Last Monday, we had a big snowstorm here again. Winter is now officially here and will never leave. It's SO cold. But yeah. It snowed. Joy. While we were at the post office sending home our Christmas packages for our families, the man in front of us turned around and asked, "Are you Mormon?" We excitedly told him we were, to which he responded, "I hate Mormons. I HATE them." Both Sister Jensen and I were a bit in shock, trying to come up with what we were going to say while the whole Post Office froze and turned to see what we would respond when the man said, "Nah, just kidding. I'm LDS." Haha man it was terrifying! I had no idea what I was going to say! But it has got me thinking of what I would say in that situation. Sadly, it probably will happen sometime on the mission. Also on Monday, we had a sweet dinner appointment with a couple where both are active, but the husband is not a member. He's come most every week for 3 years now, and just isn't baptized. But we're working with him. He's super legit. He's in his 70s, and reminds me of a grandpa figure. So that's nice. I have a lot of Minot grandparents now. Everyone loves the missionaries! (Except for the Anti's, of course).
Tuesday I didn't feel very well, but we had a lot of great things happen. We got the information needed so we can set up a booth at MSU (Minot State University), the college here, and so we're going to be doing that on Thursday (hopefully it goes well!), and we got to meet with Eastman, Karen & Brian, and also Danielle &Anthony. It was a nice, full day! We had really great lesson experiences with all of them. It was super great.
Wednesday, I woke up sick. Headache, sore throat, and stuffy nose. Not fun at all. So I slept in that day, we went to Walmart to get me some more Emergen-C and stuff, went to District Meeting (which was AWESOME, but role playing not so much due to my head internally exploding), and then I slept most of the day. Being sick as a missionary is not very exciting at all.
Once it hits -30 degrees, we are home bound unless we have a appointment, then we go to the appointment and promptly return home. (We also have to let our District Leader know when we leave and when we get back). So Thursday, Friday and Saturday we were home bound because it was between -30 and -40 degrees with windchill. Windchill is the killer. Thursday, we studied a lot, helped Sister Noel with things she needed to get done around her house (service is another thing we can do, and it works out great because we live with members!), and then we had our Relief Society Christmas EVening that night, which was great because it was so nice to get out of the house.
Let me also chime in that missionaries who have cars have a protocol when backing up. The driver obviously drives, and the passenger (which is me at this time), stands back outside the car and directs the car when it is safe to go. Let me just say that when it is -35 out there, backing the truck is awful. After 15 seconds, you're shivering and your nose hairs are already frozen. It's so cold. But anyways, so Friday it was -40. Again we were stuck in. We went to lunch with Sister Noel at a place similar to Blue Lemon, and it was super good. We also served her by helping her decorate her Christmas tree. It was fun. And we got to see the sun through the windows. Up in our apartment, the windows leak cold air, so they're always covered by curtains so keep the cold outside, so it's very dark up there always. Haha. Friday was better because we got to go help volunteer at the Salvation Army again, and we had a dinner appointment. (Oh yeah, and the highlight of Friday was that I could taste food again!) We were able to go teach the Mullikins and it went well. The next morning at our ward Christmas Party, Karen came even though Brian and the kids didn't. It was great! They're progressing!
Saturday was our Ward Christmas Breakfast. Michelle and Carson came from the Salvation Army, and they both really loved it a lot. They loved the people, the ambiance, and the joy that is there. At the end we gave them a church tour, and ended up teaching them the Restoration in the Chapel. Carson was really touched and asked for a Book of Mormon! We gladly gave it to him and committed him to read a chapter. We also gave Michelle a Book of Mormon. It was such a neat experience. Michelle has a son who is in the MSU String Quartet, and had a concert thing Saturday afternoon. Sister Jensen and I really felt like we needed to be there for it, so we could meet him and all that, but there were 3 songs being played that aren't Sacrament meeting approved. So we called President. He gave us permission, told us we obviously needed to go and that we "weren't just going so we could record those songs to listen to them in our apartment later", so we went. And it was awesome. No big anything amazing happened, but we did get to meet him, which was what we needed. He's had questions about the Church in the past, so this is the perfect opportunity. We have a dinner set up with Michelle, her son and husband with a member family tomorrow. It's going to be like the best thing ever! That night, we also got to go out to dinner with the Noels. We went out to eat, went to Starbucks for hot chocolate (I know, so rebellious of me! Getting the cops called on us, getting drinks at Starbucks....I'm more rebellious now than I was before my mission!), and then we went to the Christmas lights at Oak Park. They weren't really even comparable to Temple Square, the trees weren't lit, it was just like light displays, but it was as close as we can get here in Minot, so it was fun.
Sunday (yesterday), was the first day that I actually felt mostly normal. Which is always a good thing. I can actually breathe now when I sleep! Woohoo! Choir practice was super fun, Church was Church-y, we had a lot of non-members there, potential investigators, and a few less-actives, too, so it was a good, solid Church time. Only 2 more weeks of 3pm church! The Christmas Devotional was awesome! It's interesting now that it's not the "First Presidency Christmas Devotional", but it was cool to hear from different people. Elder Nelson's talk was awesome. Christmas time is the best!! We also got to help yesterday in Mission Prep. It was so weird to be the missionary in that class, and not the one preparing for a mission. Time flies! But at the same time, I feel like I've been out 6 months already. So much happens every day.
I know it doesn't seem like being home bound was boring, but what I didn't include was the tons of time where we looked at each other and said, ".........Well, what else can we do?" ".......I don't know." "Oh, okay." ".........................." ".............................
.............................. ........................." "Any ideas of what we could do?" ".............Nope." "Oh. Me either." "............................. .............................. ......................" Yep. That's what a lot of it was. Poor goldfish. It's boring not having anything to do.
I love you all and am hoping that you are enjoying the warmth there because it is FREEZING here!!
The Lord is great!
Michelle at the Salvation Army. We love her to death!
Mill Hollow (where I worked over the summer) dance move. 10 year olds are so weird!