Hello family! How is everyone? Is everyone STOKED for Christmas? I am. For some reason, I've never felt sad or that I'm missing out on the mission, even when holidays or marvelous events pass by. I'm here, where I'm supposed to be, and I'm happy. Know that.
This week was a normal week of work, except for Thursday. Thursday, in the morning, we went to the mission home for something called "Jingle With The Jeppsons". It was awesome. We went over as a zone and started by eating the massive homemade breakfast that President and Sister Jeppson prepared for us. After that we all met in their piano/living room and played some songs with handbells. It consisted of Sister Jeppson holding up big posters with the notes and words and we all sang and played. (It's like with Sister Tanner and her handbells that the primary kids use where each one is a different note). We all felt like were were five years old but in a good way. After that we had a great spiritual discussion lead by President where we studied several passages of scripture in the Book of Mormon (monthly focus in the mission) about the prophecies of Jesus Christ. I got a lot of cool inspiration of the life of Christ and his purpose for us as missionaries and for everyone in the world today. We had a kneeling prayer to close. I love hearing President Jeppson pray. I know he is called of God to lead us and to lead this mission. Every once in a while, President will say a blessing the middle of the prayer and that's what he did in this one. It always brings the spirit super strong, as if his words are filling us with the power of the Lord.
As for the rest of the week:
-Maria called us a set up an appointment again. We say her Saturday night and resolved some of her doubts and fears. It was really good to talk to her. We also invited her to church again.
-Speaking of church: it was awesome. We had our alcoholic investigator Juan-Jose there. And his boss kept calling him in the middle of sacrament meeting to come into work but he didn't answer. He toldus that he felt the spirit, so we think that's the reason why he stayed. He's really great and he's progressing really well. We're going to challenge him to a date the next time we meet. We've already talked a lot about baptism so we think it will go over really well.
-Also, concerning church, MARIA ACTUALLY CAME. It was wonderful. She was there about 20 minutes early too. She sat to herself and I went and talked to her for a few minutes. She sincerely thanked me for the invitation to come, because if wouldn't have invited her, she would not have come. We still think she will be baptized, it will just take a little bit of time.
-I was thinking about members here in New Jersey. It seems to me that all of the members here that are stong in the gospel, with deeply rooted testimonies are really some of the most converted people I've ever met. I'm not dissing on Utah, but it seems because in Utah we become so used to being around members, and we are so accustomed to feeling the spirit, that at times, we forget about the fact that we are Latter Day Saints. So many of the members here ALWAYS know where they stand and are powerful teachers. It seems that none of them are afraid to share the gospel, especially the youth. I was really humbled by a high council member and his 11 year old son. They came to branch and the father spoke about baptism and baptisms for the dead. His testimony really moved me and I KNEW that he was servant of the Lord as he spoke to us. One thing I love about having Stake visitors is the translating. Because I always think about the different words that the spanish translator uses and if I would translate it a little differently. Language is honestly so rad.
-I've been feeling a little heavy lately. It's because of the cold, the grayness. But other than that, I'm doing really well. I'm staying positive knowing that I am a servant of the Lord, Jesus Christ.
We get to go the temple on Wednesday. I'm STOKED. Manhattanw will be cool. We're going for the 11am session so we have to be at the Harrison train station at 7am. Harrison is my last area so it will be cool to be there for a couple of minutes. Speaking of my last area, I found out that Maria Paez, the 84 year old woman that Elder Magleby and I taught and committed to baptism FINALLY got baptized. I heard the elder that baptized her had to pretty much submerge himself completely to baptize her. It was cool to see that my work in another area payed off.
I'm going to try to send out Christmas cards throughout the week. Elder Giglio and I took an AWESOME picture at the mission home. You'll like it.
I love you all. I know this church is true. I know the Book Of Mormon is the words of the prophets, chosen servants and vessels of God. I love you all and God loves you more. LOVE HIM BACK.