Tuesday, December 29, 2015


                                                      Us manning the Spotlights

                        A District Christmas Breakfast (Where I cooked most of the food :)

                                       The Sushi Place (Where the "incident" happened)

                                                   Personal Nativity Experience

                                                        Me with the Real Sheep

                                                           IT SNOWED!!!!!

                                                             My wall of FLAGS!!!

                                  Spice Rack (& more Almond Roca in the Background)

                                           The Cast of the Pageant (Pageant Selfie!!)

                                         I am the Ghost of Christmas Past (Random)

FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!! YES YES YES!!!!!

As you might have guessed. It finally snowed here. YES! Last night it snowed probably half a foot. MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY!! NOW... It's Christmas. Christmas was great though. I very much enjoyed talking with you all. 40 minutes is really nothing. But I LOVE all the presents. I've already sight read all the music perfectly ;) and you can see in my pictures that I've already decorated my wall with the flags, I set up my Spice Rack, and with the Tim Horton's card from the Allred Family, I bought myself a Tim Hortons plastic mug, original mug, a can of Hot Chocolate, and a bag of Coffee (which I chucked, it all came in a package). On top of that, I received many Hispanic scarves (Ecuador y Bolivia) and lots of chocolate!!! Also, after our Skype call, we had dinner with two other families, and to our surprise, both the fathers in the families were celebrating their Birthdays. It was very coincidental, but very fun. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!! I'm sorry you guys have to miss my cooking for New Years, but for this New Years Eve we're celebrating with Fudge, Sweet Potato Souffle, Cashew Chicken, and more. Sadly we have to be in our apartments at 6 because people get extra crazy for New Years here. And Toronto extra crazy is BAD.
The Christmas Newsletter is Fantastic. I did not know that Skyler picked his major, and good luck Logan, I'm gettin' lots o' practice here. Including with the Organ (so feet playing, BRING IT). And when did I call myself a "triple threat?" :} School sounds intense, Mom, Bueno Suerte (Good Luck).
So this week was pretty unsuccessful because supposedly no one wants to meet with the missionaries around Christmas time, or come to church after Christmas. :( So not a lot happened. We're still working hard though (ex. Tracting in -15 degree wind :) and we're still hoping for the baptism this January 6th. FINGERS CROSSED!!
One thing that happened last night that really made me think was my experience with the snow. I looked out the window and I saw the snow and I thought "Am I really excited about the snow or have I just talking myself up this whole time saying that snow's great??"  But when we stepped outside, "Oh what rapture filled my bosom." ;) I really realized that we all have little personal things in life that really bring us such Great Joy. For some people it's snow, for others it's cookies and milk, or the sound of bells. Whatever it is, we tend to take such little things for granted. My challenge to all of you is not only to recognize those things in life, but to take time to cherish in them and really enjoy them. God has given us these tender mercies in life to make our sometimes stressful, busy lives a little bit easier. We just need to take time for these things. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and found things that Truly brought joy into your life. I love you all and MERRY CHRISTMAS & A HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015


