Last Monday after P-day we went to a RC/PMF's home. They are also 2 of our ward missionaries, and probably my favorite family in the ward. We were supposed to go rake their leaves and them jump in them, right? We show up at 6, decked out in our attractive service clothes, and the yard is clear with a huge piles of leaves off to the side of the house. I was so angry! but, we made the most of it anyway. We tried to be thugs in the picture. That is their daughter with us on the right. She's been investigating. And that is us in the leaves. You know, I don't think I've ever jumped in a pile of leaves in my life. I told them that and they looked apalled. Oregon has a lot of evergreen trees...
The VC has also been decorating for Christmas. On Saturday, there is a huge lighting ceremony to where President Keyes is going to speak and all of the lights they've been working on outside and inside will be turned on. It sort of sounds like the lighting ceremony they do at Temple Square the Friday after Thanksgiving. I'll get pictures to the best of my little dying camera's abilities. One of the sisters here had this new hair style that she's seen and wanted to try it out. I offered my head. It's called "waterfall" or something like that. Way cool eh? It wraps all the day around my head. The rest of the pictures are of us decorating the center. I had to hug the tree... I might have already written home about this, but out in Odessa, our zone leaders called me up one night and asked if I believed in burning plastic. I voiced my opinion and to this day they still tease me when I ask, "what's going on?" They reply every time,"oh, we're just burning some plastic". I love them, but they have another thing coming to them. ;) So here's my tree-hugging picture.
I'm happy! I've been busy working on things for this Stake Christmas dinner that all the missionaries have been invited to in the Independence zone. It's the night right before transfers in a couple weeks. We're singing a version of The First Noel, and then another sister and myself re-wrote The 12 Days of Christmas and made it missionary themed. We have divided the zone into the 12 days and each day has a skit to go along with it. For example, day 4 it sings, "On the 4th day of Christmas, my mother sent to me, 4 winter scarves". We'll have 2 sisters: one with a scarf wrapped around her head with the other sister dragging her down the floor. Sort of like a leash. Hmm... sound familiar, Claridge family? It'll be fun. I'm working with the Elders on it today... teaching them to sing. I never thought I'd be doing that. I can't teach people to sing... I never learned! I'll do my best to get a recording and whatnot of it. Speaking of which, what are these things I hear of some performance Sam did, and then a Mr. Roboto performance? Guys... you've got to let me in on this. I need to hear these things!
I feel like these emails are getting shorter and shorter so I must apologize. At the VC, I really don't have time for anything. But I am creating memories. And writing them down here in Missouri. I love it here. The holidays without the family will be different, but these things too shall come to pass. I am a servant of the Lord. I have a work to do. I have just little time left to learn these things. Oh, before I forget. The missioanry department came out last week, right? I talked to one of the brethren and Portland came up. The Portland Visitors' Center (right next to the temple) is going to be up and running in January!!! I don't know if that is out yet, but the VC is a place where the spirit resides. It is a sacred place to come and learn. I urge you, brothers and sisters, to prepare yourself to invite a friend to the VC and help them see how beautiful the gospel is. It's such a blessing to have one so close. You can bet that I'll be there when I'm home.
Thank you, everyone, for your support and love. I have and will not forget about you and I know that you are well, for the Lord is with us. Shall we not go on in so great a cause?