Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Making Christmas special was our goal this year. Elder Jackman and I planned a really good surprise for the zone. We have an investigator that owns a thrift store, she was willing to donate some ties to us. The sister missionaries in our ward helped get some skirts. Together we were able to put gifts together for every one of the missionaries in the zone, all 18 of us. We wrapped them all up, invited everyone over to the church to play soccer, and hid them. I don't know how, but we were able to find a Santa. So Santa came to give all of the gifts out to the zone. I think this was one of my favorite Christmas experiences. We only focused on giving, and didn't expect anything in return.
Monday, December 19, 2016
Today I wanted to share some spiritual experiences.
The first one came from last week. We were trying to think of some productive way to use the morning hours. Not too many people answer their door at 11 AM, and there aren´t very many people outside to contact. We just kind of went out, trying to do what was right, and hoped we would be rewarded. We stopped by the church to drop something off, and when we got to the corner a man crossed the street to contact us. Missionaries usually attract the weirdos. After talking a bit, this guy didn't actually seem so strange. His name was Eduardo, he was about 50 years old and worked as a fisherman. He told us some stories of how he developed faith by spending a lot of his time on the sea. Describing how the sea is very unforgiving and in storms it is relentless. I asked him if he attended any church, and this is when he got me. He said, "I am not attending any church, because I'm currently looking for one to be able to baptize." Whattt....I was kind of shocked. I had always heard stories of missionaries finding people who were praying for an answer. I never thought I would be part of one of those stores. We asked Eduardo if he was willing to take a step of faith, and we brought him right into the church and showed him the baptismal font. We told him, that if he wanted the same baptism as the savior he needed a baptism by someone who has the authority and by immersion. We invited him to prepare to be baptized and to come to church.
The second story came from one of the challenges of Light the World.
One of our investigators invited us to come to a retirement home and decorate the home for the people living there. We got together with some of the psychology students from the University and helped make Christmas a better experience for the old folks in the facility. We helped them draw snowmen, stars, trees, presents, etc, and decorated the center. I was reminded that service is so much more important than buying something physical.
I want to close with a scripture from Matthew;
Have a Merry Christmas everyone!
For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.”
Monday, December 5, 2016
Christmas time is the best time of the year, especially when its really nice weather. I remember one Christmas a couple years ago where I left the gift giving decisions up to my parents. I didn't ask for anything, I wanted to give them the opportunity to be creative and get me something that they felt I needed. That Christmas the only gift I remember receiving was a chair. After that, I decided it would be a good idea to tell my parents what I might want for Christmas.
The honest truth is, that it's a lot less about giving gifts. In an effort to help others light the world, we have been challenging people to think about what they are going to gift to God this Christmas? The thing is, you can't buy anything anything material. He doesn't need a new phone or a big TV. Honestly I think what would make God happy would be that we show our appreciation. If you want any ideas on how to show that appreciation, you can go to Mormon.org
Attached photo: We have an investigator that owns a thrift store. She gave us some free ties, and I scored this sweet cat tie.