December 22, 2015
I am SO excited to see you all on Friday! I cannot believe Christmas is already here! So crazy!!
|#A Savior Is Born- Santiago Temple|
We had a great week! We did intercambios with our hermana lideres on Thursday. Hermana Flake came to work with me in El Parque. Hermana Flake is one of my best friends in the mission! We entered the mission field together. She and Hermana Stokes helped me a lot in the MTC when I was stressed about being in a latino district. Hermana Flake and I have a similar sense of humor, so it is always fun to be together. We had a miracle! During our companionship study, we practiced teaching the Plan of Salvation. I do not know if I have mentioned this already, but President Morgan wants us to teach the first three lessons using only the photos in the lesson pamphlets. We are simplifying our lessons! It is really easy to complicate the plan of salvation jajaja. It takes practice to simplify it. That same night we had a lesson with one of our investigators, Carolina. She is a jovencita de 22 años. Really nice, but does not participate in the lessons too much. But the lesson was amazing because it was exactly like the práctica we did in the morning! We felt the Spirit really strong! We invited Carolina to be baptized on January 10th, and she said she wants to do be baptized! It was a miracle! Her family works in La Feria so it is hard for her to come to church. She did not come on Sunday, and she we were not able to teach her last night either...so we continue praying for her!
One of our other investigators, Marianela wants to be baptized too! She is really great, but she has a rare skin sickness that prevents her from being in the sun. We are in summer right now, so she often feels too weak to leave the house. She did not come to church either, but she said she wants to be baptized on the tenth of January too! We are going to visit her tomorrow, and we hope all goes well.
This weekend was the annual Christmas Concert in the Temple. Our Bishop´s family had extra tickets, so we were able to take two less actives and a member! Hermano Cesar drove us with his mom, and a joven named Marcia. Marcia is sooo Chilena!! I just LOVE listening to her talk. The Chileans are so awesome. Anyway, we did a Temple tour before the concert started. We were able to enter the entrance/reception part of the Temple. So great to feel the Spirit there! After, we went to the Temple hotel thing. We went to a little room and watched a short movie when Jesus comes to the Americas. Afterwards, we shared our testimonies. There were two other elders there with a less active family. The spirit was soooo strong! Marcia started to cry! She was crying and crying, and the elders were able to give her a blessing. We got out of the tour a little late, so we only watched the latter half of the concert...it ended really suddenly jaja. After, we had to rush to take pictures and look at the manger exposition. It was all rushed and a little stressful because Hermano Cesar had to get home asap because somebody was waiting to buy Legos from him (he puts together and sells Legos, super cool!).
Now behold, the most important anecdote of my email**
Driving home from the concert was hectic because Hermano Cesar was driving REALLY fast jajaja. I was kind of stressed because we did not get to see the whole concert, and we had to take pictures quickly. I was thinking, why do I feel disappointed and sad? I had felt the Spirit in the tour, but afterward I felt a little down.
***Let´s rewind to that lesson Hermana Flake and I had with Carolina***
It was one of the best lessons of my mission because I was able to receive personal revelation! When we talked about life on this earth, we mentioned that we must suffer while we are here on this earth. We asked Carolina what she thought about that. She simply replied "Sí, es cierto. Pero, la vida es bella". THEN...it hit me! Her words went to the deepest part of my heart. I thought, "she is right. We suffer, but life is still beautiful!" There have been times in my life when I have felt soooo sad and tired. I have felt perfectly aware of my weaknesses. I have suffered loneliness, heartache, and humiliation. But in all of this, we have a SAVIOR who understands us perfectly. He lives, and he offers us sucor. If we did not know sadness, we could not know the sweet and calmness the Spirit brings us. Without weakness, we could not experience nor understand the Savior´s merciful offering of grace. He and Heavenly Father let us feel sad, mad, weak, tired, depressed, lost, and hopeless so they can SHOW us how much they love us, and how far they are willing to go for us. I testify the Savior´s Atonement is infinite. In every moment of heartache, weakness, etc., the Savior is with us. He takes us to the deep end. He lets us hang there a little bit, unable to feel the floor beneath our feet because he wants us to see how much he loves us. Man, I do not know if this makes sense. But as I was thinking about all of this in that lesson with Carolina, my heart was filled with the Spirit. I came to know my Savior a little better.
Then, to reflect about the hectic of Friday night, I realized I had it all wrong. We were too worried about taking the perfect picture with the mangers and forgetting about why we were there in the first place. I realized maybe I was acting no better than the rest of the world...caught up in my own desires and wants, and forgetting the Christ in Christmas. This is my Christmas message to my family. Christ lives. We will find him void of pretty wrapping. We will not find him underneath a Christmas tree. We will find Him in moments of desperation. We will find him on our knees, pleading for mercy and forgiveness. Of course, we can enjoy His love in moments of prosperity and happiness. But if we really want to feel and know all that our Savior has given us, we will find it in those hard moments. Presents, hugs, food, words on a Christmas card,etc. are good things. But LASTING PEACE AND LASTING HAPPINESS IS FOUND THROUGH THE ATONEMENT OF OUR SAVIOR. If we really love our friends, family, etc., we will direct them to CHRIST. Only He has truly felt our sorrows. He can offer us peace no one else can. I know He lives. He is our Savior. I have paid a price to come to know Him....and it has been so worth it! I have come to understand better the love Jesus Christ has for me. He came with me when I have felt alone. He came with me when I felt like I could not take another step forward. What more can I ask for? He is there. He has suffered a lot in order to understand me perfectly...is there greater love than this? I did not ask Him to come with me through all my trials, but He wanted to! Because He loves me!
MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE! Christ lives! He is our Savior! Let us rejoice because we all have unlimited access to his love and atonement. What more could we possibly want for Christmas??!
So excited to see you all on Friday! We are spending Christmas morning with President Morgan and his family as a mission!
LOVE, HERMANA MITTLEMAN