welp, I don't even know how to start this email off! I think we'll get to email on Christmas Eve, and then call Christmas Day, but I should probably wish everyone a HAPPY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!! ;D
Every week, here in this area, has been a miracle, but the more we show the ward, and the Lord that we're willing to work, the more the blessings just keep poring on. Sister Baker and I are really just trying to go forward in faith. We're not sure exactly what the area needs, but I take that back--we are, and that is to build trust in us. We are trying our hardest, and doing our best to "show up" and just be there for the auxiliaries: Young Men's, Young Women's, Relief Society (the ladies) and Priesthood (the men). We were given a list of people the ward is trying to find (the wards spilt about a year ago, and they're trying to find everyone so they can help them, give them callings, etc). Within hours, we'd done our best to locate them. This area, hitherto, had been a "busy" area. Not necessarily productive, but busy. Sister Baker and I are trying to break out of that, and DO all we can to help the ward. Our sweetest little High Priest Group leader told us that we could help him by :1) coming over and sharing something musical, 2)reading a Christmas story, 3)making them a treat, 4) helping them with NewFamilySearch.org. haha ;D we told him we could do the first three, and told him our ward expert on NFS's name. What a doll. I came into this ward, kind of scared, because it's such an affluent area. False. These people JUMP to help anybody and anyone and anything. They are so kind, and want the missionary work to progress. Their families know about the Gospel and the peace that it brings into their lives. As evidenced by an experience related to us (a nine yr old girl) "I know that because I prayed, my mom's friend drove by and could tell my mom we were walking home."
You know how you are able to see the tender mercies of the Lord in your life, but wonder if God answers everyone's prayers just like yours?
Sunday during church we went around and told everyone in Gospel Essentials what we wanted for Christmas. We came to the Mom investigator we have:"I just would like peace for Christmas--peace in my heart."
What's the Relief Society lesson on? "Finding Peace in These Perilous Times." I started bawling like a baby. I dunno--she cried a little, too. haha My heart has become so tender as I just trust in the Lord-- I know He's going to help people, but I mean, Christ wept with Mary and Martha at the tomb, before He raised Lazarus. (sp) So.
The Dad investigator we're teaching, after we taught him on Saturday--unbeknownst to us, went to it: changing his beer keger to rootbeer, and dropping coffee as well. GUY IS LEGITIMATE!
Our poor little old man investigator's best friend died, and with Iranian customs, he won't be available for until January 15th, 2013. POOR MAN! His friend was slowly dying for several weeks, and the family was overwhelmed. I just hope he's able to share some of the peace the Gospel of Jesus Christ has brought into his life. . . :*(
Because it's brought peace into MINE!
BIG NEWS: we went and visited a neighbor of someone in our ward. They had referred us to them, and they weren't interested, but then the member neighbors went over to give them cookies, and discovered they love a lot of the same resturants and are now GOING OUT TO EAT ONCE A MONTH for as friends!!!!!!!!!! can. you. stand. it. God is blessing this area. And I trust the members completely, as it was a prompting from the Holy Spirit, that allowed them to ask about resturants in the first place, my friends!
We went and saw the Portland Ensign Choir, and their Christmas concert was really wonderful. What made it more spectacular is that they called up little kids to ring the bells, the girl who'd saved my life the other day on the piano, was first chair on Viola, our Recent Convert we'd brought, had a great time, we were able to share a spiritual thought with her, and I got to see all my Elders friends and my love members from Rainier. what cuties! :D
I love y'all and Merry Holidays. ;) bahah.
Sister J. Bothwell