Merry Christmas Eve Eve Eve errybody! It's like finally hitting me that it's actually Christmas...this Christmas season hasnt really felt any different being that every day is focused on Christ. Also the fact that I am in Florida where people run to escape the winter and the snow might play a factor too. But we've been allowed to listen to Christmas Music in the car this past week until January 2 (bring on the David Archuleta), everyone was decked out in their best Christmas apparel ( the bishopric in the White Ward wore Christmas ties, a red suit, a green suit and then the third a plaid one- try to compete with that) and I gave a talk in church on La Navidad so I'm officially all ready for Christmas! It was nice having a two day heads up about the talk instead of a 7 minutes one this time. I really am so grateful for this time that I have every day to really focus on the true meaning of Christmas. And I can tell that I have learned because I can honestly say I haven't really given any thought to what I'm going to receive on Christmas, but instead on how I can serve and do the will of the Lord better each day. What I need to do to show my savior my love and become the Missionary and individual that he needs me to be. I've always known that the meaning of Christmas is to remember the birth of our Savior, the Gift that Heavenly Father gave to us, to embrace this gift and then share the joy that we can find because of Him with everyone else. But I've never truly lived the meaning of Christmas until now.
So I'm going to talk a little bit about Roberto. So he has been doing really well with reading and praying but he still wasn't sure if he wanted to be baptized in this church because he hasn't received a confirmation from God yet. His baptismal date was set for 27 of December though. But on Wednesday, we decided that after our lesson with him, we were going to invite him to pray and to ask God specifically if being baptized on the 27 in this church was what God wanted him to do and then after we would have a minute of silence to listen. I invited him to do that and as he was praying I was praying so hard for him to be able to feel the spirit that I felt so strongly right then. That minute of silence was probably the most powerful minute I've ever had, I definitely felt the spirit testify to me. When I looked up at Roberto after, his eyes were all watery and he said he felt good. He said he believed that being baptized on that day was what Heavenly Father wanted him to do and that this was the correct path. I know that God is real and His spirit is real. We can all feel it if we just take a minute to be still. I'm praying that everything will go well setting up his baptism this week, please pray that he will be able to remember that answer he received and will have the faith to act on it when the day comes.
This week we also received a referral from the Sarasota Hermanas. It was for a man named Ricardo who had CALLED THEM (that's a miracle in itself) asking to be taught. He was in our area though so we said we would go and contact him ( this is yesterday). Turns out they had the wrong address and we were calling this poor guy trying to figure out where he lived and I felt so bad because I'm bad with directions in general in a place that I know but directions in Spanish over the phone in a part of our area where I'd never been before was something else haha. He even offered to come and meet us somewhere to show us the way to his house. He was willing to go out of his way for us to meet him so I knew he was someone special! I eventually figured it out and we met him in the parking lot of a Publix and taught him about the restoration. He is really prepared and recognized the spirit as we taught and after he prayed. He said he would be baptized when he knew this was true and he said he already felt good! God is preparing so ,any people, we just have to find them!
Adriana isn't doing so well. Since her fallen through baptism date her grandma has been talking to her and her dad about how her mom ( who passed away) wanted to have her kids baptized catholic amd to have them all baptized together. Adriana has kind of lost that fire and desire to learn more now because of that...it's amazing to me how fast we can fall sometimes once we let God fall out of our lives. It's sad, my heart hurts for her. I can only imagine how hard it must be for her to be surrounded by that opposition all the time. I think we are going to have to stop teaching her but keep praying for her and that she will remember and apply everything she has learned.
Heppy and Melanoa have been sick this week so we haven't been able to see them. Their mom has texted us a few times on her own so that was really good though. Theirs is a really hard situation, we have done everything we can possibly do to help them be baptized so now we are just waiting for their parents to decide their baptismal date. I never thought it would be this hard to help them be baptized haha.
Well to top it all off I survived my first week as a trainer! And not just survived, I've already learned so much and feel so blessed. I have been relying on Heavenly Father and my Savior more this week than I ever have in my life and I feel like I have been helped so so much and I have felt the Spirit work through me so much stronger than I ever have before. The gift of tongues must be real because I never had any problem understanding what someone was trying to tell me and I was able to say everything that the Spirit told me to say. I would say my Spanish has improved like 10 times more this week but I know that's not true because it hasn't been me. I have also felt like I have "become a better teacher" this week, meaning I have "become better at inviting the spirit" which does the teaching. Like I can't even express how much I felt the help of the Lord this week. I feel more bold. More loving. More faithful. More fearless. More trusting. More thankful. I keep trying to give back to the Savior but even during this process of me giving to him- He always, always gives me more. I hope everyone has a maravillosa Christmas, know that I'm thinking of and love you.