It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas here in New Jersey with the first snow storm of the season this Saturday. Hermana Hopson hates the snow, but I enjoyed it thoroughly!
We have been trying to incorporate the #LighttheWorld challenges into our finding activities everyday. On Friday we "loved our enemies" by contacting as many dropped investigators as possible (Of course they're not really our enemies, but seeing as they were dropped, it obviously didn't work out so well the first time.) We turned it into a challenge for our entire district, with a point system, and everything (1 point for a contact attempt, 2 for a return appointment, and 3 if you were invited in to teach a lesson right there on the spot). For a little extra motivation we decided that the losers would have to buy the winners pupusas.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am happy to announce that with a total of 27 points, Hermana Hopson and I will be receiving our victory pupusas this Wednesday at district meeting. But really it was all the Lord's work. We were able to get six return appointments, find an inactive women who doesn't even have her records here, and visit a less active who has been avoiding us lately. We ran into her right as she was getting home from the store, so we helped her take in her groceries. And while my companion was doing the real missionary work of setting up a time to meet and getting the address of a referral, I was entertaining the kids. She has the cutest little boys who were SUPER excited to see us. One of them was pulling on my arm asking for besos, while the other was begging me to come see all the toys in his room. The best though was when they asked me to dance and we started singing Feliz Navidad together while jumping around the living room. So cute.
On Saturday we started out the day by visiting the residents in a nursing home for #LighttheWorld. We sang some Christmas hymns and read passages from Luke 2 with them. We spoke with the director afterwards, and it looks like we will be able to offer service there on a regular basis, which is really great because we have been looking for service opportunities in our area. Later that night we shared a Christmas message with a family we had found the day before, and taught them about the Book of Mormon. They all have their own copies now that they promised to read in before we see them again this week.
Sunday we had a Christmas fireside with the other Spanish missionaries and members in the area. It was all centered around Christmas hymns and was absolutely beautiful! The spirit was so strong as we used music to celebrate together the miracle of our Savior.
We've been teaching Hispanics English. It is actually something that I have done in all of my different areas, the program is just better set up here than in other places so we get more students. We teach the classes for free in one of the classrooms in the church 3 times a week. It is a great service opportunity and since we always end with a spiritual thought we end up getting some investigators from it as well. I love English class! It's super fun, and they help me increase my Spanish vocabulary as well. Luckily the people who come are really patient.
Transfers were cool. The Portuguese Elders are being doubled out and they are putting in two sisters who were originally called to be English speaking, but both happen to speak fluent Portuguese. So we will have another set of sisters in the district with us. We will also be losing two other Elders now, and then one more half way through the transfer, which makes me very sad because I loved all my Elders. But that's okay. It's a new dawn, a new day, and a new transfer here in NJ.
It has been an amazing week, and people really are so much more receptive to our message around this time of year. I wish it would last longer!
Have a wonderful week everyone! Enjoy every moment of this magical season!