hahaha Mom I love the title of the email! It's been fairly cold here too, no snow but still chilly. So yes, I am very glad that we have a car!
Isn't the Christmas season just the greatest thing in the world? I love it so so much! I'm glad you got the tree, and thanks for sending me some pictures. I love seeing it all even though I'm not there. We have been able to help two members put up their trees so I haven't missed out too much! I actually made a tree out of construction paper last night for our apartment! haha I wanted some kind of decoration so I'll be sure to send you a picture once it's all decorated. hahah construction paper trees. They're the best. But I just love seeing all the lights and what not and people getting so excited for the season! We were able to watch the Christmas Devotional with Carlos and his family last night, so I watched it in Spanish, but I still got some great things out of it! I love the Christmas season and the reason for which we celebrate it. Christ is the greatest gift that has ever been given, and how great it is that we get to celebrate Him!
This week has been great, and we have been able to find some new investigators and potentials to work with. We have seen some awesome miracles too, and I'll share one or two, but mostly I want to share with you what I have learned this week! Okay so one day this past week we were walking over by some apartments to see if one of our recent converts was home to visit. No one answered and as we were walking out we saw a man and started to talk to him about the gospel and the importance of families. We got his information so we could visit him later, but as we were walking away we heard someone call out to us. We turned around and a woman had pulled over across the street and started asking us if we were from a church. She said she saw us talking to that man as she drove past and decided to turn around to come talk to us. She said that she is in need of a church and has been looking for one, but doesn't know where to go. And it was slightly ironic because the day before we were saying, "Ah I wish someone would just come up to us and say 'I'm looking for a church, can you help me?'" And then it happened the next day! The miracles of the Lord and the way that He works! It's so rewarding to get to see it happen first hand as a missionary--there is no greater work on this earth! We haven't been able to meet with her again because she started work the next day, but we are hopeful and grateful for that experience!
Now for the things I have learned this week...the Lord always has a way to nudge you and help you realize what you need to work on. So this week we were able to go to the temple again! Wow wow wow I am so blessed to have that opportunity to go every single transfer. I am so grateful for that! I went with a question in mind of how I can be a better missionary, and what it is that I need to focus on, right now, in this very moment. I wasn't super surprised by the answer I got, but at the same time I was. Sorry that's confusing, but let's just say that I was definitely humbled by the answer I got while I was praying in the temple. The answer I got was my faith. I thought to myself, again? I have known this since I was in the MTC! I received that answer already, and apparentally I needed that realization again! I think a lot of times I recognize what it is that I need to do, then I don't do everything I can to make it happen. So receiving that revelation for a second time was Heavenly Father's way of telling me, you didn't give it your all the first time, and this is what you need right now before you can move on to anything else. I need to have more faith! In so many different aspects of the work. I know that I need a lot more confidence in declaring this message, even though it can be scary...especially in Spanish. (But I think I'm finally starting to get over that) But, the most important thing that I have realized is that I need more confidence in my Savior. That is the key. It's not having confidence in myself, it's having confidence in Him. I know that I need to put everything I have into this work before I can receive much more. I studied about grace this week, and I realized this enabling power--the power of Jesus Christ--is available to everyone. However, it is conditional on our part and our faith in Him. It is only after we give everything that we have that we can receive His help. He expects us to go as far as we can, to push ourselves and stretch ourselves, and then when we reach our limits, that enabling power is given to us and we realize that we can go so much further than we ever imagined. We do not even come close to realizing our full potential, but with our faith in the Savior and His help, we can begin to understand and recognize our potential more and more every single day. (Ether 12:27 for this next part.) In that moment in the temple, the Lord was showing me my weakness and I was humbled because it wasn't the answer I expected to receive, especially for a second time. I didn't think I had a problem with being faithful--I definitely have faith--but there are just some aspects that I need to work on. It is by faith that all things are fulfilled. So, I have committed myself to give everything I have to the Savior, to become that consecrated missionary, putting everything else aside. Tay wrote me a few weeks ago with a quote from our very own Peter Hoj that has seriously helped me so much the past week. I have realized that I need to STRIVE. Dad said, "This life is not the time that we reach perfection. It is the time we 'strive' for becoming perfect. Strive is a far more powerful word than 'try.' To try is to attempt. To strive is to 'endeavor.' Strive has more heart than try, strive has more faith than try, and strive has more motivation at its core." Wise words daddy, thank you! This is what I will be doing with faith in the Lord...I will strive.That's it for me this week, I hope that you will all do the same. Give the Savior everything you have, that is the greatest gift that we can give to Him. Love you all so much, I'll talk to you (and see you) soon!!!