Wednesday, December 24, 2014

God Bless Us, Everyone

Saying Goodbye to Elder Mancillas! It was so sad! He was with me in my first area! The time has FLOWN! 
 Wellll i feel like things are going very quickly these days haha I cant believe its been a week since the last time i have written you and i cant believe that pday is almost over! oops. haha soooo i appologize if you have been waiting for a longggg email and still continue waiting. However, know that the missions is just going tooo fast right now. I cant keep up seriously.

Popo looks pretty sick here in Metepec!
       So my Dads questions. 1) I have an absolutely ILL Christmas tie which features Santa....wait for it.....golfing. BOOM. I'll wear it on Christmas so that you can all see it when we skype...well those of you in my family. (rules are rules). 2) The sacrament meeting before Christmas was a normal one. Here they dont really change anything but luckily the Stake of Atlixco was putting on a concert and so we were able to go to that on Sunday night! (more on that in a moment). 3) We had our "Christmas Conference" on Friday this week and it was really good! (Again, more on that to come haha). And 4) Honestly, last Christmas, i wasnt too happy to be on the mission during Christmas, but this Christmas season has been great. Im just so much more excited to share the gospel with people. Like the "He is the Gift" video is a GREAT way to teach people aboud Christ and I LOVE talking about how true it is that he really was the first gift we ever recieved on Christmas. He is the gift, and if we accept him as such, he will become a part of our lives, and we will feel his infinite love. I just have loved focusing on that and his life during this time of the year. Its seriously been GREAT. A once in a lifetime experience.
       Alrightttt well where do i start. Things are good here in Metepec. Elder K is an excellent missionary and we are working very, very....VERY hard here in this area! haha we have just been absoluetly exhausted at the end of the days we have been having and we are already starting to see the results with less actives, new investigators, and we might even put some baptismal dates this week! So things are awesome. Elder K's just got such a great desire to work! One you can only find in new missionaries, so this last change, i couldnt have asked for better! Soooo with that being said, lets hit the highlights. 
This is Elder Tippetts. He is a great man and will be a great leader in this mission.
       On Friday we had our "Christmas Concert". It was our zone (the zone Atlixco) combined with......none other than the zone of IZUCAR! haha so it was greattttt to see all the guys i left behind when i had emergency changes. There are some GREAT upcoming leaders in these Elders. We will be leaving the mission in good hands. So the conference started off with a presentation by President Stellmon. President shared some scenes from the movie "A Christmas Carol" and was comparing them to our lives here on the mission with our investigators. It was great....but i of course made sure that all the Elders within a 5 seat radius around me knew that the best version of this movie was made by the Muppetts. Ba humbug indeed. But it was good none the less and several other fans of the Muppetts shared in my misery. Then the zone leaders split us into groups and we played some little games they had prepared. They were pretty good, and then we had a white elephant gift exchange! It was a riot haha but the thing over-all was a nice break to remember that we are celebrating the true meaning of Christmas....but theres always some time for fun. So that was fun. I also had to bare my testimony casue im leaving before the next Zone Conference...(Yikes!) so that was kinda nerve racking haha but it went well and i hope i left the Elders and Sisters with something. Then we left Atlixco at like 3 to come back to Metepec....and we went to our ward Christmas activity! haha yahhh not many lessons shared on Friday butt we did have a ton of investigators show up!! And i got to perform 2 different songs. One of them featuring a violinist int he ward also. It was beautiful (if i do say so myself) and it turned out to be a great success!
       Alright, then on Saturday we had a great lesson with a less active in the ward. He has had some strong problems with ward leaders and hasnt been to church in over a year. He told us that he knows the church is perfect but the members arent and that he had heard all the things we were going to tell him. He said that he wasnt going to church no matter what we told him. I was really trying to have the spirit help me know what to say becasue he still has such a strong testimony of all the other aspects of the church. So i was impressed in that moment, to talk about the love of God for him. The trust God has placed in him to have him in such a tough ward situation and that fact that he can, in this unique position that he has, decide whether he would like to be a problem or a solution. There are soo many less actives here and being in the club with them is simply causing another problem. But if he chooses to help us in bringing others back to church, and help build the testimony of those who have lost belief, then he can be a solution and a huge help to us. I told him that God needs him on our side, and we need him on our side. He showed up to church on Sunday and this Thursday we are going to visit less actives with him. God is a God of miracles.
