I would just like to start off by wishing you all a late Merry Christmas! I hope you all had a wonderful day and were able to spend it with your family. Most importantly, I hope you were all able to take the special opportunity of having Christmas on a Sunday to put a little extra emphasis on the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ and the wonderful gift he was to all mankind.
We have had an eventful last few weeks here in the Utah Orem Mission. Transfers were a week and a half ago, and Elder Fairbanks and I had to part ways. I stayed in the area, and my new companion Elder Hemstreet joined me here. He's from Michigan and he's been out for almost a year now. We hit the ground running and have been making tons of visits since the transfer started. We haven't seen a whole lot of progress from those visits yet, but we know that as the Christmas season passes, people's hearts will be softened and they will be more open to hearing a message about the Restored Gospel. We are confident that the lord is currently preparing many people in this area who are his elect, we just have to have enough faith to find them.
On Christmas Eve, we got to spend some time with one of the Bishops in our area and his family. They had a lot of the same traditions as my family did back home, including acting out the Nativity with narration from Luke 2, as well as everybody getting a new set of pajamas on Christmas Eve. They also had another tradition, which they called the Christmas Chocolate roll. It was pretty much just ice cream wrapped in chocolate cake and served with caramel syrup. There was way to much sugar then there needed to be, but it was still really good.
As you all know, yesterday was Christmas! It was about 50 degrees outside on Christmas Eve, so we weren't expecting a white Christmas. Luckily, it cooled down a lot and snowed overnight, so it was a white Christmas after all! We had the opportunity to go to three separate sacrament meeting Christmas programs, each of which was amazing in its own way. After that, we spent most of the day visiting families and spending time with them. The highlight of the day was when we got to Skype home for an hour. We only get to do it twice a year, on Christmas Day and on Mother's Day, so this was a pretty special event. Since I've been out for about 5 months now, there wasn't too much different with my family, but there was enough to take up the whole hour. I'm grateful for the opportunity I had to see them and speak with them. I'm especially looking forward to when we get to do it again on Mother's Day.
Well, that's about all I have for this week. I hope you all continue to have a wonderful holiday season, and I wish you all a happy new year! When I write again, it will be 2017! That's so weird to think about. Have a great week!