So this week was quite the unusual week. I think it was yesterday that we all chatted so that means I don't have to write this week, right? Just kidding, I have a few little Christmas miracles to share-don't you worry!
First I want to say that I LOVE MY FAMILY! Goodness I miss you all so dang much. It was awesome to see and talk to you on Christmas day. OF course it was too short--but don't worry, so is my time I have left!
I had an awesome Christmas!! We witnessed so many miracles and honestly I don't think I have time to write them all. So, I'll share my favorite that happened the day of Christmas Eve.
The day started off on the wrong side of the bed. Our alarm didn't go off and unfortunately Sister Oliveira and I slept in an extra 30 minutes. AH. How terribly we felt! Who knew that 30 minutes more would kill you. The whole morning was a struggle after that. I almost fell asleep in personal study and during our companion study we both expressed how there was no excitement for the day ahead. Both of us were in the lows and as we set out it was obvious that we were struggling to find motivation. I remember even worrying that I'd fall asleep as I walked.
About 2 in the afternoon, hot, sweaty, thirsty, hungry and even more discouraged due to the mountain we were about to climb, we decided to take a break to catch our breath. We found a spot on some steps in the shade and we plopped right on down. I sat with my head in my hands due to the sun-provoked headache I had while Sister Oliveira pulled out the phone. She started to scroll through some pictures we'd taken and in the midst she found a story of a Christmas miracles someone had sent to her. It read of a missionary in Russia who succeeded in uplifting hundreds of people in a train station, even with the terrible weather conditions and depressing times.
We sat in silence for a few minutes until Sister Oliveira turned to me and said, "I want a Christmas miracle". I couldn't deny that I wanted just the same. The slump we were in wasn't helping the fact that I was miles and miles away from those I so desperately wanted to spend Christmas with. We needed something and quick as it was already the day of Christmas eve. Thinking of what I love most at Christmas I thought of the Christmas hymns I had in my pocket sized hymn book. I mentioned the idea to Sister Oliveira and we decided then that we would sing a Christmas hymn for as many that would allow us.
Excited, and full of renewed energy, we practically ran up the mountain to find someone to sing and uplift. We found two women outside and approached them. They first told us that they already belonged to another church and when we asked if we could sing, they looked at each other and made funny faces. You have to know that Brasil, they don't do caroling. At least it's not a normal thing. We decided to sing anyway. As we sung I concentrated so much on the words and singing correctly that when we finished and I looked up, I realized both of these women had tears running down their cheeks. It hit me too as I bore testimony of what we do and of the message of Christ we share. Tears were welling within my own eyes from the Spirit that so peacefully testified of truth. These women then accepted the invitation we had to come back and teach them more.
We went on from person to person, door to door, singing and watching the Spirit fill their hearts... and eyes with tears! We sang in restaurants and ice cream shops that were opened late on Christmas Eve. We visited hospitals with patients and families that had to spend the holidays in a hospital bed. We sang and testified until we ran out of the stacks of pamphlets, pass-along cards and Books of Mormon in our bags.
|Our hearts grew 3 sizes that day, just like the Grinch!|
We left each happy and uplifted and to our surprise, WE were even more happy and uplifted. The drastic change from morning to the time we returned home was as different as night and day. Heavenly Father, He knew what we needed to inspire us so that we could go inspire others. Maybe we didn't inspire hundreds all at one time- but as we kept track of those we taught and sang too, we found that in about 4 days, we talked to well over 200 people and taught more lessons than we've ever taught in an entire week since I've been here in Muriae.
And just like that, the Lord provided us with our own Christmas miracle... and a Christmas I will never forget!
PS: HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!