How are y’all?? I hope Christmas found everyone well. My Christmas was WONDERFUL! We had two Christmas meals with members, and both were more food than I think I have eaten my whole mission so far! Ha-ha. One thing I am so thankful for though, is that the church just breeds good people. Good, kind, humble, charitable people. I have learned that truth more and more as I have been on my mission. I was blessed with many gifts and notes from loved ones, so thank you for that!
As you can probably guess from the title of this email, my Christmas week did not include two feet of snow, as many of y’all’s did. In fact, Christmas Day it was about 70 degrees! Ah the south, I’ve missed it!
Hahaha. This week the work was kind of slow, that has a lot to do with the fact that people really don’t want to talk to strangers who aren’t their family during Christmas, but we still got some good things done. I finally met our eternigator (long term investigator), J. He’s an older guy, probably in his 50’s, and he lives alone. He likes the church, and he enjoys having us over, but he struggles with understanding the importance of the gospel in his life, personally. He’s really fun though, and a huge Firefly fan, so we got to talk about that.
My sign language has been rapidly improving, which I am thankful for. I still have a long way to go, but I am understanding more and more and Heavenly Father is bringing so many things to my remembrance! On Sunday I interpreted for the first time! I interpreted in Sunday School, and I studied the lesson the whole week before class, so that I would know all the signs for the words that would most likely get used in the lesson. That day it was on The Gathering of Israel. Yeah, not easy concepts to translate into sign ha-ha. It went well though, I could have done much better, but I am learning, and I didn’t crash and burn!! My plan is to interpret every week in Sunday school until I get good enough to help out in other places. I am really thankful for this new challenge, I think I had become complacent with my teaching in many ways, and having to learn how to teach in a new language has really pushed me to improve my teaching skills in general.
I’m sorry that this week’s letter is kind of short, hopefully next week I will have a lot more to talk about. I will close with my testimony of my Savior, Jesus Christ. I know He lives; I know He loves us. He was born in Bethlehem and he died on Calvary. He Suffered for all of our pain, sadness, sickness, sin, and sorrow. He rose from Joseph’s tomb on the third day, and lived again, and because he lives, each of us will also have the chance to rise again. His life is the single most perfect example for all mankind, and if we look to him and live, we will be able to do all things, overcome all trial, and face all temptation with the self confidence that comes from knowing that each of us are truly loved of our Savior Jesus Christ. As I have had the chance to reflect on His life this Christmas season, I have been struck by how much more personally I know Him now than ever before. I know He loves me. I have a personal relationship with Him, and I know I always have a place to go, a shoulder to cry on, and a hand to hold in Him.
I love Him, and I love all of you!
Sister Hannah Kathryn Thomas