Thursday, December 29, 2016

December 26, 2016

Hey Family!

Well it feels so weird to write just the day after talking, and there really isn't much to say. After we Skyped we went to Sister Mayes and had lunch with her. We helped her wrap lumpia which is our favorite food she makes. It's like a egg roll kinda thing, so it was pretty great. After we went to the Senior Sisters and we had a dinner with them. It was all great, so much good food. And they even had jello-pretzel salad! So it even felt a little like Christmas at home. Then we went to the Visitors Center to take the risers down from the Festival of Lights program.  The Johnsons had come to the event so we got to talk to them a little too. 

All in all it was a great Christmas, but I'm not gonna lie it's nice to be able to sing "I'll be home for Christmas" and it is now a true statement haha. But I have loved my Christmases on the mission!  It has been great experiences to step away from all the craziness of the season and just focus on the reason. There was a part of me that was really pretty sad as we drove away from the mission Christmas party and realized I will never experience that again. It's so surreal how fast this is all going by, so just gotta make the most of the last 6 months. 

I love you guys so much! It was so great to see and talk to you guys! Enjoy the rest of your break!


Elder McDonald and Elder Florence 

Group I came out with, the sisters are all going home in two weeks

 Taking the whole mission picture at the DC temple

December 19, 2016

Hi all!

Okay I'm laying in bed snuggled in blankets cause it's FREEZING here!!  Like you said we are staying very busy right now. And this past week wasn't a change from that. This week was a great ones. We tried to get most of the exchanges with our district leaders done since we knew the weeks would fill up the closer we get to Christmas. So we went on two this past week, which always makes the week go fast! Elder Jake Kohler (from Draper) is one of our new DLs but I went with his companion Elder Chugg. We had a blast in their Spanish area, so humbling and cool to serve for a day in a language program. We also had the adventure of walking out to a flat tire and start the day off changing it. 

Another hi light was our Zone Training we had on Thursday. We felt it went so good!! President and Sister Johnson came for the first half and they really enjoyed it. One of our favorites was our role plays of "Contacting" where we set up chairs in the gym EXACTLY how a DC metro bus is. And on top of that we got to play Santa with the Zone. There was so many packages so we set it up on the stage and had the District leaders bring their districts in then spontaneously start singing Christmas carols, then rip the curtain open to the hug pile of packages (ones not marked Christmas Mom haha). It was so awesome!! I love getting to serve all these missionaries, it's made my mission for sure. 

We had our own Ward Christmas party and it was pretty great. Awesome dinner, good program, and just getting to chat with ward members. I can't wait for you to meet some of them at Tims baptism. I now have all the details!! So it's on Dec 31st in West Valley. It will be so great!!

Last but definitely not least, we had Nelsons baptism!! It was so great! We are so happy for him. So he went to a YSA ward in Virginia with a friend that was visiting from California and he got Nelson in touch with some Temple Square sisters online then got referred to us. Since next week is Christmas and we are YSA we kinda do whatever we want haha. So we got permission and did his baptism during Sunday School then confirmed him the same day (we have sacrament last) and it was such an amazing experience to confirm him. We are pumped for him and he's doing awesome!

I cannot wait until the Skype!! I'm so excited!! I sure love and miss you guys!! See you soon

Culprit to the flat tire...

 Playing Santa for the Zone

Nelsons Baptism!!! 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

December 12, 2016

Hi Fam, so good to hear from you guys. 

This week was amazing but really busy. So since we are the closest Zone Leaders our responsibility with the VC is we coordinate getting Elders to come help with the set up and take down of the stage and chairs for the evening concerts with the Festival. But we have a good break this week without having to do anything with the stage. So we stay busy with that as well as we had a lot of meetings this week.  We had Elder Kim B. Clark on a mission tour. Having been the Dean of the Harvard Business School and holding 3 degrees from Harvard it was pretty incredible to interact with him so personally. Sadly I didn't get to ask for advice on anything business school related haha. We did a multi Zone Conference with him on Thursday which was super good and then we held our MLC with him at the Mission Home on Saturday. It was so amazing especially in MLC to be in such a personal setting with him and he did a Q&A which I think was really helpful for us all and really uplifting. After he left we held our normal MLC which went awesome, I love getting to sit on that Council with the other ZLs and STLs and get to talk about our mission and all the incredible missionaries we have. The Johnsons also did a little Christmas party for us with an awesome lunch and we practiced a song we are singing in our mission Christmas party. It was great!

