Okay, so it really wasn't the first week of Christmas considering that Christmas isn't for a couple more weeks, but it was the first week of December, and boy, it was an interesting week.
I don't think I've told ya'll, but about 2 months ago, we were approached by a member in the YSA ward who was doing an institute/missionary choir for Christmas at UTEP. Practices started in October and continued through last Sunday, and let me tell you, it was a MIRACLE that everything came together so perfected. We were originally supposed to preform for the El Paso Children's Crisis Center, but logistics got in the way (I honestly don't know what that means, I just know that it meant the kids didn't show up). Instead we sang outside on the UTEP Breezway to everybody who passed by. A member of LDSSA (the club at UTEP) handed out "He is the Gift Cards" and probably talked to 200+ people, so even though we didn't get to sing to children, it was somewhat productive. And it was fun (though the practices to get to the performance were sometimes a little painful... it all worked out- CHECK OUT THE PICTURES :) )
After the choir performance we drove to Albuquerque for MLC, luckily it was uneventful. We even beat President Miller home! He came home, and then had to make calls (trainer calls!) and we all went to bed. MLC was incredible! Overall as a mission our OYMs have dropped in like half! (THAT"S REALLY BAD), and so we spent a lot of time talking about how we can increase that and help more missionaries open their mouths. President told us to start carol tracting- we have to knock one house every night and sing to them. And he promised us that if we did this every night, our OYMs would TRIPLE. So, we're working on that :). We also talked about how there are different things in the church that are considered sacred. Examples are the temples, the sacred Grove, the Garden of Gethsemane, etc. And it came down to the reason that all these places are sacred because of the sacrifice people made. And then the discussion lead into how our missions can be made sacred. How we need to sacrifice certain things to make and keep our missions sacred. It was a wonderful training, and it was just so power to really listen to, participate and meditate about.
Driving home was uneventful too! We were able to make it to Sparky's before they closed. It's a little famous hole in the wall place in Hatch NM, and they sell green chile cheese burgers! Boy, it was really good. I might make you some when I get home :)
Friday, well, out of the blue Friday night, President called. Okay, so it wasn't out of the blue for him, but it certainly wasn't expected by us. He called to release me as a sister training leader, and to call me as a TRAINER. Which means I will be companions with a brand new missionary again! It's the second time I've been called to train and it just happens that it after my previous companion goes home. So things are a little crazy. Especially since I was also called to train the other trainer in a training meeting.... make sense of that please ;)
Saturday we went to a baptism for the ward and president was there. He was able to give me all the information for the trainers' meeting. And he and I had a nice conversation. Him: "You really don't like those calls do you?" (referring to his calls late at night) Me: "nope." But even though I don't like those calls, it's not about what I want or even like, it's about what the Lord wants, and what he knows will best help me. If fact, I think it was probably Thursday night that I prayed to do the Lord's will not mine, that I would be humble enough to accept what he felt was best for me. Apparently that meant a training call.
Christmas as started to come in full swing. Temperature wise, we're still having a beautiful Northwestern summer :) (meaning it's in the 50-70s during the day). The stake put on a nativity around the work activity Friday and Saturday and it was really fun to go and pretend I was seeing similar nativities from home! It was also been a lot of fun caroling and I'm excited to see how that continues to go! I love you all and I hope you have an incredible week! Share the Christmas Spirit and share the gift!