Feliz Navidad, family and friends!
Hey! Christmas Eve is tomorrow! What? The time on the mission passes by so quickly, I can't believe it!
Well this week has been so full of blessings!
Last Wednesday, we were passing M's house. She told us she didn't have time that day to visit with us but we saw her outside her house and decided to say hi and ask if we could pass by later in the week. She ended up inviting us in for tamales and we were able to teach a short but powerful lesson. We met with her daughter (N) and two granddaughters(G, the beautiful blind girl, and L). We talked about religion and N told us about how she had been going through cycles going to a church and then not stopping. I asked her if she felt a difference in her life when she did and didn't go to church. She said yes and that she knew she needed to go to church for herself and for her daughters. we invited her to attend church and testified of the blessings she would experience. We all felt the spirit very strongly and there wasn't a dry eye in the room. As we left their home I gave her a hug and she told me, "I really do want to go to church. I really do."
We are teaching a young man, A, who is a friend of our recent convert, J. He seems to be progressing very well and will be baptized this coming month. It made me so proud in one of our lessons with him to see J teaching him about prophets. :')
We had our mission Christmas activity last Thursday. It was such a spiritual experience listening to our Mission President testify of the Savior's birth and His Atonement. And as if I was not already teary-eyed, President Wilkinson made an amazing announcement. In July 2015, the church will be opening a NEW MISSION in COSTA RICA!
Yes, I cried. I cried like a baby. That was the 3rd best Christmas present I have ever received. In first place is the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Second is the opportunity my Father in Heaven and family gave me to be born in the only and true gospel. Hearing this announcement, I could feel in my heart and know without a doubt that the Lord is advancing His work on the earth. I felt that all of the efforts of our incredible mission president and every missionary serving in this blessed country had paid off. I love this country and I love being a missionary at this time. The Lord has never forgotten us. He is preparing for His second coming. It will be a glorious day for every one of us if we catch this train. The work is advancing, more souls are realizing their purpose and returning to the fold of their Father.
Afterwards we went to the temple! There is so much peace in the house of the Lord. It's true when they say that when we leave the temple, we leave with power.
We've started working with an inactive/less-active family: I and her daughters, H, K, and M. These girls are so awesome! They feel like family already to me.
D is progressing really well! M, not so much, but not every person will move at the same pace. He is still very hard-hearted. Last night we were able to visit them both and it almost brought tears to my eyes to hear D's daughter, C, pray. She's only 2-years-old and the most adorable red-headed Costa Rican I have ever met!
This Christmas will be very different without my family, but like President Wilkinson said, serving a mission during Christmas is a once (or twice, in my case) in a lifetime opportunity. It's a time when people feel closer to their families and more importantly, their Savior.
Remember that He was born for us. He lived, died, and lived FOR US. All that He did was for the benefit of every single one of us. Thanks to Him, we have the chance to be with Him and our Father FOREVER. Make room for Him in your hearts this Christmas. I LOVE YOU ALL! THIS CHURCH IS TRUE!