The beginning of this letter goes over some fun things, but the last half is what I really want you to read if you're like me and don't have much time and just skim through a lot of things. Love you all! Merry Christmas!
Tues and Wed: helped sort toys for a toy drive run by the fire department which was busy and fun, visited some people and went caroling with another great family. The kids took us to their friends houses and we got to sing with them. People's faces light up when we start singing, and the kids loved it too. It was such an easy way to share our testimonies. Not everybody was interested in hearing more, but everyone appreciated our visit. Don't be afraid to share what you know. We also helped an older lady decorate her apartment. She has such a wonderful spirit about her too. I'm meeting such a variety of people here than I ever have before, and I'm gaining such a love for them. I have such respect for how much everyone here does, both for the ward and just in their day to day lives, it makes me want to be better.
Thurs:was exhausting. We helped out at a food bank taking orders and loading boxes of food into people's cars as well as making more boxes of food and making the boxes themselves. I am a boss at making boxes.These aren't just the ones where you tape them a couple times, they have to be folded and tucked the right way and it makes a sturdy little box with a lid. I can make them in about 15 seconds on average. Yes, we timed it. But it was so good to work with the people there who are doing so much good. There were some members helping us as well as many nonmembers that we got to talk to. Then right after that we went and helped one of our members who was moving that day. And then we also got to teach a couple lessons.
Fri: Went to the Christmas party with the elderly Korean people we teach Korean to. I have such respect for these wonderful people who are all probably at least 70 and are still willing to come and learn English twice a week.night we had a lesson with our strongest investigator. He's been reading the Book of Mormon, praying about it, coming to church, and he's noticing how it's blessing his life. The Lord's promises are sure. The Book of Mormon really does provide so much light and direction and blessings do come as we strive to obey His commandments.
Sat: got a last minute call to go help with more service with the Spanish missionaries, which was kinda weird, but it was still rewarding. We visited a couple more people who we hadn't seen in a while. One of them was a member who's just had a lot to deal with this past year, she's taking care of her sick husband, her house flooded, in-laws died... just so many things and she's still truggin along. The members have been great about helping her too. When we are faithful in doing our duty, everything works our and everyone is taken care of. I'm so grateful for good home teachers and visiting teachers. Y'all don't know how much that helps everyone, and it sure gives the missionaries more time to focus more in other areas where they're needed.
Sun: We had a wonderful Christmas program, the organization struggled a little bit, but it all turned out okay. My companions and I were asked to sing What Child is This about 10 min before Sacrament started. We all kind of smiled nervously, but said "yes" and went to practice. 2 minutes before it started somebody came and said, "Oh wait, we actually need you to sing Away in the Manger" So we did. And we weren't awful. I even harmonized for the entire song. I'm so grateful we've been singing carols as a companionship the past month (not away in the manger though) and had some practice, and that I'd practiced the harmony to Away in a Manger at some point during the last week. That was definitely a miracle since I've never considered myself a singer and both of my companions sing less than I do. It was all of our first times singing in a Sacrament meeting, but it's given me confidence to do so in the future!
If you're going to read anything read what follows:
Christmas Zone conference was yesterday which is why this letter is going out http://www.instead of the usual . Our mission has doubled in the number of missionaries here since the last year, we've got about half sisters of 280 missionaries. The main focus of the meeting was on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I love getting to listen to our Mission President teach us. He is so kind and Christ-like himself and puts his all into missionary service. If you think what missionaries do is a sacrifice think about the hundreds of Mission Presidents all around the world. Anyways, our mission president is phenomenal and taught about understanding the Atonement better and applying it more personally. There's a quote from Preach My Gospel that says, "As your understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ grows, your desire to share the gospel will increase." I've been trying to increase my own understanding of the Atonement. I felt it more personally and comprehended it more fully during our time yesterday than I ever have before. We watched some of the Bible Videos produced by the Church during our missionary Christmas program yesterday. The last one we watched was this He is Risen:
mormonchannel.org/bible- videos?v=1548356253001 and as I watched it all I could think was that's my Savior, that's my Savior. I would encourage each of you to think on the Atonement of Jesus Christ more this week than you have lately, especially because Christmas is . I am so grateful for the grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ that lifts us higher than we could ever go on our own. His grace is the power by which we can improve and His Atonement is how he has provided us access to that. We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel. We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. This is the Lord's Church. His Gospel has been restored and I am so happy to be a part of His work in sharing it with others. There is so much happiness to be gained and blessings to be had from living the way He has asked us to live and from following His Gospel and His Prophet. I add my testimony to what our living Prophet and Apostles have said, "Jesus is the Living Christ, the immortal Son of God. He is the great King Immanuel, who stands today on the right hand of His Father. He is the light, the life, and the hope of the world. His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come. God be thanked for the matchless gift of His divine Son." May we remember Him now and always. Merry Christmas!