Wow, hello December! Time is flying. Next week I hit 6 months! Crazy.
Sounds like y'all had a good Thanksgiving! Thanks for the pictures. So glad you got to see the Bettingers. I'm excited for a big Robinson - Bettinger reunion when all the missionaries are home someday. Sophie sent me pictures from the big Robinson get-together on Thanksgiving in Utah. It's so fun to see her and Heather and Holly together again. I was asked a few times on Thanksgiving what some of my family's Thanksgiving traditions are and I said that my cousins and I used to sneak olives into each other's sodas when the other wasn't looking, and after the big feast we'd Thanksgiving carol around CC's neighborhood. Haha! Those were the best of days. Our Thanksgiving here in Havasu was really good! We ended up eating at our ward mission leader's house with his family (the Derus). We had mashed potatoes, turkey, stuffing, raspberry pudding (heavenly!), veggies, gravy, homemade rolls... all the goods. I was bummed we didn't have any candied yams - I'd been looking forward to them all week! But the meal was yummy and filling. We had to make room for feast #2 later that day; we got invited to eat at Sister Bayne's home with her and some other widows in the ward. Needless to say we were well-fed, put on a few pounds, and were perfectly happy and content missionaries :) It was a little tough to proselyte that day, but we had some good lessons with less-actives in the ward.
We had a baptism last night for Aiden and Audrey Tarter, who we've been teaching for about 3 months. It was a beautiful service, and it was really special because their dad, Jesse (who was baptized at 8, but hadn't been to church in over 18 years till we reached out to the family during the big ward search in August), received the priesthood earlier in the day, so he could perform the baptisms. I felt so grateful to be a part of their spiritual progression as a family. And I adore those kids! Audrey is a bubble of energy and laughter and fun. She turned 8 on Saturday. Aiden is so bashful and shy, but has one of the kindest hearts. He's 11. The next step is to keep the 3 of them active and progressing together.
Other noteworthy events from the week:
-The Kalaulis officially moved out of the ward! We're so sad, but also so happy for them. They were in a tight space with their 3 bedroom, 2 bath rental and 8 family members. Their new house is HUGE and beautiful. 8 bedroom, 6 bath and MASSIVE. Sister Walton and I stopped by the other night to take a tour (and basically get lost in) and to say our goodbyes. Meeting such strong and loving families has been one of my favorites things about being on a mission so far. I love going into other people's homes and seeing how they live and work and interact. It gives me such perspective. It also makes me appreciate our family so much.
-The Church came out with a new Christmas initiative - have you seen the "He is the Gift" video yet? I love it. I have been so impressed with the media of the church in recent years, particularly the videos. I filming is excellent and the message shared is powerful. Watch it for FHE tonight after decorating the tree :)
-Sister Arnold came back to Havasu for a day to go on an exchange with Sister Lowry! We got to see her at district meeting. She goes home in a week. I will forever cherish the memories I have with her and the lessons she has taught me. She has changed my perspective on so much, and consequently has changed my mission.
Happy December! I love the holiday season. Can't wait to Skype with you on Christmas!
Praying for you always,