This really is the most wonderful time of the year. I don’t know what it is about Christmas time, but there truly is magic in the air. Here in the Bible belt, we seem to have more churches than houses, and they all have those signs out in front with messages that change from time to time. Well, it is impossible for people here to not remember our Savior this time of year as they drive down the road and see sign after sign reminding us of the reason for the season. How grateful I am for that message. These are incredible people here in West Virginia. They love the Lord, and they love others. What a marvelous place to spend the best two years for my life. =)
We wanted to share a picture of our little Christmas tree! It’s a little blurry… it’s prettier in real life. (Smile when you find the statue of the Savior!) We have been very blessed here in Winfield, the members of the Teays Valley ward are amazing and are very supportive of the missionaries. They have 9 out in the field from their ward and have another 3 on the way out. There is an incredible Spirit in this ward, and we love them and are loved by them very much. So know that we are being well cared for.
Storytime! I will share this one exactly from my journal:
“Today has been marvelous–exactly what I’ve wanted/needed/been praying for. We studied hard, we walked hard, we worked hard, we ate hard, we prayed hard. Vann would be proud. *Ethan (names have been changed) has been dealing with kidney stones for a few days and when we knocked on his door today he was floored with pain. We offered a blessing and he accepted. After we left, we prayed that as we worked hard, our blessing would be honored, and so we went to work. We were very blessed tonight to get to help Alishia carry in groceries, to meet Mickey, Minnie’s husband, and get to talk with him and hear that he is very interested in talking with us as his father has just converted to our faith, and to teach Brody part of the plan of salvation and see him sincerely listen and learn. Something is changing in this area. As we increase in our righteousness, the people are changing with us. It is marvelous to see, and I am so grateful for it. Winfield is a becoming area, a miracle area, and I am so grateful to be here with Elder Goulding, and to experience what we are experiencing here.”
What I didn’t write in my journal was this: later that night, as we were walking the cold mile back home, we stopped back at Ethan’s house to check on him. We were late to dinner, so we almost didn’t stop, but as always, Elder Goulding humored me when I felt a pull to knock on his door. He just looked better. He was standing up straight. He said that when we came to his house the first time the pain was at about a 12 (not sure the scale there), but after we gave him a blessing it went down to about a 2.
As we sat down to dinner that night, I felt at peace. For a lot of reasons, I needed that second knock. The Lord truly blesses us in sending us to bless others.
On a more homeward note, I have a new niece =) Capri Isabella Daidone was born on 12/21/13 at 11:22am, and she is beautiful. =) I can’t wait to meet her. Thank you Mom and Dad for the pictures. Congratulations Dom and Lisa.
To the Catalina Ward: Thank you. =) your love and support and kindness to me meant so much. I finished reading all of your Christmas cards today, minus the Wright family’s. I’m saving that one for Christmas day. Of the ones I read today there was one that was so awesome I have to mention it. It was from the Webelos den. All of you little bosses are awesome. Keep working hard future Elders, missionary work is the best work in the world, so look forward to it. Keep choosing the right every day. Every single day. That is the best thing you can do.
I love you and I love the Lord. I know Jesus Christ is in command. He will not allow us to fail. Keep the faith and keep opening your mouth and sharing the glorious message of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.