NEWS (INVESTIGATOR'S NAMES HAVE BEEN CHANGED TO MAINTAIN ANONYMITY)
DECEMBER 2, 2013 - YOVANA
Well everyone, Yovana is incredible. I never thought I'd ever say it, but we taught every one of the lessons in 1 week from the day we met her. From having little RDV's in the stairwell, to taking tours of the church. Showing her the Baptismal font. Her eyes light up every time we meet. So far so good...... until this week end.. Don't freak out, she's still awesome. But of course there has to be a little bit of opposition to wonderful things. We had set her Baptismal date for as soon as we possibly could. Rules around here are that an ami must go to church 3 times before being able to be baptised. And... well, she just wasn't able to make it to church this weekend. So that just means we'll be pushing her baptismal date back a week, and she won't be able to get baptised on her birthday. But, it's alright. :) Basically, she lives in a "group apartment" setting. (It's a big apartment with 3 rooms and one central living room, but 3 different families live there.) Well.. one of the other families has a man that drinks a lot. And this weekend was his birthday, and he came home quite scary. So she kind of had to get out of there until things cooled off, and the only place she had to go was a friends house outside of Genève. :( Luckily she HAD a place to go. yup, Even though Thanksgiving is over, we're still counting our blessings. So.. that's her situation. Although, truthfully, she'll soon become the spanish equipe's ami because she'll have to be in the spanish ward. (long story.)
But, this Friday we find out where I'll be living the next 6 weeks of my life. (transfer calls are so weird... just recieve a phone call one morning telling you where you're going to be living. Pretty weird.) I would LOVE to stay here with Elder Ruiz Garcia. But, we never know what's going to happen. But this one will tell me where I'm spending Christmas. Let me just say, I would LOVE to spend Christmas in Genève. We already have so many ideas of things we want to do for Christmas. Most missionaries spend all of Christmas day going from members houses and eating food and being spoiled. But we decided we want to find every person we possibly can that's alone this christmas, and have an activity all day long at the church. Eat a big warm meal together, watch a christmas movie, maybe have everyone bring a white elephant gift, etc. I think that would be the coolest Christmas of my life. Because trust me, I know where to find lonely people around here. I could already name 5. Each of which are people that I love and care about so incredibly much, that just the thought of them being alone this christmas would kill me.. But, we'll find out if I'm still around. (cross your fingers for me).
Speaking of Christmas Ideas: So, here in the Genève Lac ward, we're trying our hardest to not only have the best christmas this ward has ever had, but also to use the "self-less christmas spirit" to our advantage, and motivate some member missionary work. :) So here's what we're doing... take it how you will, maybe try to put it into practice yourself.. In Matthew 2 we read. 1 Now when Jesus was aborn in Bethlehem of Judæa in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, 2 Saying, aWhere is he that is born bKing of the Jews? for we have seen his cstar in the east, and are come to dworship him.
The wise men came looking for their Savior because they wanted to worship him. Then the King Herod told them that he was in Bethlehem and to go find him and bring him word. (Not forgetting evil King Herod's real intention for finding the Baby Jesus). We keep reading..
9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. 11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and afrankincense, and myrrh.
There they go, following the star, motivated by faith, to head to the place where their savior lay. With them they brought many precious things. One of which was gold. So, we as missionaries, we provided every member family with a "gold" christmas tree ornament. with the challenge to bring something precious to the savior for Christmas. Each of the members in the ward have the goal to have one of their friends be a progressing investigator in the gospel before Christmas. We made a day to day program with sub-goals for each day (based on service and loving people). And at the ward christmas party, all the members that feel they did all their best efforts to INVITE their friends to be as happy as them, will hang their ornaments on a christmas tree we'll have on display at the activity. :) The members are LOVING this idea.. So, the invitation is for all of you as well.. :)
Prayerfully find someone that is precious to our Savior that you could help bring to their Savior before Christmas. Pray every day for opportunities to INVITE people to be as happy as you. :) And cease those opportunities. And, as a representative for the Savior, I promise you that not only will He be pleased with His present you give Him this year for Christmas, but you, and your friend will be as well. And, I may be bold enough to say that this could very possibly be the best Christmas you have ever had. Just think about it. What do you have to lose?.... and then, What do you have to gain? Yup. Try it. I INVITE you to. :)
I Love you all so much! :) Have a Great week! I'll let ya know where I'm at, well... next week I guess. :) Love you! Elder Lago