Last day of 2012! с рождеством и с новым годом!
Hope you all had a fun-filled holiday in Hawaii, because I sure did here in Chisinau! Probably one of the best Christmas' I've had. Basically, Christmas was a ton of fun. Our whole zone (which is a total of 12 missionaries) went to Brother Alto's house again (the American), we watched a movie, played games, talked with one another, ate some delicious food made by the senior couples, and the best part of the night, was being able to see all of you on Skype :) I thought I would get all emotional, but sometimes us missionaries forget that we're not here for the rest of our lives. Of course, two years is a while, but nonetheless, I was very happy to talk with my amazing family!
We had a lot of cool experiences this week. The first one is a guy Elder Monroe and Elder Schiers met while on an exchange. He owns a food shop in a new mall they are building here, he knows English and a ton about the Mormons, he has a lot of questions and he said that if we can answer all of them... he'll get baptized. So we'll see how this turns out ;) The funny thing is is that he has a Mexican accent, but he's Persian. Anyway! He showed us around the new mall (which is way cool! I'll attach a picture of it) and when we asked him when it would be done, he said, "Only Joseph Smith and God know!" We got a good laugh out of that. Of course, we didn't meet with him very long, but we plan on meeting with him at least once a day. The other experience was that very night. We have one progressing investigator who lives in our area and he's reading the old AND new translation of the Book of Mormon, the D&C, and he loves it! But during personal study that morning, I was reading in D&C 76:40-42, and the Spirit told me to write it down for this investigator (we were planning on teaching the Plan of Salvation, so it didn't really fit with our lesson plan) but I wrote it down anyway. So during the lesson, my companion asks, "Why did Christ die for us? And what is the significance of his resurrection?" Our investigator answered with a simple "I really dont know..." And right as he said that, a bright light turned on in my head and I remembered the scripture I wrote down that morning...
40 And this is the gospel, the glad tidings, which the voice out of the heavens bore record unto us—
41 That he came into the world, even Jesus, to be crucified for the world, and to bear the sins of the world, and to sanctify the world, and to cleanse it from all unrighteousness;
42 That through him all might be saved whom the Father had put into his power and made by him;
Right as he read it, I could SEE the understanding flow into his mind by the way he reacted. It was amazing how a random scripture that I read would answer his question, even though we were planning on teaching something different. NEVER IGNORE A PROMPTING FROM THE SPIRIT. You'll never regret it. That's an important lesson I'm learning every single day, and It's something we can ALWAYS work on. Even us missionaries aren't perfect at it!
Thank you so much for the Christmas package though! It didn't come before Christmas... but it got pretty close! Now I have a huge candy stash in my apartment, just in case we ever get snowed in ;) I cannot express the deep love I have for all of you. Every day I appreciate the family I was blessed with more and more, and I hope you can see the many blessings that I can see coming from Heavenly Father because of my decision to serve a full-time mission.
Thanks for all the Hawaii pictures too. It looks like you had a lot of fun, and enjoyed the nice weather. It was freezing here until two days ago, so it's not too bad righ now. In 18 days, I'll have 1/4 of my mission completed. 3/4's to go! I'm enjoying every second of it, and I wish I was better at writing emails, but I have lots of "other" stories to tell when I get home :)
Love you all and Happy New Year!
I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go lyrics (read them during church and thought I'd share them with you!)
1. It may not be on the mountain height
Or over the stormy sea,
It may not be at the battle's front
My Lord will have need of me.
But if, by a still, small voice he calls
To paths that I do not know,
I'll answer, dear Lord, with my hand in thine:
I'll go where you want me to go.
I'll go where you want me to go, dear Lord,
Over mountain or plain or sea;
I'll say what you want me to say, dear Lord;
I'll be what you want me to be.
2. Perhaps today there are loving words
Which Jesus would have me speak;
There may be now in the paths of sin
Some wand'rer whom I should seek.
O Savior, if thou wilt be my guide,
Tho dark and rugged the way,
My voice shall echo the message sweet:
I'll say what you want me to say.
3. There's surely somewhere a lowly place
In earth's harvest fields so wide
Where I may labor through life's short day
For Jesus, the Crucified.
So trusting my all to thy tender care,
And knowing thou lovest me,
I'll do thy will with a heart sincere:
I'll be what you want me to be.