Haha, this week has been nuts. MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE! / HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were spent in the Visitors' Center. It felt like simultaneously the weirdest and best Christmas I've ever had. Weird, because you're a missionary, and you wanna work and you can't get out there, and best because you GET IT. You get Christmas, and why people care and why you should/do care, now, too. Okay, maybe just me. Definitely just me.
Some highlights of Spiritual inspiration:
"When we repent, our view of ourselves, and the world changes."
"Repentance is a process; it takes time to heal."
"We can live with our families forever-- we already have that knowledge, we need to go and share that with other people so that they can have that knowledge, too."
"We need to continually change to be closer to the Saviour."
We met with a lady this week who is so very desperate, so very at the end of her rope, and the light in her countenance, when we told her not to lose hope, that we would be able to get her help, was wonderful.
She hasn't been to church in 35+years, but she could repeat the thirteenth article of faith, verbatim.
13 aWe believe in being bhonest, true, cchaste, dbenevolent, virtuous, and in doing egood to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we fhope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to gendure all things. If there is anything hvirtuous, ilovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.
She says it's the best moral code she could live by.
The family we've been teaching is getting baptized the 26th of January. Anyone who says stateside missions stink, needs to take a good hard look at all the converts they love in their lives and realize that they were baptized stateside. That was one of a thousand things that had me motivated to come out here, "I've gotta find someone's Emily ( Emily is one of my good friends who converted to the Gospel at age 13 in Wisconsin/Minnesota?)
The family's 16 year old son is agnostic/atheist. I need JoJo to email me his testimony-- what he would say about going to seminary. In all seriousness/Jordanness.
He came to church and liked it. The family had a major hangup with tithing. They know the church is true, but they're tight or overreaching in all areas: house, etc. So, they didn't want to commit, and know they weren't going to be able to follow through for a couple years. They got up early in the morning, and were talking. Prayed together, got their positive answer. Along with the son liking the first two hours of church enough to commit to think about coming back (huge), they shared in class that they had gotten their confirming answer from the Ward Mission Leader's talk on uplifting, strengthening, courage. The time when the man prayed out loud with us, was the first time he'd ever prayed in his life. Apart from Hail Marys.
I love you all muchas muchas muchas.