Guess what?? Sestra Manners is yet again in Prague!! And loving it! My companion gets here tomorrow and I am excited to be with her this transfer. Not much but Christmas has happened this week but I loved it and want to make sure you hear all about it!
Christmas eve is practically christmas here so we spent the day surprise visiting members and less actives and it was the best! we spent the morning with a senior missionary couple and traveled all over the city and visited the sweetest lady who was alone for the day and I just felt me love for her growing as I sat in her one room apartment drinking grapefruit juice and I even teared up when she said that she had never had a visit from the missionaries on Christmas eve. I will forever think of Sestra Vandrackova on Christmas Eve! She was a lot like Aunt Suzann and it made my day! And then we had a Czech Christmas ever meal with the most adorable couple ever that are for sure going to be the patriarch couple when my mission turns into a stake! The typical Christmas Eve meal here is potato salad and carp... it is definitely different! But we had that except the carp was replaced by schnitzel since Sister Cankova's sister was there and she is mentally handicapped but an angel! She would not stop telling us how pretty we are and it was adorable!!! And then we went to my mission President's home (which is above the chapel) and were there with most of the missionaries, his family and some YSA who were alone for the day. We ate, had raclette and listened to President read us a Christmas book ("Tom and the Christmas Carp".... It is seriously adorable and sooo czech!! look it up!) and then Elder Holt (he is practically me dad here... he is married to the amazing Sister Holt and they are our office couple) read us Luke 2 and we sang silent night. And then President drove us home, we opened presents and went to bed!
CHRISTMAS DAY: We woke up, got ready, left and went to a member's home fro breakfast! They are a family with three sons and a daughter (Gabbi, she has taught with us before and I adore her!) and they made breakfast casserole!!!! We have that every year back home so it meant the world to me to have that! And then after that we drove around Prague trying to find the place to do service which ended up being right next to the castle! We helped feed 200 homeless people lunch at the archbishop's home. It was amazing!!! i have always wanted to help with something like that and it was such a humbling experience! I saw people sooo grateful for this food that they cried. And then afterwards they had found presents for every single person that came and they were very personalized. I saw a lady open a pair of plain sneakers and cry because she was so excited for them. She opened them, asked me if they were for her. And I got to tell her that they were for her to keep forever. And then she turned to the ceiling and blew kisses exclaiming "Thank you Jesus!!". And that is when I started crying. I just about lost it because I was so happy for these people. It was such a simple thing as a meal and a pair of shoes but it meant the world to them. They knew that they were going to survive the winter with food in their tummies and clothes and shoes to wear. It was the most special and humbling Christmas ever. And I am so lucky that I get to do it all over again next year. After that we traveled down the castle towards the metro and saw the most amazing Christmas view of Prague. I live in a fairy tale! We grabbed hot chocolate and headed towards the Holt's home to Skype family and spent the evening with them. It was the most magical, humbling, spiritual Christmas of my life thus far.
I love my mission, I love the Gospel and I love Jesus Christ.