I am very, very happy to hear that you were able to do the challenge I gave to read · Nephi 11, and sing I Stand All Amazed. I Hope that it was a good experience :) I had a really good one doing the same thing that Christmas morning in my personal study, and I wanted to share it. I Stand all Amazed at the Love Jesus offers me!
On Christmas Eve, we were actually able to find some people to teach, which surprised me. A less active, a new member, and an investigator. Then we went to Sister Patty`s house, and helped her repair a broken piñata so that they could re-use it, as it is a tradition to break a piñata on Christmas Eve night in the shape of a star, like the star that appeared at Christ's Birth. While we were there, she set the table for Christmas dinner and invited us to join in. It was a humble dinner of grilled meat and chicken and beans. We didn’t eat much, because another family, the Bishop, had already invited us to eat later, but she enjoyed having us there, and I was glad to have been there, as it was just her, her husband (Diego) and her two daughters (Diana and Marleen), and a friend of Diana's. I also delivered a letter that my old companion, Elder Hernandez, had sent me to give to them, and then we headed over to meet the other Elders in the ward to go with the Bishop.
We started eating really late, like at 9pm, and we had to be home at 9:30! We didn’t make it though. I have to say that even though the Bishop's house was much bigger and nicer, and the food more expensive, I didn’t enjoy it as much, as I felt bad for being late, and I was already full ;) But it was great to spend some time with the Bishop's family. It was the first time that I had visited his house. He has a shop in our area, and his direction on the church records is according to his shop, not his house. His house is actually in the other ward!
On Christmas, we went over to the other Elders' house to make a breakfast of French Toast to celebrate Christmas, and then went back to our own houses to study. I was able to have a really great study, focused on Jesus Christ, picking and reading whatever passage I could remember in the Book of Mormon that talked about Him and his mission on this earth, and also the Hymn I Stand all Amazed. That is why I wanted to share 3 Nephi 11 and that Hymn with the family, to help them remember not only the birth of Jesus Christ, but what His birth meant. It meant that A Savior came to this Earth, who established his Word and his Church, who showed us how to live, and who suffered for us, died for us, and resurrected for us, so that our families could be Eternal. He is the Gift. And that Gift means a lot. But it is up to us to use it :)
We had a hard time being able to talk with our families, as the Member whose house we were going to use wasn’t home at the hour he told us he would be, and we ended up calling a little late.... but we got to call! And it was great! It was great to see and hear that everyone is doing well, and say hi to everyone :)
Afterwards, we went to visit a member family, the Diaz's, and ended up helping them move a friend: move all of his stuff from his house to their (the Diaz's) house. While we were waiting for a phone call, we were waiting at the Diaz's house, and the kids were playing Just Dance on the Wii which they had gotten, and they convinced us to dance a song; me my companion. We shouldn’t play video games, but it was just one, it was Christmas, and it was fun. We want to buy one now to do exercise in the morning ;P JK
We didn’t teach anyone, but at least we were able to talk with our families and give some service :)
The day after, I had companion Exchanges with the Zone Leaders, and I worked with Elder Bateman, from Utah, and who is going home in 3 months, in his area. It was a very interesting day (Elder Bravo). We talked a lot about what we wanted to study and do when we got home, as he has only a few months left. We also had a really good day, finding a lot of people to teach =)
No one came to church on Sunday..... no investigators that is. The schedule is going to change from 9am to 11 am, so maybe it will help, as the people here like the night better than the morning, usually, and don’t get up :) I am excited though, because we had a great Ward Counsel where the Ward finally made an almost Ward Mission Plan, something that they haven’t ever really had. They were everywhere, throwing out ideas for activities, when I stepped in and told them that they first needed to make a goal (as in numbers, like church attendance) , write it down, assign names to the numbers, and THEN make plans for activities and visits, to guide them on what they needed to do. That is something else that I have learned on the mission, that one has to set a goal, and then make plans to achieve it. It sounds like common sense, but there are so many people who don’t do it that way. They have always just done activities to invite investigators, and called that good, but never had an end result. This time they actually made goals and plans, and at last, I felt good leaving one of these meetings, with hope rather than feeling weighed down for all problems in the Ward. I hope they follow up with their plans!
Still waiting for the Christmas Package!
Thanks for your letters and for being and awesome family :)
Lots of Love,
Elder Hayden Redford