Saturday, January 2, 2016

Dec. 28, 2015 Merry Christmas from Catawba, South Carolina

Hello friends!

Well we just got done with an intense round of laser tag for our p-day activity. Thank you Rachelle and Debbie Pearson for the great Christmas gift! ;) We figured we would take the Christmas break opportunity when there would be tons of families and teens out and go and play. Unfortunately the kids we played were only like 8-11, but it was still fun 6 v 6. But yeah, so I am writing this in the arcade waiting for maybe one more game. Haha, I'm glad you enjoyed the package!

So my main update is about trying to get missionary work done despite having our apartment infested by bed bugs! We had a rougher week due to a bed bug infestation, (but we were able to have some good days towards the end, and next week will be good). The pest place is on vacation until January and we have been trying to keep it under control with some help from a senior missionary couple. We weren't sleeping in our room for a couple nights, but they came and got us bed sheets that are bed bug proof. We sprayed and vacuumed the beds, and then put those over top and it seems to have helped. We are doing our studies and such on the back porch where the bed bugs can't get us, and we are able to sleep on the beds again in our room, as long as we spray the ceiling so that they don't climb up and skydive onto us at night.

Anyways, that slowed us down a bit but we still are seeing some good. We got in contact with B___. We also set up an appointment with S___ and he told us his fiance would be there too, and we could teach her! :D We are teaching R___ the new member lessons and hope her husband will join us! :) We are still trying to find more people to teach, but we are excited. We got back in contact with Pastor C___ too, which was a blast, he is hilarious!

So the members were great for christmas! They gave us tons of presents (mostly canned goods and Walmart gift cards, the best missionary presents!) "Santa" (aka the C___ family) left us some marshmallow guns and a bag of mini marshmallows on our doorstep, so we were able to have a pretty intense war after we skyped home. We also had a bunch of fake snowballs (thanks mom and Sister T___), so we made those worth 3 points each, where as marshmallows were 1 point each. Elder P___ beat me (again) 24-23, but it was fun. I'm so grateful for the amazing people here in Carolina! They are so great to us :)

Our mission Christmas party was blast! Every missionary got to bear a 60 second testimony, which was powerful. Then the senior couples all came and did a Nativity scene which was pretty funny. At lunch, Santa Allen Alexander came and gave all the Elders hugs and the Sisters handshakes. The best though was the enormous kiss he planted on Sister Alexander, sweeping her down into a dip like a princess. Then we played an intense game verses all the different zones, and our zone took second. For the game, they would ask questions like "Who has a band-aid on them? Who knows the scout oath? Who wrecked their car this week?" and everyone who had done that or knew that had to run into the middle to the assistants (who were fearing for their lives by the end.) Anyways, one was "who was in a bike wreck this week?" and Elder P___ and I ran up along with a couple other companionship's. I told them that it was Elder P___'s first p-day and that he got hit by a car, and they gave us double points. So we did our "handshake" and everyone laughed. I also won the scout law, and reciting Doctrine and Covenants 4. After lunch we had a couple closing testimonies from the Alexanders. It was lots of fun :)

I'm glad y'all had a Merry Christmas! Thanks for the prayers, I sure love ya!

Happy P-daay! From Elder Branch

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