Friday, January 13, 2017

12/26/16 - Giving gifts

MERRY CHRISTMAS! Hope everyone had an amazing christmas with family and friends! It was super fun to talk to my family and I'm so grateful for them!

this week was crazy busy and so good! we had 26 hours of service if that gives a clue.....

Our week started on wednesday because it was pday on tuesday. But on wednesday we started the day with raking a ton of leaves at the Solis family's house with the whole district. Our version of shoveling snow in Texas is raking leaves in the winter...haha! That night there was a Young Women's activity for the young women and their moms at Hna. Centeno's house and we were invited to go! It was really amazing less-active girls and their moms come together and share their testimonies! We had a super spiritual lesson, ate ice cream, opened presents and then had a testimony meeting where we all went around and shared our testimonies. It was really powerful and I developed a new love for our young women! right now, we only have 4 active young women but we are hoping to help it grow!

On Thursday, it was our turn in the zone to go caroling! So all of the missionaries in the stake came here to Rosenberg, we split off into groups and we were off! We were in the group with our branch, which just made it so fun. We went to the people who go to our english class and caroled to them and they loved it! it was actually a really interesting night. we had people scream and curse at us for caroling at night and we even caroled to a Nazi family! (had stuff in their garage and everything) and it was all in english! So these cute little Hispanics were having a hard time during the songs and they didn't really know what was going on half the time, but they were just the most content people. We would be walking house to house and they would start singing a song, start dancing and laughing. i love these people and I never want to leave them! During the day also we helped Hna. Ovalle rake her thousands and thousands of leaves in her yard. She is the sweetest lady who is going through a super messy and hard divorce. But she has the strongest testimony. We loved being with her!

On Friday we did service literally all day long. We went with Hna. Ortiz again to help her with her other house and get it ready so they can rent it out again. We were over there for about 5 hours helping and it was so fun! It included dancing and getting paint all over ourselves. She has become one of my all-time favorite people. After that, we went and helped Hna. Ortiz' friend, Jenny clean her house for Christmas Eve the next day. She was the one who we visited with Hna. Ortiz who is going through a lot right now. She was super appreciative of our help and wants us to marry her sons....haha. Awkward. After all of that, we went and saw Jose with Hno. Torres! We talked about the plan of Salvation and the Atonement. Hermana McAdams killed it in the lesson-she did awesome and shared an awesome experience that we practiced in spanish study that day! So proud of my mija! Jose is doing good, he didn't come to church yesterday, but he is still listening to the Book of Mormon on his phone accepted to be baptized on January 14!!

Saturday was Christmas Eve! We spent most of the day weekly planning and then we went over to the Martinez for Christmas Eve dinner. They are the most humble family and the best member missionaries ever! We ate an amazing dinner, LASAGNA (my fav) and pecan pie and ice cream after. They gave us the sweetest presents and we shared a message about how they could focus on Christmas the next day. We left and realized we totally forgot to follow-up with them about how it went giving out the pass-along cards. We were getting into our car and Hna. Martinez runs out of the trailer and says, "Wait!!! I handed out all of my 10 cards and shared the video 6 times with my friends!" I was amazed. We felt so bad that we forgot to ask them how it went but we were so thankful for her desire to share the gospel. 

Sunday was an amazing day! We went to church, sang a ton of christmas hymns, went to somebody in the English ward's house for lunch, we talked to our families at the Familia Solis and ate with them too. We ended the night telling embarrassing stories and just laughing with them. They have become my family here and I never want to leave them!

We have received so many gifts from people this season! So much candy and sweets, clothes, dollar store highlighters and post-it notes, jewelry, everything. But something that I have seen on my mission is that it doesn't matter the gift or the quality at all, it is the thought that goes through the mind of someone to give something and not think about themselves. We are poor missionaries and don't have enough money to get everyone we know something, but we do try to serve them as much as we can....that is the gift we gave this week and will continue to give throughout our mission and our life! I invite you all to pick something that you can give Heavenly Father this next year to become better people! I know He will help you along the way. He loves you!

thank you and happy new year!!!

Hermana Garner

christmas eve singing hymns before we went to sleep!
our district raking leaves!
these things are magical!!! they help pick up the leaves...we have to get some!!
we have been driving a van this week because something is wrong with our car! we have loved it and all the missionaries call it the party bus.

me jumping in a leaf pile!
christmas day with the best family!

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