Sister Emily Mangum is a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving in the New Mexico Albuquerque Mission.

December 10, 2013

I love Christmas!

Hey Mom and Dad!

How are you?  It’s been an interesting week.  Definitely have had some experiences this week that I will never forget :)  It makes me a lot more grateful for the protection of the lord, and the knowledge I have of the gospel and about what comes after this life. Also, I have been super stressed when it comes to teaching appointments, but the holidays are coming soon, so that will help a little bit.

It is fun to see all the Christmas stuff around town and in people's homes.  It really puts me in the Christmas spirit and is a good reminder of why I am a missionary.  I am sure I will miss the family but I am sure that Christmas will be special here in New Mexico as well.

Dad before I left you told me there would be days like these.  :)  You also told me there would be companions I would struggle with.  :)  Lucky me!?

As a new missionary I don’t really feel like I know what I’m doing yet or what to say.  My companion is supposed to be training me, but as new as she is I don’t feel like she really knows what she is doing yet either. 

Like last night, we had a dinner lesson. The mom is recently baptized and she has good potential, and I feel like I could really relate to her, because our personalities are really similar and some of her main issues are stuff that I struggled with when I was younger. But during our discussion everyone was talking and loud and obnoxious, and you know me, I have a really hard time cutting in and talking.  Then during the lesson, my companion just turns to me and says "Teach this..." And I freaked out.  Yeah, it kind of caught me by surprise.

I really like my mission president. He is very nice.  It was funny everyone freaked out when he walked into Zone training last week.  I was going to talk to him then, but then one of the other sisters was having a huge emotional breakdown so he was dealing with her.  I have spoken with my district leader several times and he is really supportive.  He suggested I start leading the companionship like a senior companion.  Not sure that helps the stress level but I appreciate his support.

All I can do is keep pushing forward. Sigh.  And it’s almost Christmas! So I’ll be okay!

We have been doing some Christmas stuff here as well.  On Wednesday we had a ward Christmas party invite activity. Apparently it was the Sister before me that set it up, so it all got dumped on me and my companion. Basically the ward has a list of 100 in-actives that are recent in-actives or have potential, so they had us divide up the list and make 20 routes and had the ward deliver cookies and Christmas party invites. Dad, I don't know what it was like in Guatemala, but here most of finding in-actives involves driving for hours in circles only to find out that the house is empty, the address doesn't exist, or that the people have a big mean dog with a locked fence. So that was interesting.  I’d say, probably about half got delivered.  So we got dumped with the rest of the names and cookies. Too many cookies and nonexistent houses. But that night was interesting. The Elders and us and a couple young women went up to the mesa and got lost, so that was entertaining.

Thank you so much for downloading some new Mormon Messages for me! I'll have to ask around about which ones are good, but not on the DVDs so I know which ones to request :)  My companion really wants one by Elder Holland called a testimony of the Book of Mormon, and my district leader keeps talking about one about climbing mountains.

Do either of you have any ideas for a talk I have to give on the holy ghost at a baptism?  The baptism is for twin girls who are 18 that the Elders have been teaching.  They’ve been taking the lessons for a while now, but their grandma wouldn’t let them get baptized until they turned 18.  So they are getting baptized on the 21. They are super sweet!  We got to go to a couple lessons. I really don’t know why they asked me to speak, I’ve never really talked to them. But whatever, it’s only 5 minutes. But I want it to be really good but also really simple :)

Yay more letters and packages!  That makes me really happy. The best part of the average missionary day is getting mail. Occasionally there are really good days, but most days are just sort of blagh. :)

Thank you for the packages I already have and those you said are still coming.  Something that I would really love for Christmas, if you could manage it would be some things to help teach.  Like the children's Book of Mormon or anything creative that you can think of :)  We are always looking for cool things to help teach kids and people who are having a hard time understanding.

So, on Christmas do you want to Skype or just call? We might be able to Skype around 11-1 ish, if the church's Skype works.

Another question. What do you want for Christmas?  I got some NM t shirts, but I wasn’t sure if you wanted one or not, or I could just send some NM style food, you do like spicy stuff, right?

Thank you for all of your love and prayers of support! Contrary to my comments of frustration, I am really happy and know that I am where I should be, a missionary and serving her in New Mexico.  I really am blessed to have the gospel as such a strong part of my life.  It has changed my life and I hope it can change other's lives as I share it with them.

Love you!


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