Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Time is HERE!

  • Christmas time is here!‏

       And with that, no one wants to make appointments with us... kind of counter intuitive, I know, but that's the way people are!  It snowed again a whole bunch, and our car got stuck. It was extremely frustrating. It took us over half an hour to get out--lots of digging and pushing.  We finally called the Dallings to come help us. They drove up, and immediately Sister Dalling asked, "Where is your coat?!"  I responded, "My anger is keeping me warm."  It was one of my more witty moments this week. 
       As punishment for getting our car stuck, I made us walk in the snow for 3 hours. It was the worst idea I've ever had because we forgot the map... we basically walked in circles the whole time.  Also, Sister Chen didn't wear socks. Bad idea. Neither of us could feel our feet at all.  The silver lining might be that we gained more respect for the pioneers and the Elders.

       In other news, we got 2 new investigators this past week! They are both so ready to accept Christ more fully in their lives. We are excited to get to know them better and teach them more.  We also got to go to the mission office for a Missionary Christmas Devotional. It was great! We watched a movie called "Ephraim's Rescue," which was amazing; I totally recommend it.  After that, we had a talent show that I didn't participate in. I missed the boat on that one.  To wrap it all up, we had a devotional with our Mission President. He's such a great guy, and everything he says seems like it's tailored for my needs.
       Merry Christmas!! I'm so excited to open all of my gifts from the family and friends. THANK YOU!

    Sister Pratt

    Someone stole Mom's idea
     Eating a mouse
    Sister Chen

    Sister Chen???

    I decided to sleep on the floor this week!  Awesome!

    All day  E'ry day!

    Monday, December 16, 2013

    Socks that Stay UP!

             I now understand Dad's plight. Socks that stay up are really hard to come by. I never appreciated that until now. I wear boots everyday, and my socks are always sliding! Anyway, I just wanted to put that out there.
          In other superficial news, the sunsets here are the most beautiful that I have ever seen! It seems like every evening my breath is taken away.  Every time I look at the sky, I can't believe it!  I've tried to capture it in pictures, but it hasn't worked so far. 
       There was another exciting thing. Sister Chen and I were looking through our car, trying to clean it out, and we found a Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas special with David Archuleta cd. It's a gem. We listen to it a lot! My favorite song on there is Silent Night.  I don't know if you'd be able to find it, but you should try to look it up anyway. 
       Other than that, we've just been trying to get the ball rolling in this new area! Both of our wards had Christmas Parties (the best), and it was a great time to meet Less-Active and Part-Member Families.  We had fun, and we made Banana Bread for one of the parties that was potluck. It was pretty successful, if you ask me.
       Another thing that we've been doing is going on splits with the Relief Society Presidency every week. It's so fun to go with them and get to know more sisters in the ward.  It's the best. Right now we're focusing a lot on finding people to teach and serve... because we don't have any progressing investigators. We know that with more diligence, though, we will find those prepared to receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
    I love you all, and can't wait to talk to you on Christmas!
    Sister Pratt
    Trying to catch one of those sunsets--didn't work

    Beautiful portrait of the sister missionaries.  I'm the big one!

    Our dinner appointment, had OUR COUCH!  Felt right at home.

    Frost on the Trees

    Favorite movie!

    Ward Christmas Party--Polar Express

    Monday, December 9, 2013

    Well, It's Freezing!

