Dear friends and family,
Chile is very different in how it decorates for holidays. Electricity is uber expensive, so the houses generally don’t have a lot of lights. BUT most of the houses have cute little random decorations that have probably been there since last Christmas. XD It cracks me up. And thanks to my marvelous family, I have my own little stocking hung by my bed with care, and I put up a cute little nativity set that I found a while ago. 😀 I love nativity sets and it’s always been the first thing to go up in my family, so I was so happy to have that. 😀 It helps me remember the reason this time is filled with joy and peace and good will towards me. What greater message can we share than the fact that the Savior of the world was born and that He was born, lived, died, and was resurrected for each and every one of us? 🌟
On Sunday we prayed for a few miracles in specific: that three of the families we’re teaching would go to church together, that we would find 5 news with the plentiful time we had to contact referencias, and that Maria Cofre, one of our investigators, would make it to church. Bueno. Neither of those families went to church, Maria Cofre had visitors that made it impossible for her to leave, and we found only one new. But that doesn’t mean we didn’t see miracles nor that God didn’t answer prayers that day. Those investigators didn’t go to church, but we were able to have a beautiful lesson about the plan of salvation with one of the families that evening, in which the dad finally showed genuine interest. And they genuinely want to change their lives. Even though Maria couldn’t go to church, we had a member who had a car that was willing and able to pick her up. We didn’t become desaminated [Note: I think she means ‘devastated’. –AnnMarie] when things didn’t go as planned, and we did finally find an address that at first we thought didn’t exist. And Scarlett, who was on vacation in Santiago, went to church there!! And she loved it. So it was a great day, and the ending of a good week. 😄
Sometimes it seems like God doesn’t hear or answer our prayers because we can’t see the answers, or maybe it seems like the answers don’t come. But I promise that He is always listening and that He cares very much about your needs, triumphs, and goals. Sometimes the answer might be no, or wait, or maybe it’ll be different from what you want. Maybe it’ll come through another person, or maybe it depends on the agency of someone else. But if you can’t see the answer, please don’t give up. Please don’t lose faith. Trust that He will “will direct thee for good” as you counsel with Him. Be patient, be obedient, and be humble. He loves you. Never doubt that.
I love you all very much. I’m grateful for all I’ve learned from each of you and for the influence you’ve had in my life. I hope you all have a wonderful week and that you make Christmas something special this year. 😀 Be safe, be kind, be faithful.
Love from Chile,