Family and friends, feliz navidad, or merry Christmas. Thanks for persevering through that skype call with me, sorry it was crazy but it was great to see you all and hear just a little bit :) This Christmas was a Christmas I will never forget.
So for hispanics, real Christmas is celebrated la Noche Buena, or Christmas eve. that's when we have the big dinner and the presents opened at midnight and the tamales and the whole 9 yards, So i was more nervous about finding and teaching on Christmas eve than I really was for Christmas day but I knew that the Lord would guide us to people who needed us, who were maybe lonely or sad for different reasons, and the Lord definitely provided. The first miracle was we had so many investigators at church on Sunday. We had a great meeting and it really started the day off right. The Quezadas, david and sarai, both came and were EARLY and were so happy. Earlier in the week the branch presidency had paid them a visit and talked about their concerns about joining the church and they expressed doubts about the word of wisdom, so we went by saturday and taught the doctrine of the word of wisdom and why we live it and it all clicked for them and they committed to live it right there. we even role played it with him i said hermano what about tomorrow when your brother comes up and says take a beer its christmas! and he just said "eso es facil. dire "o tengo que manejar no gracias'" meaning i have to drive, no thanks. ADDA BOY. They are progressing a lot which makes me really happy. They should be getting baptized here soon they just gotta take that step of faith, please pray for them!
Then later that night was our campfire miracle. This was seriously a dream people. We were contacting and looking for people who needed us and it was snowing and cold and we go to contact this lady we met at our clothes drive last week named Heidi. We go to the house and nobody answered. They lived on a lecheria and we had seen some cars out back.. so we go around and we see some people far away by a camp fire and decide well we can at least talk to them. Turns out it was Heidi and her husband Zeek. They only had one of their 4 sons with them for Christmas and were feeling a little bit down. We asked them if we could play a song for them that we wrote. Rewind: earlier that week we wrote a song about the restoration to the tune of lil drummer boy and had tried to learn it on the guitar. so back to present time, we get our guitar and we sing them a song on the guitar, about the restoration of the gospel of jesus christ, by the fire, in the snow, on christmas eve. HAS THE DAY OF MIRACLES CEASED I SAY UNTO YOU NAY. It was such a powerful moment and the spirit was just so strong and I just wanted to shout for joy but we're going back to see them again tonight actually so that was definitely a tender mercy.
Another miracle from the week, Andrea is doing so so well. She is seriously incredible and my love for her has just quadrupled this week. On Tuesday she texted us and said "hermanas i'm back in my house you can come visit me tomorrow" so we did and she just explained all this tragic drama that has happened with her husband and the abuse and the kids and the pain and how she had to get a restraining order and so many things and she just cried to us and cried and then the only thing we could thing of to do to help her was to clean her house. So we said, hermana we know that life is really hard right now. Can we clean your house? and she looked at us amazed and we said we came here to clean your house and she just started crying and hugging us. WE cleaned her house for about 2 hours and it was work thats for sure but by the end it was clean and she asked us to help her put up her christmas tree, because up to that point she hadn't felt like celebrating Christmas. It was a tender spirit in her home that day and we watched the video "he is the gift" on mormon.org. I would suggest it for all who haven't seen it. But she felt loved that day. We went and saw her again on Christmas evening and brought some presents for the kids (thanks mom for the help with that) and watched the nativity and she said hermanas. ever since you cleaned my house my house has glowed. but its not because it has been clean. it glows because of you. you just glow. I know that it really isn't us that glows, but the spirit and the light of Christ that she is starting to recognize. I was so grateful that I could serve the Lord by loving her and man she is just so special.
Okay i realize i'm writing a lot this week. But I just want to share my testimony of the significance of having a Savior. Have you ever stopped to think about what life would be like without a Savior? How would you comfort your friend who's sibling died? How would you feel after you said something rude to someone in the store? How would you feel to look back and realize the mistakes you've made? Life without a Savior would be a life without Joy and peace and forgiveness. I am so grateful that we DO have a Savior. He is Jesus Christ. "The Son of the Living God. He is the great king Emmanuel, who stands today at the right hand of His Father." I am grateful for Him. I am grateful to know Him. I am grateful to continue knowing Him. And I am grateful to serve Him. Listening to a talk this week someone said "if your self worth is dependent on anything other than your relationship with Jesus Christ, well youre in big trouble". He is everything and He is the only reason we can be anything. I love Him. This is His church. This is His way.
1 christmas dinner with la familia becerril
2 andrea y yo
3 our groupies aka future missionaries camila y carlitos
4 found a baby kittie
5 last exchange ever with hermana lambert!!
Ho ho hello from Enum-clause.
