Merry Christmas Christmas Christmas Christmas!!!!!!!!
Today is so good! I love Christmas! I hope you are all enjoying your beautiful day celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I love my Savior! This truly is the most wonderful time of the year!
This week was super crazy! As usual haha. Transfers were , so I said goodbye to Elder Pratt and said hello to............. Elder Lee!!!!!! Elder Lee was my district leader for my last two transfers in Astoria so we already knew each other and are getting along super great! I loved him as my district leader and I love him even more as my companion! :) this is going to be a phenomenal transfer! I am so pumped!
Something that seemed to be kind of a theme for me this week was noticing how the gospel can uplift and inspire others with even the smallest of exposure to it. We went knocking the other night trying to share the #LightTheWorld video. Not a whole lot came out of the night in the sense of finding new investigators. However, I grew personally from that night of knocking doors. I have three small stories to tell from that night :) The first person that changed me a bit was Dr. Stephens. It was that we were knocking. It gets super dark here by , and people get really scared when their doorbell rings after dark. Well, Dr. Stephens was no exception. We rang her doorbell and waited for a bit. After a minute or so, we heard a very cautious voice ask who it was. We kindly introduced ourselves through the door and she opened it just a crack. However, she refused to open the huge metal screen door haha. She seemed extremely nervous and said that we scared her half to death. We apologized and tried to share our video with her. Dr. Stephens, still really skeptical of us, refused to watch the video and started to leave. I can’t remember specifically what I said, but I asked her a question that instantly stopped her from leaving. She then began to talk about her family and what they meant to her. That topic led into her belief in Christ and the love she has for Him. We ended up talking with her on her doorstep for about 30 minutes. By the end of our conversation, she told us that she was having a hard time recovering from a surgery and was losing hope and that God sent us to her to show her the light at the end of the tunnel. Dr. Stephens said we could come by again at any time. It was such a special experience for me to see the light of the gospel touch her heart and brighten her life for the day.
The next door we knocked on that night was Annie’s. Annie is a college student who moved here to Brooklyn on her own. Her family is back in her home country, so she would be spending the holidays alone. We knocked on her door, told her we were sharing an uplifting Christmas video, and pressed play. As Annie was watching, I could see something change in her eyes and on her face. She started to smile, and when the video ended I asked her what she felt. Annie told us that she felt so inspired and uplifted and determined to serve others just as Christ did this Christmas season. I left that conversation knowing that the gospel had touched her life in a simple, yet profound way that will bless her life :)
The last one for that night of knocking happened immediately after talking with Annie. Elder Lee and I were walking toward the next house as a woman with some Christmas gifts in her bag was passing us on the sidewalk. I forgot my glasses that night and it was super dark. I couldn’t tell for certain, but I was pretty sure it was one of our current investigators, Angel! So, I greeted the woman with enthusiasm and excitement as if I already knew her. It turned out now to be Angel, but the woman was somewhat curious at how happy I was to see her haha! She agreed to watch our video :) at the end of it, she said she felt really inspired and determined to do her best to serve others. She is from Haiti, so told her we have Haitian Creole translators at our church. She was super excited about that and instantly wanted to learn more about our church! After talking more about it, she said she will definitely come visit our church some day!
Christmas Eve was phenomenal! Church was the best! The program was laid out like Music and the Spoken Word. Brother Kelly would read a snippet of the Christmas nativity story and then there would be a musical number. There were 8 musical numbers in total! It was amazing! Our ward is a little short on accompanists and somehow the word got spread around the members that I played the piano. So, I got to play the piano for 4 musical numbers yesterday! It was very special to be able to fill the chapel with the sweet feeling of Christmas music praising our Savior and Father in Heaven! I love Christmas! Also, our investigator, Jessica, came to church for the first time yesterday! She is doing really really well! She is reading the Book of Mormon on her own and praying every single night! What’s also crazy is that our ward mission leader knows Jessica from work! Instant fellowshipper! YES!!
Yesterday, we were walking down the street and both felt that there was somewhere we were needed. We said a quick prayer and asked where it was we needed to go. Elder Lee asked me if there was anyone who might be alone (Christmas Eve) that we could go visit. The first person that came to my mind was Sister Tisch. She is a widow and has no family here to be with her. I looked up here address and a miracle happened! We were standing right outside of her apartment building! We ran up to her room on the 7th floor. Sister Tisch was super happy too see us. We sat down with her and sang Christmas songs and watched a talk from the First Presidency Christmas devotional. She called us this morning (Christmas Day) and thanked us for the blessing we were to her last night. She said she was feeling kind of down without actually celebrating Christmas with anyone, and that our songs filled her home with the Spirit. I am so grateful to God for sending us there last night! It is so neat to see how God can use us as his instruments for blessing the lives of others. Heavenly Father is so amazing and really really really loves each and every one of His children! God is so good!
Our investigators are making great strides in their progression! Jose is consistently hitting his goal for the Word of Wisdom and has had a couple days of not breaking it once! I am so proud of him!
Last thing, I promise! Hahaha #LightTheZone is now finished and has made the biggest difference in our zone! The difference between when I first got here and now is night and day! I see and feel the spirit with each of the missionaries here and can feel the Christlike love they have for each other and for all people. I am so grateful for the Spirit that has touched the missionaries’ hearts as they have served each other and others and have opened their hearts to the love of the gospel! What an incredible experience this has been to be able to see the change here in Zone 2! God is so good!
I hope you all have an amazing Christmas! I love you all!
Gotta just love the Christmas decorations you find here in the Brooklyn projects! Hahaha :)