Merry Christmas everyone! I just have to say THANK YOU to everyone who has sent me letters, packages, and Christmas cards! They truly have made a difference. Being away from home on Christmas is difficult but the support from all of you has helped tremendously. It may take me a bit to write back, but I will do my best!
This week was pretty awesome. Tuesday we spent most of the day saying goodbyes (for Elder Denslow who has been in this area a little over 8 months of his mission). The saddest one was him saying bye to Anne, who is the lady we chop wood for and works at the gift shop. We had told her a week before that we were both staying, and then we had to tell her that Elder Denslow was leaving. She was pretty bummed. Tuesday was also when Sister Stimpson called mom and put her on speaker phone! That was weird staying quite the whole time! I was right next to her haha.
Wednesday we spent most of the day packing. Brother Allen made us his infamous Fettuccine (?) Alfredo. I ate way to much of it.
Thursday was so long, but the highlight of the week by far. ZONE CONFERENCE! One of the best days of my mission. We had to get up at 3:00AM, pick up the sisters, and meet everyone to carpool down at 4:30AM. The conference was in Helena, and we were driving a transfer van (highly uncomfortable). So we got there late, at about 8:40AM. This zone conference was huge. The Kalispell, Missoula, Butte, Helena, Great Falls, Great Falls East, and Stevensville zones (equivalent to stakes) were all there. At least 120 missionaries and that is only half the mission! The Conference ran from about 9-4:30PM. It consisted of musical numbers (one of which I was in! HA!), talks, and I shared the poem that Meg Wright gave me at BYU. I had so much fun. We had an extended lunch where we played a few games, sang songs, and just kind of relaxed. Each of us got a Christmas Package from HOME (letters) in addition to lots of donated things like toothbrushes, candy, gum, etc. So cool! Thank you to everyone who sent a letter for that! I had some of the most letters out of everyone! :D I hung out with Elder Schramm and Packham the most. We got home at 9:30PM. Again by transfer van -__-
My new companion is Elder Parker. He has been out for only 8 weeks. We get along pretty well and had some great lessons this weekend! We split and stacked wood for a recent convert named Korry
Saturday was awesome. The Winter Solstice begins! I could have sworn it was here already. We parked at the post office today and walked for about 3 hours. None of our potentials worked out, so we kept climbing up this hill. At the very top, there was a gated, long driveway leading to what was probably at least a 10,000 sq. ft. home. No exageration. We knocked on the door and a man named Harvey answered. He explained that him and his wife were Roman Catholic and were actually about to go to Mass in 10 minutes. Even still, he said to come in and warm up till they had to leave. They gave us each a honey crisp apple (so good!) as well as a glass of water. When it came time for them to go, they actually gave us a ride to the chapel so we didnt have to walk all the way back to the post office :) super nice couple. I had accidentally left my beanie (the one Torie made me, which I wear everyday and everywhere by the way!) at their house. After dinner, we drove up there. At dinner, Sister Wagers gave us a bag of cookies and treats. So I offered that to Harvey and he said, "My wife never buys treats! I would love them!" Haha and then he said that we could come back and talk to them anytime :) So cool.
Sunday was awesome too! We finally got a Ward Mission Leader. It is Brother Harris! His wife is the one that has been coming back to church recently. Susan Jensen, the lady from Wales that we taught last Saturday and then came to church, is leaving for California the day after Christmas. And guess what. The ward she will be in down there would have been the exact same ward that Lacey was serving in before she got transferred to a Spanish area! How sweet would that have been for Lacey to pick up where I left off teaching! Oh well.
Well I am stoked to see you on Christmas! And Grandma and Grandpa if they are there! That way I can thank them :) People have been so generous and thoughtful. I seriously have 3 stockings full of candy, that package from zone conference, a super soft blanket from the Kiedrowski's (thank you so much!), and a gift bag full of stuff from Anne. And lots of letters :) I am still not sure how Christmas Day is going to work. Tomorrow for Christmas Eve, we are having a Zone "District Meeting" and then going to Elder and Sister Shaw's from 1-8 just to relax and play games! What I am thinking about doing is staying the night there and come back in the morning and can skype right after Lacey so I can catch both her and you. I will be skyping off my iPad more than likely, so I can do it pretty much whenever! :) I'll call if that changes. I love and miss you all! See ya in 2 (days)! Merry Christmas!