Dec 28, 2015

The Ultimate Christmas Gift

We kept hearing throughout the week that it was going to be almost 50 degrees on Christmas, but Nebraska tends to do what it wants. Christmas Eve came and brought with it a foot of snow, making sure that we had a white Christmas. So although we weren't expecting it, the snow definitely made everything more beautiful and made it feel like Christmas.

Throughout the week, Sister Chappell and I tried our best to spread the spirit of Christmas to as many people as we could. We delivered cookies, sang some more Christmas carols, and shared the story of Christ's birth. To be able to share that message with all those around us has definitely been my favorite part of being a missionary during this time of the year. People just seem to be more open to hearing our message and learning more about Jesus Christ because He is who we are celebrating.

I have always loved Christmas time, but this year really has seemed to mean so much more because, as missionaries, we focus and dedicate our lives to Jesus Christ. And because I have been able to do that, I've grown such a love and appreciation for my Savior and at this time of reflecting on His birth, I can see Him as the gift that He is. Jesus Christ is and will always be the ultimate Christmas gift given to us by a Heavenly Father who loves us so much. I know that Jesus is the Christ and that He was born to this earth as our Savior and Redeemer. I know that He lives and that He loves us. I truly feel so grateful to wear His name on my chest every day and to be His representative. The calling of being a missionary is such a sacred one.

We had a dinner on Christmas Eve with all of the sisters and it felt like I was with my second family. I love them so much! When then had breakfast together Christmas morning and, of course, I got to Skype with my family which was so fun! My baby sister is looking so old (she needs to stop growing) and my parents looked so cute in their "empty nesters" apartment in New Mexico. I miss them all so much, but it was so good to see how great they looked.

I hope that the rest of you were able to have a wonderful Christmas! I want to thank you all for the abundance of love that I've been able to feel from all over. I have been so spoiled with such amazing family and friends. Have a Happy New Year everyone! 2016 is going to be the best year yet.


 But at least it looks pretty.

 Modern-day Mary & Joseph.  We had way to much fun!

 Happee Christmas Harry!

We were the only ones wore our pj's to breakfast.  No regrets!

Dec 21, 2015

The Best Way To Spread Christmas Cheer is Singing Loud For All To Hear

We had so much fun this week. At the beginning of the week, we found out that Sister Durrant would be joining us for a few days because her companion went home. It was a sweet reunion and we were able to see so many miracles! I know that I always say that, but there truly are miracles all around us every day.

On Tuesday, we were able to go to the temple with Ken to watch him do baptisms for the dead. It was such a special experience that I will never forget. While we waited for him to change after we watched him do baptisms, he actually snuck into the chapel behind us. When we peeked in, we found him praying and it was so amazing to see how far he has come. He has told us before that he would see the temple when it was first built and want to go in so badly. And now that he can, he is so excited to be able to be baptized for members of his family and help them receive the joy and happiness that he has been able to find through the gospel.

We were also able to go Christmas caroling twice this week. We went with our ward one night and then our zone got together and sang another night. I'm pretty sure that we chose the two coldest nights of the week to go, but we had so much fun! It was amazing to see the Spirit that came to people from singing Christmas carols about Christ and we were always able to leave them with a smile on their face.

I absolutely love this time of year. There really is such a special Spirit that you can feel that is full of love. I love that we have this time set aside each year to remember our Lord, Jesus Christ, and remember what He has done for us. He truly is our Savior, Redeemer and best friend. I hope that you all have a very Merry Christmas and know how much I love you!
 The gangs in north Omaha are so friendly.

 Reunited and it feels so good!

 The carolin' gang.

Hope you have a very Happy Christmas!

Dec 14, 2015

Oh, What Do You Do In the Summer... I Mean Christmas Time?

Last week at our ward Christmas party, the Bishop introduced us to Matt and Melissa. We had never met them before, and we came to find out that Matt is a member and is wanting to come back to church while Melissa has never heard much about the church. She seemed very interested in learning more and told us that she would love to meet with us. We were able to go over to her house this past week and the lesson went really well! It was a little interesting because she doesn't have much of a religious background and also doesn't know much about Christ. So we kind of had to start at ground zero, but it was amazing to be able to see her faith grow before our eyes. She's been to church once now and we are so excited to visit with her more.

We had our Christmas Zone Conference on Wednesday and we all had so much fun. At the beginning of the conference, President Gardner talked to us about our Savior and had us ponder the question, "You have a testimony in the Jesus Christ, now what? What are you going to do because of that testimony?" I didn't have much of an answer to that question at first. But as I was thinking about it, I thought about how all of us as members of His church wear His name on our hearts. As missionaries, we do it literally. But even when we aren't His full-time servants, we still covenanted to take His name upon us when we were baptized and are therefore always an example of Him. I think it's as simple as that: we grow our testimony in our Savior and then be like Him. That is all He asks of us and it is the least we can do for what He did for us.

