Oh yeah, it’s finally winter. No snow yet, just cold. =P
So I got really caught up doing my family history today! We are working really hard on getting family history weaved into the work here! We are beginning a family history class on Wednesday nights at 7pm at our church building with the family history consultants in our branch. We had a meeting this past Sunday and we are all SUPER excited! I am learning how to use Familysearch.org with all of it’s little quirks. I LOVE it! So many people are interested in their ancestry! The Spirit of Elijah is truly turning the hearts of many to their parents.
I was writing in my journal last night before bed, and I realized one blessing that my mission has brought to me. I love my family. I love them a lot. I received the Christmas Cards from the Catalina Ward in Gilbert, AZ 3 days ago, and I opened them on Saturday before my studies. I smiled as I read each one, and then I opened a card and saw handwriting that I instantly recognized as my Dad’s. I looked down to the bottom of the card and saw "love, Mom" and I smiled really big and started reading over. My heart filled so much that it began to leak a little from my eyes. =) I set that one in a special stack after I finished. The last card I read was from the parents of a friend of mine. I read this line: "We get to hear of your success and accomplishments often from your dad, who could not possibly be more proud of you."
I put that one in the pile with my parents’ card. Those two simple gifts meant the world to me.
The miracles in the work in this area, in the lives of the members, and in our own lives continue to flow steadily. We feel a closeness to the Spirit that is remarkable and often are blessed with simple instruction that leads to great, incredible, beautiful experiences. By that inspiration, we were able to give an incredibly meaningful priesthood blessing to a man we are teaching the other day. We called and he said he was in a lot of pain and heading out soon. We asked if we could come and bless him before he left, and he welcomed it. We arrived and found his nephew there with him. They were soon going to his Sister’s house to celebrate her birthday. After some pleasantries, we explained to him the purpose and mode of a blessing of healing. A subtle prompting led me to ask if I could pray prior to anointing. I knelt and felt the Spirit quiet the room as I prayed that both our investigator and his nephew would receive a witness that the blessing was from God and that the priesthood was real. I stood and anointed. Elder Sorenson blessed him. When the blessing ended, our investigator said "Wow." He told us that as soon as Elder Sorenson began the blessing he felt heat flow from Elder Sorenson’s hands through his neck and down to the base of his spine. He was animated and energetic following the blessing. He said he still felt pain, but he felt better in general. After some silence I looked at his nephew and asked if he had felt a witness during the blessing. He looked me in the eye and slowly nodded, and then dropped his gaze. We then learned about a severe tragedy that had broken this family a year ago, and the way that the mother and that young man were still feeling the pain from it. We watched him wipe tears from his eyes throughout the conversation. He told us that he wasn’t ready yet to hear our message, and our investigator bore his testimony about how it had blessed his life so much already. We invited him to ask his uncle about what he had found, and to remember that we were here when he is ready. He nodded and said that he would.
I love this place, these people, this companion, this mission. I love it so much. This Gospel is true. We are members of Christ’s church. I know it.
God be with each of you.