The few days leading up to Christmas, we were still making rounds to less-actives and active members to share a treat and bring the spirit of Christmas with that video I shared last week. It was great! Christmastime is such a wonderful time, because hearts are softened, and ears open.
Christmas day, Elder Phillips and I took our packages to the McClellan's duplex in the early morning so we could have a "Christmas at home" with them. It was so special! Sister McClellan had gotten stockings and stuffed them for us, and they also bought us a huge 5' x 7' rug for our very bare apartment. We have been craving any shred of carpet (we have all wood/linoleum), so this was a treasure! We spent the morning opening gifts together and having some good laughs.
Our District came over later, and we sang songs and had a little devotional. THEN of course, I got to call home, WHICH WAS SO SPECIAL! I love my family so much! Not going to lie, it DID feel a little strange all of the sudden being able to talk with you! I was so nervous! Weird, right? It was a very happy Christmas!
Due to Christmas, and some people being out of town, we didn't get to meet with as many people and investigators that we would have liked, BUT those we did meet with were SO. GOOD. Holy Hannah.... C_____, the widow I mentioned last week, requested a book written by Thomas S. Monson, so we ordered one for her and delivered it. She let us in again, and we had a BEAUTIFUL two-hour talk about the Restoration and the peace that comes from living the Gospel. She is SO open, and SO humble. I've never felt the Spirit so strongly that I did sharing with her the First Vision in Joseph Smith's own words. She was AMAZED and so touched by Joseph's simple question and grand response. She was crying. We almost started crying. The Spirit was THERE. It was so invigorating! We all knelt down at the end and said a wonderful prayer. It was such a treasured experience! She is G-O-L-D-E-N.
W_____, the young man who stopped us on the train tracks one night, seemed to be slipping away from us. We committed him to come to church and were even going to make him breakfast so he could make it, but he bailed, so we decided to just drop in last night. He felt SO bad. We asked if he'd like to go to the church to be taught, and he accepted, and we had another just POWERFUL lesson with him! It was so exhilarating! Asking inspired questions and getting him to open up to us was key, and then the Spirit came as we addressed his concerns, used the scriptures, and an object lesson. He closed with such a sincere, honest prayer. It was truly real intent. He prayed, without suggestion from us, to know if what we were teaching was the truth. He told Heavenly Father that he wanted to believe, and felt that it was right, and that he desired a confirmation. It was great! The Spirit does ALL the heavy lifting. All we do as missionaries is create an environment in which the spirit can be felt, testify of doctrinal truths, and then the Spirit takes over. Seeing the Spirit work in those we have grown to love here has been such a tender experience. We are excited for what is in store for Connie and William, and plan to get William on date for the 25th of January tonight.
Transfers are next week! This has been a roller coaster of a transfer, and I know that good will come in the next, whether I stay in Angola, get transferred away, or get my visa. It's all in His hands, and I can have the faith and confidence to know that it will all work out the way it should.
I love this Gospel. I KNOW that it is true. It has brought me such sweet peace and rest from my personal concerns and setbacks. It has blessed the lives of the less-actives and investigators whom we teach. You can SEE for yourself the goodness of our Savior as we choose to live what we know to be true.
Have a HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Lots of love,