Christmas!!!!

This week was amazing! I wish I had taken more pictures because Sister Barton and I had so much fun! For starters, I have finally started writing in my journal again, which means I am once again sane (or less insane haha). But it also means I remember more of what happened during the week which means more things to write!

As far as investigators and those kinds of things go… We had a hard time meeting with out investigators this week because of Christmas. One of our investigators gave us some cactus sprouts (if that’s what they’re called?) as a gift. So I am now officially keeping a baby garden in our apartment. We have two pots of plants, so it’s pretty serious stuff. We taught a few lessons here and there, but it was a little rough with Christmas, and then Heavenly Father blessed us with four lessons on Sunday evening! So that was great!

We started Christmas caroling to people this week, and I am discovering that:

1). Sister Barton has a beautiful voice

2). I need to take up voice lessons again when I get home because when you don’t take them for about 2 years you can’t necessarily tell you took lessons…

3). Christmas Caroling is so much fun. Buuuuuuuuuut also if it is just two of you instead of 10 people from church it is kind of super awkward… For you and the person at the door. I love it haha.

4). Knowing the lyrics to the Christmas songs you decide to carol is kind of a good idea.. Case in point: We decided to Carol to an investigator (T.R.) and started singing “Joy to the World” after knocking. Good song, right? Sister Dixon LOVED singing and conducting that song. When nobody answered, we continued on to the second verse because there were lights on and we thought maybe it was just taking some time to get down the stairs to the door. And we very quickly realized that we knew about the intro and the chorus of the second verse and that was it. It was basically that episode of Mr. Bean when he goes to church and knows almost nothing of “All Creatures of our God and King.” Pretty awful. Nobody answered so he must not have been home, so maybe that was a tender mercy.. That or our singing is the reason why he isn’t returning our texts or answering the door.. We may never know haha.

On Tuesday we had an AMAZING district meeting! I love district meetings! They are basically a “teeny tiny” (points if you know that movie reference) general conference, but with just the missionaries in your district. And without general authorities. But you get such an amazing spiritual boost from them! I love it so much! We are working on asking inspired questions and I love how strongly the Spirit can be felt when you ask inspired questions in your teaching. Christ taught in inspired questions, helping people to ponder, apply, and provoke thought, soul-searching, and commitment. In addition to an awesome training, I loved and am very good at applying the counsel of Elder Kapishka that was brought up during the meeting: “Embarrass yourself daily.” I think I applied that counsel at least three times during Tuesday. It was great. I love being an awkward missionary! It makes me laugh and smile. I don’t know if I have ever smiled so much in my life, even working at Red Apple.

Also, Tuesday was a very eventful day! Around 5:30, we decided to bike to our apartment to pick up a gift to sneakily drop off and ding-dong-ditch later in the evening. We got out of our apartment around 5:45 and began biking over to our relief society president’s home for dinner. And I experienced Florida weather. In a matter of a minute, rain began pouring from the sky. We were drenched in water a minute later. We biked the 10 minute ride in pouring rain, and sang songs like “There is Sunshine in My Soul Today” and “When I am Baptized” (“I like to look for rainbows…”) and “How Great Thou Art.” Now, I know that being drenched in rain on bikes sounds miserable, but it was probably one of the funniest and best moments of my mission so far. I had a blast! After finally arriving at our member’s home, she introduced us (looking like drowned rats, by the way) to her son, and then invited us in. He left, and she gave us silky robes to put on while she put our soaked clothing into the dryer. I really wish we had taken a picture! I was wringing water out of my hair, socks, and the cushioned soles of my shoes! It was awesome! So we sat in her very fancy silky robes and ate dinner and it was just a really funny night. I love members.

This week I am increasingly thankful for the wonderful gift of Christ to all of us. Our loving Heavenly Father, knowing our needs and desires, gave us His Son so that we could live with Him again. Because of that gift, we can change ourselves. We can feel peace in any moment, strength in trials, repent and become better people, and so much more! I am so thankful for the enabling power of the Atonement if Jesus Christ and for the chance I have to use it every day!

 

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It was 80 degrees and 80% humidity on Christmas Eve. Sister Barton was a little more excited than I was…

Also, I got to Skype home, so that was super awesome! It was weird to be like “Oohoo, familyyy” because I feel both as though I haven’t seen them in forever and also as though I just left home a month ago. Missionary time is so weird! It was wonderful to talk to family and see their faces, and opening Christmas presents and singing Christmas carols to members was so much fun! We also had a huge Christmas lunch at A.B.’s house and it was so good! I had brisket for the first time in my life and I am NOT disappointed. Also, C.W., a member fed us so much food we thought we might explode. So I definitely am thankful for skirts with stretchy waistlines to say the least haha.

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So every year, Sister Barton’s family makes a huge sandwich for Christmas. Ours had four layers of cheese, five layers of meat, lots of mayo, and probably not enough spinach. It was so good! We are still eating leftovers from it! My piece of the Christmas sandwich seen above.

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We also made Christmas Cookies and decorated them. I made a Santa and a Minion, and she made a bunch of characters from Sesame Street.

 

On Christmas we also gave out cashews to people who had to work at the hospital. And we later made a huge sandwich. It was Sister Barton’s family tradition, it was super fun and delicious!
I hope that all of you had a wonderful and safe Christmas! May we all remember our Savior and the hope and peace we can feel! Know that Heavenly Father loves you so much! I love and miss you!

Love,
Sister Michelle Rose Tryon

P.S. On Sunday I was asked to give the closing prayer in Sacrament meeting. And the person who was conducting said my first and last name and it was so weird. It didn’t feel like my name. So weird.

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Probably the greatest Christmas present. “Ah yes, a 12 ounce
chocolate salmon. Framed already, I can just hang this on the wall.”
It made me laugh really hard. I am excited to eat it hahaha.

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