Wk# 61: There is SUNSHINE in my soul today!

Hello from the Sunshine State! It's December 12th and a balmy 78* :)

So today... DEREK GOT BAPTIZED!!!! I have never experienced such a powerful baptism. Not only was the spirit overwhelmingly strong, but everything went SO smoothly! The baptism started at 10:00, and he got here at 9:30. He got dressed in white, we took pictures, and said a prayer together. He was SO nervous this morning, but was really excited. As SOON as we began singing the opening hymn, which he chose to be There is Sunshine in My Soul Today (perfect, right?), I was already crying. You guys. The spirit about knocked my out of my seat. The talks were incredible, the baptism was A M A Z I N G (words can't even describe it), and Derek bore his testimony at the end. So powerful. It was a beautiful day. Also, not only did he get baptized today, and not only is he STOKED to receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost tomorrow... he cannot WAIT to receive the Priesthood so he can pass the sacrament, AND he told us his plans to serve a mission. I'm a proud sister over here! He is going to do incredible things in this world. OH! We had bought him a tie and got him a triple combination of the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price and wrote our testimonies in the front, and he thought it was the most incredible gift in the world. He was so sweet about it. What a tender guy!!!

This week was such a good one, and the baptism just topped it all off. We had 5 investigators to church on Sunday which we were so excited about. It was way funny though because we took up an entire pew. Sister Evans and I were on both sides, and all the guys in between us were black. It was the greatest family moment ever. It made me so happy. haha We even got Derek to come to the Christmas Devotional! Which, as always, was amazing. 
We had Zone Training this week, which is always good. We were asked to teach in another zone, so we got to go there! We taught and trained about teaching to the next ordinance. It went really well, and it was fun to see our sisters in the other zone!

We taught some incredible lessons this week, and got a few awesome investigators! And we got to exchange with a couple of our sisters this week! That's always a good time. 

We had our ward Christmas party on Thursday night. It was SO. MUCH. FUN. We did a white elephant gift exchange, and it was so fun. I ended up with some jewelry and chocolate. Not bad eh?

Man. I just am SO happy and full of gratitude. I LOVE MY MISSION. And I love this time of year!!! I hope the Christmas spirit has touched your heart, because it's touched mine!

If you missed the Christmas Devotional, I HIGHLY suggest you look it up and watch it! I'll leave you with Elder Whitney L. Clayton's testimony. "The sweetest gift given at Christmas will always be the one our Savior Himself gave us: His perfect peace. He said: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). Even in a world where peace seems far off, the Savior’s gift of peace can live in our hearts regardless of our circumstances. If we accept the Savior’s invitation to follow Him, lasting fear is forever banished. Our future has been secured. These are the “good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.” “Fear thou not,” the prophet Isaiah reminded us, “for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” (Isaiah 41:10).

Because of the Savior born two thousand years ago in Bethlehem, there is hope—and so much more. There is redemption, release, victory, and triumph. “The wrong shall fail, the right prevail” (“I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” Hymns, no. 214). No wonder a choir of angels suddenly appeared as a heavenly exclamation point to the angel’s announcement of the Savior’s birth, singing, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” No message could ever be more reassuring. No message was ever filled with more good will toward men.

May this season be one of peace and joy for all of us, “for unto [us was] born [that] day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” In the name of Jesus Christ, amen."


Sister Holmes :)

Masks to do family history....

Where family history work is done...
"My sad gingerbread house"
(l-r) Derek, Kaleel, Curel, Derrick.

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