Monday, December 29, 2014

10 days 'til Christmas!

Well, we have finally hit winter time here in Honduras. I am starting to sleep with three blankets (I thought I would only ever do that in Utah...) and cold's are starting to be spread around! But it is great because people are starting to put up their Christmas trees. To celebrate Christmas we went to the beach in Puerto Cortes and ate fish. Yum.

The highlights of this week:

Wednesday: Mutli-Zone Christmas festival with President Dester! Always so great and the ice cream is always the best! President Dester said amazing words about Jesus Christ and the Christmas season. We also did lots of practices with our new cards that we have to give out with the link to the video "he is the gift." Then that night we ran because we had an activity with a member to make ornaments. Well, it was raining, so that meant no on was going to come unless we passed by for them. So we did a grand pass for people, then started our little activity. It was super fun! And the boys made forts. We ate banana bread and chocolate cake (yes, that we made!) and met new people.
Thursday: We went to all the houses with Christmas lights to sing them a Christmas song and give them "He is the Gift" cards. One house even asked me to sing a Christmas song in English. Well, I did it, and... still can't sing well. Haha. Solos still aren't one of my talents. 
Friday: Cena NavideƱa! Christmas Dinner! So delicious. But so great! We got a bunch of investigators to go, and, a bunch of members brought friends, which meant references for us! In the morning we went to help clean the church. It felt so normal going and cleaning the church and then we put up all the decorations. The greatest part was that Katie's family went to the dinner (our recent convert)! And her mom liked the church a lot, and wanted to go to church this Sunday, however she was sick so she couldn't go. However, she is super excited to go next week. 
Saturday: Heavenly Father loves us and the sister leaders canceled their divisions with us. I know I probably shouldn't be grateful for that, but we were so exhausted from the Christmas dinner and weren't up to traveling to other areas. It was a super great day, and we realized we had taught, on a roof, in the street, and in the mud. The mission here in San Pedro never gets old :)  We are always doing crazy things and coming home drenched in mud. It is great. 
We are still super excited for Mariellos! She is absolutely amazing! This last Sunday she fasted, and one of the things she fasted for was that she would pass her test and pass her class. Well, she was one of five out of thirty that had passed the test and the class! God answers prayers and fasts! Also her sister, Gabby, is so awesome, and we are so excited for both of them! 

For our great gift this week, we received the Liahona for the conference (finally!) whoo. So I have been reading a bunch of the articles. One of the talks that I didn't remember at all, but that I loved when I read, was Tad R. Callister. He talked a bunch about how the parents are the prime teachers. He gave a story that was so awesome! And I have been sharing it with a bunch of people that we teach. 

Ben Carson said of himself, was the worst student in my whole fifth-grade class.” One day Ben took math test with 30 problems. The studentbehind him corrected it and handed iback. The teacher, Mrs. Williamson,started calling each student’s name for the score. Finally, she got to Ben.Out of embarrassment, he mumbled the answer. Mrs. Williamson,thinkinhe had said “9,” replied thafor Ben to score out of 30 was awonderful improvement. The student behind Ben then yelled out, “Notnine! … He got none … right.” Ben said he wanteto drop through thefloor.
At the same time, Ben’s motherSonya, faced obstacles of heown. Shewas one of 24 children, had only third-grade education, and could notread. She was married at age 13, was divorced, had two sons, and wasraising them in the ghettos of Detroit. Nonetheless, she was fiercely self-reliant and had firm belief that God would help her and her sons if theyditheir part.
One day turning point came iher life and that of her sons. It dawnedon her that successful people for whom she cleaned homes had libraries—they read. After work she went home and turned off the television thatBen and his brother were watching. She said in essence: You boys arewatching too much television. From now on you can watch threeprograms week. Iyour free time you will go tthe library—read twobooks week and give me report.
The boys were shocked. Ben saihe had never read book in his entirelife except when required to do so at school. They protested, theycomplained, they argued, but it was to no avail. Then Ben reflected, “Shelaid down the law. didn’t likthe rule, but her determination to see usimprove changed the course of my life.”
And what change it made. By the seventh grade he was at thtop of hisclass. He went on to attend Yale University on a scholarship, then JohnsHopkinmedical school, where at age 33 he became its chief of pediatricneurosurgery and world-renowned surgeon. How was thapossible?Largely because of mother who, without many of the advantages of life,magnified her calling as parent.1
I love this story because parents, (and us as missionaries) can truly make a huge difference in the lives of others! If we help them change, if we help them do the things required of them, they can change everything --- especially their lives! I also love this story because it helps us see people not as they are, but truly what they can become, and what we can do to help them change and become what the Lord sees for them. 

Well Merry Christmas! 

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