Monday, December 28, 2015

A Nice, Sunny Christmas in Florida :)

Something Good: Well this week has had many good things!
First skyping with my family!! I sure loved seeing them all; it was a wonderful time! :) I am thankful for technology to see my cute family! So thankful that families are forever!! Second, presents from home!!! I got a box of things to "share" before Christmas, and this was one of my favorites - it is a Life Saver's book with a picture of Jesus pasted on the cover with "He is the Real Life Saver" - that is SO TRUE!!! I love talking to people about the Savior. This week has been kinda slow because of the holidays, but we have met very nice people as we have walked around our area. :)
This is Vivian, who has been really nice to feed us, and the second time at her house, we discovered we have a mutual friend in Orem, Utah, Katie Ator Anderson, so this photo came from Vivian to Katie to my Mom. It's a small world - in the Church!! We met this man outside, he was using his cane to brush some leaves out of his garage, so we go over to help him, and he asks, "What do you want?" and we tell him we just want to help him. So we do for a minute and than he tells us to go talk to his wife. We where both like.."OK!" So we go inside, his wife is on the phone but tells us to go sit down, so we sat down, and waited, she came and talked to us for a bit and showed us around her house, and she had the most beautiful Nativities ever!! I really feel like I have see more Nativiy sets here in Florida than I ever have before, I love it so much! Anyways! We find out she is very into her church, but it was just cool and super sweet how nice she was and so respectful of our church and beliefs. There are so many good people who are genuinely kind who are not of our faith that I am so thankful for. :) We went to see a family where the husband is less active and the wife is not a member. It was the second time we have seen them. The first was on Thanksgiving and we just talked to them outside, but this time we where able to go inside and talk to them, and it was great! We had a wonderful visit and where able to show them "A Savior is Born." Many good little things this week. :) On Christmas Eve we went to see Sabrina and Alex and spent time with them. It was cute because we played "Bible Trivia" with Marley, their daughter, and each time she got one right she could open a present. I feel like I want to do that one day with my future kids. ;)
We had a District Meeting on Tuesday and I got taped to the wall. Good times. We must be getting ready for Christmas and don't know what to do with all our energy, since people are busy!!
Something Funny: Only in the South would you find a sign like this surrounded by growing green plants!! Never in my life would I have ever thought it would be 80 degrees on Christmas!! It was so wonderful!! I do miss the feel of Christmas but I do not miss the cold! It was funny because we were driving in the car and we had to turn the A/C on...haha! Oh, a few days ago...we washed our car outside in sandals and shorts, and it was just so lovely. Something I can check off my bucket list!? " Wash your car in the middle of December.." (Check) :) I can understand why people come to FL during the is NICE. Some of our members were at the beach making Florida snowmen out of sand...Haha so awesome. :)
So Christmas eve we went to the Huntsman home and they put on the Nativity for us! Note the dad is in shorts and barefoot and the mom is in flip flops. Only in Florida...
So Christmas when we opened our gifts we had an awesome challenge. My mom sent us a LOT of little gifts that were identical/matching - one for each of us. We had to open the tag and read the scripture, then guess what was in the gift, the open it! It was so much fun!
Here we are with chocolate coins wrapped in gold paper. We learned that we are valuable to the Lord! The matching scarves were "Put on the beautiful garments."
We had a Christmas party at the apartment of the senior couple, Elder and Sister Ross. They bought presents and we drew numbers and each took that gift, then they read a story and we had to pass the gifts left or right, and at the end of the story, we kept the gift we had in our laps. That was a great Christmas day activity, and the Elder and Sister Ross are so wonderful to do that for us! We all felt loved! Something Learned: This week we have been sharing a story called "The Legend of the Candy Cane" by Lori Walburg (available on Amazon) (Thank you to my mother:)) We have given out candy canes as we read this story of the meaning of the candy cane, and how the candy cane is like a shepherd's staff to represent the first people told about His birth, how the J stands for Jesus, and how the red stripes remind us of his pain and his blood shed for us and the white for His life and purity. Each time we read the story, I just knew that Christ was born for me. I am so thankful for Him and all the many blessings I have been given because He was born. Even though the Christmas season is over, I know that we can all keep Christ in our thoughts and minds all during the year. :) One of my favorite stories in the Bible is the Good Samaritan. In one of the ending verses it reads.."And he had compassion on him." This story is just a good reminder that even though we are all different, we can still love others and do what Christ would do. Even after Christmas we can still serve and love others. :) I have enjoyed Christmas so much this year through focusing on the Savior even more, and I hope I can always keep Him in mind throughout this next year! :)
This is the Relief Society Room in the Lynn Haven Ward (cute bulletin board, huh?) We are saying goodbye to Allie, who is in our ward, but moving.
And here we are, post-Christmas shopping at Target with Megan Morse, who loves to shop and takes us along. She is so cute and so good to us!
I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year! So thankful for another year to be alive and another year to serve my Savior and Heavenly Father here in Florida. :) #2016inFL, Love to all, Sister Nielson:)

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