Merry Christmas EVE!!
It truly is the most wonderful time of the year, and it is the MOST wonderful time to be a missionary! i am so grateful to be serving our Savior, Jesus Christ. It is the greatest blessing and gift.
I have been so over joyed the past few days. i love Christmas! i love that it is 2 degrees outside and that people are willing to talk about Christ. I love how amazing the ward and members are in Ralston. we have received countless packages, gifts, food, love... it is so amazing. i feel so blessed to be serving among such wonderful people. I am also so grateful for the family and friends i have! every day i have gotten something in the mail... i cant thank you enough for all the love. it is so humbling. thank you.
- The Lakes came in to the trail center! Daniel, Sister Lake, Desmond, and Carlton were all there, and it was the biggest surprise ever and the most joyous reunion. Daniel was going around to everyone she saw and telling them that i baptized her! haha she has grown up so much, and she is still doing so well. it was truly a miracle and a blessing to see her and her family. i love them so much.
- the Saufley's also came into the trail center to see me! it was ALSO such a great reunion, and it felt like seeing family. i love them.
- i finished the Book of Mormon a day or two ago. and let me tell ya. that book is the greatest book i have ever read.. it beats harry potter. i am so grateful to have the book of mormon, and i KNOW that is is true. it was so neat to pray once more about the book of mormon, and once again the feeling of peace and joy that filled my heart as i did so was undeniable. It being Joseph Smith's birthday yesterday (merry smithmas!), i have been thinking a lot about him and about his great life. i know that he was a prophet of God... like Elder Holland said " No wicked man could write such a book as this; and no good man would write it, unless it were true and he were commanded of God to do so".
- the Trail Center has been playing Mr. Kreuger's christmas the past week, and it has brought tears to my eyes watching it and thinking about the memories associated with it. what a beautiful film.
We had our Christmas zone conference this week, and it was absolutely incredible. It was completely centered on the atonement of Jesus Christ. i was so touched as i listened to the various trainings and musical numbers, all centered on the REAL reason that we celebrate Christmas. it is because of the savior. it is because of His sacrifice, love, atonement, and resurrection. He is the way, the truth, and the light and i am so so so thankful for Him.
I was asked to share my thoughts on the atonement/testimony at zone conference, and i was really nervous. i was also asked to sing, so that didnt help the nerves! but i just prayed and asked God for strength and to say what He wanted me to say. the song went really well, i sang the really pretty rendition of Abide with Me. i then got up to speak, and instantly the spirit told me that i needed to share the story about scratching the tacoma! haha. i argued with the spirit for a while, and then decided to share my experience. talk about embarrassing! but at the same time, it was a perfect connection to the atonement, and how only through christ can our "scratches" come off. i think it went really well, so i was grateful for the spirit's guidance :)
This week we went on two exchanges, which was exhausting! but, so good. on our first exchange, we met this man named Jebediah. he was just walking down the street and so i told the sister i was with we needed to go talk to him. as we approached him, he instantly knew who we were and we had a great discussion about Christ and how the gospel can change his life. right as we said that, he looked heaven ward and said "hold up... i need to talk to Jesus because i think you are the answer to my prayer". He gladly gave us his information and we set up an appointment for later on in the week.
.... well, that friday we were on exchanges AGAIN, and we went and taught Jebediah! it was SOOOOO COOL! He has met with missionaries off and on his whole life, and he told us he feels like God is trying to tell him something by sending us to him all the time. he said that before he met us, he had been praying that morning for the Lord to send him something that would change his life and improve his situation. he also asked that he would send him "women" missionaries instead of boys... haha, and guess what? we met him that very day. no coincidences! it truly was miraculous and strengthened my faith so much on how important it is to follow the spirit. unfortunately jebediah is not in our area, so we have to give him to another set of missionaries, but it was still so incredible. He is so cool, ha and he rapped for us a couple raps he wrote about christ. they were surprisingly really good ha.
i am running out of time! ah! but guess what? we get to talk tomorrow so it's all good! i cannot wait. we get to talk for 30-40 minutes, so it should be wonderful :)
i love this work, and i am so thankful it is christmas time. i love Christ.
love you all! Merry Christmas! i'll be listening to Oh Holy Night tonight, eating banana cream pie, and sleeping at the Trail Center! (literally.. in the trail center.. haha it should be so much fun)
Talk to you tomorrow!