Monday, December 29, 2014

Feliz Navidad!!!!!!!!!!

I have to say, this week has been AWESOME. It has definately been a wonderful week leading to Christmas!
Last Monday we had one of the most spiritual experiences on my mission. It all started with a bit of a crazy idea Sunday night, and ended up amazing. We decided we wanted to do a church tour (because our church here is actually pretty big and beautiful) and that we wanted it to be super spiritual. Like Temple Square spiritual haha. So we decided we needed to call the right people. First we tried the Stake President, with no luck. So who is the second most spiritual person? We decided the Stake Patriarch. And Boom! gold. We had an amazing beautiful church tour with the Stake Patriarch and his wife with Mariellos and Gabby. I learned so much! It was amazingly beautiful. We toured each room and had a special scripture as we explained the room and the different organizations. Then the Patriarch and his wife, of course, gave an even more awesome testimony and explanation. I even learned a bunch of amazing things that I didn't know. However, the most spiritual part, was when we went to the Sacrament Room, and each bore our testimony of the sacrament and of the church. Mariellos and Gabby had a bunch of awesome questions too, and they loved the tour as well. I think my favorite thing that the Patriarch said was when we went to the office of the Bishop. We talked about how we go for interviews. The Patriarch said we always dress our best for the interviews, because in the interview the Bishop is taking the role of Jesus Christ, and in the moment we walk in we need to imagine him as Jesus Christ, and not as our bishop. We should dress and look our best, as we would if Jesus Christ himself came. The Patriarch also gave an amazing testimony, and said that he investigated the church for two years before deciding to be baptizned (I think my mouth was wide open when he said that) but, he said he knew without a doubt from his time he had spent investigating and praying about the church. He is so special, and there is always such an awesome, sweet Spirit with him.
On Wednesday night we decided to get creative, so we went around caroling with He is the Gift cards. People say no to sharing a message, but they can't say no to a Christmas song! Well, in our house walking Christmas caroling we found an awesome young man and he invited us to go the hospital with him and some friends to do like a Christmas show and to share presents and food for kids with cancer. Well, we called to ask for permission, and I honestly believed that we were not going to get permission, but we got a yes! So Friday we went to the hospital. The people we were with sang some beautiful songs, and my comp and I sang two hymns. It was super great. We shared presents, and we gave out a MILLION He is the Gift cards! So all in all it was a great experience, and it was a great experience to share with others. We also met a bunch of less actives, and got to invite them to come back to church :)
Friday also went to prep Mariellos for her baptismal interview. We taught "follow the prophet" then went over the baptismal questions. When we got to the question, "Do you believe that Thomas S Monson is a prophet of God?" She said... I don't know. I have never seen him or heard anything he has said. So, we went over to a members to watch his conference talk he gave last October (In this awesome area people have things like internet! It is great!) And watched his talk "Ponder the Path of thy Feet." It was a great reminder, especially during Christmas, that we need to always remember to walk not just where Jesus walked, but how he walked. And to always follow his example. The next day was the interview, and on Sunday... BAPTISM! And it was an awesome baptism. After church we went over and I got to braid her hair for her baptism, and there was an awesome Christmas conference that the Stake did. Then, after, was the baptism. I have to say I think Mariellos came more fashionable than anyone I have ever met for her baptism! She looked super great all in white with awesome earrings, headband, and heels. The patriarch baptized her, and it was absolutely beautiful. Afterwards we got stranded at the church until 10:00 waiting for the President to finish his report, but we had a great chat with an awesome member who is close to our age, who is the wife of the the Secretary, so it was worth it. It's not very often that we get to have girl talk on the mission!
Well, I think my clothing knows that I am getting closer to going home. One morning, not one, but two skirts ripped! Now I only have three black skirts, instead of four. Rough mission life.
Well, I love you all!! If you haven't seen the video yet, go watch because He is the Gift video is absolutely beautiful! (I think I have watched it about 50 times now :)

For my spiritual thought of the week, I wanted to share some of my thoughts on the birth of Jesus Christ. Yesterday, in Relief Society, we had an awesome lesson about Jesus Christ. I was imagining what it would be like, to be so close to giving birth, and finding yourself stranded in an area with animals and hay. I imagine how dusty and dirty the streets are sometimes here in Honduras, and I can only imagine it was like that in Bethlem as well. The Savior and redeemer of the world, the grand I AM, the person who created the world, was born in a humble stable. Afterwards, he grew, and grew, not just physically, but spiritually as well, until at 12 years old he was found in the temple teaching the great teachers. He kept learning, and he kept growing, until he was reading to call his apostles and start his three year ministy, where he healed the sick, raised the dead, and worked many miracles. But more importantly, he taught the people his gospel, he taught them to love God above all us, and to love their neighbours as themselves. Then, after such a short time, he gave his life for all of us. He suffered our pains, sicknesses, and sins in the Garden of Gethsemane, and then was raised upon a cross to suffer until his time came to "give up the Ghost." But the message of great joy, is that the third day he rose from the grave, to bless all mankind. Christ lives, and loves us, and is very aware of us. He has not, and cannot, forget us. He suffered for us and with us. He will never give up on us. He is our Savior, and our Redeemer... but most importantly, he is our loving, caring, older brother.
Merry Christmasl

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