I was going to complain about the weather getting below 50 degrees here, but it sounds like you are getting more chilly up there! And complaining has never helped anyone get anything except for a spanking.
We got a new ward mission leader this week and he is British! Name, Mark Dunning. Hobbies, spending time with the family. Where he keeps his spare time, in the boot of the car. We love him.
The geese are getting fat somewhere and I think that means that Christmas is coming! Ten of us missionaries are getting together this week with some members of the ward and we are going to go deliver some "live Christmas cards". That means that we are going to knock on some people's doors, sing a Christmas song or two and then ask if we can come in and read the Christmas story with them from the Bible and then sing another song or two and leave them with a prayer. We have 10 families lined up, so I hope we have enough time or enough people to split up and still sound alright!
Yesterday I got to accompany the mission choir at a performance that we did. I was on the organ and my Canadian friend helped me a lot by pressing all of the buttons that we needed to to make it sounds good while I pressed the keys.
I forget about other highlights... We had a gospel discussion with well over a hundred people this week on the streets and it is interesting to see how the spirit of Christmas has been able to inspire people to turn their thoughts, feeling and actions towards others.
Oh yeah, one other thing! Elder Schumacher and I got to dress up as wise men and do a live nativity for the community! The lights were blinding, but some people got pictures. I will ask Sister Richardson to email them to you. just got to get her your email.
Well Mom, don't forget to layer and remember that I love you! I am going to send up a sleighful of gifts with one of the members here who is from Oregon. Look for reindeer in two weeks.
This week with Thanksgiving was quite a trip! Elder Schumacher is my new companion from the NE corner of Colorado in a little town called Peetz! He has got to be one of the calmest, hard working, creative people I have ever met.
We got to prepare for Thanksgiving dinner by playing some games with the Bishop's extended family at a local park; mostly just capture the flag with the kids. It felt good to have normal fun! Then we had a delectable dinner with the Hanson family. This morning we went running with Brother Hanson and got up at 5:00 so that we could be back in time. it was a beautiful morning. I don't know what words describe the California skies as the sun rises and sets each day. I suppose that's where the saying "words can't descirbe it" comes from.
We had a baptism this weekend in the ward for Brian Rich! The Sisters have mostly been teaching them, but we got to be involved a little bit. I was blessed to be able to conduct his baptismal interview and I was so inspired by his sincerity and commitment to living the right way and helping his family be more united.
The first day that Elder Schumacher and I were together we had to go run a meeting and we had all of the administrative paperwork completed ahead of schedule and we sere just going to make everything run so smoothly. Until I locked the keys in the trunk of the car. So we were about an hour late after the locksmith saved our behinds.
President Orgill, our fearless Mission President, gave us permission to organize a regional dodgeball tournament on New Year's Day! We are excited to work with the youth and hopefully have people throw something besides Mormon myths at us!
I am so excited to be here in Laguna Beach as Christmas rolls around. We were studying this morning about understanding "Why" we do things. It is a critical part of having true faith that we learn more about that in which we believe and then strive to adhere more closely to the tenets of whatever we have faith in. As we study out those things that we say we have faith in then we make changes in our lives to make sure we are living how we believe we should. Often the first part of having faith is simply to act on whatever knowledge that we have. Through the experience of living what we believe then we come to know of its truthfulness. The more we live it the more we understand it. Sometimes we want to know everything before we do anything. I believe in Jesus Christ, but I don't know everything. With Christmas making its presence known I am reminded that everything I do is because Jesus Christ was born, lived and died for us. I start to see on a small, yet ever increasing scale, why it is that Jesus Christ makes it possible for us to be happy in this life and happy in the next life. I do my best to act in faith and live according to what I know, but I am grateful for the opportunity that we have to keep trying and to keep learning. This is a happy time to be on the earth!