Um, no. We probably aren't going to have snow for Christmas. :( Super sad, but I'll get over it. I'M SO PUMPED TO TALK WITH YOU ALL!!!!!!!! So put it in your calendars 2 o'clock is when we're going to do it. I repeat 2:00 A.M. No, just kidding. Even though I know Logan will be up at that time. 2:00 P.M. is when I will be able to Skype with you all. And I'm bringing all my presents to open with you all. And let me tell you, I've gotten more than I expected. A bunch of members from my ward, and the English Ward gave us presents (because we helped with the Pageant). Also, Kimmy (member friend), the Allreds, Parkers, President Clayton, etc. have given me letters/presents. They're all under our mini tree. I get to go caroling this Wednesday with our Zone. They went caroling last Saturday, but we weren't able to go because we had our Ward Christmas Dinner. :( But, we're going again. I'm super excited. Thank you for all the recipes, we're definitely going to enjoy those this week.
I'm so glad you want peace on Earth Sophie, and beanie boos. I can tell you that you'll probably get one of those. ;) I love you too Sophie.  And thanks a lot Micah. You know, I’d actually be jealous of you seeing Star Wars…if I really cared!!!! Hahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahaha jokes on you. I'm baptizing people!! almost. Dang it Skyler. Now, I'm all pumped to open my package. We'll see.
This week has been a very different one. Lots of Christmas Partying. Last Monday, we went to the Senior Companion Christmas Party because I was asked to play, which was super fun. And then last Friday, we helped with a Nativity Pageant last Friday, and we had our Ward Dinner last Saturday. The Nativity Pageant was a crazy good experience. We were originally going to be Centurions for it (or the soldiers that came and collected the taxes from the people), but then we were asked the night before (during rehearsal) if we could be the Spotlight guys. So we got up on an unstable tower, with the freezing wind blowing, and then we held these metal lights with our bare hands. IT WAS FREEZING!! I was legitimately afraid of getting frostbite. It was awesome!! The next night, we did the actual Pageant and it was SO GOOD!! I got a head set and a walkie talkie and for the first time in my life, I was a techie, not an actor. It was a strange feeling. Before the performance, it snowed for like ten minutes then stopped and melted. But it was good while it lasted. :) We performed the Pageant twice and we had real sheep, a donkey, a llama, costumes, free cookies and hot chocolate afterwards. It was fantastic!!! Also, the next night,during our ward dinner, we sang Noche de Luz (Silent Night) and Feliz Navidad with the Villavicencio Family (Member Family) and a few other youth. It was super fun. Other than that, this week we've found many new people to teach and are helping many others progress in the Gospel. Lots of Success!!
Of course, since Christmas is this Friday, I'm going to talk a little about the lost book of Lehi and how it applies to our lives. JUST KIDDING!!!! One thing that I've found throughout my life, is that as hard as you try, you find little happiness celebrating alone. You find true joy by celebrating with the people around you. Many missionaries have problems with home sickness, and yes, it is very hard to leave your family for two years; but, I personally have found a second family on my mission. And that family is with the members of the ward I'm serving in. We've had three familys invite us over for Christmas this Friday. And I've already shared so many incredible Christmas experiences with the people in this ward. Through this, I've learned that no matter where you are, if you reach out to those around you, and make your own memories with them, you will find happiness. So this Christmas, don't focus on those that you'll be missing, focus on those that you have with you RIGHT NOW. LIVE and MAKE MEMORIES WITH THEM. Life is too good to focus on the things you can't have. So start focusing on the things you DO have. I love you all and I miss you, but I shouldn't focus on that. ;) I wish you all A MERRY CHRISTMAS y UN FELIZ NAVIDAD!!!!!! 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

But I have hope. And yes. Abigail FINALLY emailed me and told me she's here. I also wished that she had waited until I saw her, because I honestly don't know how I'd react. I'd probably collapse and go into a coma. Man! I wish I could recite from memory The Living Christ, and I'm older than seven!! I hope you all performed well at the Stake Devotional.
Yeah, this week has been CRAZY musically filled for me. Last Thursday, we had our Zone Conference and every Zone (I believe there was four) had to perform two separate pieces. And of course, I played the piano for ours. And on top of that, I played the piano for the prelude and I think for like five congregational hymns. And at one point, everyone moved into the Gymnasium and they assigned parts for the 12 Days of Christmas. I got assigned...wait for...the PIANO PART!!! Of course. It was SO fun. I rocked out on that little piano while everyone sang the song. And then, after that, we went back into the chapel and sang "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day." They asked me and one other Elder to play a little duet accompaniment for it and honestly, by the 5th verse, we were flying on that piano. I was playing the top half of the keyboard and he was playing the bottom half (that's the best way I can describe it). IT WAS SO MAGICAL!!!!! I haven't played like that in YEARS!!!! Christmas Spirit is real. Amen. And yes Mom, I did receive the Christmas package there. I'm waiting to open it when I Skype you all. Later that day, we were supposed to do our "gig" with the member family I was talking about, but we showed up late, and then they showed up later than us, and then the lady running the "gig" scheduled us way earlier, so we missed it. :( But we did perform a piece we were working on last Sunday in Sacrament and we're going to be performing a lot more at Sacraments, Christmas Dinners, Caroling, etc. Also, last week, I played at some random persons Wedding. Her Uncle was a member and they wanted to do the wedding at our church building, so I filled in. I completely winged the Wedding March. And it Worked!!! And later THAT day, I played at the Relief Society Christmas Party. And then last night, I was asked to play the Organ at a funeral!! But that one's out of my area, so I might not be doing that one. Oh yeah! and tonight I'm playing at the Senior Missionary Party! Holy Smokes!!! Sorry Logan, I had to one up you. Heh, more like 100 up you. But you'll find that once the word's out, there's no bringing it back in. ;)
On top of that, this week has been a wonderful one. Today, we went to Costco and I GOT MY COSTCO CARD. Best Christmas Gift Ever. We went ham on shopping today. Don't worry, we spent less than 200 dollars. But only a little less. :} And than later today, my zone went and got all you can eat sushi. Supposedly someone ordered a LOT more than they could handle. So we were pounding that fish, so hard that I puked. Yep. I puked at sushi restaurant today. I felt it coming so I grabbed a pitcher and turned away from all the Sister Missionaries. It was quick and clean, and then I ran to the bathroom and washed the pitcher out, then I went back and ate more. :) Quick question, have you guys watched the Christmas videos on christmas.mormon.org. So number 10 I believe is Maddy Wilson. Guess what?? I'm friends with that girl. She went to Salem Hills.  It was crazy when I saw her on there. Other than that, this week was full of work and no snow. But I have faith that it'll get better.
Like I was saying before. When people find out about your talents, you can't hide them, and you shouldn't. Every time I play for somebody they're always like "Oh thank you so much" and I'm like "Eh, no big deal." And sometimes, it doesn't seem like a big deal, but we don't realize how many lives we're blessing when we share our talents. We have the opportunity to change lives just by doing something that seems really easy to us. So SHARE YOUR TALENTS. Don't hide them. We all know the story about the man who hid his talent, and I'm pretty sure he didn't change anyone's life by doing that, except his own, for the worse. So don't be scared to tell people that you can sing, or do a back flip, or draw, or play an instrument. Because you don't know how many lives you can change through your talents. I love you all and hope that you're enjoying the weather more than I am. ;)

