|Beautiful moon with a white circle around it|
|Before 4 Thanksgiving appointments|
|After 4 Thanksgiving dinners|
|Full but happy.|
First of all, we had zone conference on Tuesday and it was amazing! We were introduced to the new church Christmas initiative. You guys should go watch the video. The website is christmas.mormon.org. And I finally had my first real interview with President Boucher! It was really nice because he had some really good counsel for me and it helped me a whole this week. basically, it was just a fantastic conference! and, yes, I received your package! Thank you so much for everything! It was perfect! :)
Also, funny story. One day we were teaching a family of 8, (the mom and 3 kids are less actives and the dad and the other 3 kids are non-members), and at the end of the lesson the dad left the house to talk to someone outside so we finished up with the rest of the family and when we left the house the dad was still outside talking to missionaries from Jehovah's Witness. and as we passed them to leave, the dad turned to us and asked "so when are you guys coming back?" It was so funny. The Jehovah's Witnesses were just staring at us, dumbfounded. It was priceless. :) I wanted to tell them "and you can come too!" but we're not supposed to do that, so I didn't... but it was really funny.
Then, on Wednesday we set two baptismal dates! It's the girlfriend of a returned missionary that is less active and her daughter. They have been receiving missionary visits for a long time, but have never accepted a date, but now they have! Wahoo! We are so excited! We hope that if they progress towards baptism, he will come back to church too. I'm so excited!
Thanksgiving started super early for us. We had an activity in one of our wards at 5 in the morning! We met at the chapel to sing hymns and listen to a few talks and watch the sunrise and then have breakfast. It was actually really cool, but it just made us exhausted the rest of the day! And yes, we had 4 dinner citas! We were STUFFED! But it was so fun. Here in Puerto Rico, after they eat dinner, they all sit around the table with a guitar and maracas and other smaller instruments and sing cultural Christmas songs. It was so fun and I absolutely loved it! It's something I'm definitely going to start doing every year. :)
Remember AZ and Jovani, two of my investigators from Aguas Buenas? Well, I saw them in Cabo Rojo this week! It was so funny, we were just walking down the street and I hear someone yell "Hermana Allan!" I was super excited to see them! They still aren't progressing or going to church which is really sad, but it was nice to see them again. :)
Also, sunday was awesome! We had FOUR investigators and TWO less actives at church! It was a huge miracle and we were sooooooo happy! Miracles really do happen. I think the difference is that after zone conference we talked about some of the things we learned and decided to put more faith in the promises of the Lord and to act with that faith. It helped us so much this week and brought several people to church! It was so great!
One of the things I learned from my interview with President Boucher is that we should do all we can with the things we can control and let go of the things we can't control. This helped me a lot this week, because once I stopped worrying and stressing about all the things that I couldn't change, I found myself a lot more calm and also a lot more reliant on the Lord and the Spirit. I found that I could put more faith in the Lord and that I had enough strength to act on that faith. I knew that if I did all I could, the Lord would do the rest and would send His Spirit to those we were teaching. I know that the Lord follows through with every single one of His promises and that if we truly trust in Him and do all we can, He will take care of the rest and everything will be ok.
Sorry, one more thing. I thought of one thing that I want for Christmas. I want each of you to give someone a Book of Mormon or invite someone to church or do some sort of missionary work between now and Christmas and then write me with your experiences. I would absolutely love to hear what happens and it would make Christmas especially wonderful if you could all try to do it. Thanks so much! :)
And can I just say, I have one handsome family! You guys all look so great and so happy! Thanks for the pics! I hope Chris feels better soon. That's never fun... And that story with Amelia is hilarious! I was laughing so hard :) 31 STAKES?! I can't even imagine having that many! That's crazy.
Sorry, one more thing, are all the missionaries ok in France? Several of my friends are serving over there and I just hope they're all ok. Are they pulling the missionaries out? Sorry, I just haven't heard from any of them so I'm just super curious.
Well, I think that covers it all..... You guys are fabulous and I love you all so so very much! I'm going to try to start Advent with my companions and I'll be thinking of you! Love you all!