Elder Brown, one of our assistants, went home this past week. That was kind of a bummer. It has been awesome working in the offices and getting to know him and go out on splits with him. He has taught me so much. One of the few missionaries I know that I can say was the 4th missionary.
After that, elder Nilsson went home and sister Britsch went home. We are going to miss them. Especially Elder Nilsson working in the offices with us.
This change has been crazy with different people leaving on different schedules because they extended their mission or had to start school early, o lo que sea. It’s been a fun one though.
As Christmas gets closer, life gets more hectic. We have calls basically everyday saying we need to go get mail, we have different deadlines to get to before people close for the holidays, getting changes done and figured out because buses don’t run when we needed them to run, working to get missionaries from different countries so they arrive on time, etc. It’s a lot but we are somehow getting it all done by putting in extra hours.
Something cool that happened this past week was my old ward from Salto came down to Montevideo to go to the temple so I got to see them! I feel like I have never missed somewhere so much in my life. I love my area now but there is nothing like seeing the people from your first area and remembering all the experiences that you had with them. It was cool seeing all of the awesome people that we worked with at the temple. And it was cool because I actually could talk to them now jaja. I have been so blessed to be able to meet and build relationships with the people down here in Uruguay. There are some of my best friends now. Hermana Silvia even cooked me a cake! jaja I got to see my best friend Thiago too. He drew me a picture and wrote me a letter. I was soooooo happy to get to see all them again.
So yesterday was awesome. Elder Woods hit the streets hard. It started off interesting because we were walking down this street and this guy calls us over and starts asking us who he can talk to to sell the church land to build a new chapel. It was an interesting contact to say the least but we gave him an invitation to this activity we are having in the temple gardens tonight and tomorrow night and he said he would go. We kept walking and about 15 minutes later we walked passed this older lady (later told us she was 93) sitting on her front porch who looked so sad. We walk past and Elder woods commented about it and it kinda hit me that we needed to go back and I said "lets go talk to her. wanna do it?" he just goes ill follow you" so I was like "LETS DO IT!!" we turned around and went back and started talking to her about how beautiful the day was and everything. Then we started talking about Christ and the meaning of the Christmas season and everything and she went on to explain that she was catholic and wasn’t going to change but we stayed and bore our testimonies of Jesus Christ and left her with a smile. I was kinda bummed wondering why we had felt so strongly to go back and talk to her if she was just going to reject us. Well I got my answer a few seconds later. As we were walking past the next house, a man on a moto yelled at us and called us over. He and his daughter took off their helmets and introduced themselves. He said that he wanted us to go over to his house and give his wife a blessing because she was sick. He told us that his wife had told him that the next time he saw the mormon missionaries in the streets to stop them and tell them to come over. So we set up a time to go by today and he was really grateful and left. Then it hit me. We talked to her so that we would be there when this guy passed on his moto. If we had kept going, we wouldn’t have been there when the guy came through the intersection. Now we are going over to exercise the priesthood and teach a family. The Lord really does provide as we work with all diligence and follow the promptings of the Spirit. It seems as though every time something like this happens I am always overwhelmed with gratitude for being part of this great work. Then right after that, we met a guy on the streets and made a contact and taught as we walked about 8 blocks to his house. We went on after that to teach some menos activos and finish up the day strong with some other lessons. I love the mission!!!
Tonight and tomorrow night we have a huge Christmas program in Carrasco at the temple. It’s going to be great. We have the assignment of giving tours and answering questions. It’s a big program of choirs and Christmas videos. It’s going to be such an uplifting experience for all those that go.
My spiritual thought today comes from Mosiah 2. The last verse in the chapter, verse 41. It says:
41 Y además, quisiera que consideraseis el bendito y feliz estado de aquellos que guardan los mandamientos de Dios. Porque he aquí, ellos son bendecidos en todas las cosas, tanto temporales como espirituales; y si continúan fieles hasta el fin, son recibidos en el cielo, para que así moren con Dios en un estado de interminable felicidad. ¡Oh recordad, recordad que estas cosas son verdaderas!, porque el Señor Dios lo ha declarado.
(41 And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.)
I testify, as King Benjamin did, that as we keep the commandments that God has set forth for us, we will find this happiness. We will live in this happiness. We will receive all of the blessings the our Heavenly Father has prepared for us. This is my testimony that I leave you with. I know that Christ lives. I know that He loves us and knows us perfectly. I hope that we all can take time this Christmas season to think back on what He really means to us. Pray and think about what influence He has had in our lives. Do your best to REMEMBER this as we go throughout this season and into a new year.
I love you all so much. Thank you for all you do.
Lets all try a little bit harder to be a little bit better this week.
Have a very Merry Christmas!