Oh I just love you all so much. My Christmas was wonderful. I hope all yours was also. Sharing the true meaning of Christmas was the best kind of Christmas. We were able to teach and talk to a lot people. We started off the week caroling to people member, less-actives and non-members. The non-member were the funniest, you just never knew how they would react. We had a great experience going to a less active family trying to teach the wife Sister Reed but ending up sharing the message with her husband Brother Reed. He opened up to us and became a chatterbox. He came to church that Sunday (I know it was Christmas but it was still good to see him there. He even showed us all the old cars he restored they were a beauty. Nicole is coming back to church and loving it, she wants the best for her 4 kids and knows she will find true happiness here. She has had a really tough life from drugs, abusive husband to exotic dancing. She was baptized at the age eight but was never active. It is neat to see how the church can turn your life around for the better. She only wants her kids life to be better than hers. They are living in a transitional home and doing so well. She’s attending church and brings her kids. We watched Work in the Glory with Josh Mompower (Invest.) and Jason Dobbins (member). Josh enjoyed understanding more about the life of Joseph Smith. On the 23rd we celebrated Joseph Smith Birthday and opened a Christmas gift. Ryan got me a necklace of a widow’s mite with the engraving of Mark 12:14 on the back (around the time of Christ, it was like pocket change) (its purr-de). We had a great Sabbath, the music was all centered on Christ and we sang in the choir. There were a couple of special numbers they were all so beautiful. A ward member told us that every Sunday should be Christmas. That night we went over to have Christmas Eve dinner and we did the nativity with their family and the other Elders. It brought me back to the good old times we when use to do the nativity. We should try doing that again. On Christmas we opened our present underneath our tree. I got some of the most wonderful gifts that were very thoughtful and that I will never forget. I was so proud that I didn’t pick anything out and I got everything I wanted and needed it was just fabulouso!!!! I knew that I would have a Christmas with out knowing all my gifts. It was just great to know that I was loved. I feel so bad that I didn’t get the family anything. I know its not about the gifts but I didn’t get to give to my family members. I missed trying to think about each person and what they would need. Oh and see all your faces. Well I hope I gave enough to the people out here. Thanks to mom we were able to hand out a lot of Christmas Cards and share a message. We had Christmas breakfast with the Buchinskys and they gave us nerf guns so we had a little bit of fun shooting their son. It was a good work out. We had brunch with the Burkes and family who loves the missionaries but won’t come to church because of health reasons and their grandbaby died. But they were so kind. Sister Quinton and I made the other Elders some stockings and hung them up. They were out of my knee-high nylons. Ha Ha. They were filled with packing peanuts and ties that we got at the clothing bank where we do service. The Elders got us a huge princess coloring book. For lunch we ate at the hills we played some games just like our family would do. That’s when Brother hill called dad and what I wanted to say was that “I love you” not “where’s my package.” Whoops. Don’t worry I got it and opened it right in front of the mailman that we gave a book of Mormon to. John the mailman already read some and is asking a lot of question. He does a lot of favors for us in delivering the mail and we return the favor in teaching him the gospel. Christmas dinner was great with the Zisettes. He cooks the best turkey I have ever had and Sister Zisette make the best heavenly Chocolate pie. I will have to send the recipes. Sister Quinton and I were both given blessing by the elder for our companionship. The blessing was really good and it made me think about this amazing gospel we have on the earth. And how the priesthood is the true authority from God. I’m so blessed to be out here teaching this message.
AHHHHHHHHHH I get to talk to all of y’all on Friday!!! I’m so excited!!! I Love you all. Thank you all for the wonderful gifts, they were perfect.
P.S. Ha Ha. That Nashville tribute to Joseph Smith CD is not country dad, and I was serious. Its amazing music.
Love Sister Barrand