Monday, December 5, 2016

Lighting Up The World

Our ward missionaries December 2016.

Might I tell you that Christmas as a missionary is actually really great?  This last week we served some homeless people early in the morning, we moved some furniture, we taught some elect & we had a ward Christmas celebration.  And on occasion we even purchased a heaping gallon of chocolate milk.  This morning it started snowing as we listened to Nat King Cole (yes, I understand this sounds like a chick-flick but I do not love my companion like that)  However, he is great.  Let’s kick this email off with a miracle:  THEY HAPPEN EVERY WEEK YOU JUST NEED TO EMBELLISH THE STORY A LITTLE!  Our mightiest district leader decided to present us with a challenge to do a 40 day “fast” from little things that keep us back from feeling and following the spirit.  When he presented this challenge I kind of immediately rebelled in my mind because he wanted us to fast from actual food for a day or two and it was right before fast Sunday... and because I really wanted to eat rice & maybe a few chicken nuggets.  As I rebelled a little phrase flooded my mind that I, myself, told a less active member of the ward a few days earlier.  "What is more important, the inconvenience you feel right now, or your eternal salvation? Don't give up your salvation for something that is just an inconvenience."  So, we started this 40 day fast by writing down a list of things we could give up very prayerfully.  Almost the very moment that we did this we found six people wanting to hear the message of the gospel.  One of those we were teaching started crying as we read the chapter heading of Alma chapter 42.  We invited him to baptism and he came to church the next day dressed up with a white shirt & tie.  Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven!  
Next miracle:  With one of our favorite part-member families we taught about repentance.  We felt our main man Phil needed a sweet message about repentance.  He sort of cried during the lesson (he was in the marine core for many years).  The spirit whispered to us correctly because he told us the very next day he had the chance to do something he would have done in his past, but he didn’t do it.  He texted us and told us he is trying out this repentance thing and he feels good about it.  You know that moment when you feel like you're actually fulfilling your purpose?  THAT MOMENT WAS ONE OF THEM.  Let me tell you about the great faith of another member of the church we have been teaching.  She was baptized in her teens & then someone said something dumb to her (this person happened to be a member of the church). I probably wouldn’t have wanted to go back to church after that comment either…but anyway, we contacted this fine child of God & have been meeting weekly for gospel discussion.  She texted us this week to say, "I told myself I would never set foot in an LDS church ever again & now I can't imagine what else I would do on Sunday".  In our next lesson she said Christ is changing her into a better person.  She made us cookies too.  The Savior and his gospel is real.  Other random news:  Elder Pabst my companion put a tortilla in my toilet when I had to go to the bathroom.  We colored placemats for a homeless shelter at the ward Christmas party.  We volunteered at the winter hospitality overflow program.  At this program they allow the homeless to sleep indoors during the cold weather and we prepare breakfast, lunch & a little dinner for them.  What a treat to serve even if I was half asleep because it was sooooo early.  We are going back this next week early in the morning too.  I can’t wait!  I really like being a missionary.  

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