Hope you guys all had an awesome, spiritual, fun Christmas! I'm sure it was. Mine was very eventful and I definitely understood Christmas this year, not just enjoyed it. I didn't really expect Christmas on the mission to be all that great, but it turned out pretty great! Here's all the stuff that happened.
Instead of having correlation on Tuesday, we moved it to Christmas Day. So on Tuesday we had a ward mission team mission party at the Oxford chapel. The main event was a competition to see who could eat a mouthful of English candy the fastest (see picture)... basically the English version of "fluffy bunny." I won...must have a pretty big mouth.
On Wednesday I woke up feeling the Christmas spirit, but when I looked at the date I realized something: It was Joseph Smith's birthday! If my calculations are correct, he turned 210. So I decided to celebrate! I studied and read about him all day, and sang happy birthday to him. I brought it up in district meeting, and we thought that we should have birthday lunch for him at Pizza Hut with the whole district. So we did! It was great, even though Joseph never showed up...must be busy up there. We consumed over 70 pieces of pizza as a district, and the workers looked nervous because they were probably running out of pizza! We were full for the next couple days.
Christmas Eve was pretty crazy, we had another bar incident. We brought some presents to Candace and her coworkers because they've bought us loads of hot chocolate lately, and as they were closing down their technology shop for the week, they invited us to come to the pub with them. We never pass up an opportunity to teach people, so we went! A bunch of other people joined us as we went in. We met Candace's husband, who is a really cool guy. He was really interested in the whole mission thing so maybe we'll be able to teach him sometime. We gave a couple of Book of Mormons to the coworkers there and one of them wants to come to church with us! It was a good time. They all had their beers and we had our squash. Later that night, the Didcot Elders came to sleep over, and it was just like old times! We played card games and messed around until like midnight or something. The Fantastic Foursome lives on.
We went to the Sutton's house for Christmas day. We played a lot of scum (card game), ate lots of food, and opened lots of presents. A little bit later we decided to swing by to sing to the Rathbones and see how they were doing. I sang very quietly because while I can't sing, Elder Raveneau has the voice of a beautiful, French, angelic swan. The Rathbones had an awesome Christmas! Their two boys had nerf guns and were thrilled when I let them shoot me. We have high hopes for that family. On Saturday they texted us and said that they have started praying! I hope I don't leave next week so I can continue to teach them.
Christmas was great and all, but the best part of it was getting to talk to my family over Skype. It felt so good to catch up with them and tell them all about my mission experience. I'm really grateful for them because I wouldn't be here without them! Because I was away from my family this Christmas, I realized the importance of them. That's what helped me to understand and feel the Christmas spirit. It's been an amazing week and I love the mission! Have a great week and Happy New Years!
Love, Elder Thomas
|Celebrating Joseph Smith's birthday at Pizza Hut|
|Found a minion on the street|
|Candace - drinking squash|
|With Candace and her coworkers|
|Christmas morning with the boys|
|Playing scum at the Suttons|
|Eating English candy at the Christmas party|