Hullo, friends and family! I got transferred after the most hectic day on the planet from Belvedere 2 Ward to Fletcher Ward, which is up in Glendale and goes all the way down to Chinatown. Elder Coffey is going to be working with my good old friend Elder Parker, and I’m with the fabulous Elder Crossley. He’s a red-head too, but it’s more on the brown side.
Firstly, HAPPY BIRTHDAY ABBY!!!! You’re now a young woman! That’s crazy, a whole dozen of years in the world! I hope it was fantastic!
But yesterday was a great day, although hectic, as I mentioned before. We had 2 baptisms scheduled, but then the Christmas devotional happened, and we had to change the time. A bunch of elders came together to help us out because there was so much going on, with dinner, and with running back home to get baptismal clothing, preparing the font and the service and UGH it was a mess. It started a half-hour late, and Michael almost didn’t show up because we changed the time on him last minute. But MAN, was that an awesome baptismal service! A ton of people showed up to support Richard and Michael, and the Spirit was felt in abundance as these two young men started there journey toward Christ. We had some time for people to give testimonies, and Shane (Richard’s fiancee’s son) got up and bore a sweet, powerful testimony. It was the most incredible thing ever uttered by a 13 year-old. Richard has been a long, hard process for the Lord to work on, but he finally did it! In the words of Shane: “He did it! Now we can go to the temple!” This Gospel is so pure and so simple. Even a 13 year old child can understand the eternal significance of making covenants with the Lord. Even a 14 year-old boy could be called as the prophet to bring an end to an age of spiritual darkness. In giving the talk about the Holy Ghost (since Lillian was too overcome with emotion to do so), I testified that this is what it’s all about. Moments like that. Christ suffered infinitely for all of our sins so that we could experience moments like the one we shared last night. I wish so badly that all of you could’ve been there too, but it’s not necessary. You can make moments like that happen in your life. Last night, I saw what Christmas is really all about. My wish this year is that all of you can feel some measure of what I felt last night. There is no greater gift.
Like I said last night, this is real. This Gospel is real. There is no adecuate substitute. My love for the Savior grew immensely last night. And it happened because I finally forgot about myself for once and did something good for someone else. If you want to see the blessings of the Gospel, if you’re waiting for an answer, if you want to experience the joy that so many profess to feel, if you feel like Heavenly Father has forgotten you, firstly I testify to you with all of my heart and soul that He has not, and secondly I invite you to bless the lives of others. That is the most sure way to see the Atonement in action. If you want evidence that this church really is true, go and live it by giving the blessings to someone else. Let them feel the peace and joy and love of the Savior, and you will feel it burn within you. I thought I knew the Gospel. Now I know the Savior more. And if I lacked this before, I can’t wait for what more I don’t know I lack yet.
I love you all dearly, as does the Savior.
PS, Pictures to come. Also, Abby, you’re birthday present is gonna be on it’s way soon. The post office was closed saturday =(