The Christmas Concert at 8 oclock!! PACKED!
       So then on Sunday night we went to Atlixco and set up the lights and scenes for the Christmas Concert they had there called "Cien voces de Navidad" or in English 100 voices of Christmas. So on the bus on the way over, i was thinking about the Christmas spirit, and i felt the prompting to tell all the people on the bus about the concert....obviously not an impression i get everyday haha but i kinda didnt want to. Not really scared, just nervous.............And then i was like....oh wait....i only have 4 more weeks to do this......YOLO!!!!!!!! So i stood up at the front of the bus and introduced myself. I explained about the church and the concert and invited them all to attend. They were all pretty impressed and about 14 people on the bus accepted the invitation to go. So we got to the church and started waiting cause we were 2 hours early to help setup. And i was like....well there are pleanty of missionaries helping set up....but whos contacting people?! Again, FOUR MORE WEEKS PEOPLE!! So me and Elder Kidder got 200 "He is the Gift" cards....and we started contacting. We got to formally explain the message and invite 200 people to the concert that night! It was great! And then we contacted all the stores ont the street and invited them too. Then while the first session of the concert was going on at 6, we started inviting people to the session at 8 and i decided what the heck, lets get back on some buses!! haha So we got on about 20 buses as they passed, asked the driver to let us announce soemthing (it happens alot here, and it means we didnt have to pay the ride) and gave the introduction about the concert and about the message we have and invited all of them too! We seriously must have handed out at LEAST 950 invitations to the concert that night. It felt great to be out there really working as a missionary. The sister missionaries attending the table with pamphlets were writting down the address of the church and the hour of the concert on contacting cards cause we ran out of invitations!! And although there werent a TON of people at the 6 oclock session, the 8 oclock session was packed full. It was great. The program was beautiful and i KNOW that people felt the spirit. Plus i got to see a bunch of people from my old ward in Independencia! Its just such a great time to be a missionary!!! So it was an EXCELENT week.
       Soo for the spiritual thought this week comes from Alma 42. In this chapter Alma is speaking to his son Corianton and the lessons he teaches him are spot on for us in our day. In verses 19-22 it reads: 
"19 Now, if there was no law given—if a man murdered he should die—would he be afraid he would die if he should murder? 
20 And also, if there was no law given against sin men would not be afraid to sin.
21 And if there was no law given, if men sinned what could justice do, or mercy either, for they would have no claim upon the creature?
22 But there is a law given, and a punishment affixed, and a repentance granted; which repentance, mercy claimeth..."
       I love this part! Because it explains that we have to have a law that comes with a punishment so that we are compelled to keep the law by our own free will! And it also talks about how when a punishment is affixed, that then there is granted a repentance! It explains it even better here in verse 30:
"30 O my son, I desire that ye should deny the justice of God no more. Do not endeavor to excuse yourself in the least point because of your sins, by denying the justice of God; but do you let the justice of God, and his mercy, and his long-suffering have full sway in your heart; and let it bring you down to the dust in humility.
       I feel like when we think about the justice of God, we are instantly thinking negatively. WE have heard so much about how the justice of God will come down upon us and condemn us...but we dont understand why that is necessary. When we stop excusing ourselves and admit that we have sinned, we allow the justice of God to come upon us. And when we do that, we are automatically entitled to the mercy of God. We are automatically entitled to his long-suffering. And we are automatically entitled to that repentance that with which we can make ourselves clean again!! What a marvilous plan it is! When we let it have full sway in our hearts it will bring us down in humility so that we are made partakers of that great redeeming sacrifice given by our savior. I love my savior. He suffered for me and all the sins i have committed. And even though i am not deserving of such a great and infinite love, He freely gives it to me. I am so grateful for Him, especially at this time of year. So humble yourselves. Be partakers of the gift our Heavenly Father has given us. HE IS THE GIFT. Accept the gift and let it change your life.
       Merry Christmas Everyone. We have hope.

Elder Josh Hamm

No comments:

Post a Comment