I cannot believe it's almost Christmas! It is crazy to think that it will be Christmas Eve one week from now! I don't quite understand how/why, but time is flying by! I've almost been out for 6 months already! Weird, huh?
Our investigator has not been baptized yet... But she's now got a solid baptismal date and has even had her baptismal interview already! She's going to be getting baptized on December 29th... The Saturday after Christmas and the day of Transfer Calls! Crazy! I'm so glad it's working out that I will still get to be here when she gets baptized. And she is definitely ready for this. We have several other people who are getting really close to baptism, but I don't think I'll be here when any of them make that step. Our other solid investigator is actually a bit older than you're imagining.. He's 56! At this time, the youngest person we're teaching is in his mid thirties. In fact, this entire area is kinda lacking in youth... There are 3 young men, and 3 or 4 young women in the entire ward! A few are back from college for Christmas though, so that's good to get to see a few of them again.
The Christmas Decorations out here are definitely different... But they're still good. Not many people put Christmas Lights up on their homes, but a ton of people do yard decorations. There's a few yards around here that look like there was an explosion of Christmas lights, reindeer, and inflatable Santa Clauses. I'll have to take a few pictures this week.
This past week was pretty exciting for a few different reasons..
1. Had my first mission encounter with a dog! We were out tracting a neighborhood in West Corners, and we didn't hardly have any luck. Although it was perfect tracting time (5 PM), nobody was home. At the end of the street, we saw a house that was all lit up inside. We were convinced that was the reason that we were in that neighborhood, so we started walking up toward the door. We notice their mid-sized dog was on a long leash in the yard, and he noticed us too. He walked up to us, sniffed our hands, and then let us pet him for a minute. However, he wasn't too keen on the idea of us knocking on the front door, because as soon as we took a step towards it, he attacked! Now, I'll be honest here- I just ran away. Once I was out of danger, I looked back to see it going after Elder Gasetoto. Right when it was about to get him, he just slapped it in the face a few times and ran back to where I was. It was both horrifying and hilarious. Haha!
2. Elder Gasetoto started feeling sick on Wednesday, then on Friday Morning it was pretty apparent that he had the Flu.. Luckily, the Zone Leaders were coming from Elmira, so I was still able to get out and work. Unfortunately, we had to spend Saturday and Sunday in the apartment.. I hadn't gotten my flu shot yet, so apparently I have a pretty good immune system?
3. Speaking of good immune systems.... Last week, we had someone give us some snacks! They were basically a muffin and a cookie mixed, and they were a little bit past expiration, but found to be okay upon quick examination, I tried one. It tasted kinda weird.......... Elder Gasetoto was about to eat his, when he realized the bottoms were covered in mold. Looking at the rest in the package, almost all of them looked okay on top, but the bottoms were all gross. I thought I was going to throw up! However, I didn't get sick, and maybe that was the thing that kept me from getting the flu!... Right? Right? I'll just say that's what happened and it was a blessing in disguise... Yeah, we'll go with that.
Lesson learned- Always examine expired food thoroughly before consumption.
That was the exciting parts of my week! With Christmas and a baptism next week, things are going pretty good! It's definitely a different Christmas Season, but I'm enjoying it!
Hope you all are having a great Christmas Season back home!
Love you guys!
-Elder Mitch Hussey