Merry Christmas Family!
So we got news that we actually are allowed to Skype after all. So on Christmas, I will be at la familia Carrillo's house. We are getting there at 6:00. We are planning on beginning the call (or Skype) at 6:30. Hope that works for y'all. The Carrillo's don't have Skype set up but have the equipment and are willing to help us out. Stephen, if you could call Hermana Carrillo (281-313-3269) and try and figure that out with her, that would be great. If it seems like it will be too hard for them then don't worry about it. I don't want to be a burden for them since they are already taking care of us so well. So if Skype doesn't work, backup is the conference call. A phone call might be better than Skype because you all with make fun of my weight gain. After two transfers I had put on 20 pounds!
Anyways, I will be sending you all presents next P-Day most likely. So they will get there around New Years. I didn't know where everyone was going to be and I figured it would be better to just be able to send things to your own homes.
We have had a wonderful week. Many mighty miracles. We have been fasting and praying to find a family and now we are teaching four different families that are all wonderful. The family that is looking the best right now is la familia Robles. Wanda and Jesse are the parents and Ethel and Beneful are the daughters. They are incredible. We brought our bishop and his family to teach them the other night and it was great. They are definitely an answer to much prayer. Wanda is pregnant right now and so excited. They are both from Honduras and know a lot about the Church. Please pray that they will be able to come to church on Sunday.
We had a really neat experience last week that I forgot to write about in my email. We visited a man named John that we had taught a few weeks ago (he was the one that when we asked why he let us in he said he had a feeling that he needed to). He was busy and wasn't to keen about the idea of giving us some of his time. We talked with him and finally he agreed to let us in for 10 minutes. While we were in the lesson we learned that he works 14+ hours a day and is just exhausted all the time and that he doesn't have time to read the Book of Mormon or come to church. The Spirit came and reminded me of an experience I had. Senior year during first semester I was taking Lindmark's AP American Government class. I am sure that you all remember the joys of that class. It was getting close to finals and I was dying. I would stay up till 3 in the morning finishing outlines and then go to seminary. I was almost to the point of despair. Then we had tithing settlement with Bishop Smart. He said one of the prayers while we were there and in his prayer he prayed for each family member specifically. When he prayed for me he prayed that my time would be magnified. I had never thought of praying for something like that before, but I will always remember how I saw the hand of the Lord that week. I remember assignment deadlines being changed to allow us more time, I remember assignments being cancelled altogether, I remember being able to complete assignments more effeciently, and I remeber everything working out. I still never will know how it did, but I know that it did. As I told this story to John and bore my testimony that God wants him to have more time to develop the spiritual side of his life, the Spirit filled the room and bore witness of my words. The Holy Ghost also taught me in that moment that the truths taught in D&C 100 apply specifically to me:
3 Behold, and lo, I have much people in this place, in the regions round about; and an effectual door shall be opened in the regions round about in this eastern land.4 Therefore, I, the Lord, have suffered you to come unto this place; for thus it was expedient in me for the asalvation of souls.
I know that my mission call comes from a loving Father in Heaven through His chosen prophet upon the earth. I am so grateful for the chance to be here in Texas and to be surrounded by so many people that I love so dearly and that love me in return.
One of my favorite scriptures recently has been John 14:27:
Peace I leave with you, my bpeace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be ctroubled, neither let it be afraid.
It keeps coming up and each time I realize that if I am feeling peace it is the Holy Ghost. What an blessing to have the Comforter with us (verse 26).
President Ashton writes an article each month and it is published in our monthly news letter called "The Ebenezer". This month he made a very insightful comment coupled with a comment from Sister Ashton's article. Sister Ashton talked of how we often decide that when we don't understand how we are going to get through a specific situation we decide to put all of our trust in God. She commented that while this is good, we still go into it expecting a certain outcome. We essentially say, "Here God, this is in your hands. I trust that you can help me and that You will eventually bless me with such and such." She explained that we limit God because we do not allow Him to work in our lives according to the eternal perspective which He sees. President Ashton then in his article said that we limit God by desiring blessing that are far below the blessings God wants to give us. He said that it is like asking for a mole hill when He has a mountain waiting for us. It reminded me a lot of a talk by President Uchtdorf from a priesthood session in which he speaks of living far beneath our priesthood priviledges. My new focus is to receive the "mountain". I just need to continue to try and completely surrender my will to His and then "stand still with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed."
I love you all. I have loved this Christmas season because it turns my thoughts continually to the Savior and His life. I look forward to speaking with you.