Tue, 2 Dec 2014 12:28:
Well, I cannot believe that it is now the month of December... You would not believe the amount of Christmas lights that are already up! It is funny to me to see people's homes decorated with massive blow up Santa's, reindeer, and lights galore, accompanied with 70 degree weather and palm trees. Ohhh, good old Southern California.
Along with the wonderful holiday of Christmas (which is often very commercialized), we have been given a specific assignment for this month. I am sure that you all have already had an earful about it, but it is a Christmas initiative that the church has put on, which is hopefully going to be a very big deal. It is a video that helps us understand Christmas a little better, and that God gave us much more than just a few wrapped gifts that are temporal, but He gave us a gift that would effect us eternally. Jesus Christ was given to all, so that all may have everlasting life. What gift is better than that? I think I am privileged to be a missionary during this time of year, because I get to reflect on the birth (and life) of the Savior every day, and not only that, but I get to share this gift with all I come in contact with. Honestly, I have had the best Christmas experiences while on my mission, because I am not wrapped up in the worldly meaning of Christmas, and I have been able to focus on its true meaning... Sounds a bit cheesy, but it is true!
This past week was great! I have been doing well, and Elder Pimsuwan is doing fantastic! His English continues to blow me away, and not to mention everyone else who finds out he has only been speaking English for a month. We had an opportunity to participate in the baptism for a child of record in the ward. There were about fifteen non-members there, and we taught about Christ right after the ordinance. Elder Pimsuwan was a bit nervous before, but he did awesome! It has been so great to see him grow and step outside his comfort zone... It makes me think a lot about the beginning of my mission and how timid I must have been.
I SO look forward to this week because it is going to be GREAT! Our investigator Zach Sheperd should be getting baptized on Saturday. Man, he has been so amazing! I asked him a bit more about how he found the church and he told me his story, which is pretty amazing. While he was serving in Afghanistan, getting shot at and shooting back, rockets flying by every day, he felt the need to find a chaplain. For those of you who do not know what a chaplain is, it is somebody in a branch in the military who is there for any spiritual need. So, kind of like a church leader for a certain religion where there is no opportunity to attend church. Zach sat down with a Protestant chaplain, who told him "A, B, and C", and it just didn't sit well with him. He later became aware of a Mormon guy in the army who just had the best attitude ever. It impressed Zach very much, and he just thought that the guy was amazing, having the best attitude while in the worst situation. He decided to sit down with another chaplain, and lo and behold, it was a Mormon chaplain! Which, by the way, is very rare. The Mormon chaplain told him "A, B, and C", the exact same thing that the Protestant chaplain had said... But this time, it totally clicked with him! For some reason, it just sounded right coming from the LDS chaplain instead of the other guy, and with the image of the Mormon guy in the army, it gave him a totally different perspective. Upon arriving home and being stationed in Chicago, he got on LDS.org and ordered a Book of Mormon. He had been reading it for eighteen months, and finally decided to go to church when he got re stationed in San Diego. He has such a solid testimony, and is ready to get baptized! Zach Sheperd is the MAN!
Well, goodbye for now! I have to run, I hope that all went well for Thanksgiving, and I hope that all goes well for this Christmas season!