Lately I've taken to making bread at the Institute. We made mom's artisan bread a few weeks ago as part of the free lunch on Fridays after one of the Institute classes and it was a hit! So Brother Garlick, our institute director thought it would be a good idea to do that a lot more often, so we have. He actually does most of the work now, but artisan bread is becoming a favorite among many here. I need to figure out some varieties, right now we've just been doing whole wheat :)
The Christmas season on campus is an interesting thing because most people are stressin over finals and then heading home soon, so we're trying to talk to people about it as much as we can before they leave. President Mortensen is really pushing the YSA work and we just bought 9 A-frames to put signs in and use on all the campuses in the mission. This area is really the pilot area for the rest of the mission and so anything we're experimenting with to see if it might work we try up here. So we've been brainstorming ideas with Brother Garlick and coming up with new ways to find and invite others to "come and see" to come learn more. It's super exciting. The Christmas break is our time to prepare and to sharpen the saw so we can hit it hard when school comes back in session :) And even though most people are leaving we still have some phenomenal investigators who will be here over most of the break that we get to keep teaching and I guess we're going to be doing a lot of calling to help all of our recent converts stay strong over the break, it's a very unique situation for sure.
My favorite part of this week though, was going to the temple, once for endowments and once with a bunch of our recent converts for baptisms! We went on Thursday with our Relief Society President for her second time ever. (she's getting married in 2 weeks) and with Bro Garlick's daughter who just got back from her mission in Peru! She hadn't been to the temple in 18 months! Whew, I am so grateful to have one in my mission and to be able to go so frequently. I'm so excited Caleb gets to go and receive those blessings this week too! This trip was very insightful for me. I went looking for patterns of becoming. Something that hit me was the same pattern God used for creating the earth, he is also using to create me. I am still very much in the creation process, still growing and developing, and just like God separated the light and the darkness in the earth's creation, He can do that for me. Also, when God put plants on the earth, he didn't just transplant full grown plants and *poof* the earth suddenly had plants everywhere. He placed seeds there to grow and develop. Just like God placed seeds in the earth, he has placed them in me and in you. We have so many talents and so much potential that needs to develop. The process of creation is glorious and God is turning us into something beautiful.
The baptism trip was also amazing. We had 3 people who went for the very first time and the temple president came and talked to our group for a bit. He talked about some of the symbolism of baptism and how much we can really learn through symbolism as we are seeking and asking. Our recent converts loved the trip and it was incredible for me to be able to talk to them and hear of their testimonies and the Spirit they felt while they were there. That will definitely be a strength to them, especially over the holiday. This Sunday was also really great because it was our Christmas program. I performed in 2 of the numbers. I did the medley of What Child Is This and Carol of the Bells that I've played before and then I accompanied someone else as they sang Oh, Holy Night. Both pieces turned out pretty well even though I had a lack of practice time. The best part of that program for me was the speaker. Bishop spoke at the end, and Jacob gave a talk after only being baptized a month and it was phenomenal! I was so proud of him and so happy to be there! :) We also taught part of the lesson in Relief Society on missionary work with a couple of people who had never taught before. I am so happy to be a part of this ward and to be working with leaders in the Relief Society who are inspired to ask people to try something new and help them be successful. Making someone feel needed is an incredible way of helping them.
I hope your Christmas season is great! Share the love and the light with someone else, reach out and help someone succeed. Invite someone--member or nonmember to come to Christ.