Hi Everyone! MONDAY: We got a ride from a member and his awesome wife to the Stake Center (church building in Grand Rapids) for transfers. Missionaries don’t serve in the same area (or city) their whole mission, so transfers gives them an opportunity to serve with another missionary and experience a new area. When we arrived, there were a whole bunch of elders there in their work out clothes, ready to play basketball. It’s very rare that there will be a big group of missionaries in one place, so transfers and Zone Conferences are always fun. These usually happen once a transfer (6 weeks). The APs (Assistants to the President) brought their truck, the transfer van (seats 15 people), and the trailer for all our luggage. I said my goodbyes and got in the van with other missionaries who were being moved to Lansing, Petoskey, and Midland. We arrived in East Lansing and my parents drove into the parking lot to come pick me up. President Jacobson was also there to give a hug goodbye. I talked the whole ride home about the area where I’d been serving and the ward I was in. We picked up my brother from high school and all went out for Chinese (I’d been craving it). Then mom had to go teach her dance class and dad, Isaac (my brother), and I all played ‘Seven Wonders.’ Mom, dad, and I did two interview that night- one with the Bishop, and one with my Stake President- for the temple! 🙂 I ran into some old friends and was able to briefly visit with them.
TUESDAY: Rise and shine! It’s giant cinnamon roll time! (And sausage!) A Christmas breakfast favorite 🙂 We then went to the hair salon and went shopping! It was a busy, successful day! Back home we went to enjoy a game of Farkle and mom’s delicious homemade cheese ball. Then bust out the ham dinner with grandma’s cheesy potatoes and off we went to the temple! I had some great friends of the family and leaders that have been with me growing up there to support me 🙂 The President and his wife were also there with some people I knew from the mission office, so that was a treat. Overall, it was a beautiful experience- one I will never forget. ❤
WEDNESDAY: I woke up and was a little emotional. The first time my parents dropped me off at the mission home, I knew I’d see them three months later. This time was the real deal and 15 months would be a long time! I get to call them for Christmas though! We’ll see if we can talk in 40 minutes! I got to ride back to the Stake Center with the APs! That was fun! They’re new, so it was good that I could get to know them better. I was reunited with Sister Roberts who was with our Sister Training Leaders for a few days. She was glad to be back and we went back to our apartment to unpack. Then I got right back into the swing of things and we went door knocking. Maybe it’s the season, but people are a bit more cheerful at the doorstep 🙂 We then went to a member’s home for dinner and I met the new elder! Elder Wilson is his name, and he’s been out for 20 months! The family is super enthusiastic about missionary work- it was awesome!
THURSDAY was fun. I bought Sister Roberts a Christmas tree without her knowing. I was being all Grinchy about having one, so I thought it would be a good surprise. It was hard because you have to be “within sight and sound” of each other, but somehow I did it. I’m so sneaky. Then we visited a retirement community for ‘coffee’ hour and brought our hot chocolate. There were only three of them this time, so we talked about the meaning of Christmas and then went to Denny’s which was not as thrilling as I had expected.
FRIDAY I woke up before Sister Roberts to put up the Christmas tree. When I went back in our room, I was (unfortunately obviously) “Well, are you ready to get up?” loudly. She opened her eyes, looked confused, and I sat on my bed, waiting for her to leave the room first. She walked out into the living room and was very happy and surprised. Then we visited our ex-nunnery retirement home, and ended up having lunch there! We were able to visit two less actives, so that was neat! We’ve been sharing the #HeIsTheGift video, and everyone seems to like it.
SATURDAY is hard, because we can’t drive our full time car and the bus of course doesn’t come to our stop, so that’s the day we do service at the library. I can tell they really appreciate it though. 🙂
SUNDAY was a blast. I met some of the new missionaries and got to visit with them for a bit during church. I had a bad headache all day, but when we went to a marvelous dinner appointment with the elders at a member’s home, I had my first can of Cola and BAM! the headache was gone 🙂 All 8 Elders and Sister Roberts and I watched the First Presidency Christmas Devotional at the church that night and that was neat. 🙂 I hope you all have a great week, and invite you to share #HeIsTheGift 🙂 Love, Sister Harrison