MERRY CHRISTMAS from Montrose, Colorado!

December 22, 2014

Hello all and Merry Christmas week! It has been so awesome to get to spend my FAVORITE holiday in the mission field sharing the most important message in the world!

This week was another great week. Tough on the lesson count front, but we were able to do a TON of service for the branch. I reeeeeally love this area and am so in love with all of the people here. I feel so at home with the members and really would be sad to leave. Transfers are next Tuesday (ALREADY!?) and I think I will be staying for one more transfer... BUT, President has been known to surprise us a time or two!

Here is the daily breakdown:
Tuesday evening we had a dinner with a member (The Hatch's) and a MEMBER REFERRAL! It was so wonderful! That is the second member referral we have received this transfer and let me tell you... they are awesome! The investigators that joined us for dinner are named Josh and Cindy. Remember their names because I will talk about them a ton as long as I stay in Montrose! THEY are an answer to my four and half months of prayer for this area. After dinner we shared He is the Gift with them and Brother Hatch bore powerful testimony about how the Gospel has helped him to become a better father. I think Josh has had a really tough past so that hit him really hard. Afterwards, we left and spoke with Brother Hatch about it a few days later. He told us that Josh said he wanted to be BAPTIZED. If there was a better Christmas miracle, I wouldn't know what is. I was so happy to hear that and KNOW they will be baptized in January. I really hope I get to stay and be a part of their wonderful conversion process.

Wednesday we just did some service at Tammy's thrift store and visited with people in the evening. Sister Flores was sick :( so we had to come home a little early that night. Pobrecita.
Thursday we had district meeting, did some service at Dewey's thrift store in Delta, and in the evening found ANOTHER family. They are really receptive. THEY asked US to come back!!! It was great and we are excited to see them progress in the gospel!

Friday we went over to one of my favorite member's homes and helped Sister Archer make rolls for the Branch Christmas Party! (Mom... you would be so proud of me! I helped make all the bread! Sister Archer reminds me SO MUCH of you so I enjoy going over there and spending time with her :)) Then that evening we had the Branch Party! It was a blast! We got asked last minute to participate in helping with the primary kid's live nativity. It was a little different twist than I have seen in the past, including children dressed up as African safari animals instead of sheep. It was truly a great time! As the closing number, we graced the audience with a sing along production that was led by yours truly. It was a wonderful rendition of "I heard the bells on Christmas Day" and "Feliz Navidad." It may have also included me throwing confetti when we switched from the hymn to the old time classic. It was a blast for all and Josh and Cindy also attended :)

On Saturday we went and did some more service for Tammy and got to have pictures with Santa :) I sure do love doing service here... it is so wonderful to see how much it has made a difference in other's lives. That afternoon, we decided to get together with the Elders and make a package for a less active family. They have about 5 kids and the mom is a single mother who is an alcoholic and drug abuser who uses their grocery money to buy drugs and alcohol. It has been so sad for us to see these poor children suffer day after day. So, we decided as a group to pool all of our Christmas goodies together to give to them. We spent the afternoon tearing through our rooms to find things of ours to give them. We took all of the candy/goodies we had received from our families for Christmas and put it all in a box and wrapped it up real nice. It felt so good to take something that I had received and give it to someone who would appreciate it even more. When it was all said and done, we had quite the prize prepared to give to them.
Santa photos at the thrift store

Yesterday night, we headed over to their house and met with the oldest son. We had tried all day to get the whole family there but it just wouldn't work. So, we met with the oldest son and shared He is the Gift with him. He is about 16 and really needs some guidance. He is a great kid but is being greatly influenced by his environment. The Elders and Sister Flores and I bore SUCH a strong testimony to him of the power of Jesus Christ and how it has changed our lives, I can't fully explain the peace and overwhelming spirit that was there as we created a refuge for just a moment out of his tattered trailer. At the end we invited him to pray and to give a "gift" to each of his "CREW" members this week. We then told him that we had a gift for his family that he could share with his friends to make their Christmas a day of love and acceptance. It was an amazing experience and I felt the spirit so strongly. I have no idea if the family will begin to accept us into their home or not, but we know that we did everything we could to make their Christmas memorable.

That's all I've got for this week! I love this gospel and I especially love the opportunity to serve others during this Christmas season. This is the most important work in the world. Never forget that HE truly is the GIFT.

Lots of love from CO,

Hermana Pierce

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