Bummer about the mugs, (he sent us mugs that were broken when they got here) but I am so happy that yall got your gifts! Alright! I am going to set up a couple of stories this time,
Service for Hermana Vasquez
So on Saturday Morning we had an exchange with the Zone Leaders and I was with Elder Ray in our area, during the exchange we decided to visit a member of the ward so on our way to an appointment we swing by but of her cars was missing, we still knocked, no one answered so we went on our way to try to teach more people. Later, about an hour before dinner, we were on her street again and decided to try once more. We passed by and this time her 1980s Chevy van was there, we knocked and she said she was just about to leave again so we didn’t have time to share a message but we offered to help her with her yard. She is a great grandmother and has such a kind heart. When we offered to help her, her face lit up, then a little concern since it was about 40 degrees outside, but that didn’t bother us, we went to work raking up a ton of leaves that were in her driveway and on her patio. It was about half an hours to an hours worth of work. While we were doing it she came back outside and gave us some delicious dried cranberries, cheesecake, and some Mexican cookies that go great with hot chocolate! Her neighbor’s dog, a little spotted black and white puppy of a terrier came to help us and was running around our feet the whole time.
Lesson with German
With Elder Shepherd we went to visit an investigator who has been really receptive to the gospel. We showed up at around seven, knocked and within few moments he walked out decked in a Texan belt, tan snakeskin boots, and a classy tan jacket. He and his family were on their way to a wedding of their neighbor who lives beneath them. That kind of cut down the time we could teach, so we began to talk, just casually but it progressed into a discussion about the great role he plays as a father, the role model he is to his family and especially to his children. We related it to how God has set an example to each of us and loves us so dearly. We asked him what he thought of it and his words struck me, he said “well, we are children of God” That was a piece of his testimony that did not exist when we first met him. The way he said it and the pause in our talk afterwards, I know that the Spirit testified to him of the truth of those words, that it was more than just a sentence, but an understanding that went even deeper. That is what makes missionary work worth it, to see the great progress that happens inside their hearts, and it is wonderful. We ended up talking for half an hour on his porch, thankfully we didn’t make him late as we followed up again last night to see how they were doing.
New Guy we found
While with Elder Ray we decided to visit a potential Investigator that Elder Shepherd and I had found the week before. We arrived at a quite clean and organized red brick home and entered their entrance hall and knocked the door. A man in a red shirt and jeans answered on crutches, he had been walking down some stairs and sprained his calf at his work. He was very open and let us un to his home, we sat on his couch, the football game to the left of us, and this man sitting to the right on another couch. We began to talk of his life, learn who he is, what he does, what is important to him, and we testified of the truths that he stated. He was interested in what we had to say, eventually we said a prayer and shared the complete Restoration with him. He asked questions, yearned for understanding and we were able to provide to his needs. When we left the home, he understood God has his true church on the earth today, that there is a prophet, and that he will need to read the book of Mormon to know that these things are true.
On Christmas eve we had a wonderful devotional and an interesting time to end up there! We got up at our normal time, did our exercise, and soon after we were ready the Zone Leaders picked us up and we were on our way to first the 8th Ave chapel to grab a projector screen then we took another half an hour drive to get to the stake center, (in all of Fort worth there are three church buildings but the city is huge!) We got there and set up round tables and chairs in the cultural hall in preparation for the devotional, as time progressed more and more missionaries arrived, it soon became about 100 missionaries about a half an hour before the devotional started, and it was wonderful. We watched the original “Christmas Carol” and had a wonderful lunch during it of baked beans, potato salad and pulled pork in a bun with sauce! Then we had a devotional where a missionary read what we call the “full Christmas Story” starting with the beginning of the councils in heaven to Christ’s birth, to the need to follow him. Afterwards some groups of missionaries sang and we got the wonderful letters from all of yall!
There isn’t too much left to describe for Christmas day, but in general we opened presents quite early in the morning,
then we got ready for the day, and we went to District meeting! I asked everyone to bring some food and we had a great potluck!
Afterwards I got to call yall and each time I do, saying goodbye is the hardest part, I haven’t been able to do it without brining a tear to my eye. We had dinner at a members home that night, they made pasole, which is a delicious Hispanic soup of chicken (sometimes pork)
I love you and hope yall have a happy new year!
Love Elder Grant Hagen