This Thanksgiving was a little different than usual but still enjoyable. We started out with a district breakfast at Donut King (not the first choice, but McDonald's was closed) where I ate a glazed sandwich, which was basically a donut cut in half with eggs, cheese, and bacon on it. It was really delicious. Then the Elders went to the Turkey Bowl with the English wards and we did studies like normal and visited the Santos family in their new trailer park. It's pretty far up north, but we had a bunch of miles for some reason, and it was great to see them. Then we had Thanksgiving dinner with the Ochoas (Branch President and family). We had turkey, stuffing, pasta salad, candied ham, papas rellenas (like a baked potato with all the potato scooped out then mixed with bacon and cheese, put back in the skins and fried. Yum.), and, of course, jalapenos. It was a good dinner and the Ochoas are awesome people! So although it was a different Thanksgiving it was still a really good one. We actually ended up going to McDonald's after that and getting McFlurries to fill in the cracks after Thanksgiving dinner... Elder Barrett really wanted ice cream.
The rest of the week was super awesome too! We had exchanges, and I got the chance to work outside of my area for the first time. I went to Noble and taught in English! It was a really good experience, and I learned a lot from my Sister Training Leader about working hard and being diligent and talking to EVERYONE! It can be pretty daunting to do that, but that's what the Lord expects of His missionaries!
On Saturday we had such an awesome miracle! We went back to see Jose (the one who lives in the sketchy trailers off the freeway) and he was totally open to talking to us again. We were sitting on his porch, then his daughter Olga comes out and invites us to come inside. Well we had to leave soon, but we were able to go inside and pray with Jose, Olga, and Olga's daughter before we left. The Spirit was so strong, and we set up a time to come and have a family home evening with them!! It's just amazing what humble, genuine people they are. They don't have a lot of things, but they have what matters most, namely their family and the Lord. I have high hopes for the Ramirez family and I'm super excited for our FHE!
Other than that we've been doing a lot of knocking. We knock and we knock and we knock and hope somebody will listen to us. There aren't many that will, but there are always the miracles according to our faith and diligence! I know the Lord is in this work and softening the hearts of the people here. I'm so grateful to serve in Norman. I love the people, I love Spanish, and I love the other missionaries!
I started the Book of Mormon in Spanish because I haven't really read it through in Spanish. (I study the Book of Mormon a lot... but that's just because it's basically the best book ever!) One of the things that's really jumped out at me lately is how awesome Nephi is! All of the experiences that he has are just so incredible and he really exemplifies the fact that in the strength of the Lord we can do ALL things. The Lord doesn't ask us to be strong or knowledgable or charitable or awesome by ourselves! All He asks is that we be humble and willing to trust Him completely and walk by faith so that He can guide us. Sometimes I think that walking by faith is a bit like being at the end of a long, windey tunnel. You can only see the faintest glimmer of light, but as you keep moving forward and placing one foot in front of the other the light grows and grows until you can see the end and the reason why you were on the journey in the first place. It's definitely not an easy thing to do, probably because we all have the pride that we can just do everything on our own, but it is ultimately worth it and by walking by faith the Lord strengthens us and uses us for His divine purposes.
In other news, Oklahoma weather makes no sense. If you ever get bored with it just wait 5 minutes. Last week it snowed and this week it's been in the 60s.
I think that's all I have to say. Keep it up with the mail and prayers! I appreciate it SOOO much!! Love you all and I hope you have a lovely week and that the beginning of your holiday season is all you want it to be.