Saturday, January 4, 2014

Week 44: God Talked to the Shepherds and He Talks to Us

Merry Christmas, everybody!!! :)

I can't believe this day has already almost arrived! The time passes so fast. Before I say anything else, I just want to tell you all I hope you have an incredible Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. May there be lots of glowing lights and colorful paper and comfy food and maybe even snow!

And, more important than all of that, I hope you can be with your families.

May you hold them close and breathe deeply. Freeze the moment in time. Thank God to be with them. We don't get to take anything with us when we end this life, but God has given us families to cherish. May we love them with our whole hearts this year, above anything else.

Desanimo is of the devil

On Sunday nobody came to church (well, none of our investigators and not very many of our recent converts) and during Relief Society my companion and I were kind of feeling down about that, because it was the second Sunday like that in a row.

I was staring at the floor when the woman sitting next to me started reciting under her breath the scripture that another sister was reading. A few minutes later, she did the same thing. I realized they were scripture mastery scriptures, two of a hundred that all youth in the church memorize when they go to seminary. This woman is married with a kid now, but she still remembers them.

Then I remembered that this woman is Mildred, not in our ward anymore, but back visiting her family for the holidays. Her family of mom and dad and 11 brothers and sisters, NONE of whom are members or who want anything to do with the church. She got baptized by herself when she was 16, and instead of going inactive like it seems like so many who are baptized young do, she went to all the remaining years of seminary, got her Personal Progress medallion, and got sealed in the temple.

She's a missionary work success story, and she's the reason I'm out here.

Inspired by this, I started listening to the lesson better. It was being given by Maria Isabel, a 20-year active and faithful Catholic. But also a Mormon convert of three years, and now the Relief Society president. I listened to her share her testimony of prophets and apostles and personal revelation, and thought there were no more beautiful words. This is the only true and living church, and slowly and steadily, all the world is coming to see it.

I looked around the room, and saw that it was filled with missionary success stories. The church in Guatemala is a big mash-up of mostly converts, and because of that, sometimes it's really messy. But I love it. And now I know that if I ever start getting sad again, I just have to look around me. The inspiring examples are everywhere.

Nuevas de gran gozo, que seran para todo el pueblo

Well, I was going to write some other stuff but it will have to wait. My time is up. I love you all so much. Take care, and merry, merrry Christmas.

P.S. Remember - and really remember, please - that Jesus is the reason for the season. That's a sentence that's way more important than it sounds wrapped up in a rhyming phrase, but it's so true. Jesus lives! He didn't just get born in a beautiful way, but he atoned for us, and made possible the Resurrection and eternal life. It's a beautiful thing... and, because of Him, it's a wonderful life. :)

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