I'll start with last week - I got a new companion, Sister Rokobuli, from Fiji! I was crying like a little girl all the way to transfer meeting and when President called my name, I was not smiling or happy...but then Sister Madsen got called to Aliso Creek ward --- in my zone and in our Church building! We see them at the very least, every Tuesday and Sunday!!! haha, the tears turned to happy tears because now she is not tooo far away and I can still see her. I love it.
Sister Rokobuli is awesome. She attended BYU-Hawaii and used to dance at the Cultural Center. She has three brothers and two sisters. She is the youngest, but the first to serve a mission in her family. Yesterday she paid me the nicest compliment - she was like, "My whole mission I have never felt so happy or comfortable" --- her other companions were white hand book status, which means they left their personalities at the door and are ridiculous about following the rules. I try really hard to balance my personality with being obedient, but hear you me, I will NEVER be a white hand book. I refuse. On Thursday I gave her the speech which I also gave Sister Madsen, that we WILL laugh and we WILL have fun. It's quite an inspiring speech if I do say so myself. Ha, that was a joke.
Anyway, Wednesday and Thursday were rough because I missed Madsen, but I did a lot of praying and surprisingly didn't break down once. All day Wednesday and Thursday were spent handing out fliers for a Christmas program called "Follow the Star" that our stake puts on every year. It's a live nativity with real animals that is performed outside. Inside is hot chocolate, cookies, and the life of Christ depicted in art and scripture. It's a reallyy big deal. People have been talking about it since I got here in July! It was Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night. I got to see Madsen all three nights which was legit.
As promised, "Follow the Star" was awesome. It stirred up the Christmas spirit in me. I had a light bulb moment where I realized that Jesus was born - our Savior and Redeemer - to humble Mary and Joseph in a stable with yucky animals all around --- I don't know why it hit me so hard, but I was so happy and excited. I have a new appreciation for this time of year. On Sunday, my companion and I got to play the role of Mary!! It was so fun! I got to be pregnant and then hold the baby Jesus and sit in a stable. When walking back, the crowd was taking pictures and one guy was like, "My daughter wanted to meet Mary and baby Jesus." It was so cute! See pictures.
Also on Sunday, our investigator came to Church for the first time while we have been teaching her. I was so happy she was able to make it. Sundays are crazy at Church because everyone talks to us and we have a million meetings and appointments to set so it's really chaotic, therefore I didn't get to talk to her to see how it went, but according to B. Thatcher, she said it was good! We are seeing her tomorrow so I am stoked.
Everything is going well here in sunny California. The Church is still true. I am working little by little each day to increase my faith and dedication to the Lord. I saw a quote the other day that said something along the lines of, "Some blessing come now, some blessing come late and some blessing don't come until Heaven, but for those who follow Jesus Christ, the blessings will come." I loved it because sometimes I expect instantaneous blessing because I am doing what's right, but I just gotta be patient. I love the people I have gotten to meet and the different ways my testimony has been strengthened. The saying stands true, this might not be the best 18 months OF my life, but it is the best 18 months FOR my life.
Love you all! PCE!
Goodbye Sister Madsen! I love you!
My new companion
The nativity scene. The lighting is bad, but you can see the three wise men (two were elders in my district), a sheep, a horse, and a donkey.
Me, Joseph, and baby Jesus