Heavenly Father is incredible. He can answer soooo many prayers all at once! And He answers them through us. Us mere mortals, with our mortal brains, and flesh and bone, and mostly through those who listen to the tiny promptings from the Spirit.
Every pew filled. The Spirit leading. The investigators eager. The children behaving. All the result of simple miracles. In His tender mercy, Heavenly Father led us to the poorest and humblest of families. Friday,we went back to a family we met briefly about a week ago. Much to my suprise, we found not only the mom but her sister as well. With 5-10 kids it was a little hectic and they eventually went into the other room. As we shared Joseph Smith's vision the two sisters were mesmerized and filled with the Spirit, not daring to blink, lest they miss a word we spoke. (One of the children started to interrupt and Que would not take her eyes off of us and shewed the kid away...). We followed the Spirit and asked them to pray. They both immediately agreed to do just that! They asked us how to go about it exactly and then one after another prayed to ask "if Joseph Smith was your chosen prophet?". I have rarely seen such lit up faces, with smiles as big as theirs, while tears filled their eyes. Heavenly Father is good. He is love. He does answer prayers. I love being a missionary. It is so hard and it is so worth it.
It's not missionary work, it's missionary fun! This next transfer we are doing a lot of member work. We are going to all the families in our area and sharing the first lesson with them while having them roleplay or pretend to be one of their friends or family members--ask questions that they might have, act, think and respond like them. One of my favorite families are the only members in their family (everyone else is southern baptist) and they are so excited, especially the mom :) I highly recommend this as a family home evening activity, even have the missionaries come over and do it with them. Your understanding of friends and family changes drastically. You especially get to see them as our Father in Heaven does. This is how we get a little taste of heaven on earth: seeing our brothers and sisters as they were before we were here on earth and seeing who they can become.
Southern Moment: For New Year's I finally tried collards (yeah, don't know how I managed this long). Not worth eating ever again. They are suppose to represent money and wealth in the coming year. Sorry, they are not worth the money they were bought with :P It's okay if I say this because the member we had them with has a tradition of feeding this to the missionaries every New Years and she has yet to meet a missionary who likes them. They also had pickled okra...I may have passed. Christmas Eve eve we had deep fried turkey. Try it, try it, you may like it!
I'm excited for this year and for the miracles that are already happening! May you seek to know the ways in which you can bring your lives in closer harmony with His teaching and have the greatest impact on those in your sphere of influence. If every member went out of their way to meet one new person this year how many more people would be touched by the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ? (15 million members x 365 days...you do the math!). You have more influence than you think.
Have a Blessed New Year!