Sunday, March 27, 2011

December 27, 2010

Hi Family!

It was so amazing to see you all on Skype! It was such a blessing for me. Sorry I cried a lot... but what can be done? Really, my family is so beautiful. I have kind of been on cloud 9 since we talked. So, thanks. That was the best Christmas present I could have had. No worries Joe! I understand completely! I'll be seeing you soon enough I suppose, and yes, I did get your letter a couple of weeks ago. Thanks for thinking of me : )

Yes, Christmas was somewhat a stressful day, but good. The baptizm went beautifully! We had it in the brand new Church building in Ekat, and the building is gorgeous! It is way nicer than our building back home. They have waited so long to have their own building, and now they do! I'll send you some pics of the baptizm. Sasha was so so so nervous before the actual baptizm happened, and the font wasn't filled too high, so he had to be dunked from like knee high. But, he got in an his first try, and all is okay. After the baptizm, we got stuck in traffic for an hour and a half, and was that late (along with everyone else) getting to our Christmas dinner. So, we got to sit and eat for about an hour, and then we went to our English Club with President Allcott.

Sister Muhlestein and I have put a lot of work into making our English club special. When I first came to Botanika, we had two regulars in class. Now we have about 8-10 regulars, and others that pop in every now and then. We have met with almost every one of them and feel like we are slowly warming them up to having more interest in the Gospel. They really have come a long way. We went to a big effort to make our Christmas with them special, and gave them stockings, etc. We thought President would enjoy English Club, but he and Sister Allcott weren't too impressed, which was honestly hard to hear after all of our hard work. But, they only have our best interests at heart. We came home Christmas evening rather somber, but their advice was very wise, so we'll try and do better.

The next day (Sunday) we had a great Sabbath, and a girl we've been meeting with came to Church with her Mom, which was really cool. We had a couple other investigators show-up, and it was a really great meeting. Sasha got the gift of the Holy Ghost, and he says he feels "powerful." Haha. Too bad we didn't tell him to close his eyes during the blessing. He kept them open the whole blessing (yes, I peeked). We had the District Christmas party that evening, and Sister Muhlestein and I played a duet on the violin. It was a very well done program, and it felt a little like Christmas : ) We then went caroling to some people in the evening. The Holidays are nice because there are a lot of unique ways to serve people, like caroling for example. Too bad they usually don't know what caroling or Christmas is!

I love Christmas, and it is cool to know that you can enjoy it wherever you are in the world, because it really is all about Christ. We were encouraged as a mission to give something to Christ this year, like to give him a present for his birthday. I think I've decided what I'm going to give, and I would encourage you all to find something you too can give. Hope you all had a very special Christmas weekend! Let me know what you gave, as well as what you got!

Merry Christmas!

Sister Hakes

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