This week has been so stellar! Have I already said how much I love Christmas?! It really is the most wonderful time of the year! I love this time of year, the people are so happy and everyone is together as a family! We saw so many miracles this week!
This week with the Rivera Family we were talking about Zoe`s baptism and Nestor and Graciella still had a rough look on their face and just didn`t seem excited. We continued to talk about the importance of baptism. Nestor and Graciella starting talking about all the things that Zoe needed to change, like arguing with her siblings, not obeying parents, etc (common 11 year old things) Zoe got tears in her eyes, and didn`t say much. Then after a couple minutes she looked at her parents in her eyes mustering up all the courage she had and said... "I have a question for my parents... I know It`s my decision if I want to get baptized or not... but would you like me to be baptized?"
I was shocked. So valiant. Her parents expressed their support and also their appreciation for Zoe and her desire to follow Jesus Christ. Zoe was SO happy. Graciella said the last prayer and thanked Heavenly Father for sending her a daughter like Zoe to be a light and example for her family. She said that its so crazy, because when they started in the church it was THEM pushing their kids along, waking them up to go to church, and reminding them to read the scriptures, but now its the other way around. She is pushing them along. It was such a lesson to me to see her boldness in asking her parents. We realized that THAT is the answer she was waiting for, she knew all along that she wanted to be baptized but was waiting for her parents' approval, waiting for them to take their role and push HER along. It made me realize how much children really do just want to make their parents proud. A parent`s opinion is worth so much :)
The Stampononi family are doing swell! Every time we meet with them, their kids show more and more excitement towards the gospel. I am truly learning that some of the Lord`s most valiant servants are the littlest. He works through kids. :) This time even the 3 year old was paying attention. As we finished the lesson we wanted to put a new Baptism date and Esteban expressed how hard it was for him to leave behind everything from Catholicism, and he just wasn`t so sure about everything. We asked if he had truly asked Heavenly Father if it was all true, he said... "The truth... is no..." He said he felt like he had too many doubts to ask, and would only ask when he felt the desire. Prayer is how we turn Doubts into testimony! We were super valiant, and he finally said he would truly ask. :) Also, for Christmas we gave them the Storybook Book of Mormon and they loved it, now every night before family prayer, they read a story!
Norma and Enrique are also progressing! This week they came to a baptism and loved it! They went to the ward Christmas dinner and sat with all the members and felt SO welcome, they fit right in! Also this week Norma finally realized that they have to work as a team. She always put the blame on Enrique, but we helped her realize that they are in it together! Hopefully things go better!
Sara. Is. Amazing. This week she was literally in the church every day but one. There were so many activities. And she went to ALL of them. By herself! It`s amazing to see how much she has progressed in just one week. I love to see how the spirit works in people. Little by little she is realizing what she needs to change without us even saying anything; for example, now when we pass by, she is a lot more modest! She loves being in the church and has such strong desires to be baptized!
This week we have been doing a fun little Christmas survey with the people in the street. It has a couple questions about Christmas...
First question: "Why do you think we celebrate Christmas?" They always know that one... "Because Jesus Christ was born."
Second question: a bit more tricky... "Why was Jesus Christ born?" ......."I don`t know..."
I realized that so many people Celebrate Christmas, but so few truly understand why. We celebrate Christmas because of the beautiful knowledge that over 2000 years ago a loving Heavenly Father sent His Only Begotten Son as our Savior, to lead us, to guide us, to comfort us, to show us the way, and to pay the price of our sins so that someday we can all return to His presence. There is no other knowledge more beautiful than that... A Savior is Born..."Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah. (2 Nephi 2:8)"
What a blessing I have this Christmas season to be representing my Savior, sharing with all my brothers and sisters in Argentina the true "Reason for the Season". I know my Savior lives, I know He loves us. I know that only through Him can we all return to our loving Heavenly Father... if we love Him, if we Follow Him, he will bring us safely home :)
Con Amor, Hermana Matheson
Elders investigator Juan got baptized and Mario came to support him :) Awe.
Ward Christmas dinner!
Familia Stampononi :) They loved their
Storybook Book of Mormon!