And Merry Christmas -
This week has been wonderful! I love Christmas! I love the Savior! I love being a missionary!! :) My Christmas was incredible and so funny so I really want to just share with you all what happened.
Our first visit of the day was to a less active recent convert named Sister Burras. She bought us this gingerbread train and had been telling us for most of the month how excited she was to make it with us. She had family coming over so we had to make it considerably fast and then she insisted on us taking it home with us. A lot of the houses in this part of town have gates outside the front door since they don't want anyone to break in and when we got outside we realized that we didn't have the keys. We couldn't find them anywhere. We decided to say a prayer and like 3 minutes later we found them -MIRACLE. We were no longer trapped inside this woman's house. Hahaha. So we were hugging her goodbye and as we stepped away the gingerbread train fell out of our hands and shattered. We dropped her present all over the streets of Philly. Merry Christmas to the ground! And she saw the whole thing! We felt so bad! It was awful.
Next we went and visited two African ward members, Sister Padmore and Howa. We asked them to play their instruments while we sing a Christmas song and it actually was super cool. Sister Padmore insisted on dressing us in some of her African clothes, so Sister Ririe and I agreed and she dressed us up. After singing the song and reading Luke 2 to them there was a knock on the door and this man who I had never met came in. He looked at us and said "OH! Who are these beautiful African ladies?? Looks like there's going to be a double African wedding!!" And he totally sat on our laps and put his arms around us. We both sort of gently pushed him off of us but it was so awkward. A couple minutes later there was another knock on the door and our Zone Leaders who serve in our ward walked in! They looked at us for a minute like they had no idea what to say. Then the man who sat on us said "Don't they look so cute?" Sister Ririe and I just told them not t answer and went and changed. At District Meeting the next day we were telling the rest of the district this story since the ZLs were at a different meeting and right as I said "And then the zone leaders walked in" the zone leaders walked into the meeting. It was too much and too funny.
We then got to Skype home. I got to see my entire family, including Becca who skyped in because she's in China right now and it was really so great. :) There were tears. It was a different way to spend Christmas, that's for sure. Our Bishop and his family fed us for dinner and then we visited a few less actives, but it was an amazing holiday. I'm so grateful that I've been able to serve at this time of year. It's amazing to see how open everyone is to letting Christ into their hearts around the Christmas season. But it's also so important that we keep him right in our mind the entire year. Every day should be Christmas! We should always be celebrating the birth and the Atonement of our Savior because it truly made everything possible. To end the tale of my Christmas, I want to leave you with this thought: Do you want to be part of the inn crowd or part of the stable few?
With this being the last week of 2014 I've been thinking back on all that has happened this last year and I have just felt so much gratitude and love. I can say with full sincerity that this has been the best year of my life. Its been hard, I have never been so stressed, but I have also never been as happy. Even just looking at the names of all of the people I'm sending this email to makes my heart so happy. There are so many people who I either didn't know or didn't talk to on a regular basis who I can now say that I've grown to love. I could go through and mention how each and every one of you have blessed my life. I won't because that would make this email far too long, but I do want to express how grateful I am to have each and every one of you as a part of my life. I'm very blessed.
I'm so grateful that I chose to serve a mission. I've already grown to love my Savior more than I ever could have imagined. I know that this is his true and full gospel that has been restored to the earth. How lucky am I? I'm set apart as someone who is called to share of Christ's message and love every single day. But everyone can share the gospel! Everyone can take part in hastening His work. Share your testimonies with others, lend a helping hand, share a scripture with someone you see n the street. It's an incredible work and I'm so grateful to be part of it. :)
I love you all!
Sister Rachel Petrick
700 Darby Road #201
700 Darby Road #201
Havertown, PA 19083