Wednesday, December 24, 2014

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! I love you all!

Christmas is around the corner! I love seeing everyone's spirits lift as we get closer to the day that we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. The members here have been so thoughtful and kind to us this holiday season. We've felt so much love from the wards here! And even from those that are non-members. That has been the best part of this Christmas....we have been so welcomed by so many people that we contact. They are all so open to hearing about Christ this Christmas time. We had a wonderful visit with a nice old couple the other day. We had met the husband weeks before and we read the book of Mormon with him. We decided to bring him some Christmas goodies and he and his wife welcomed us in. They shared some candy with us and we had a wonderful conversation about Jesus Christ. We shared John 3:16 with them and asked them to think about what they can give back to Christ this Christmas. As we left, they excitedly told us that they are really going to think hard about what they will give Christ. I could go on and on about all the wonderful things that are happening as we spread the real meaning of Christmas.

Of course, the holidays are fun and exciting! We have enjoyed Christmas parties, gift exchanges, art shows, hay rides, caroling, ugly sweaters, goodie-making, and so much more! But as I have centered my thoughts on Christ, this Christmas has meant so much more. We had a Christmas Conference with our mission leaders and I learned some amazing things. Our stake president gave an awesome talk that will stick with me for the rest of my life. He was speaking about the birth of Christ and how Christ is the ultimate gift to the world. But he told us that instead of reading Luke 2 on Christmas Eve, he likes to read 1 Nephi 11. We then went and read 1 Nephi 11 together...and oh my. As we read, I felt so much LOVE from our Heavenly Father. Nephi wants to know the meaning of his father's dream. 1 Nephi 11 is where the meaning of the tree of life is explained. But I found it very interesting that instead of simply stating "The tree of life symbolizes the love of God"....Nephi was shown Mary. He was shown Christ being born into the world. He was told what Christ would do for all mankind. And then Nephi realized the tree of life is the Love of God. Because the Love of God is so evident as we reflect on Christ and His life. I know without a doubt that Christ is our Savior. He came into the world because He loves me. And He loves you. He was born into a stable...such humble circumstances...and His life was dedicated to doing good. He died for every single one of us so we can be forgiven of our sins and live again with our Heavenly Father! 

Redemption and eternal life. What greater gift could we ever receive? 
I hope you are all thinking of Christ this time of year. Seriously, go read 1 Nephi 11 with the Christmas spirit in your heart. It will change your perspective and help you grow closer to Christ this Christmas. It truly is the most wonderful time of year! 

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! I love you all! 


Sister Hoer

P-day hike to "Tunnel Drive". Originally made for trains in the olden days.

Sis. Elama and I, just being hipsters...jk. Colorado is so gorgeous!

Christmas Caroling with Canon City ward members!

Christmas Horse

Glam gingerbread houses!

Christmas caroling with real horses! Only in Canon City! LOL

Christmas Zone Conference

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Christmas spirit has sprinkled all over Canon City!

The Christmas spirit has sprinkled all over Canon City! I think this is going to be the best Christmas of my whole life. There is nothing that could be better...we spend all day, everyday helping people and finding those who are seeking Jesus Christ. With the big "He is the Gift" initiative, we've been able to talk and teach a lot more people than we have any other time of year! In such a religious community, people LOVE to talk about Christ. And especially when we talk about how Christ is the real meaning of Christmas. 

I've been praying real hard that Heavenly Father would place people in our path who are searching....who's hearts are prepared. And boy, oh boy it's amazing what God can do. Without a doubt, He's answered my prayers. People have literally been placed in our path. I'll share one companion and I were walking to see our investigator because we were right by her house. Turns out she wasn't home, so we just kept walking. I chose an odd route that I've never walked before. So we turned a corner and I saw a man walking towards us. He was rather rugged looking and honestly I was afraid at first. But, he walked by us, we smiled and said hello, then the spirit told me "DUH! Talk to him! He's been placed in your path!" So I turned around and asked him if he was celebrating Christmas this year. We shared the He is the Gift pass along card with him and we ended up having an awesome gospel conversation. We taught him all about the Book of Mormon. He told us he's been visiting a lot of churches trying to find the one that feels right for him. After we gave him the Book of Mormon, we asked if we could come to his home and teach him more. He said "yeah, I'm gonna go home and read this. Will you come back later today?" God is real! The end of this story takes a twist because we actually had a full afternoon, so we didn't have time to go back. But, thank goodness we share a ward with elders! So we called them and sent them over to his house. It's better that they teach him anyway because he's a single man living with 4 other men....but the elders went and had a great lesson with him! They are going back to teach him again tomorrow. It was just so cool to see how Heavenly Father literally places people in our path. 

It's been a wonderful week. Everyone is just so happy and grateful for what they have this time of year! It's the best time to be a missionary. I can't wait to see what else Heavenly Father has in store for us! I hope you're all spreading the Christmas cheer as well. Take advantage of this opportunity! 
I love you all. Merry Christmas! 


Sister Hoer

Tacky Christmas sweaters.

Our district in our Christmas sweaters.

We did a lot of service this week on a farm...  Yeee Haw!
We got a Big Christmas Tree!

We butchered this chicken to eat for Christmas Eve dinner. I was crying and laughing at the same time.  I am a real farm girl now...  maybe!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

By the time I get home, I'm gonna be a little farm girl, haha!

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! We sure had a great thanksgiving here in Canon. Thanksgiving never ended! We had multiple thanksgiving dinners...and we're still eating leftovers! But it was great. Even though I was away from family, I got to spend it with the people here in Colorado who have truly won my heart.

We've got a lot to be thankful for. And the Christmas season is quickly approaching! We are all super excited about the "He is the Gift" initiative that the church has put out. As missionaries, we are challenged to hand out at least 10 of those pass along cards each day. It's been so cool as we put forth our best efforts to work even harder and talk with everyone about Christ. The hearts are truly softened this time of year. People love talking about Christ and especially when Christmas is among us! There is much joy and the Christmas spirit is all around Canon! This little town is VERY religious. The other day, someone told us there are 52 churches here! I couldn't believe it. There's hardly 52 people! Hahah just kidding, it's not that small. But it's quite religious. I'm excited to see how things go with the "He Is the Gift" initiative.

Our investigator, S, is doing great! She is progressing towards baptism and starting to get really excited about it. We've pushed her baptism back because she wanted more time...she really grasped how important this is and she told us she wants to make sure this is the best day of her life. It's exciting to see the change in her and to see how she really understands and is looking forward to her baptism. Our other investigators, D and A, also want to be baptized! Their goal right now is the beginning of January, so we'll see how things go! They've got a lot of learning yet to do, but the spirit works in miraculous ways. It's really cool to step back and see what the spirit has done. Because it's all the companion and I don't do a whole lot besides open our mouths and let the spirit speak through us. 

We did a lot of service this week! That was a blast. I'm starting to love animals a little more. So many people here have farms so we help out with that kind of stuff. And in return they usually give us fresh eggs! It's awesome. By the time I get home, I'm gonna be a little farm girl haha! I tried my hardest to smile for the pictures, but they caught my fear through the camera. It's kind of hilarious.

Well I hope you're all remembering the real meaning of Christmas. Because Christ truly is the gift. The best gift the world has ever received. Love you all! Merry Christmas.


Sister Hoer

This is Sis. Elama's first time to meet Santa.  There is no Santa in Samoa!

Doing service this week. Getting to know the animals. Not so sure about this chicken.

Ok, got it down. I forced this smile!

Now it's the goats turn!

They just threw this goat on my shoulder. Scariest moment of my life!

Whooweee! I DID it!

Found this chair. Decide to take a little break.