This week was SO CRAZY. SO CRAZY. I could probably write a million pages about everything that has happened, but i'll try to be concise. Hermana Livingston is so great. We are having a great time together and get along so well and teach really well in unity. It's probably the first time in my whole mission I haven't had to really leave a lot of time for my other companion to speak, she just speaks just like me and we work so well and have a goal for every lesson and it's just been going so well. Her first night here was crazy. We had a lot of set appointments, but all of them fell through. We knew that God had another plan for the night but we weren't sure what it was. We prayed and decided to call one of our investigators, when she answered she was screaming on the phone. Turns out she was having an ulcer and her husband had taken her kids and gotten a restraining order and she was running around safeway trying to get the medication the doctors prescribed her. welcome to Enumclaw hermana livingston! It was actually really incredible, we went and found her and brought our member and were able to give her a blessing. She has been through so much in her life that honestly breaks my heart, but she felt the peace of the presence of the priesthood of God and she shared later that when we read her the Book of Mormon she didn't have as much pain.
On Thursday we had our mission Christmas devotional and it was as amazing as ever. Our zone sang a mash up of Silent Night and Jesus Once of Humble Birth that I came up with a few weeks ago (okay I had a dream about it and when I woke up I put them together and it sounded really cool. I'll have to show it to you all sometime) but it helped us feel the Christmas spirit. My favorite part was when one of the mission leaders, Elder Holiday, talked to us about why the angel appeared to the shepherds. There's a lot of symbolism there, of course how Christ is the great Shepherd and todo but then He talked about the passover and how the shepherds were trusted to know which of the sheep was the chosen sheep. The clean and first born lamb. People trusted the shepherds words, because they were there when the sheep was born. The shepherds witnessed Christ's birth, and went forth declaring the good news joyously. As missionaries, that's what we're doing too. Even though we didn't witness Christ's birth, we witnessed His life in the inn of our hearts as we chose to follow Him and felt His spirit and presence in our lives. I loved that. Remember that this Christmas, we can all be witnesses to His birth.
On Saturday we had our festival of finding(the first annual- our first one was last December 17th) which is the day the whole mission goes out and goes finding. Last week I had this idea to involve Light the World, and Day 16 was "I was naked and ye clothed me". So all this week we've been trying to gather donated clothes from our members and we weren't finding a ton but on Friday night we came home to like tooons of bags of clothes on our doorstep! It was a miracle. Saturday we went out and put a table out on Cole st, the main street in town, outside the food bank where the firefighters were handing out toys to families. People then came by the table and picked out clothes they needed for them and their families, and while there we had some ipads from the members and we showed them the light the world video. it was CRAZY successful and we had so many people invite us to come teach them in their home. It was a miracle. And a tender experience as we could help people, serve them, and then teach them about the reason for the season.
Last of all, miracle of miracles, a birthday miracle was that Hugo came to church on Sunday, but he didn't just come to church, he came to church IN A SUIT. YEAAAAAH. We were so excited to see him walk in. He made me take a picture of him and said i need to remember it forever. Oh Hugo, you know I will. My brithday was pretty great, the branch council sang me happy birthday as the opening song and I couldn't have asked for anything more. I'm so grateful to be a missionary this time of year, and every time of year, and to be a special witness that Jesus is the Christ, the great shepherd and just wants us all to come home. next week the libraries will be closed so I won't be able to write, but merry christmas to all and happy new year. Don't forget to put mas Christ in your christmas this year :) Check our mormon.org for ideas on how to serve!
1- hna livs
2 this is me being a tree and she is a wise man
3 las hermanas
4-5 light the world clothes drive
6 that's a fancy miracle
7 feliz cumpleanos!
Feliz mes del nacimiento de Jesucristo :) desafortunadamente, muchos en el mundo se enfoquen en alguien que no es Jesucristo... pero esta semana, aprendimos que podemos enfocarnos en los dos :)
We had a great week this week. So one of the things we do as missionaries is we track a lot of numbers to help us learn if we are working the most efficiently we can. One of the numbers we track is how many lessons we teach with members present, because we know it is easier for people to learn about the gospel and understand when there are members there that can be their friends better than we can. This week, we had a really great member come out with us 3 nights in a row!! His name was Santa Claus, more commonly reffered to amount our people as Papa Noel. He is such a strong member of the church people! We visited a lot of part member families with him and people that used to learn and we had 12 new people invite us to come back to learn more about our message. It was a miracle!! Santa is the best member present ever, and it was really great to help people realize when we sing "oh come let us adore him" we're talking about Jesus Christ. jesus Christ is the center of Christmas. He is the reason we celebrate Christmas. We celebrate him, his perfect life, his humble birth, and the things we can do ONLY because of him. I love that Christmas eve is a Sunday this year, and it gives us a perfect opportunity to show him he really is the center of our christmas. We are excited to keep spreading this joyful word this holiday season. Oh speaking of which, hermana debry got transferred and my new and final companion with be hermana livingston!! We have been on some exchanges together and she came out with hermana short but is a seriously great missionary and we are so excited to be in the claw together. (the claw = enumclaw hahaha classic). Don't have much more to write about this week, but I'm entering into my last transfer as a full time representative of Jesus Christ. Please pray I can continue to be led to the people who need me in these last 6 weeks and that I can do everything the Lord has in store for me here! I love you all! Also, don't forget to check out mormon.org with the daily ideas of service to serve like Jesus Christ did! I promise it will Light up your LIFE and light up your holiday season! My favorite thing is just walking around in the freezing cold here in Enumclaw with no lights but sharing this video with people on their doorstep in the middle of the trailer parks. The spirit is so strong and he is there with us. I love this work and I know it is guided by HIM!
