Elder Garrick during our Christmas Day Skype call.
Jared and Elder Prawitt with the Brown Family
Jared, Ian, and Elder Prawitt.
Jared at the Portland, OR Temple.
Elder Burgin, Nicole and Jared at Nicole's baptism.
Nicole's Family at her baptism.
Jared and Elder Burgin at a Christmas party with some of their zone.
Jared's Christmas - spoiled boy
What a great week it has been. I hope everyone had a great Christmas this past week and are enjoying the time with family and friends. With my Christmas phone call I feel like there isn't a whole lot to talk about, but I will give you the updates from then until now. After our phone call together we went off to the Williams house. This is Ian and Nicole's cousins. It was so much fun to be with the Williams and with the Martins (Ian and Nicole) for Christmas. They did so much for us. They obviously already had their Christmas that morning and afternoon, so the night was completely dedicated to us. They had made our favorite treats and tried to make everything feel like home. They made a ton of my favorite potatoes. After dinner we played games. We had a blast. There were times when I was crying because I was laughing so hard. I feel really grateful for what they did for us that night. After games we opened up presents in which they had a few gifts that went along with some Christmas poems they had. A nail and an orange. They gave me cheese and crackers and some orange sticks. We then opened up the scriptures and read the Christmas story in Luke. Ian and Nicole are doing well. They seem to be doing a little bit better. We have held off teaching them because their lives were just so crazy and we started to become an annoyance to them. If the gospel ever becomes an annoyance, then something must be wrong, so we figured we would back off for a while and see what happens. Hopefully we can teach them again in the future.
On Sunday Nicole got baptized. The Spanish sisters had a baptism before us so they told us that they would fill up the font and leave it for Nicole's baptism. Usually it takes around 3 hours to fill the font. We arrived a little early, just to make sure everything was okay and to set up chairs. When we get into the Relief Society room we noticed that the baptismal font was draining and was almost empty. We quickly turned the water back on and Elder Burgin jumped in and plugged it back up. Ah!!!!! Baptisms never go smoothly! But it worked out like it always does. We were able to fill the font just in time for the baptism. Elder Burgin baptized her and then I gave a talk on the Holy Ghost. The Spirit was so strong during the service. Nicole's parents and best friend came. Her mom was just crying the whole time. It was pretty big that they came because her Dad is kind of anti against the church. I'm sure they felt the spirit, hopefully we can talk to them some more. They were very nice people.
Well we also found out about transfers. Both Elder Burgin and I are staying. This is also Elder Burgin's last transfer so I will be sending another missionary home. Most likely I will stay for at least one more transfer after that, to train a new missionary to the area. That will make this the longest area I will ever have on my mission. I'm going on transfer #4 here and will probably stay for the 5th. Its great though. I love Vancouver. I love the people here and the rain is actually starting to grow on me. Elder Burgin and I went running on Monday. Yes I went running. First time I have ever done it on my mission. I usually just work out inside. But it felt so good to go outside and run in the rain. Its refreshing.
We continue to try and find new people to teach. We are finding more and more potential new investigators, but currently aren't able to get in the door with them. Yesterday we were finally able to see this couple that we've been trying for a while. We showed up to their house and they were actually home. The husband (or boyfriend) just lost his job. They are really struggling right now and have definitely been humbled. The girlfriend is ready to accept the gospel. She just wants to have something change. She even recognizes that money wouldn't solve their problems and they need something else. We had a great talk with them. By the end of our conversation they accepted to listen to our message and to come to church on Sunday. They were very grateful that we were there. I feel so blessed right now. The Lord always leads us to those who are willing to receive us and who need the help. It is truly the humble seeker of truth that is found. That's it for me this week. Have a Happy New Year!
P.S. Thank you to everyone who sent cards and gifts. I have some amazing family and friends.