everyone we talk to can feel her love for them. She is incredible and is the one that really brings the spirit into our lessons. She is such a great person to be around and I am really lucky to be her companion!

Just an update... M's baptism is scheduled for next Saturday! (She's the 14 year old that loves coming to church and mutual). We are going to talk to her mother tonight to figure out when we can finish her last few little lessons before she is baptized so we can get her prepared in the next week and a half. We are so excited for her and we hope that she and her family will work with us so she can make it on the 11th! She is just going to be such a great example to her siblings and hopefully later some of them will want to be baptized as well!

-Sister Mason

P.S. After my comment about singing a duet at the Christmas devotional (and being out of my comfort zone), mom asked me if I ever volunteer to lead the music. Yes, I do lead music in meetings. That's not so bad, but I definitely do things every day that I never thought I would be doing! It's for a great cause though.  I am out of my comfort zone every singe day! After all, people's salvation depends on it!  Love you love you love you!

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