I'm excited about this week. On Friday we get to drive 3.5 hours down to Nauvoo for our Zone Conference meeting. We'll have pictures, lunch provided, skits on the stage, sit down and watch a movie as well as listening to some advice and counsel from our leaders. It will be a whole day event and i'm excited to so Nauvoo again. It's farther away now that i'm in Dubuque so I can't see it as often anymore. The next time I will get to go after Friday is my departing temple trip a week before I get released as a missionary in April. Me and Sister Roberts are already excited for our road trip and picked out snacks to bring for the car ride already. That's how much we love each other.
This past week we had another Marshallese party as a farewell to Ronnie who just got home from a mission this past summer and is headed to UVU for school. I love the culture the Marshallese have of showing their respect and appreciation for people in their lives. They go all out on the food and invite tons of people just for one person and sing them goodbye songs (Marshallese songs "Goodbye so long" and "God be with you till we meet again" etc.) and throw money at them. Watching it makes you tear up because it is a very special thing. Whenever a missionary gets transferred they throw one of these parties for them as well.
We got to watch the Christmas Devotional at the church Sunday night. The one thing that stood out to me (and some of my thoughts): We all have to descend below "some things" in order for us to learn and grow and understand a little what it was like for Christ Himself to "descend below ALL things." The gift being that because of what Christ did we only have to suffer a little compared to what it could've been. No matter what you're going through Christ has true empathy for you and it was way worse for Him than for you. It could've been way worse for us than for Christ if He wasn't there to save us. I am grateful beyond comprehension for what He has done. He has freed us from the chains of death, physically and spiritual, allowing us to overcome ALL things because he descended below them ALL. True freedom comes from living the restored Gospel, not doing whatever you feel like doing.
This past week was really good. Still haven't been able to find new people to teach for a while, but the Spirit keeps leading us to new roads and new places and it is bound to lead to someone soon. I have perfect fatih in this.