to me, Conco
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This has been such a great year. I remember at the beginning of 2014 I called it the year of the Lord. Because that would be the full year I would give to the Lord in my life. At the beginning of the year I watched the small and new area of Devils Lake turn into a work booming town. Where Tanner and Deanna would be baptized just a couple months after I left. I was able to spend the majority of this year in the amazingly missionary oriented Casper 5th ward. And we saw much success in that ward with 11 baptisms from February to October on our area. And now I am here in Grand Forks with Elder Cannon. And the work has been great! All in all you could say 2014 was a great year! I am excited to ring in 2015 as well. I know that it brings great things! I am excited to see what the rest of my mission brings! And I am also excited to eventually see all of you at home half way through this year! I am thankful to have spent 2014 as a missionary! And I am excited to give it my all in 2015! Well I love you all and I hope you have a great week!
Dear family and friends,I hope all of you are doing great! It was such a great Christmas that we had in Grand Forks! It was so good to give phone calls home to family! It was awesome to speak with you all, and hear and see you! This Christmas season was probably one of the greatest Christmas seasons I have had. I would say I came closer to the real purpose of Christmas this season than any other. I can attribute that to sharing he is the gift with everyone! What a great spirit that video brought into my life this Christmas! I feel like I remembered my savior more, and it brought a sacredness to this Holiday. One of my favorite moments of Christmas this year was giving. We have a Recent Convert in the ward named Lewis but he goes by Lew. He always brings happiness to those that speak with him. Something about him causes you to smile, and you don't know why. A few weeks before Christmas I remember the idea came to me that we should give Lew a Christmas gift this season. As I pondered on the thought of what we could give I remember thinking that he could use some nice new Sunday clothes. He usually came in a Carhartt and a T-Shirt on underneath. I presented the idea to Elder Cannon and he thought it would be a great idea. We called the Sisters in our ward and presented the idea to them and one of them had a similar impression and thought. And they said they would contribute. So our next mission was to find out his sizes. We went to the ward dinner party that night and started our investigation. We sparked conversations with Lew that night that always somehow led to his waste or shoe size. I remember one conversation that I started with him was the chaos of Christmas shopping. I told him that something that was never fun was going and getting your neck size measured at JC Penny's. I then asked him what's your neck size? And this is how we coordinated all of his sizes. The good thing is is that he never caught on. You could tell that around the Holidays he didn't have too much interaction with his family which caused him to act sad in a way and not his happy self. But I remember when he learned that we were coming over he was happy. And when we showed up he was beaming. Elder Cannon and I had wrapped presents in our arms. As he opened them he was stunned and touched that we would think of him, and that we would buy him such nice clothes. He especially loved the brand new Perry Ellis shoes that Elder Cannon's mom had chipped in for. And he really loved the ties donated to him from Ward Members and us. It was a great Christmas Present that we were able to give. You could tell that this moment alone brightened his Christmas. Lew was looking great on Sunday in all of his brand new church clothes!
Elder Corey Barber