Anyway. Yesterday we got to watch the Christmas Devotional! and I thought about all the crazies watching it at the same time back home and the annual nativity and such. My favorite song was The First Noel! It made me think back to when we sang it on Temple Square in Choir and I felt the Spirit so strong. We sang the same version, arranged by Mack Wilberg. I love music so much :) Even though the devotional was in Spanish... I was really grateful the music wasn't. Hahahaha. Trust me, Spanish Christmas music is not the same.
This week on Wednesday we had Zone Concilio for december (where the zone leaders go to a leader meeting and then come back and teach us everything) and we talked all about baptism and the importance of the Holy Ghost and baptism by fire. We endure to the end by continually having our rough edges burned off by the Spirit. "Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost" connotes that we will have to keep doing it, keep living it, and keep trying to let it burn off our rough spots.
Then, on Friday, we had a multi-zone! It was so fun, down here we have them with Nazca so I got to see Hermana Chavez and Hermana Wilkins as well, so that was fun. I always just love seeing and listening to and being around President and Hermana Douglas. They remind me sooo much of mom and dad and they always are so great to us. I got to translate for Hermana Douglas this time! So that was terrifying but it was also a really really cool experience. She cracks me up. She also accidentally said fart instead of fault and she was like uhhh... don't translate that. Hahahaha. President talked a lot about helping investigators to have faith in the Atonement of Christ, not just faith in Jesus. Because tons of people believe in Jesus and have faith in Him, but they never fully come to grasp repentance and therefore can never fully partake of this spiritual burning and refining that comes with the Holy Ghost and repentance and it will be harder for them to come to know and understand those things. They also talked about how we are not called to a mission or to be missionaries because of who we were before, but because of our potential after. They played the song "Glorious" by David Archuleta and talked about the importance of seeking God's hand to guide us to what our part is in this world and in all that we do. Hermana Douglas finished by saying that the miracle of a mission is that it changes the missionary-because they submitted to the Lord and His will. It hit me really hard when she said that, because I feel like maybe I am just barely starting to grasp that. And it is truly changing me and my mission :) I hope. :)
Also this week, I was reading in Alma 32 about faith and the seed. All of a sudden my mind just started like interviewing me. (Personal revelation crazy person style. Just talking to myself over here). How is the soil of my soul? Am I receiving all of the good word that He is giving to me? Am I really feeling it and internalizing it and changing, or am I just living life a little bit under my potential? Because it is easier that way? Am I forgetting who the gardener is and stubbornly trying to do it all on my own, weeding and planting and watering and all such things in my own way without listening to the counsel of He who knows? Am I progressing? Do I feel and obey the whisperings of the Spirit? It was definitely an eye opener. And then I remembered President told me once, it isn't silly to be spiritual. And now I think it isn't silly to live in a world of wonder created by our own marvelling mind at the goodness of God and the way that everything speaks His name. Because it does :) He is consistently trying to remind us of His love for us. and we can see it with spiritual eyes :)
Last night, we had a lesson with a little familiy of three that is prepping to go to the temple this weekend with us (oh my heavens please pray for our little caravan. I am so scared that the adversity is going to strike hard these last couple days. December 13th:temple or bust!!) And it was amazing. It is a single mom, her daughter who is now preparing to go on a mission, and her 14 year old son. At the end of the lesson, she started bearing her testimony to us and said "I know that our roots are deeper now. We are not ever leaving again. We have never felt the Saviors love so culminatingly brilliant in our lives, and we are more than excited to enter the temple on Saturday and help other people to receive this same blessing". I just started crying, because that is exactly why we are here! It is working. It was a huge testimony builder to me :)
Right after that we were greeting everybody and waiting for the devotional to start and an overwhelming feeling of love and appreciation for these people, and this mission, and opportunity, and for my Savior just hit me. I was filled with the kind of joy it talks about in the Book of Mormon when it talks about the Sons of Mosiah and their missionary work.
I want you to know that I love this Gospel with all of my heart. That I know that this is the work of the Lord, and that He is hastening it. That we are on the winning team. That there is so much beauty in life. And I want you to know that I love my family. They are my greatest treasure and joy and strength. I love you with a love that fills me to the breaking point :)
Don't you ever worry about me. You have done and given me SO MUCH that has no price that I will never feel as if I go without. You have given me the pure love of Christ :) The gift of a family firm in the Gospel and filled with love and understanding is a gift that fills me and gives me joy every single day. The best Christmas gift I have ever received is YOU. And I am blessed enough to have it for eternity :)
I love you so much. This week is the temple trip! We are working hard to help these people to make it. Prayers would be appreciated :) Miracles do exist. I love you all so dang much it hurts :) Never ever forget.
I love you.