Merry Christmas!!!! I hope it was wonderful for all of you!!! We didn't have any snow here in Georgia, in fact, it was 80 degrees here yesterday, but we did have a WHITE Christmas!! Whoohoo!!! Charlene, all dressed in white, got BAPTIZED this past Saturday, December 27th! What better way to celebrate the birth and life of our Savior?? Oh we were so happy! :) She was confirmed in church yesterday. I still find it cool that she was confirmed the same day I was, 12 years ago to the day. Boom! :) It was a good weekend.
We had a great week though! On Monday we had a 'district Pday' so we hung out with all the elders at our church building. Half the district played cards, and then I played basketball with the rest of the elders. So much fun! Then on Wednesday we had our district meeting and we did a white elephant gift exchange (pictures to follow) and then we all went caroling together! Seriously the funnest night ever. We went to a nursing home nearby where one of our investigators still stays and we sang to a lot of residents in the dining room and then we went down different halls and sang to those residents in their rooms who were still awake. We had a really cool experience there too--so I've really been wanting to learn Sign language and I've picked up a little bit, and Sister Thomas knows a little. There was a resident there who we asked if we could come in her room and sing and she could speak and said she was deaf. We asked her if we could sing anyways though and she said yes. We decided to sing Silent Night to her and Sister Thomas and I couldn't remember all the signs for it, but we knew a little so we did what we could. The lady mouthed along with us and it was just so amazing. We didn't know much, but we knew enough. She knew what we were singing. The Spirit was strong in that room it was very cool. Very humbling.
Christmas day was awesome as well! Santa found us here in Georgia and ate our cookies and left Sister Thomas a present and left some treats in our stockings, yummy! Thank you to everyone who sent Christmas cards, y'all are the best!! I had a great Christmas. I absolutely loved the pictures of family and friends, such a treat to get those. They are all hanging on my wall :) And the calendar Whitney made soon will be too :) I've come to find on my mission how precious pictures are, you tend to miss family members and loved ones a lot when you don't see them :) We took a lot of pictures Christmas morning though so I will attach all of those.
The best part of Christmas though by far was Skyping. I loved seeing you all, you look fantastic! And I was absolutely thrilled that the Cartmells made the trip down here to see me, and I am so glad they got to meet you!! Christmas was extra special this year for sure, got to see my family from home and one of my favorite mission families--they truly are family in my eyes.
I saw a lot of miracles this Christmas season. I know they last throughout the year, but there were some special things this week. Some of the people here amaze me, I can't get over their kindness and the love and service they render, the same way the Savior would. A member of the branch did one of the kindest deeds imaginable to someone in need, and he took me aside and told me not to tell anyone--he was like "I believe there's a scripture that says don't let your right hand know what the left one does? Something like that?" He was literally an angel that night. A very humble servant of the Lord. I'll keep my promise and not tell what he did or who he is, but I will remember him and his act of service and love forever. There are some incredible people in this world. Absolutely incredible.
That's what Christmas is all about. That's what this life and the Gospel is all about. If you look around, you'll be able to find someone in need. And if you ask Heavenly Father, He'll show you how to help them. Things work out. We are working with some great people, but we are having a hard time here. It seems like everyone has a serious health issue and drastic things are happening. I am very concerned about Edgar, Elizabeth and Joey right now, and Elizabeth's aunt, Juanita. Things aren't looking good for them right now. We had Christmas dinner with them and Elizabeth said it was her last Christmas. I think she's right. Part of me is scared I'll be attending their funerals shortly. I hate to say that, but I know they are not doing well at all. They also have become like family to me. Being separated from family is the worst, but that reminds me of my purpose as a missionary. A missionary is someone who leaves their family for a short time, so that others may be with theirs for eternity.
I know that families can be together forever. I really, really do. I know the fulness of the gospel has been restored to the earth, and because of that, restored truths have been brought back as well. I know that it is God's plan for us to be with our families for eternity, and because of that He has given us His power and authority on the earth, that we might be sealed to our families for this life and for all eternity. What a loving Father in Heaven we have. I am grateful for this knowledge, and am so excited to continue to share it.
Love you all to pieces. Merry Christmas :) Remember who we celebrate, and why.
All the love in the world,
Sister Kaylee Applegate
Some members from Sister Thomas's last area came down Christmas Eve day and brought us presents and took us to breakfast! So sweet, I love them! The presents were marshmallow guns and marshmallows :D
District meeting--White elephant gift exchange! Elder Ditty got my gift :) Aren't those cute pink slippers??? He also got a neon safety vest, haha. And a few other things, but those were my favorite
It rained...a lot. It's not snow, but at least we got something weather-wise for Christmas! :)
I got a creepy doll... like, really creepy. At one point an elder put a knife in its hand. Oh my gosh... haha. That was actually Elder Ditty's gift, so we ended up getting each other's
The guys we're proud to call our elders? Haha. I guess proud is an okay word....
Sister Thomas and I
Looks like a Christmas tornado went through our study room. :)
CDs we made for Edgar, Elizabeth and Joey. Joey loves the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Gift from Charlyse, a member here. We skyped at her house
THE CARTMELLS!!!! :)
Skype!!! Whitney is missing in the picture...
Meeting Carter :)
Christmas card from the First Presidency :)
Me and Edgar, Elizabeth, and Juanita
Sand dollar the Cartmells brought me from the beach :)
CHARLENE'S BAPTISM!!! She always wears a du-rag.... :)
Charlene and Sister T
Last picture is Charlene and Ruth, another investigator
Charlene started wearing bright blue lip gloss!
A picture Elizabeth gave me, haha. I love old pictures