       Literally. Freezing. Right now, it's a whopping 8 degrees, and the high today should be 13!  Woo!! I don't think I've ever been as grateful for anything as I am for our car right now.  4 of the Elders in our district still have to walk everywhere. It's so sad! We wanted to be empathetic, so I made Sister Chen proselyte in the snow for a couple hours the other day. It was brutal.  After that, I made sure all the Elders had good wool socks!  Everyone says Boise hasn't had a winter this bad in like 15 years. I think the weather just knew I was going to be here and wanted to give me a hard time.  The gloves Mom sent me have saved my skin!! Again, literally. Sis Chen went without gloves for a day or so and her hands kept bleeding whenever she knocked on a door.  I gave her an old pair of mine. It sounds like the Texans got a pretty crazy storm this week, too!
       Other news, we got a new ward in the transfer! It's a really nice ward, but we're trying to get the members to be more missionary minded. For now, the Relief Society President is really the only one keeping us busy!  There's always work to do, though.  We're hoping to get the ball rolling pretty soon.  Our other ward doesn't even have a ward mission leader... or ward missionaries... so we're working on that, too.
       A really funny story happened a couple days ago. We were walking around a neighborhood getting to know some people in the new ward.  We approached this man who was getting into his car.  He was a member and said if we go knock on his door, his wife would let us in.  We went up to the door and knocked, but she wasn't answering for a while, so the man called her on the phone (we heard the phone ringing).  Then the door opened, and she looked at us and said, "Sorry, I have to answer the phone.." and closed the door on us.  We were SUPER confused.  Apparently, she thought we were Jehovah's Witnesses, so she didn't bother to invite us in (she's had some negative encounters with them).  When she went and got the phone, it was her husband saying, "Aren't you going to let the Sisters in?" To which she replied, "What Sisters?"  We were cracking up laughing, and she came back really apologetic that she shut the door in our faces!  I don't know if I properly illustrated the situation, but believe me. It was hilarious.
       Yesterday was awesome! Besides going to 5 hrs of church, eating ribs for dinner, and watching the Christmas Devotional with a Less-Active family, Sis Chen and I were able to visit this really special lady.  We got her name from a lady in our ward, and we knew nothing about her.  She is in her early 30s and has just finished very intensive Chemo-therapy.  We stopped by, and she told us she was a member, but stopped going to church when her dad died.  We didn't even get the chance to invite her back--she asked us when the services were! She also has 3 young boys and almost no money for Christmas.  It's really sad, but we were able to lift her spirits with a Holiday message that Grandma sent me in the mail.  She really appreciated it, and we were so excited to help her out. 
       I love this Gospel and the hope that it can bring to all people.
    Sister Pratt
     I'm struggling!
     A balloon we got from the Elders
     grits and eggs
     A beautiful sunset!
     snow in the mountains
     Elder Frosty
     snow angels
     Got to break out the awesome hat!
     Cheese Toast with Chopsticks
     What's the white cloth for?  Oh yeah, a dish rag
    This is what you get to eat when you're companion is from the other side of the world

    Monday, December 2, 2013

    Transfers already!!!

       Yeah... transfers happened ALREADY!!  I can't believe I've already been here for 6 weeks... What?  It's going by so quickly.  Sister Thompson is leaving us, but Sister Chen and I are staying in the same area.  It's very bitter sweet!  It's sad losing Sis T, but I know that it's what the Lord has in store for us, and we have a lot to learn.  
       I know you are all on pins and needles to know what the December Challenge is (see Julia Pratt for details).. so here we go!! Eat at least one meal a day with chopsticks! Sister Chen is rubbing off on me more than I thought she would, and I have an overwhelming desire to learn once and for all how to eat with chopsticks! so... there you go! Have fun with it :)
       As far as this past week goes, I got a monster sinus infection and lost my voice! I couldn't talk for about 3 days, so missionary work was interesting. My other companions handled it very well, though.  
       Thanksgiving was AMAZING!! We got to eat 3 Thanksgiving meals! I was stuffed! Totally worth it, though. It was the best.
       We had a couple of really neat experiences, and a lot of people are progressing! I'm short on time, though, so I can't give a whole lot of detail. 
       Love you all!!
          Sister Pratt

    Couldn't be doing better!

    Mom and Dad,
         Things are great!  I didn't really have anything particular to say in this letter, but I know that you love hearing from me.  I love hearing from you too!  Thank you so much for your letters and packages.  They mean SO much. 
         I seriously don't think I could be doing better.  There are a few times here and there.  but as you pray for the Spirit, the sadness is (almost) immediately taken away!  One such time happened yesterday.
    We went to this lady's house who has been on/off investigating the church.  She's been having a hard time lately, so we thought it would be nice to rake her leaves.  We thought wrong.  After about 10 mins.  her husband came out and basically told us to get off his property.  (He had never been too friendly with the church.)  I was just super sad and embarrassed.  I just felt awful, and one of my comps started talking about how rude he was.  That just made everything worse.  It was hard, but I said a prayer and started to focus again on others.  It works!  I think all the time about the analogy that Dad shared with me before I came out.  You just need to keep going and working, but as soon as you stop and start looking around at all the hard things, you don't think you can continue.  It's probably the best advice I've had.
        One of my new favorite quotes is, "Satan doesn't care if you think too much of yourself or too little--as long as you're thinking of yourself."  That was a paraphrase.
         Everything about Christ is selfless, and everything about the adversary is selfish.  We need to pick who we want to represent.  Anyway, these are my thoughts.  I love you dearly!  Sister Pratt

    P.S.  There is one thing I need--a slip.  I don't know how it "slipped" my mind but I don't think I've ever owned one.  Now that I'm basically wearing tights everyday, I really need one to combat static!  If you have any other suggestions, let me know.
    PPS  I don't know what your Christmas plans are, but if you love me, you will send me Christmas CDs- specifically the Forgotten Carols--but I'm not picky.  I love you.  Let me know what I can do for the family!