December 8, 2014
Good morning everyone,
Hope y'all had a fantastic week wherever you are. Mine was really really great.
Some things to note:
1. We now have another baptismal date! It's Andrew and Chel now as well. Chel is a very nice black woman, probably 40ish, She still doesn't quite understand authority, but she committed to be baptized on the 10th of January. We have another appointment with her tonight, so hopefully we can clear that up with talking about the Plan of Salvation and the Sacrament. We really want to work on getting her to church this next Sunday, so we think understanding covenants and the Sacrament will help her with that.
As for Andrew, things still haven't changed much. We met with him twice last week. The first visit he was angry about the whole Mike Brown thing, so we kind of talked about agency and how he doesn't have to let the world affect him. But the second visit was pretty great. He said he won't come to church or commit to really anything until he knows if the Book of Mormon is true. So we kind of helped him understand how to gain his answer and what to look for. We also left him with "Safety for the Soul" (my favorite talk) by Jeffery R. Holland. Hopefully that blows his mind and destroys him with the Spirit. We also told him that his answer will not come if he continues to search anti-Mormon stuff on the internet. We're just praying for a miracle at this point! He felt the Spirit last time and we're hoping that carries him to get an answer.
2. Josefina came to church! She's the sweet little Hispanic lady we're teaching. She said she wouldn't commit to baptism until she went to church. I came out of the bathroom yesterday at church and she was just standing in the chapel being greeted by everyone. We had a lesson with her last Thursday with her and a member, and she said she didn't know anyone so it would be hard to come. But we've already had like all the active Hispanic members over to her house, so the member we were with said "You already know like everyone!" So she was definitely comfortable at church yesterday. She went and sat on a bench and a member asked "Did you come alone? Here, come sit with me." So she wasn't alone at that point. I went and sat on the other side of her and helped her find the hymns in Spanish and things. It was testimony meeting and she cried the whole time. She brought her little tissues and everything! Then the members took her in for the rest of the time and we didn't see her until church ended. So I'm thinking she'll get baptized for sure. We'll visit her again this week.
3. We had a great Christmas social Saturday night. Of course, there was food there. Whenever there's food, more people come. The saddest thing is though, that most of them won't come on Sunday! A shame, really. But it was a big success. We had a humble Christmas program. I read the Christmas story and we had some people perform musical numbers. We were pretty worried if it would turn out or not, but it really did.
We also had the opportunity last night to watch the First Presidency Christmas Devotional, which was awesome of course. I have to hand it to President Eyeing on this one. He just has a way of bringing in the Spirit. I love the way he so humbly testified of the Atonement and the birth of the Savior. One thing that really stood out to me this year was just how humble Christ actually was. He could have come down in all His glory to save us, but rather, He came down in the most humble way possible. The Shepherds found Him lying in a manger. Talk about humility. His birth started the theme of His life. He never once thought of Himself, but of the Father, and of us. By Him, and through Him, salvation comes. It's amazing!
Well that was my week. We're definitely seeing the work pick up, especially around this Christmas season. People just seem to be a little more open to our message this time of year.
-Elder Landon Carroll