First of all, Skyping was wonderful :) It was really cool to see you all, I'm so glad everyone was there. Thanks for taking the time to see me and talk. It was strange, I'm not going to lie, to see and hear everyone. Especially Ian and Colin :) Those guys are growing up without me.
Pictures: I don't have enough time to send you pictures, because this is actually a Black Monday [Note from Meredith: this means today is a transfer P-day. Even though Stewart isn't being transferred from Witney to another area his P-day is shortened.] But I'll definitely get them to you on Wednesday, our actual P-day.
Transfers: Elder Ganta and I are going to be here another transfer :) We're really happy about that, because it was very likely that Elder Ganta was going to move. He won't live another transfer here :) As for our district, basically everything is changing. New district leader, new elders, new Zone leaders as well. Well, it's going to be interesting.
Been doing a year review this week :) Just looking through my journals and emails. I've seen and learned from quite a few patterns. Pride is definitely a pattern. It always starts with thinking your companion is wrong, but somehow it ends up with you thinking you're better than him. Ha, pride is truly the source of all problems as a missionary.
I've been considering lately the friendships that I have made over time. Especially around Christmas time, I've been able to take time to think about family and friends. Something that I've truly learned on my mission is that family is forever, and friends are not. As much as I wish they were :) I have made some friends on my mission that I will never forget, and met some Elders and Sisters that I will forever love. However, I've noticed that my companionships (which I haven't had one that is from America) will only last so long, and I must truly cherish them. I read an article the other day called "the last things." It made the point that you never know when you are going to experience the last of something. Whether it be the last time you pack a lunch for your son, or the last door you knock with your Indian companion. Learn to cherish your time with friends, especially those that you truly love. That is definitely a lesson I would pass on from my experience on a mission. As for family, make them your friends as well, because if you do, they will be the friends that last :)
Christmas was wonderful. I got to watch the Croods and Wreck it Ralph (which is still, by far, my favourite movie). It was a riot. We spent Boxing day at the Suttons, my favourite family (ha, imperfect servants pick favourites), and it was just really nice. We also slept a lot. Actually, if you want to see an example of how tired missionaries are, constantly, drive them somewhere :) I can guarantee if it is longer than 15 minutes of a drive, they'll be asleep.
We found a family Christmas week! The father's name is Mark and we will be meeting with them this Sunday. They are from the Philippeans, actually. I have so much faith that they will be baptized. Success breeds success, I guess :) If you have the faith to find someone, you are given the faith to help them further. It's a slippery slope of faith, really. A good slippery slope.
Alright, last fun thing: There is an older couple who lives next to us on the road into Witney High street. They're always sitting in the same place every day, right next to the window. When we walk into town, we wave at them. Every day :) The Lord sends encouragement in all sorts of ways.
Well, we are really looking forward to a good transfer, and I'll make sure and tell you more about it on Wednesday. Love you all, thanks for all your encouragement, sometimes it's the only thing that gets me up in the morning.
P.S. Thanks for all of the Christmas messages this week. It was nice to hear from everyone again :)