In this week, as you may know, we got to go as a mission to see the Mesa Temple Christmas Lights. It was such an amazing experience to be able to walk through the brand new visitor's center. There are new interactive video pods that talk about the Book of Mormon and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There are a few other really cool exhibits that we actually taken some investigators to go see. We spent about 2 hours there seeing the tools we have available to us and then we got to go in and do a session in the temple! Super spiritual and good revelation and guidance for a better service in the work of the Lord. Following which we went to a buffet and finished with the Christmas lights. I got to see a good amount of mission friends and make some new ones. (I'll send you some of my favorite pictures)
Fast forward to Friday (the next day.) where we had the ward Christmas party. To give you an idea of how packed this gym was is that is was about the same size as our home chapel gym and we had all tables full of 350 people!! Going to Sunday we upped assistance from a regular 220 to about 290! That day we normally had 2 investigators, 4 was the high since I have been there, and it jumped to 8! The Spirit of Christmas is touching everyone's hearts and they are more open to hearing about Christ and showing their love for Him. We are putting a lot of effort to help those we are working with take the next steps. Those that have had slow progression, we have left them for a time and will wait for them to take some steps to show their sincere desire, otherwise we are going to focus on working on those keeping commitments and finding the people that are willing to do so as well.
Sunday night I have to say thank you for all the prayers in my behalf for the Christmas Conference performance. I did a good job!! My fingers were shaking pretty well being in front of about 125 people, but I was able to play the song well. (with a lot of praying as I was playing :) There was a lot of compliments and I made 3 copies for people that wanted to learn the song.
To wrap up I want to say how impressed I am with all of you and for the amazing things you are doing, Brooke focusing on her friends and being so creative with her photos. Haley shooting a beautiful buck and Dosm with the jaw dropping Bison and always bringing to light the great opportunity to be in the service of our Lord. Mom for being such a selfless character and always supporting all of us in what we do. Finally, with Zach, for taking such a great step of faith and depending on the Lord in everything you do. Miracles are being wrought in the lives of everyone around each and every one of you. Even giving a sincere smile and a "hi" could be the mini miracle that the individual will need to get them through the day. Now we know that we are doing our part to give more of ourselves than just that. So with this knowledge we know that we are realizing multiple miracles in the lives of many to come.
Keep you focus on the Savior always for you are always the focus for Him.
Love you so much and Merry Christmas!
Those that participated in the ugly Christmas sweater contest! Back left to right (Sister Turville, Hna Argyle, Lawrence, Flores, Navas, Morris, Cabrera, Grover, Lewis, Gonzales, Elder Thomson) Front left to right: Sister Young, Elder Elliot, Benson, Hepler)
our gingerbread house, A-frame style
We now cover only half of the ward, so the baptism was technically in the other area. The Long story made short, her husband was baptized about 6 months ago and the sister missionaries were working with her, but there was a misunderstanding so the Elders stepped in. Then the Elders took over the entire ward for 3 months before the hermanas were brought back in, due to the mission having enough Spanish hermana missionaries to bring them back. Long story getting wrapped up. The second day the hermanas just "dropped by" and Magda said that she wanted to be baptized. So we all got a part in helping he come to this decision, but in the end, when she started reading the Book of Mormon daily, she personally decided to be baptized! One more year and they can be sealed together in the temple for all eternity!
This is a Christmas present from President and Sister Griffin! Super good book, Highly recommend it!