1 branch christmas foto
2 never too old for santa
3 grandpa blad bought us 2 REAL CHRISTMAS TREES I WAS OVER COME WITH JOY JEJEJE
4-6 visits with santa claus! night 1 was with the young women, night 2 was with the branch council, and night 3 was with the young men
7 pumpkin empanadas. youre welcome.
8 el districto
9-10 sisters of the MLC is the greatest squad I've ever been apart of
Not sure how its been another week but here we are again.
Life in Enumclaw is as good as ever. We are so busy and running around all over the place but seeing miracles everywhere we look! The biggest miracle this week was with Hugo. He told us about some addictions he's been going through but mostly how much he just wants to change and he doesn't want to be like this anymore. After talking through it a lot he said he wanted to go to the ARP classes, Addiction recover classes that the church has. so we went and we were there just to help him feel comfortable and go in and then we stayed outside and Lastenia was there so we had the chance to talk to her a little bit too. She has seen a huge change in Hugo and it is helping her recognize the power of the Atonement. They are so ready to get baptized!! I am so grateful to my heavenly father that he is allowing me to see the change the Atonement of Christ can really make on a person. It's incredible. 180 degrees different. And then he wasn't able to come to church yesterday because of some family drama, but it all got resolved and we were on the phone with him and he was just talking about all these things he's been doing and all the changes he wants to make still and the spirit was really strong and we felt like we should invite him to baptism right there on the phone. so we did! and he said "yeah. I want to be baptized. I'm ready and haven't smoked for a week." So we invited him for January 13th and he said yes. He actually then yelled to Lastenia and said "Lastenia we are getting baptized on January 13th." It was so cool!! He seriously has so much motivation and desire right now. he's doing all the right things and has finally started praying consistently. I think that's been the biggest difference, he is forming a relationship with God and that gives him the strength to change. It's been a miracle. I am so grateful for Jesus Christ and how he can mold us into the people we can become, but only through him.
We've been working with another family, Sarai and David Quezada. Theyve been taught for a long time, they almost got baptized a year ago and they have such a strong testimony of Christ and the Book of Mormon and the restoration. So you may be wondering whats missing? Same I have no clue. So this week we made a plan with them about reading every night together and then praying with the question on whether this was the place they were supposed to be and if they need to be baptized. So we literally have been there every night and read with them everynight and the spirit has been so strong and I just knew they were going to recognize thier answer and then Sunday comes along and they don't come to church. What?! We went over that night and my heart was just sad because really we can't expect God to answer us if we haven't done everything we can do, and going to church is part of doing everything we can do. its his commandment and it's how we show Jesus Christ we truly always remember him. And it reminded me of a story of a friend of mine's on the mission, she saw this homeless lady walking on the street and her shoes were completely destroyed and falling apart and so she looked at her shoes and knew she needed to give them to this lady. So they pulled over and she said here take my shoes theyre new I dont need them and the lady said "no thanks, I'm okay." what? she said no no its okay theyre for you please take them and the lady said "it's fine I can get my own shoes tomorrow i'll be fine". She literally didn't take the shoes. So my friend she left the shoes on the street in front of her, in case she had felt uncomfortable taking them or something and they drove back 5 min later and the lady had literally not taken the shoes. Why? Sometimes, we think we're okay. Jesus Christ comes to us with these brand new shoes, a new life through his sacrifice and Atonement and yet we say "no, I'm okay. I can get my own shoes". I testify with all my heart that we simply can not do it. We are not capable on our own. it is impossible without him. So people, JUST TAKE THE SHOES. He wants us to, he's begging us to. Just take the sacrifice and find peace and joy through the Atonement of Christ.
On that note, I encourage everyone to go to mormon.org and check out the new light the world video and the 25 ways we can serve people this holiday season. Allow yourselves to change someone elses life this year. I love my Savior, and am so grateful he was born. and that he lives.
1 Hugo and I at the Christmas activity
2 they made me dress up as mary and hermana debry was the angel. no regrets.
3 this is hermana torres but she got shy last second I LOVE HER
4 yo con las bacas
5 exchanges in Federal Way when we contacted on the beach feat hermana facer
Hermana Fallyn Reed
Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the Federal Way, Washington Mission. July 2016 - January 2018.