Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas! (Bayley)

Merry Christmas everyone!  My goodness, I still can't believe it's almost Christmas, even though it's basically here.  Probably the palm trees and absence of snow are part of the confusion, but nevertheless it's practically here!  And I am so excited to be a missionary for Christmas.  There is something so special about being a missionary at Christmastime.
Anyways, as you may recall, I was transferred this last week.  Here's how it went down.
Tuesday morning I awoke bright and early at 4am to finish packing and writing notes to people and in general being absolutely sure I was all the way set to leave.  Which of course I wasn't, but we'll just pretend I was.  April and Evelyn, two of my most favoritest people in all the world, drove Sister Johnson and I down to transfers, which - despite the mission rumor that it was going to be small since President didn't want to transfer too many people before Christmas - was a giant meeting full of emotionally unstable missionaries who had all be completely shocked by the transfer calls since they, like me, had been lulled into a false sense of security due to the Christmas holiday.  Ah transfer calls.  Still my least favorite thing.  But hey!  I survived!  I am now in good ol' PASADENA, TX with my new companion, Sister Boam!  I LOVE Sister Boam.  She is basically exactly like my older sister to a t (why is that even a phrase).  I love her.  I've also gotten her obsessed with the Seven Degrees of Kevin Bacon Game (one of my many useless talents) and in fact she woke up this morning and like the first thing she said was "I still can't figure out how to connect Antonio Banderas to Lindsey Lohan," which was one of the puzzles I'd given her last night.  Ha! (Note: for those of you who don't know what Seven Degrees of Kevin Bacon is - which is probably all of you - it's when you name any actor or actress and connect them back to Kevin Bacon, except I play the modified version of just two actors or actresses, not necessarily Kevin Bacon).  I am so excited for this area.  It is quite different from Lake Charles though, one of the biggest differences being that Pasadena is affectionately known as "Little Mexico" because there are roughly a bajillion Spanish speakers here, which certainly makes tracting interesting since at least 50% of the time we're knocking on Spanish doors.  Here's what those contacts are like:
Us: "Hi we're missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!"
Random person: *shakes head, holds up hands* "Espanol"
Us: "Um," *frantically trying to remember relevant Spanish* "Missioneras.."
Random person: *looks alarmed*
Us: *throwing out random Spanish words*
Random person: *shakes head sympathetically and shuts the door*
Yeah that's about how it goes down every time.  We have Spanish-speaking sisters who work the same area as us so we usually try and ask them if like some missionaries who can speak Spanish could come back, but even just asking that requires a bit more Spanish-speaking skills than I currently have.  Thanks to my several years of Spanish class, I can name most animals, colors, and vehicles - but none of those are very helpful in contacting.
Leaving Lake Charles was hard though.  I was so blessed there.  So many of the people I met will remain part of my life forever.  That is one of the most amazing things about missionary work - since you're basically just being an instrument in God's hand, He guides you to those people who He knows you need or maybe who He knows need you, and so the people you meet and come to love on your mission have such a special place in your heart forever because they are those choice spirits that God put in your path.  It's amazing.
Anyways, since it is Christmas, and since Christmas is really a time of year in which you are particularly aware of all the blessings you've received and all the things that you love, I decided it was time to make a list.  It's been too long since my last list anyways.  So let's talk about some things that I LOVE:

1. Studying the scriptures every morning.  There is seriously no better way to start your morning off.
2. Sticky notes.  It's bad.
3. The scriptural phrase  "one by one."
4. Hot chocolate.
5. Letters. Just sayin'...
6. Louisiana skies!  Except I guess I should Texas skies now...(*whispers* but really Louisiana skies, forever)
7. Dry erase boards
8. The tender mercies of the Lord.  Let me tell you a story.  Day 2 in Pasadena, we're walking along having spent our entire day knocking doors with minimal success, and now it's dark out and our appointment has just cancelled but we're DETERMINED TO BE HAPPY AND GET WORK DONE, and all of the sudden this truck pulls up alongside us and the woman calls out and asks if we're Jehovah's Witnesses.  We say no and get to talking to her for a little while, and then she looks at me and says "you are cold, take my scarf" and despite my protests she takes her scarf off and wraps it around my neck.  "I can't take your scarf!" I told her, to which she responded that I needed to, that we were little angels, and she couldn't see us be cold.  She told us her husband was sick and asked if we could pray for him.  The next day we went by and starting teaching her - and she wouldn't take her scarf back.  Tender mercies are ALL AROUND US.  Every day.
9. The Disney-princess-paper wrapped present sitting under my tree at my apartment.  Thanks parents :)
10. Lake Charles.  And all my people there.  Love, love, LOVE them.
11. The stash of candy I acquired in my leaving Lake Charles.  Seriously, it was my last day there, and so I was relatively packed (had smashed everything as it would fit into my suitcases) and in doing so I forgot that it was Christmas, and long story short I had a take an additional giant Christmas bag (which read "I *glittery heart* Santa on the side.  Classy) to bring along all my candy.  No complaints here.
12. Putting on my nametag every morning.
13. The power of prayer
14. The story of the Sons of Mosiah.  Favorite.
15. Being a missionary.
16. Tracting in the rain and getting completely soaked through so that nobody wants to let you in their house.
17. Singing Christmas carols.
18. My family.  I love you people.
19. The Gospel of Jesus Christ.
20. My Savior.
This is an amazing time of year.  This is the time in which we celebrate that event that seriously had been prophesied about from the beginning of time.  What an amazing blessing we have to be here at this time, to have the knowledge that we do of our Savior and His infinite love for us. 
I love you all!  I hope you all have the merriest of Christmases and that you draw closer to your Savior now than ever before.
Sister Bayley Enright

Sister Boam and Sister Enright

With Evelyn and April at the transfer meeting.

Elder Siufanua, Elder Rust, Elder Kleinman
In Pasadena...there are scary giant Barneys

Best Christmas yard decoration ever

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