As always it is lovely to read your emails. I am so happy that you have had Christmas events to attend thus far. I am sure it was a blast at the Christmas party at work and church. 270 people, that is amazing. Something super cool that you can do at such large gatherings, is have a tour of the chapel after the main meal. You can break up the people into groups and have a tour leader for each group. You get the presidents of each auxiliary to explain a little bit about what they do. For instances the primary president would be in the primary room the whole time and explain to each group what they do there. The Bishop could be in chapel and explain about the importance of sacrament meeting and the sacrament. At the end, people learn a lot about our church and can be invited, while in the chapel, to attend church on Sunday or any other activity such as Tuesday night activities. I can imagine it being a lot of work but with some organization and delegation, it can be an effective way to teach and invite. BTW this was not my idea, I got the idea from an episode of the District, you can ask the missionaries in our ward about it. Maybe they could show that episode to you.
I have received the package you sent me. Thank you so much. I shared the cookies with all the Elders and Elder Wahlquist and I have been enjoying the chocolates. I have not read the card yet. I am going to wait till Christmas to do that. I also received a card from Grandma. I am currently in the process of sending her a letter back along with a letter to Yia Yia. I received a letter from The Newmans with 20 American dollars inside, they are way to nice. I received letters from Emily, Kim and Kassandra all from Kelowna. I also received a letter from Darren my mission prep teacher and Jacko. It was so nice to receive letters from my friends. I feel like a very well loved missionary. Some of them I am waiting to open till Christmas.
Our Amis are doing great. We have many Amis which we see regularly and they are just wonderful. Elder Wahlquist and I like to leave funny messages on their answering machines. Just yesterday we sang Christmas carols to them with a Ukelele on their answering machines. We also put on fake accents and leave them goofy messages to let them know we are thinking of them. Last night Elder Wahlquist and I went caroling. We grabbed his pink Ukelele and started knocking on doors. It was pretty cold outside but we were having a blast. One family invited us in and we left them with the Christmas DVD “Joy to the World” and they gave us chocolate. We are going to try to do a lot more caroling this week. Oh BTW we were also wearing pink ties to match the pink Ukelele.
I read a wonderful talk about being a missionary called “The Fourth Missionary”. It talks about the 4 different kinds of missionaries. I think this talk will completely change my mission and my life as I strive to become the fourth missionary. Can you passing this talk on to all my friends who are preparing to go on missions please. I would suggest that you read it too because it is truly amazing. I feel as though I am the 3rd missionary. It describes me quite well but there are a few differences and obviously you can’t really categorize everyone into 4 categories. I am striving to become the fourth missionary and I am glad their is a warning before the 4th missionary is explained in the talk. We have this incorrect thought that we will be perfect and need to be perfect. The talk explains that even the 4th missionary is not perfect and has difficulties and struggles. The biggest difference between the 4th kind of missionary and the other 3 kinds of missionaries is that the 4th missionary is changed by his mission. I am not going to explain any more then that because I want you to read the talk.
We have many Amis that are awesome. Normally we have 2 or 3 Amis who come to institute and family home evening every week. We have 2 Amis who come to church every Sunday and 2 more that are hopefully going to be coming more often. We have one Amis named Neil. Neil is amazing. He is so kind of funny. Neil is a student and speaks English as well as french. He has had us over for dinner many times and is so awesome. Neil comes to church every week, institute and family home evening. He has such a great heart and I know he wants a eternal family. Neil is just amazing and I love to teach and spend time with him. I can already imagine him as a member because he is so giving and kind. Oh BTW we were going to teach him about how to study scriptures but he showed us his scriptures and he had already been making highlights in different colours and had questions to ask. Neil is just awesome. He always says each new thing he experiences with the church, he is pleasantly surprised. Ahhh Neil he is just awesome.
Love Elder Ioannidis,