Monday, December 23, 2013

It's Almost Christmas!

Dear Family,
This week we drove to Santa Barbara to have a zone Christmas devotional. It was just over an hour drive and we carpooled with Hermana Brown and Hermana Eastman for the trip. It was an incredible meeting! President and Sister Castro gave talks as usual but the rest of the program was a mix of musical numbers and parts of the bible videos that had to do with Christ's birth. There are truly some talented missionaries in our mission!
One funny thing is that each zone sang a song together. Our zone only has 4 sisters and a million elders where the other zones have many many sisters. For one verse of our song they decided to have only the sisters sing. One of the hermanas was playing the piano so she wasn't singing and Sister Blanchard doesn't really like to sing, so for that part it ended up being a duet with me and the other sister. Haha I never thought I would be doing that...
It was overall such a great meeting and afterwards we had lunch and did a few Christmasy activities. We mostly did little games among the 3 zones that were there. It was a great way to celebrate Christmas a little early and hear from some of the amazing talent from the mission. 

I LOVE THIS HERMANA (Hermana Linford).
I also love that lately I have been able to see her all the time!

We were also able to have a wonderful lesson with one of our investigators S. We we able to meet in the Terrazas' home with Sister Terrazas and S's daughter. It was a very basic lesson about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but what made it the best was having his daughter there. She is a convert so she was able to share her story about how she decided to be baptized. It was just really powerful to have her there because she knows exactly what he is going through right now. She was also able to encourage him to read the Book of Mormon. She has been very helpful in his conversion process and always asks us what she can do to help her dad.
One of the best parts of the whole lessons was his closing prayer. He said that what we had talked about really stirred up things that he had thought about before and it had touched him. He later said he is excited to read the Book of Mormon to find out answers for himself. We really like teaching him because he knows the Bible really well and has researched many gospel topics. He is such a genuine person so we always love the time we get to meet with him.
I really couldn't help but think about the armor of God when I saw this

This week we also met a wonderful investigator. We first met him and spoke with his fiance and she told us that he would probably be interested. We were able to go back and meet with him twice this week and teach him the Restoration. He seems very curious to know more about what we have taught and he committed to start reading The Book of Mormon! He is just someone we met out of nowhere and we are excited to continue to meet with him. We were also able to find other new investigators this week that we are really hopeful about!

Us making Tamales :) They were the best tamales I have ever had!

We were also excited to meet with one of our investigators. She is a little difficult because it is really hard for her to trust new people, and she doesn't like being told what to do. We have been working really hard with her and have mostly only been able to do service for her. This week we helped her make tamales! It was a great opportunity to spend time with her and now I know how to make real tamales!
She talked to us when we were over about how she is not a fan of organized religion and we talked to her a little bit about how it is necessary for us to be organized, and the things that we can do because we are an organized church. We are still making progress a little bit at a time but we have hopes that she will start being more receptive and progress.

Yesterday was also so much fun because it was our ward Christmas program! It was a wonderful meeting. Then we had the usual Sunday (meeting with a few people and stopping by to try to catch other people home). The best was that after dinner we went caroling with a family from the ward. We visited their friends and they introduced us to them. We definitely planted some seeds there. It was almost impossible to deny the spirit felt there when we sang different Christmas hymns. It was just a great way to end the night!

Merry Christmas everybody! Haha okay so I just had to show off the Christmas
decorations while I enjoyed some Mexican hot chocolate. Mmmmm

Santa Maria is still amazing as ever. Honestly, I am shocked every day how open the people are here. We are able to see little miracles every day! I am doing really well and I feel much more comfortable than when I started here. I love the people here and I am so thankful for the help of the ward. Sister Blanchard has made tons of progress lately. She is much more persistent and I am just really impressed with her. I know that this Christmas season has been hard for her but she is a really tough missionary. I have really enjoyed working with her so far!

Sister Mason

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