I finally got my truck—a Ford Ranger Sport, 2006 with only 95,000 miles on it. My dad and I drove it from Arizona. I drove 9 ½ hours and my dad only drove 2 ½ hours. Since my grandparents were delayed flying back from El Paso, I drove it by myself on Tuesday. I had to get gas on the way to Dan Peterson, then took Brother Weaver to McDonald’s for lunch, then back to seminary, then stopped by Charleston Assisted Living to visit Nycola on the way home. (She even remembered me.) That same day I had to teach all four of Sister Craft’s classes because she had an emergency. It was a good day.
I’ve been assisting Sister Lyman the last few days as tech support to help get media up and going for her lessons. It’s a good thing because the students learn much better with visual media.
I practiced changing a tire on my new truck. It was challenging to lower the spare and move it into place as a replacement tire. But now I know exactly what to do.
Today I taught the Plan of Salvation lesson to the Hunters. They are a really nice couple and made us feel welcome in their home. I like the style of their very modern house.
We spent New Year’s Day taking down Christmas inside and also the outside lights. Then of course Papi had to watch football. I didn’t have to go back to work until January 3, so I had time to relax.
Brother Weaver called to ask if I’d be able to help out with a problem. I’ve mentioned before that my student, Mike (not his real name) was having a hard time adjusting to being moved to the new seminary at Horizon. The problem was that Mike’s missionary was going to be absent, and Brother Weaver asked if I could drive out there for first period to help. Of course I said yes. I wanted to do that anyway. It’s actually about a 30-minute drive to Horizon each way across heavy traffic. When Mike first saw me he was surprised, but happy to see me. I think this is going to help for me to be there. So, for just one week, after first period finishes, I will drive to Dan Peterson for the rest of the day.
I’ve been getting lots of driving practice in preparation for getting my truck. I’ll fly to AZ on the 11th, and drive it back with my dad on the 13th. I’m excited to finally have my own truck—something I’ve worked hard for and looked forward to. I’m grateful to my parents for buying this for me.
When the Church announced that priests are now able to witness and perform baptisms in the temple, I was interested to know how it would impact my shift. Sure enough, lots of priests showed up Saturday and I didn’t get to do a single baptism. But priests can’t confirm or record, which is a Melchizekek duty, so I was still able to participate in those ordinances. It was a busy day, mostly with youth.
We had an excellent adult session of stake conference Saturday night, and again Sunday morning. Good speakers, well prepared and inspired. In companion study, we each took a turn sharing how we can improve personally during 2018.
I woke up Christmas morning to snow! Finally! This has been a dry year for snow, and I’ve been anxious to serve our neighbors by snow-blowing their driveways. So I pulled on all my snow gear and did some energetic snow-blowing for 7 homes in the neighborhood.
We drove over to the developmental center to do a little service there, but received wrong information, because no cars were in the parking lot, so we came home and had breakfast, then opened gifts. I was very happy to get the Apple watch I had wanted!
For lunch we piled up two trays of Christmas dinner and delivered to a family who was in the process of moving. The day after Christmas, we helped load the moving truck and unload it to their new home.
My first Christmas as a missionary was a good one. We did lots of service and the emphasis was on the Spirit of Christ. I showed a video clip called, “The Spirit of Christmas” to the family, and challenged everyone to focus on bringing the Spirit of Christ into our lives.
During the holidays, I shared my apartment downstairs with Charles who is Polish and goes to BYU ID. My grandparents met him when they served their mission in Poland. On Christmas Eve, we had dinner with our entire Dunn family, including Maddi and Brad (and new baby), Uncle Todd, Charles and another Polish BYU student, Alexia.
After dinner, we sang carols around the piano (and “I’m a Child of God” in Polish), and then played the pipe bells. Everyone had a different length of pipe and nail to hit it—and we actually sounded pretty good playing 6 Christmas songs, but we laughed a lot.
When one of my students I’ll call Mike (not his real name) moved to a seminary closer to his home, I was sad to hear that he’s having a hard time adjusting. When I get my truck in a few weeks, I got permission from Brother Weaver to drive to the new seminary (25 minutes from Alpine), and be my student’s missionary (for the first hour) until he feels comfortable there. Afterward, I’ll drive back to the Dan Peterson Seminary for the rest of the day. I don’t mind doing this for whole semester if it would help him. Mike likes me, and I miss him since he left. On our last day of seminary for 2017, we had a delicious catered luncheon for all the seminary missionaries, so we could see each other one last time before 2018.
While seminary was on break, I worked at the bishops’ storehouse, because they were super busy and needed extra hands. The busiest day was Saturday the 23rd, because so many patrons needed food for the holidays. It was so crowded that there was hardly room to push the carts around.
On Friday, the service missionaries working at the bishops’ storehouse had a party hosted by the senior missionary couple. It was fun. We ate pizza, played games, and had a white elephant exchange. It was fun to see my old friends from last August. But I also met a few new service missionaries and two were sisters. I’ll be back working at the storehouse during the summer.
I taught the Plan of Salvation to the Jones family—parents and three kids. The oldest is in college, a 16 year old, and a 6 year old. I decided to direct my lesson to the 6 year old boy, who is pretty active. So instead of teaching from the poster, I first showed a short animated video about the Plan and then gave him a wooden puzzle to put together. He amazed us by being attentive during the lesson and he put the puzzle pieces together while naming each one correctly. I think the lesson went well.
This week Papi and I cleaned the temple from 10 to midnight. I got to vacuum two endowment rooms, the waiting rooms, and the celestial room. It was a good experience, because I had never done this before. It was super late when we got home, and I was glad the next day was P-day, so I could sleep in.
Saturday night Papi, Gram, and I were invited to the BYU/Utah basketball game in Provo. Because they are rivals, the stadium was packed—no empty seats anywhere. We had excellent seats right in front, and could see everything. The best part was that BYU won 77 to 65 and the fans were loud and excited. It was fun and I really enjoyed it, even though we didn’t get home until after midnight.
My grandparents are now great-grandparents because my cousins, Maddi and Brad Richardson, had their first baby a week ago. Her name is Mia Grace, and she’s tiny and cute. When holding her, we need to be very careful to support her neck.
In Church today, we had the craziest thing happen. When Brother Lacey was closing his talk, the fire alarm went off on with a loud siren and flashing light. Then a loud voice repeated over and over, “A fire emergency in this building has been reported. Exit the building immediately and don’t use stairs or elevators!” (Ha—we don’t have either!) Brother Lacey quickly closed his talk and sat down. Everyone in the congregation looked around, wondering what to do. The bishop stood up and told everyone to go outside immediately while they checked things out. So the whole congregation got up and hurried out the door in confusion. A fire truck pulled up—not with flashing lights, but responding to the call. It turned out to be a mistake. The alarm had been set off accidentally. No fire. No smoke. Nothing. Maybe there was a faulty wire in the system. We never found out what triggered the alarm. The leaders were running around trying to find the person who had a key to open the box and disarm the annoying alarm. If anyone was sleeping during sacrament meeting—they woke up pretty fast! After disarming the alarm, we were instructed to go to our second and third hour classes as usual.