I Hope Y’all Had A Merry Christmas

Hi Y’all!

It was good to hear from y’all yesterday!!! (a note on “y’all”: Y’all would be saying y’all all the time if it was socially acceptable where y’alls are from. It is extremely convenient and I don’t know why everyone doesn’t say it…….. honestly though I just say it to mess with y’all.) I hope y’all had a merry Christmas, even if y’all were feeling sick! I know I had a good Christmas! Since it was a non-proselyting day, we pretty much stayed at the O’Briens’ the whole day. I know that’s not the best missionary work, but it would have been really hard to schedule appointments with people, not to mention Elder Staheli wasn’t feeling too well. They took good care of us though, and Elder Staheli’s feeling better now! We played several rounds of air hockey with the O’Brien kids and Elder Staheli creamed everyone. They took us out to see this big Christmas lights set up; which we have some pictures of. On Christmas Eve, we had dinner with another family, the Kukihikos, and that was a lot of fun! We played games and there were a lot of little kids running around (reminded me of family reunions). Elder Staheli played piano and he is really good!

Friday night, we also went caroling with the New Bern elders. It was a pretty long drive to get there, and Elder Staheli had been sick in bed all day, so that whole day was pretty unproductive. Caroling was a lot of fun though! The New Bern elders are pretty funny. We’re going to say goodbye to Elder Hintze this transfer.  There was one street in New Bern that was lined with these big balls of Christmas lights hanging from the trees and it was really cool looking! (sorry, no pics.)

We had Christmas conference in Kinston on Thursday as well; which took up the whole day. President Weed talked about some of our new standard for the upcoming year. We are going to work towards a 25% increase in baptisms next year. We also streamlined the key indicators a lot to focus more on working with members. Part of the focus on working with members in certain areas will be to push for a reduced number of member meals. In some places,missionaries have one or two meals with members a night; which is honestly a huge waste of time. Instead, we need to focus on having short lessons with members. Too many of them feel like they have an “obligation” to feed us; when in reality we’re given enough funds to take care of ourselves without any help.
As far as missionary work this week, it’s been pretty sparse since a lot of people don’t want us to drop by until after the holidays and a few of our investigators are going through rough financial struggles and are working all the time. We are getting some work done and a few of the people who weren’t as open before are opening up more now! I know you asked me who you can pray for, so please pray for those who are having financial struggles here.
I got my bike fixed this week! It was a good deal too! However, I might have to take it back again because the axle’s still a bit wobbly.
Love you! Hope y’all get over your colds!
Elder Runyan
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