Week #9: Callaway Round 2

I'm here in Callaway for another transfer with Sister Charles! We are ready to hit the ground runnin this transfer, and are so excited to be able to continue working with our families out here.

First of all... T H A N K  Y O U,  T H A N K  Y O U,  T H A N K  Y O U   for all the Christmas packages and cards! I am completely overwhelmed by them all! My district keeps teasin me that it's a "greeny Christmas", but I love it! I wish I could hug every single one of you! THANK YOU!

This week was so great! On Monday Sister Charles and I got to go to Mexico Beach with a cute member and her son, and it was GORGEOUS. I didn't want to leave. We had the greatest time, and there was no one there. (We were on the Tyndall Air Force Base beach) so it was awesome. Then, that night we met up with 8 other sisters and headed out to Tallahassee to spend the night in a trailer in a near by town. 8 sisters in one tiny trailer and 1 working bathroom? yep. haha definitely some memories made there! 
Tuesday morning, we drove to Tally for our half mission conference where over 100 of us missionaries came together! It was SO MUCH FUN! I was able to see all but 2 of my MTC family! It was so great to catch up with everyone and hear their stories of the work. President and Sister Smith spent so much time putting the conference together, and it turned out amazing. We had a little program, Sister Smith narrated, and a ton of missionaries did a bunch of musical numbers. Then we had lunch from Sonny's BBQ and then sat in a GIANT circle to introduce districts and zones and do a stocking exchange! It was so much fun. 
 Sister Crandall (her and her husband are the senior couple in our zone) had me, and she stuffed my stocking full! She is such a sweet lady. Then... WE GOT TO WATCH MEET THE MORMONS! It's about time! Did I cry my eyes out the entire time? You betcha! But man! It was so so good. We drove home that night and got stuck in traffic big time. We were at a stand still for 45 minutes, but some of the sisters in my car went and talked to a bunch of cars and did some He is the Gift messages. It was awesome.
Wednesday we had lunch with our Potential, Joe. You guys. I LOVE HIM. He is THE sweetest man ever. Ready for what we ate?..... SHRIMP BOIL. Ahhh! It was better than I thought, but yeesh. This seafood is going to be a struggle for me! But he also made a homemade blueberry cheesecake and sweet potato pie. Holy delicious! We had a great time with him. He's not interested in lessons, but we are just trying to befriend him and casually bring up gospel topics to help plant that seed. He wants us to come back for Christmas, so we're going to try to stop by. He's just so sweet.
We were able to work with our focus families again, and man. It has been an emotional roller coaster! There is a BIG drug problem down here, and it breaks my heart for the little kids that can't escape it in there homes. We've been working extremely intently with the Bishop with multiple families, and I just want to hug those kids so tight. Oh, the struggle! But, the work goes on, and the Atonement is ALWAYS available. Pray for these families...

On the bright side, our Returning Member, Sarah, is doing SO GOOD! My heart is so happy! She is progressing like crazy! So is Grandma Nash, and a few others.
We have biked SO MUCH this past week, and I LOVE IT! Biking in a skirt is... fun... but I seriously love biking out here. If you ask me again in February, then again in the dead of Summer, I may say something different, but right now? LOVE. We get to talk to so many amazing people, and the weather is perfect! A little chilly, but not too bad. My legs sure are feelin it! Ah, gotta love the burn!

Also, along with shrimp, I had homemade southern fried chicken (delish), butter cream cake (also delish), and SUGAR CANE (not delish)! The food down here! I'm tellin ya!
Since we are getting closer to Christmas, I want to share with you a little quote from Chieko Okazaki from the book Stars Were Gleaming by Greg Olsen (THANKS MOM!)
"The star in the heavens was not the only star or the most important star. The star within the heart of the wise men was the important star. After all, if the star was in the sky for all to see then hundreds of thousands of people would have seen it and thousands of people could have wondered at its meaning, and hundreds could have followed it...with hope and patience. Only [ the wise men ] kneeled before the young child, Jesus. They had a star within that enabled them to see the star without. They saw it with the eyes of faith, and it brought them to Jesus."

I love this so much. This week, and for the rest of this holiday season, find the star in your heart. Follow it's light. Find the Savior. Live the gospel. Be humble and obedient like the wisemen, and give him the gift of your heart this Christmas.

I love you all beyond what words can express. Thank you for your continued love and support! It means more than I could ever say.
Have a super awesome week!
So Much Love,

A happy, smiling day in Callaway!
Uhhh.... A little stress relief, maybe???

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