Goodness, what a wonderful week full of so many Christmas miracles! But that's really nothing new. It was such a wonderful Christmas week--one of the best Christmas's I've had. :) It started with. We visited a lot of our investigators and recent converts and then ended our night at Bishop Delos Santos' home. The Spirit was so incredibly strong in their household. They fed us a nice Christmas eve dinner and then we shared a Christmas message with them with our testimonies. It sounds like a typical visit or lesson, but it was probably one of the strongest times I've felt the Spirit on my mission. Bishop and his family literally felt like my family at that moment and as I bore my testimony of the Savior, my gratitude and love for Him and everything else just overflowed into tears. All throughout the day and into the evening I just had the biggest amount of gratitude and love and spirit in my heart. Sister Fanene and I had a nice little evening together doing our tradition at home reading Luke 2 and writing our gifts to Jesus for the coming year and putting it in the stocking you sent. She had never done that before but loved it! I absolutely love Sister Fanene and I'm so grateful I was able to spend Christmas eve and Christmas with her. There's no one else I would have rather spent Christmas with sharing the best message in the world. :)
Come toand we (or I guess I should say the Garceniego and Fedilos family) witnessed a miracle. Sister Fanene and I had participated in the ward Christmas devotional by singing and so afterward Bishop gave us some fruit baskets to deliver. We were heading out to our farthest area, even though it was pouring rain, so we offered to take some fruit to the members out there. At first I was a little discouraged because my umbrella was broken and proselyting while soaking wet isn't really that fun. haha But I have the best companion in the world. We had had an awesome study earlier about astonishing people and she wanted to astonish everyone that day. Even by wearing her bright pink sweater. ;) Anyway, she just put on the biggest smile and started belting Hark All Ye Nations in the soaking rain. My blip of discouragement turned right around because of her and I joined right in in singing. We traveled in the dark to our first stop, Jaymon. He is one of our awesome progressing investigators. He's 22 years old but lives by himself. He had spent Christmas alone so we took the fruit basket that the Bishop had given to us as missionaries to eat, and decided to give it to him. It was such a spirit filled moment when we told him that even though he spent Christmas alone, we were going to celebrate it right then and there with him. We told him that he is really never alone with our Savior and Heavenly Father and that he has a ward family that loves him too. Then we gave him the fruit and he got THE biggest grin on his face. Oh my goodness, it just made me so happy inside. So worth the travel, rain, and darkness, just to visit his humble, candle-lit home and share the love we know the Savior has for him. Afterward, because of the rain, there weren't very many tricycles to head back to Bago. I was getting a little worried we'd have to walk I don't know how far to get back home, but Sister Fanene has the biggest faith EVER! She just knew the Lord would provide, and sure enough, a tricycle came literally out of nowhere just as we decided we'd start walking to Bago. We stopped by the Garceniego and Fedilos family and here's where the other miracle came in...we shared our message with them and then gave them the fruit baskets. Then Sister Lourna said that right when we came, they were in the middle of a discussion about tithing. Dayna was figuring out how much she needed to set aside to give . Lourna and her family were over at her daughter's, Dayna's house, because they didn't have sudtan (or the side dish that goes with the rice). As they were exercising their faith and setting aside the money for their tithing, we unexpectedly came to visit them (we have never visited them at night) and came with fruit baskets for them. I was just astonished. :) Miracle right there. I hope they never forget this experience. Even though they hadn't actually paid the tithing yet, I know that because of the huge leap of faith they were taking in paying from their very small income and setting it aside to pay the following , that Heavenly Father blessed them. It was so awesome!! I'm so grateful for the Spirit in inspiring us to visit that area at that time. And if you think about it, if the tricycle we had waited for had come any earlier, we would've arrived at the Garceniego and Fedilos family household earlier, possibly before their discussion on tithing. It just blows me away how Heavenly Father has His hand and timing in every little thing...all the way down to the time that we caught a tricycle. And then to add to the miracles, after our visit with them, we still had to make it home to Bago. But right as we were leaving, a tricycle drove by and we were able to make it home before curfew. Pure miracle considering the situation of the weather we were in. And that's just the beginning. There were so so many other miracles throughout the day. The more I realize and recognize the blessings and tender mercies of the Lord, the more I realize just how much His hand is in my life. He is in every single little detail and if I were to keep track of every single little miracle and tender mercy that He gave me each day, my brain might explode. My journal would too! haha I'm just so grateful for the Spirit that has allowed me to recognize these miracles more and more throughout my mission and I hope to always stay worthy of the Spirit to always see the miracles He blessed me and all His children with. He truly does love all His children and He is so mindful of each and every one of us. It blows my mind how He is able to be so mindful of every single one of His children on the earth, all at the same time, but that just proves to me even more that He is our Almighty God and loving Heavenly Father. His love is eternal and endless. Of all the lessons we teach, I think one of the most important is from the very beginning. Lesson one, principle one: God is Our Loving Heavenly Father.
I'm so grateful for the love I feel from my Father each day and for the opportunity I have to help others come to know and feel our Heavenly Father's love for them as well. His love is astonishing, and I want to share it with all I come in contact with.
Christmas Eve with the Bishop's family.
(Thanks to Bishop Santos and his family for sharing Christmas Eve with Sister Dixon and Sister Fanene. We are so grateful for their service and love to our sweet daughters. So grateful it "felt like home".)
Baptisms on Christmas Day
Jessica sent us a picture of us-- made me laugh. Do you see her in the right corner taking the photo?
Love that girl! :)
Christmas goodies from Ryan and Megan--so kind and generous.
Christmas Day treat with Sister Pailano--the Relief Society President
A purple root crop that tastes like a potato
Recent convert families. (Jessica shared their tithing story in her email).
"A pretty tree by our apartment"
I hope all of YOU have an astonishing week, full of miracles and love from our Heavenly Father. Love you all so much and hope you had a wonderful Christmas! Have a safe and happy New Year!
All my love,