Merry Christmas!

So I’m not going to write much today as I have P-day again on Monday and will be able to write more then, but wanted to send a quick Merry Christmas to everyone, and a thank-you for the Christmas cards and letters and packages I’ve received. Nothing is better than mail, seriously…nothing, so that has been very nice.

I’ll describe more of the daily routine next week, but to give a quick snapshot of the Christmas schedule….well, it’s the same as the regular for the most part. Up at 6:30am for exercise (today’s exercise was mostly stretching whilst opening gifts), getting ready, studying, then a nice Christmas breakfast at the Visitor’s Center with the senior missionaries (all of this still in a skirt). Then we Skyped our families (mine told me about there similarly exciting and unique Christmas – riding elephants in Thailand) and now we’re doing some email. We’ll be headed back to ‘ the Maple’ (the house where we stay when we’re in Kirtland two nights a week) to take naps.

Tonight we’re having a Christmas dinner at Don Tequila’s (a Mexican restaurant) with the four other missionaries in our Ward (Elders), then the six of us will go caroling for the last three hours of the day. There is a lot of singing in missionary life, so much in fact that they maybe ought to include some kind of musical training at the MTC because there are many who could use it. That scripture about the Lord qualifying those who he calls doesn’t seem to apply to tone deafness. But I enjoy singing, and the tone deafness of some in our group will probably generate some sympathy from at least a few of those we encounter, and sympathy makes people less likely to slam doors so that’s a good thing!

I’ve been writing down three things I’m grateful for every day (not allowing repeats or my list would be ‘mail, showers, pajamas’ almost every day) and there are some good ones. Since I don’t have any quotes to share, I thought I’d share a few of these:

-Cookies that don’t taste like smoke

-Lack of time for adequate food prep/eating – I’ve definitely lost weight since being here, and am enjoying being one of the skinnier people in most rooms. First time in my life for that.

-Exercises that can be done while sitting or laying down, though I’m running out of these – would love some suggestions, especially exercises which improve posture. It’s something I’ve always wanted to fix but now I actually really have nothing better to do for 30 minutes every day.

-Personal study time – one hour every day where I can read and think and write and almost feel like I’m by myself and in control of something

-Lack of access to social media – pretty grateful not to be able to compare my every day with that of others, though I could probably come up with some pretty unique selfies. I don’t think I’ve ever seen any of my friends post trailer park selfies, or smoke-filled garage beer and lawn chair party selfies, or furniture store teaching selfies, or praying-while-standing-in-a-circle-holding-hands-and-trying-not-to-step-on-oxygen-tubes selfies, or nursing home duet selfies. Shoot, now I’m a little less grateful not to have social media access.

-Past changes and the possibility of future changes

-Global warming (it was almost 70 degrees two days ago, and is still up near 60 today)

Still having camera issues, but here is a photo of my companion (Sister Morrison) and I with our investigator at her baptism earlier this week. Sis. M and I set up the chairs, filled the font, made the cookies, played the prelude and postlude music, played and lead the opening, closing, and interlude hymns (of which we sang 10 while Jerri was getting dressed), greeted people, gave talks, and did a musical number. It almost felt like we put on a two-woman show!

Anyway, hope everyone is having a very nice Christmas. More on Monday…


4 thoughts on “Merry Christmas!

  1. Think you Jen, for the Christmas greeting and report. And the picture. YOU look great. Mission is obviously agreeing with you. Your smile is beautiful. It is cold here. very cold but much snow helps for a good summer, you know. How is the [proselyting going in your mission? Lots of success:? And do you enjoy the work? Be kind to the monotone singers Poor guys, I can’t sing either, but I love the hymns anyway and I love those around me that tolerate my efforts. Yes, and I love KIrtalnd… Many good memories of vist there by Janet and me. God bless you Dear Jennifer. Grandpa G.



  2. So, I’m new to commenting. I LOVE reading your blog Jenn! You are amazing. I am grateful for your candor and authenticity. We aren’t robots or sugar cookies cut from the same mold. I appreciate that about you and always have. I want to be you when I get this life figured out and I am grateful that you haven’t changed, just updated a version. I hope to continue upgrading as well but I’ve noticed how easily I can freeze/stagnate. In computer terms that is, I need to reboot quite often and Heavenly Father has a way of letting me know that the version I am currently attempting to run…can be enhanced by upgrades, fixing the bugs and stepping it up. Hope you have a wonderful New Year!

    Love ya Jenn!

    ps Hannah got married, is super happy and I miss her already,


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