I hope y'all had a great Christmas! I certainly did!
Our Christmas schedule got a little messed up because Sister Walser was sick, and we didn't want to cross contaminate by going over to the Smiths, where she was resting, and then get everyone else in the branch sick. So we ended up going over to the Kennedy's to Skype, and the were super sweet and fed us biscuits and chocolate gravy afterwards (yum!) and then a little later they fed us dinner. I didn't realize that we were going to get dinner at the Kennedy's at all, but we did and then had two other dinner appointments that night. Classic missionary life. After the Kennedy's we went to the Riggs for dinner #2, and I heard rumor that we were going to have squirrel dumplings, but they didn't end up making them. I was pretty excited to have a truly backwoods Tennessee experience, but they made other more normal things for Christmas. Boring! After the Riggs, we finished our day at the Smiths and luckily they already ate dinner, but we did have some banana pudding :) Sister Walser was feeling good enough to come home on Christmas night, so we took her back home with us. SHE IS SO CRAZY PANTS! I love her so much! She's being transferred on Wednesday, so unfortunately I'll only have the opportunity to serve with her for less than a week! Missionary life is pretty crazy sometimes :) I'm so grateful to have two wonderful companions, however! We get a new companion when we drop Sister Walser off as well, so that should be fun :)
The day after Christmas, one of the elder's investigators, Joel, was baptized. He is so awesome! He has this huge spike-y hair, and snake bites with hipster glasses! He's great! He had been searching for a church for about a year, and in his research, he kept coming across anti-Mormon stuff. He didn't find any church with more anti-material than the Mormon church, so he figured he would look into it. He went to mormon.org and requested a visit with the missionaries, and three weeks later he was baptized. He is so golden! He has such a strong testimony, and he's now preparing to serve a mission! He's the absolute best! I forgot to bring my camera to the library today, but I'll e-mail you a picture next week.
Alley, our investigator, is still preparing to be baptized on Saturday. She has some concerns, but hopefully we can help to resolve them. She is such a sweet girl and is so golden! President Smith's son, Fleet, and his wife, Kima, are really awesome fellow-shippers for her! They are such wonderful teachers, too! It's so great to have them with us when we teach her.
On Sunday morning at church, President Smith asked to talk with me, and he sat me down and talked about how he had called my Dad and spoken with him. He said that they had had a great conversation, and something my dad said really struck him, about how I had said that I really felt like I was called to be here in the South, even though my original assignment was Brazil. He then asked me to talk in Sacrament meeting. Thanks, Dad :) I think my talk went fairly well, even though I literally didn't prepare anything :) I talked about giving up our hearts to the Lord, and he will perfect them and make them better, and then give them back to us. I know it's really hard to accept the Lord's will, and I have also gained a testimony that as we give up everything to the Lord, that He will give us everything in return.
I love y'all so much! Have a great week!