We had some other amazing experiences in our area as well. Tim is still set for the 31st and we will be having Nelson's baptism this Sunday! We are so excited for him. Justin is still doing good but we won't see him for 2 weeks cause he is going on leave to go see his family for the holidays. This area is still doing great!

Love you guys so much! Miss you and think of you lots, but I'm glad I get another Christmas here in the mission to experience all the things missionary Christmases have to offer. 

Found this one while getting rained on checking referrals 

MLC Christmas Lunch!! This is all the Elders, the 12 Zone Leaders and the 2 Assistants

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

December 5, 2016

Hey Hey,

I know it is so crazy that it is already December and the Christmas season! It is crazy, December is always hands down the busiest month for us out here. With the Festival of Lights going on there is so much. As well as our responsibility with helping at the Visitors Center with the setting up/taking down the stage for performances, our weeks are pretty jam packed. 

As far as this week went we were pretty dang busy. I'll share some highlights. So on Friday we did a big service project with the Salvation Army that was awesome. We got the whole zone out and helped organize Christmas donations for needy kids in the area. So awesome as well was when the Salvation Army Service coordinator came us to me and said they were all so worried they wouldn't get the project done until they heard the LDS missionaries were coming. So awesome to see we have build that reputation with them. As the project was ending Nelson texted us he was already at the church for his lesson and needed to go earlier than we had set. So we ran to that lesson and then had 2 more lessons after that.  We ended up teaching in jeans, so that was new, but 3 straight lessons in jeans to end the night.. I got no complaints haha. 

Second highlight was our road trip!!! So a few weeks back we found out they are creating a YSA Stake in the DC area. So 7 wards in N. Virginia and then the DC YSA Ward and ours created the new DC YSA Stake. Since there was more units in Virginia they help the stake Conference there. It was in this pretty nice hotel in Reston VA. So we road tripped in big nasty (mission 15 passenger can) with a senior couple and the 4 other YSA missionaries in the mission (which included E. McDonald!!!). I've never been to church in hotel ball room but hey whatever it takes. And the conference was so awesome. Elder Perkin of the seventy and Elder Calderwood the area authority gave amazing talks. Plus I feel like everyone is more relaxed in YSA cause there was jokes getting thrown left and right. Plus we got to spend the time with the Morgan's which is always great. 

Side note yes Tims baptism will be Dec 31st at 1pm in West Valley. I'll get the address.. We have appointments with Justin and Nelson this week too. Nelson is still on track for Dec 18th and Justin is still praying about his date. 

Things are going good here. I'll include some pictures from the Lights that sure helped kick off the Christmas season out here. Sure love and miss you guys. Skype is coming up quick!!


November 28, 2016

Hi everyone. 

This week was a pretty good one here in College Park. Wednesday I got to have CAFE RIO!!! Covering YSA we have both stakes so we had dinner with YSA down in Waldorf and they took us to cafe rio.. oh dang it was the best. Then of course to follow off of that talking about more food. Thanksgiving was great! Nothing like home but it was good.. we played a little football in the morning with a ward and then we had 3 dinners. We had to pace ourselves. we started at the Dennas who's the stake president. It was super good and they are such amazing people. After stopped by at Sister Mayes family and lucky it was buffet style so I didn't have much. Then we finished off at the Senior Sisters that you got the text from. They serve in our ward and they are the best, they are like our two grandmas here. I fully panned on not eating until I walked through the door and saw homemade pumpkin pie. I couldn't resist. 

Friday we then got to go to the temple. And it was incredible. I miss so much getting to go every transfer, so all of you back home don't take the temple that is 10 minutes away from your house for granted. After the temple we had a VC lesson with one of our YSA investigators named Justin. During the lesson we offered him a baptismal date and at church on Sunday he said he thinks it might be his time to as he said "get his act together and put all his effort into this church thing" so we are pumped!

Sunday was great Nelson, Tim, and Justin all came to church. So we are looking possible having 2-4 baptisms in December which would be amazing!! Plus another cool side note, they are creating a YSA stake out here and our ward is part of it. The stake has wards in Virginia so we might get to road trip out of the mission on Sunday to go to Stake Conference! 

Anyways life is good out here. Glad things are good back home. I love and miss you guys!!


This is the picture Austin mentioned in his email.  The cute senior sister missionaries sent this picture to the 
families of the missionaries wishing us a Happy Thanksgiving!