MY AMAZING BEAUTIFUL AWESOME LOVING FAMILY!!!
How are you? I can't even begin to express how amazing it was to Skype with all of you guys. Seriously. Just to see your faces and here your voices and see that everyone is still their same crazy self. Seriously, highlight of my life. I am just so blessed to have such an amazing family (who, by the way, everyone thinks is gorgeous. I don't know why they were so shocked.... should I be offended? hahahaha)
Well, this week was pretty great for my one and only Christmas away from home. We watched a movie as a zone, ate a bunch of weird christmas food (including paneton and rice with raisins in it), stayed up until midnight (inadvertently) and watched a bunch of fireworks. We re-enacted all of our different Christmas morning traditions to the best of our abilities, and we had a really fun gift exchange. I gave my comp a skirt and she gave me a pillow (because mine sucks and smells like dust) and then we all opened the little things we got from home. Hermana Muñoz was very thankful for her stocking, by the way. she thinks you are all awesome :)
Then on Christmas day I GOT TO SKYPE WITH MY FAMILY. Best day ever. Best christmas present ever, I actually really don't think anyone is ever going to be able to beat that one. Hahahaha I loved having Christmas away from home just because (I know this is about to sound cliché) it makes you really step back and appreciate everything. You are stripped of all the stress, drama, commerciality, (is that a word) and just everything. And, on top of that you aren't with your family either, so you just think about how much you love your family and are grateful for them and how incredibly grateful you are for Jesus Christ. President said something super profound that I am not even going to try to quote but it was along the lines of that Heavenly Father understands missionary families and missionary christmases sooooo well because he had to let his son go. He couldn't give him anything. He couldn't really do... anything. But he had to let him go for that time to do his mission. He had to watch him and feel that despair of not being able to provide or fix everything.... because it had to be done. It was really cool.
Well, this week were changes. (Transfers?) and I get to stay in Ica in family history!!! Hermana Santiago (from Mexico) (we served together in San Juan) is going to be my new companion. I love her so much already, so I think it will be a great transfer! I am going to miss Hermana Muñoz sooooo much... I learned a ton with her. But she is going to be awesome in Pisco, her new area. Hermana Wilkins is going to stay in Nazca and train!! and I am way excited because I think I will get to do an exchange with her. Me and Hermana Santiago (Hermana Santiago and I? oh grammar, where art thou?) are going to be the Sister Leaders for the South :)
Well, I hope you have an awesome week! and a very happy new year :) I can't believe that 2014 is over. It was a really, really great year. I learned more than I ever have in a year in my life creo.... and I am excited to see what 2015 will bring! Well, one of the things it will bring is me home. That is a crazy thought! My New Years resolution is to try to be the missionary that Christ needs me to be to do His work in His way. I love you all so dang much! I can't express fully my gratitude and love for each and every one of you and all of the amazing support I always have.
Sorry this email is super short and scattered, but remember that I love you and that Christ loves you. That the temple is the most amazing place on this earth, and we all need to work to get there and to stay there. That it is never, ever too late to be what you want to be :) To be what you need to be. Repentance is the most amazing thing in the whole world. Moroni (or Mormon? crap.) 8:26 talks about all of the feelings and blessings that just pour over us as soon as we repent. The Atonement is real :) One thing that hit me this week was that it really is real... more than just its power and import, it really happened. It actually occured. I don't know why that hit me so hard, but it is something VERY real. Very personal, for all of us. Very tender. It is the most important event that has ever taken place in the whole universe :) And it took place for us.
Merry Christmas my pretties!!
AND A HAPPYYYYY NEWWWW YEARRRRR!!!!
I love you so :)
Hermana Lauren Bailey