This week was good! We had our area book planner training on Wednesday, so the goal now is to be paperless by the end of this transfer! That means that we get to put all of the information from the area book into the iPad. It has been an adventure trying to get everything figured out, that's for sure. But it will be good once we get the hang of it.
Then on Friday and Saturday we went down to Torrance for the 2 Christmas devotionals for our mission. Sister Baek played the piano for a duet in the Christmas program part of the meetings so we got to go down on both days. It was a nice sunny day for the one on Friday, and we went to Chik-fil-a for lunch. Sister Baek hasn't ever eaten there before! But I got her well acquainted with the deliciousness of it all. She was full afterwards, so mission accomplished. At the one on Saturday, I saw Sister Martinez from Torrance 1st Ward. She lived right behind us and made delicious food. It was good to see her. There are elders in that ward now.
Sister Baek's first time at Chick-Fil-A!! :)
The Christmas program was really neat. We each took a picture with President and Sister Weidman and they gave us little ornaments of an etch of the LA temple, and the sisters got a little angel. It was good to have that brief time to reflect on our calling as missionaries and how that relates to this special time of year. I was able to read a part on the program and bear my testimony. Afterwards we has a really yummy "Christmas dinner" except that it was lunch time - ham and roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, rolls, the whole 9 yards. And for dessert we had peach cobbler and ice cream. That was a special experience.
This is Sister Bielamowicz :) She may be tiny, but she is pretty much the energizer bunny!
At our meeting, President mentioned that we will need to prepare for the wet weather that has been forecasted for the next 3-4 months, by acquiring wet weather gear. He said they would send some info out, but they wanted us to prepare to serve even though it will be raining. The funny thing was that it rained on Saturday, after he made that note. The problem with rain is that you can't see the lines separating the lanes when you drive. That could be a problem. And if you add all the ridiculous LA drivers, then the horns get going and it's a struggle to keep my composure. I am learning patience here, that's for sure!
Besides that, we have been working really hard on finding people to teach. Lots of conversations and finding. But it is good! Hopefully we'll find people soon!
I am really looking forward to Christmas here in the mission. It is definitely going to be a unique experience, and I am going to try to make the best of it. Since I only have this one Christmas here, I am going to work really hard and give the Savior everything I've got as a gift for his birthday. As a missionary, I have the opportunity to represent Him all the time, 24/7. That is a special opportunity and it is a blessing as well. What better way to spend my Christmas this year, as a full time representative of Jesus Christ sharing the glorious message of His birth to anyone and everyone.
We met a guy on the street the other day who said "I'm not selfish enough to think that the Creator of the universe knows and cares about what I eat for dinner." I got a little offended, because I don't think it is selfish to believe in a loving and all knowing God. Rather I think it is such a blessing to know that the Creator of the universe knows me, Sister (Lauren) Hatch, and loves me, despite my imperfections. And it is for that very reason, because He loves us and cares about us, that we even celebrate this season of the year! It makes me SO thankful for the knowledge I have of this gospel and the Plan of Salvation. What a sad existence that would be. But I don't have to go about my life being sad because I know why the Savior came and I know that God loves me and each of us here. What a happy thing we know and share with people!
Side note: The guy I mentioned earlier also thought we had evolved from animals. . . . Needless to say we have a few very differing opinions. We kindly handed him a card for the #ASaviorIsBorn video and walked away politely. #ain'tnobodygottimeforthat!!
I am super excited to see you all on Friday! I hope you have a Merry
Christmas! Love you lots!!!!
A lovely view of the temple and a beautiful sunset!!