December 9, 2013
My dearest fam and friends,
Oh how I love Christmas time! I love the lights, the traditions, the music (that we actually get to listen too!), and of all things, I love the ward Christmas party. I have never loved it as much as I loved it this year. It's like the thing you most look forward to as a missionary because ward events are pretty much a missionary's playground :) I've also been listening to the Forgotten Carols!!! And for those that know me well, you know how much I love them! You guys are probably sighing of relief right now, glad that I'm not there forcing the whole fam to go to it every single year! haha Oh good times!
Anyway, let's talk about this week!
- First off, Mercedes is doing better! It was a complete miracle! I put her name in at the temple on Thursday and later that day we decided to call her and she actually answered! That alone was a miracle, but then she let us come over. We got to catch up on all that has been going on and she has been going through a lot of things with her job, her boyfriend (who is not her boyfriend anymore. Hallelujah!), and having money for bills. She mentioned that she feels like everything has been falling apart because she isn't putting God first. I was just thinking in my head, "EXACTLY"! She came to the ward Christmas party on Saturday and to church! She's also going to be singing at a baptism this Saturday so that will be great! All in all, I think she'll pull through! Keep praying for her though.
- Our ward Christmas party was on Saturday and we had an awesome turnout! Mercedes, the Burchs, the Klunders, Lhaylla, Gale Spotts (who I'll talk about after this), and one of the Elder's investigators, Steven, who is getting baptized this Saturday all came! Oh it was such a happy day to see them all there, especially Gale. I don't know if I've told you much about Gale, but she's the one who has a daughter named Ashlyn Danielle. Don't know if that's ringing a bell. We have been teaching her off and on ever since I've been here but she's just really busy because she's a single mom and a paraplegic. She's really good friends with a member in our ward and that's how we met here. Anyway, we were driving by her house last Wednesday and I just felt like we should stop in and we did and then invited her and her kids to the party and they came!
- Then, the next day at church we had such an incredible turnout as well! Mercedes, the Klunders, Lhaylla, Betty (I don't know if I've told you much about Betty, but she got baptized right before I got here but has only been able to come to church 3 times because of her job. We visit her almost every week. She's the best! She actually grew up in Uganda too!), and the Burchs came for all three hours! You have no idea how big of a deal this was! This is like their eighth time coming, but they've never stayed for all three hours. A few times they've stayed for two hours, but it made John kind of nervous to split off for the third hour. They did it though and loved it! The second hour in gospel principles we talked about tithing. I was a little nervous when I saw that written on the board because that is kind of a sensitive topic for John but it went really well. The spirit was strong and our bishop even came in and talked about it and said, "Don't worry about the years you've missed, start today". He said this to the whole class, but I know he was specifically talking to them. We talked about it afterward and they said that really comforted them. Can I just tell you, I'm so grateful for the spirit. Without the spirit, we cannot teach. I know it is only because of the spirit that Lisa and John have come this far.
I know that it is only through our Savior and applying His gospel in our lives that we can change. I love President Packer's quote, "The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior." I know that this is real because I have seen time and time again on the mission, with myself and with those I have had the privilege to teach. The gospel can truly make bad men good, good men better, and better men best. I love the gospel and my Savior Jesus Christ. I know He lives and that this is His church.
all my love,