So sorry I lost track of time this week. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas spreading Christmas cheer!! We were able to talk to Hannah yesterday (no skype for her, unfortunately) and she sounded so happy!!!! Her companion got on the phone and yelled "I love your daughter!" so that made us feel great. She has had some pretty powerful experiences with the Holy Ghost and has matured beyond my comprehension. My favorite is that she hasn't lost her (very) quirky and FUN personality!
Christmas is seriously the best time of year. It's going to be the highlight of my mission! Because I feel like this is when I finally got what Christmas is about. I've grown up reading Luke 2 my whole life, but this was the year when it all fell on my like a bag of rocks. And as soon as it did, I joined the angelic chorus in spreading the glad tidings of great joy!!! Well.... I started back in May. But.... you get it.
We saw some fantastic Christmas miracles this week!! We were finally able to meet with a woman named Danielle who's been investigating the church for quite some time. We haven't been able to get a hold of her, but one night we decided to text her anyways and throw doubt to the wind. Not only did she text back, but she invited us over for breakfast the next morning!! So, the very next morning, we were able to have a good long chat about her investigating history. She was very open... and now we know every complication and hang-up as to why she hasn't been dunked yet. Because she's begging for it, she's desperate to join the church!!.... But.... Guess who's not?
Y'all know how I feel about other people's agency getting in the way of other people's salvation. Y'all know how much I detest that. Well... her husband, while a very sweet and kind and wonderful person, has attached some incredible baggage onto the church. not the doctrine, mind you. In fact, their household runs like an LDS house! He just can't get past all the negative side-effects that would "surely" come his way.
Not only that, but another investigator's mom threw up a stink about her coming to church. So even though she promised to come up to the night before.... she was a no show.
The worst thing I've seen, though, was in a Less-Active's grandson(Dakota). His mom left him when he was 5 and all the side-effects are showing themselves. He's full of a lot of anger and hurt. The grandma told the story about how his mom asked for a kiss goodbye and then drove away. He chased the car down the driveway, and for the life of him, couldn't understand what he had done to deserve this. She left the room for a minute and Sister Heap and I had 5 seconds to cry and then pull it together.
I don't understand how people can be so cruel.
On the flip side. We've been listening to Elder Holland's talk "Make or Break." And he describes the Atonement in such a way that it healed us. Well, duh, biggest understatement of the millennium, but... It's very calming to know that Christ knows how Dakota feels. And that it's all gonna be okay in the end.
And that's what it's like for all of us. I think, sometimes, in God's eyes, we're all a little snotty 5 year old that doesn't understand why we have to go through trials. Sometimes we understand, but it's still hard. You guys, this has probably been the best Christmas I've ever had because I've never had a more complete understanding of the "reason for the season." And to think that it's only gonna grow from here? Merry Merry Christmas indeed :)
I love you all!! Please, go be good people. Not just the 25th, but on every day of your life!! Can't wait to call mi familia in a couple days! ;)
Love, Sister Gunson