these two boys are the sons of Fransisco (investigator ... baptism Saturday) and a recent convert, Armando, who is awesome! Their boys are hilarious and after this night they literally wouldn't let go because we had so much fun with them!!!
a small milk accident
The infamous 'trick' bike we've all heard so much about
not exactly your typical sister missionary bike
Today is our half Preparation Day so we can enjoy Christmas Day as well! My time today is shortened but I wanted to tell you about one thing.
Oh, but before that. We are going to a single mom's house for Christmas morning. By Christmas morning, I mean Christmas morning! We're going to her house around 6am! She has two really cute kids but they're going to be at their fathers house so we're bringing our presents, with the English sisters in the area, and all of us are having a Christmas morning together! Hna Ghan loves her and we've eaten at their house twice in the short month I've been here! And hopefully I'll have my voice back by Friday - as of right night I am just getting it back from losing it the past week (I guess I talk too much or something? Who would've thought .... as a missionary ....)
Anyway, we worked the Christmas lights again this week. Tonight is our last night working there. Everytime we have the opportunity to serve there, we talk about how people come and will be touched by the words we have to say. Specific people. We have been selected certain nights. It is all by inspiration. Anyway, most of the time that is referring to finding more people we can teach and who can enjoy the blessings of the gospel in their lives. This past Saturday though, for me, it had to do with a conversation with a man who was very familiar with the church.
He was walking by himself and I approached him and asked him if he'd been here before. He pointed to the temple and said he'd been sealed there 7 years ago to his wife. They now have 3 children. I asked him what blessings he's received in his life from having the opportunity to be sealed to his family. He began. He told me he'd be frank with me and that he had just been excommunicated from the church from his own actions and would probably be going through a divorce very shortly. He walked on the temple grounds and had to call his wife when he saw the temple again because of how sorry he was for all the grief he had and is causing her. His eyes told the pain that he was feeling in his life. They were piercing. He told me, as a missionary, to keep a journal. Remember the miracles, the feelings, the knowledge; review it often and prevent myself from letting Satan have any grasp on my thoughts, words, or actions. He continued to bear his soul to me of the grief and the consequences he had to deal with because he simply let in, little by little. After a few minutes of him expressing the pain and the complete mess he knew he'd made in his life, we spoke of the Atonement.
The Atonement being not simply something we think about on Sundays or near the holidays. But how it can be involved in our lives each and everyday. How it makes it possible for EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON. to become clean. I testified to him that through the Atonement we have hope in a better tomorrow. Clean. Is that not what we all seek? To be clean and free from nagging worries and impatience and unclean things that clutter our lives? We spoke of the word hope and how for him, he has to ask the question everyday, "is there really hope for me?" I felt the love that God has for this man and it was unmistakable. I promised him he could be forgiven if he continues to repent and becomes worthy of the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ, once again. It is all in the timetable of the Lord though. It is not anywhere near easy and we must live with the consequences of our actions. We spoke of the first great commandment we are given to "love God with all our heart, might, mind, and strength" (or something like that). If we do that, we can be made clean through the power and grace of God.
Oh I do not know how to express these feelings I felt while speaking to this man except to say there is hope for each of us. No matter where we are in our relationship with God, there is hope for us through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Did I mention last week President Utchdorf's talk on Love from this last conference? Marvelous.
I loved hearing about caroling and all that! Fun fun fun! What a great time of the year this is! Thank you for your letters, pictures, love, and prayers. Fransisco is getting baptized this week and we are more excited than ever!
FELIZ NAVIDAD! Siempre, Hermana Clark