Speaking of making baptismal covenants, Ka'Ron is now baptized! Not only that, Ken was the one to baptize him. I honestly could not stop smiling throughout the entire service. When we told Ka'Ron that after the baptism he said, "Me too! I was trying so hard not to smile in the water." He was just beaming and you could tell that he was so happy. I could feel so much joy for him! It's a type of joy that you really can't describe, but it really does make everything worth it.

It has been in the 60's this week and we have less than two weeks until Christmas. I'm not completely sure how I feel about that because it's definitely more like summer weather than Christmas weather, but I'll take what I can get for now.

 Murry Christmas!

 Happy 10 Months!

We're a little crazy...but you still love me, right?

I promise Ka'Ron was excited to be baptized. He just didn't want to show it.

Dec 7, 2015

A December to Remember

This year is the 30th anniversary of the Gingerbread Festival in Omaha and we have over 200 gingerbread houses on display at the Trail Center and about 200 more at the Kanesville Tabernacle. It has been so fun to see how many people have already come in to see them and we have been able to see so many miracles. There have been many occasions lately where I've shared the message of the Restoration on a tour and they accept a Book of Mormon with a commitment to read it. It has been such an amazing experience to be able to see people come to a Gingerbread Festival, and leave with a Book of Mormon and a desire to learn more about the gospel.

On a tour that I gave earlier in the week, I went around with a young girl named Karissa and her friend who was a member. They came upstairs after seeing the gingerbread houses and Karissa told me she had never seen the gallery before. As I took them around, I could tell that she was feeling the Spirit so strong and was so immersed with the story of the pioneers. We were able to talk about Christ and she told me that she has been a Christian all her life but felt like she has been "slipping away" for a while now. I gave her a Book of Mormon and told her how it is a gift that our Heavenly Father has given us to learn more about Jesus Christ and that by reading it, she would be able to get that hold that she needs with Him and feel of His infinite love. When I asked her if she would pray to know if it's true, she said, "Absolutely. I need God back in my life." I got her contact information and I am hoping that she will have her heart open to learning more.

We have also been able to show a lot of people the new "A Savior is Born" video that the church has put out. If you haven't seen it yet, go and watch it on It's been incredible to see the impact that it has on those that see it and feel of the powerful Spirit that it has. I love how the church has given us so many tools to use to spread the gospel to so many people and to remind us of the true meaning of Christmas. I love having this time to share the story of Christ's birth with all those around me and be able to share my testimony of the Savior with them.

I know I say this all of the time, but I absolutely love being a missionary. This truly is the Lord's work and I'm so grateful to be a part of it.

I also wanted to thank you all for your prayers! They are definitely helping because I have been feeling so much better. I love you all so much! Oh... and Ka'Ron is getting baptized on Saturday. We are so excited! 
This is our attempt at a "High School Musical jump". I think we nailed it.

 Lookie what I found!

 But I'm Sister Slater right now. So this will be our little secret.

SANTA! I know him!

Dec 4, 2015

With An Attitude of Gratitude

I'm so thankful that I was able to see my Grandma Cookie this week. She and Wight were sweet enough to take me and a few other sisters out to breakfast and it was so fun to be able to talk to them about mission life. I am so excited for them to start their journey in Washington D.C. and I know that they are going to be the most incredible missionaries.

I'm so thankful that we were able to get together and have a Thanksgiving dinner with all of the sisters. I am so grateful for each one of them and that I get this opportunity to serve with them and learn from them. They are amazing daughters of God and I love them all so much.

I'm so thankful for modern medicine. It isn't the funnest thing in the world to go the emergency room for kidney stones. But I'm also so thankful for the support and love that I have from everyone here in my mission and for how well they have taken care of me. Don't worry, I'm doing much better!

I'm so thankful for all of my loved ones back home. I'm grateful to have such incredible parents who love me no matter what and to have a sister who is such a bright example to me and all those around her. I'm thankful for all of my amazing family and friends who make it so hard to be away from.

I'm thankful for my Savior and for all that He has done and continues to do for me. I'm so grateful to know that He is always there with open arms to catch me when I fall and help me back up. I'm so thankful for His love and for the relationship that I have been able to grow with Him. I love Him and my Heavenly Father will all of my heart.

I hope that they rest of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Now, I can officially listen to Christmas music any time I want. Bring it on!
 I love my Grandma Cookie.

 "Happy Thanksgiving" from the Trail Center Sisters!

We kind of like each other

Me and my hospital band.  We're not friends.
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