Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Merry Christmas!

 Now that it's officially December I guess I can say that right? I hope that you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving. Ours was pretty great. We went in the morning to help with a service project our stake was having cleaning up after the Thanksgiving parade. We thought we were meeting when the parade ended but actually it was when it was starting, so we got to watch that first. I don't know, my opinion still stands that parades are kind of pointless and boring but it was a little interesting to see the difference in what made up an El Paso parade compared to an Everett or Marysville one. The El Paso parade was about 70% some form of military or police force ( Ft. Bliss, Border Patrol etc.) and 20% Catholic school or other Catholic things and then 10% random stuff.
After the cleanup we went and had a lesson with one of our new investigators Tim. Yeah, that's right; he's so cool he meets with us on Thanksgiving! Ha, actually his dad is in the hospital so they had their celebration on another day but it was cool to see him. We just started teaching him last Monday but he is doing really well so far. We also only had three dinners. It's kind of funny though because up until like a few days before no one was going to feed us. We were well taken care of though, as we always are! The last dinner we had was with two of our other new investigators Sarah and Iliria. They're Italian and Guamanian so we had gnocchi and lamb for dinner. And turducken ha ha. I actually didn't get to try that though but I will some day! Apparently it's a southern thing?
 Along with those three investigators we met another lady this week named Carol, who used to have missionaries come talk to her a lot about "Joseph Brown". Well, at least that's better than John Smith right? Ha, so clearly we have some foundation work to do but she seems pretty cool. She has a lot of questions about who God is and what His role is in our life.
Because of the Holiday this week we did a lot of less active work too, probably the most actually that I've done since coming to this ward. So that has been kind of cool to see. Less active work is always kind of interesting. Oh we saw Charles this week again as well and he finally prayed with us again! Right before he prayed he looked at us and said "a miracle is about to occur." ha ha. He is really coming along pretty well. 
Other than that we have really just been doing our mandatory caroling. That's right, mandatory spreading of the Christmas spirit, ha ha. It's been going pretty well though, and it makes contacting people after dark a lot easier. We haven't seen anything too cool happen from it yet, but I'm sure we will in time.
Something interesting that's been on my mind the past little bit is something that happened in one of our lessons yesterday. We were teaching about the restoration and more specifically about prophets. The member who we took with us likes to blather and as soon as we got into apostasy went into a long spiel about how God has proven that the apostasy would happen in his scripture and started throwing out scriptures from Daniel and Amos and Revelations and Corinthians. And then he went on about the Roman Empire and Nero and blah blah blah. It was really kind of interesting to see because it really showed how you just cannot prove that the gospel is true. You can't with history, or theological or philosophical debates, even or maybe even especially with the scriptures. How we use the scriptures in our teaching but we have to use them to support and explain, not to prove or convince. God doesn't stoop to man's level of persuasion for spiritual things, and I think he especially isn't fond of when we try to use His words to do so. Anyway, I don't mean to rag on this member, he's a good guy and was doing I'm sure the best he knew but it was just interesting to see. No, the way to find truth is so much more simple. Ask and rely on God, believing that He will answer and he will give it to you. Maybe not the answer you want, or the whole answer, but peace, or knowledge or comfort or something.
Well, I hope you all have a fantastic week!


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