Christmas was great! And getting to talk to my family was the best present ever. And thank you so much to everyone for the cards and the gifts and helping light up our world with the Christmas spirit.
I did not know it was possible to be this cold. We have been sitting at around -14 degrees all week, with a wind chill of -35. Which means it is really cold. We got a lovely notice that we can't go outside with any exposed skin for more than 10 minutes otherwise we might get hypothermia. Or our skin might freeze off. And we get really excited now when it gets up to -5 degrees now.
But we're not letting that stop us from doing missionary work. Honestly, this week has been kind of hard because no one has been willing to set up appointments with us. We called everyone, and even our solid investigators all said "let's just wait until after the holidays, after the new year." So we've been doing a lot of finding, knocking doors, and service, because if you can't get into Ammonihah one way, you just gotta try a different entrance. We had a really beautiful restoration lesson this week. I have been trying really hard to focus teaching the restoration to personal needs, because we teach it so much sometimes it can get kind of repetitive. And it was so cool how as we listened to the spirit, we were lead to ask questions we wouldn't have normally asked that helped us to address her specific concerns.
There are 4 sisters in our ward who are going to be giving birth to boys either this week or next week, so this weekend we had a giant baby shower for all of them (fun fact in Spanish to say give birth it's "dar a luz" which literally means "to give a light" awwww, cute right?)
Saturday was Hermana Hopkins Birthday!! So we had a fun day. We ate with our ward mission leader and his family, who had originally cancelled our dinner because they weren't gonna be there, then at the last minute they rescheduled, so we didn't let them know it was her birthday because we kind of forgot and didn't want them to feel really bad. But when we were there I let it slip, and they freaked out, "How could you not tell us it was your birthday?! We would have had a party! We could have gotten a cake!" So they got some mexican bread, and we couldn't find any candles,so we put a little umbrella in it, and sang happy birthday. It was the cutest birthday cake ever.
I finished reading the Book of Mormon yesterday, which means I met my goal to read the entire Book of Mormon in the month of December. I learned so much, words can't begin to describe. I will always be grateful for my mission and the testimony that I have gained of the truthfulness of the restoration of the gospel because of the Book of Mormon. I really learned that missionary work goes on forever. I think as missionaries we think it's just for this brief time here on our missions that we are sharing the gospel. When really, it is forever. In Moroni chapter 7, he is talking about miracles and angels. "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased because Christ hath ascended into heaven?...Behold I say unto you Nay; neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men. For behold, they are subject unto him, to minister according to the word of his command, showing themselves unto them of strong faith and a firm mind in every form of godliness. And the office of their ministry is to call men unto repentance, and to fulfil and to do the work of the covenants of the Father, which he hath made unto the children of men, to prepare the way among the children of men, by declaring the word of Christ unto the chosen vessels of the Lord, that they may bear testimony of him."
So, we learn some of what angels do and how they minister:
They are subject unto the father and his command
They show themselves to those of a strong faith
Their ministry is to call men unto repentance and
They declare the word of Christ.
There are thousands of these kinds of angels in the world today, I have met many of them, and I feel privileged to be among their ranks for this short period of time. I know there are many other angels that God sends us in our moments of needs. God's miracles haven't ceased. In Matthew 30, Jesus is going about to all the cities and villages, teaching and preaching, healing sicknesses and disease. And as it is describing his miracles, one in specific is found at the end of the chapter "But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest."
THIS work, is one of his miracles. I know the miracles of God have not ceased in this day. He still sends angels. He still works miracles. Because God does not slumber, neither doth he sleep. He needs his missionaries, and he needs his members, and he needs his children to be there fore him to bring to pass these mighty miracles.
We just have to have the faith to see them. "For it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is in vain."
With this new year, no matter where you may be in your spiritual journey, or what your individual beliefs may be about God, please take some time to consider what you can do this year to show him a little more faith. And I promise that you will see these miracles in your life. because I have seen them in mine.
I love you all very much! I can't wait to see what 2018 has in store.
New Years Eve/Birthday Celebrations
Hermana Hopkins Birthday Cake
Carmencita! This really sweet old woman in our ward we visit.