Monday, December 23, 2013
Have you ever heard of the parable of the prospector? Because I honestly hadn’t until a few days ago and wow, it is amazing. We had our Christmas Conference on Friday and one of the speakers summarized the parable and invited us to reflect on our individual ministries here in Houston with the parable in mind. He talked about how each of us try to go about and find the BIG NUGGETS of gold and in turn we pass over the small little flecks of gold. In the parable, the little flecks of gold in the bag of the prospector appear to be big nuggets of gold to this little boy and the little boy is surprised to find out that the bag is nothing more but specks. The point of him sharing this was to tell us that our missions will be made up of the little tiny specks of gold and we have to gather every single one of those specks. I really loved that parable. You should go read it! It helped remind me too that I am just a gather. God prepares all these people and creates all these encounters and I am the one that has to learn to recognize them and take advantage of them.
Okay now that that shpeel is out of the way. THIS WEEK WAS AWESOME! There were some very big events and I am so grateful for those moments when God lets me see a little bit of the rewards of my service.
1. Teresa went to the temple for the first time this past week and Hna Tanner and I got to go as well! We actually went with all the youth in the ward. It was wonderful to see her in the temple. She even had someone do the name of her grandfather! It was a really special spirit. Teresa also gave her first talk in Sacrament meeting. She is on fire! She talked about testimonies and enduring to the end. She shared her experience about wanting to be baptized and how at first her mom wouldn’t let her but she never lost her faith but just prayed even harder that her mom's heart would be softened. It was so tender.
2. Alejandra Collete Acuna was baptized! Her mom came in from Mexico to see it! At the beginning of the service, you could see that her mom was breathing heavy and that she felt something because her face completely changed. The spirit was so strong in that room. I love that little girl so much! Preparing for that baptism was really neat too because you could feel a really sweet spirit in the baptismal font. I know that the decision that Collete made on Saturday was the right one. I know that God was so very pleased with her because she is on the right path to make it back to Him one day.
3. Last night all the auxiliary leaders and the missionaries split up into three groups to go caroling to menos activos and investigadores. Our group was the best! We started at 4 and they didn’t want to stop so we went until 8! It was nice to get to know the bishop a little bit better because he doesn’t live in our area so we rarely see him. We also had Hna. Gaytan and her husband and they are the sweetest. We actually went to their house after because we told them we were starving and needed food. She made us a huge fajitas feast at 8:30 last night. We also got an invite to go for noche buena! The singing last night though was fabulous. My voice today really hurts because we went for so long but it was so worth it. Everyone just kept throwing out names of people they wanted to visit and so we went. We stopped by Emilze Barrera’s house. That is the first time I have seen her since she has dropped us! Hna Tanner and I feel very strongly we need to go back there tomorrow and try to pick her back up. I am excited!
4. H5 crashed our Christmas party on Saturday and performed! It was the best Christmas surprise ever. I love how everyone here is just friends with everyone! Hermana Escobar and I just talked and talked for a good hour at the party. She came in this super high heels and this fur coat. She is awesome! Hermana Sandoval was there too and she was raving about how proud she was of all her little primary kids.
5. I received a blessing from Hno. Arroyo and he blessed me that I am here to remind people of the gift of Christ and that I radiate Christmas spirit. I thought that was really cute! But there is definitely something different about this Christmas than all the rest. I really love being out here and baring testimony that Christ was the first offering of Christmas and that it is only through Him that we can return to our Father in Heaven. I know that Christ loves us and that even before Christ was born He was ensuring that there were means for us to make it back to our Heavenly Father. I am so grateful for His birth to make those means possible for each of us! He also counseled me to really see these people as my brothers and sisters, because they are! I thought that was interesting because I really do love these people with my whole heart but I guess there is always room for more love. There isn’t a happier feeling than love so I cant complain.
6. As a said before, this week we had our Christmas conference. The APs gave stats and they said that at the beginning of last year they had 164 missionaries and now we have 280- 130 sisters and 150 elders. If that doesn’t prove D&C88:73 I don’t know what will.
7. I know that God intercedes and makes miracles happen! Luke 1:30 proves that. The Holy Ghost makes all things possible. We had a lesson this week with a menos activa and the Holy Ghost totally swayed us from our original lesson plan into exactly what this hermana needed to hear. I know that it got her thinking about returning back to church because it was a bold plan of salvation lesson. It felt so good! The spirit was helping us answer all her questions and you could see the light bulb turning on. I am excited to see what happens with her!
8. Also during the Christmas conference I had a huge tender mercy. I don’t know if I will be able to explain it as well I would like but I will try. We were singing the final song- This is the Christ and in the first verse when I it talks about Christ's wounds I look up to my mission president and he shoots me a smile and in that moment I just lost it. I literally felt like Christ was looking at me and I literally felt his love in that moment. President Pingree exudes charity. He makes others feels Christ’s love. It is my goal to be like that one day because the way I felt in that moment is indescribable.
Sorry that definitely just turned into a huge list. These are just a few of my highlights this week. It was a good week!
I just want to end saying that I love my Savior. I am so grateful for this time of year because EVERYONE is thinking of Him. I pray that we really do try to make His birth a part of our everyday life. I know that He was born to save us. He literally allowed himself to become vulnerable to each and every one of us. He felt all of our pains and joys and because of that He is the only one that can judge us perfectly. He knows each of our experiences. I am grateful that He did it! He actually accomplished all that His Father asked for us. He did His Father's will in every single aspect. He is the way. It is only through Him and by Him that we can be exalted. I am so grateful for Him. I am grateful to represent Him and help people remember Him. I know that we are each so very loved and that we are each so very important to God. It is a huge blessing and privileged to me to be the instrument by which God can help remind these Texans of this.