Monday, December 7, 2015

Yeah! That's the Christmas Spirit. Throwing Up!!
I'm sorry. You guys probably didn't laugh at that. But I did. |D The Alex Boye one was good. Did you watch the crazy couple family one?? Ha, they're weird. I really liked the one with the girl singing opera, because A. I love opera and B. Holy Crap she's like 15, or less, I don't know. Music really brings in the Christmas Spirit, but I'll talk more about that later. To answer your question Mom, No. I do not have a chord for my camera. My trainer had a memory card to USB converter, but he's gone now so...yeah. Haha. Surprise, I was at your ward last week even though you weren't. Sorry you guys missed me, the talks were really good. ;) Sup Micah. It's fun being a Missionary and everything else. As a missionary, I've passed the Sacrament once. It was super fun. Well, love you bruski. Ciao. I'm doing well Sophie. How are you?? That's good. Your field trips sound awesome. I remember going to Christmas Around the World at BYU. It was super cool right?? What was your favorite thing about it?? Mine too. What?? Hermione's not supposed to die?? She's supposed to marry Ron. Fred was supposed to die. Sad stuff. I'm glad you got to perform for the party. I LOVE playing musical instruments. I'm sorry the week sucked Logan. Go do something fun and sporadic. Like...hmm...go have a High School Musical Marathon, or try to deep fry ice cream, or go streak the Football Field. What?? Who said that?? That's a terrible idea. Who in the world would do that?? Just do something awesome. You guys all look so different in the picture. What's up with Charlie's hair. Married Life, eh?? HEY!!! GUESS WHAT I JUST FOUND OUT!!! YOU GUYS PROBABLY ALREADY KNOW!!! ABIGAIL GOT REASSIGNED TO MY MISSION!!!!! She's here right now. I haven't seen her yet, but that's SUPER CRAZY!!! I'll send y'all pics when I find her.
This week has been absolutely crazy for me. So our trainer left, and I was kind of terrified about taking the reigns. But to be quite honest, it's not too hard at all. I learned this week that the Lord has really prepared me throughout my life to be a leader and do hard things. Our schedule was been SUPER packed last week, and it's already pretty packed this week. I guess that's what happens when you're all of a sudden the only two missionaries in the ward. And it's Christmas time. And, guess what, I got made Building Manager over our ESL classes. ESL is when we teach English Classes to other students, and I'm in charge of it at our building, so I have to make sure someone's teaching, take attendance, figure out people who attended, etc. It's been crazy stuff. I mean, I'm playing at a Wedding this week?? How does that happen?? It just does. Probably the hardest thing about being in charge in staying exactly obedient. The struggles.
This week has also been probably one of the most fun weeks of my life. One thing that we're doing this week is on Thursday, we're going with a member family and performing Christmas music for students and their families at an Elementary School. This last week we practiced a lot at their house and let me tell you. I thought we were a musically talented family. They all sing, all the kids play the piano, most of them play the guitar (acoustic and electric), and they all can play other instruments: violin, flute, saxophone, cello, clarinet, harmonica, drums, organ, some Ecuadorian flute, pan pipe, probably more. I'll just say I felt quite at home there. But like I said, we went to there house and practiced a lot of Christmas Music and let me tell you, music is one of the easiest ways to invite the Spirit. So my invitation to all of you is that if you're having trouble feeling the Christmas Spirit, or focusing on the true message of Christmas, turn to Music. Listening to music, playing music, singing music, even just reading music has helped me SO much throughout my life. Most of my best memories had music involved in it, one way or another. It's Wonderful. I love it SO MUCH. And I love all of you. Miss you all. Adieu.