Monday, December 28, 2015

Changes and Christmas Highlights

December 28, 2015

Hey Fam! This has probably the most eventful week I've had while on
the mission. The eventfulness started a few days earlier than
anticipated when on Tuesday I got a call from the Zone Leaders telling
my companion and me to pack our stuff. One of the Elders in the Tongan
ward had separated his Achilles' tendon from the bone while playing
basketball and he had to go home for surgery. Since there weren't any
other tri-pans in the mission, Elder Andrew and I made a tri-pan with
Elder Sanders-Smith as well as moved into his apartment and we are now
covering both wards.

If this had happened in any other ward besides the Tongan ward I would
have been a bit upset, two of the reasons being: our old apartment had
some really cool Elders in it and the Rocky Butte ward had been
combined like two months earlier and the work really suffered because of
it. But I'm WAY stoked to be in the Tongan ward and I think we'll be
able to do some really good work in both wards.

The very next day was the Tongan ward Christmas party and I think the
videos will sum up the ward pretty well ha (yeah that's the primary
doing the whip). I don't think they sang a single Christmas song
during the entire event! During the party and over the next couple of
days in the Tongan ward I ate for the first time: clams, oysters,
boiled lamb, raw fish soup, octopus, taro, and lobster.

Below I'll list the highlights of the 24th 25th and 26th of December-

Christmas Eve. It was a pretty normal day until the evening when we
had two dinners. The first dinner was with the Walworth family who is
a German family in the Rocky Butte ward. They literally spent like all
day cooking this German feast for us, and it was delicious! Right after
that we drove to a Tongan family's house who had signed up to feed the
Tongan Elders ha! They bought us like 5 pizzas and three veggie trays
and three fruit trays and a platter of probably 130 cookies. After we
were completely stuffed, we were able to share a spiritual thought
with the family, and the Father started crying and told us how much he
appreciated missionaries and the sacrifices that we make. After that
we were able to drive home and get a way cool view of the city I've
never seen before. Then we read scriptures in the apartment. Idk, it
was just a really good day.

Christmas Day. This was a way good day. It started in the morning when
we woke up at 6:30 and of course opened gifts first thing! By far the
earliest I have opened gifts on Christmas morning haha. Then we ate
cinnamon rolls, got together with the district and went to the church
to FaceTime. FaceTime was by far the highlight. After that we just
visited a lot of members and had a lot of food. I got closer to a food
coma that day than I think I ever have. Seriously. The best dinner we
had that day was with Tony I'oni and his family. He signs up on the
dinner calendar like once a week because "he really needs the
blessings." On Christmas he cooked like 10 crabs and 10 lobsters and a
couple racks of ribs and stir-fry and rice and a ton of seafood and
cake and ice cream. Wow! Christmas was awesome.

26th of December. It was quite a normal day actually. Probably the
highlight was when the Mower family rang our apartment doorbell and
dropped off my birthday package from home! Ha it was hilarious, they
even wrote up a birthday song to sing to me. For dinner, both wards
fell through so we ended up going to a Ohanah grill and getting salmon
and coconut cake. But to be honest the best part of my birthday
happened this morning when I opened my email and saw emails from all
the people I care about!

To sum it all up, this week was crazy and the church is still true. My
iPad has 5% battery because I forgot to charge it so I'm sorry I can't
really respond to anyone today.
Love you guys, have a great new year!

S/O to Daniel Cornelius who had his birthday yesterday!

Thank you so much for all the birthday messages!

~Elder Thomas

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