Wednesday, January 1, 2014

It's a Christmas Miracle!

Merry Christmas!
I know Christmas has passed, but I'm sure its effects are still lingering, so I'll wish you a merry Christmas again!  I'm so glad I got to talk to you on Christmas.  I hope you could tell that I was happy - my companions say that I'm emotionless, even when I try to express my feelings.  (What to do!?)  I hope everyone at home is still well, and that Christmas was happy, restful and healthy.  Please send my good wishes to all the extended family, too.  I'm really sorry I haven't kept in contact with Grandparents, cousins, and everyone recently.  It was really good to see and hear from Grandma and Grandpa Baer and Josh this week and I'm glad things are going well for them!

I think the words of Elder Fronk sum up this week pretty well: "It's a Christmas miracle!"  This week, we got to spend a lot of time working with the members of the ward, especially with the YSA, who were able to help us out a lot in teaching lessons, introducing their friends, and giving us referrals.  We have 7 new investigators this week, a record-breaking church attendance (for as long as I've been in the Singapore 2nd Ward), and we are teaching 2 families!  I've never taught families before this week!  I know Heavenly Father was really placing opportunities in our path, and that by exercising faith in talking to people and working hard to prepare lessons and follow up with investigators and members, we were able to expand our teaching pool, become closer with the members, and have more joy in our companionship.  I think it really is a miracle!

We met with both of these new families together this week, at one home.  On Saturday, we had more deelicious Thai food and taught a condensed lesson about the Restoration.  On Sunday night, we went back and I helped them cook a super-sized pot of Arrabiata and a few pounds of Rosemary Chicken.  (I had to use Chinese cooking wine instead of white cooking wine like I'm used to, so it had a distinctively Asian taste - really good!)  After we finished, both families gathered together, crammed onto one sectional (sofa) to hear a message about baptism and the doctrine of Christ.  They all seem very receptive, and have expressed desires to have the priesthood power in their lives and receive the cleansing ordinance of baptism.  I hope their intent is real, and I look forward to continuing discussions (and dinner appointments) with them!

Not only has it been a miracle week for investigators, but it's been a miracle week for food, as well.  On Wednesday, (Christmas) I found the best Chinese food I've ever eaten at a little shop in Chinatown.  Unfortunately, I don't remember what it's called because I can't read characters like the ones in the shop window very well yet.  I got an overwhelming amount of chocolate this week, as well.  There appeared on our doorstep  a huge basket of various chocolates, with a note from some anonymous member(s).  Wow.  On Saturday, I had the Thai Dinner, then went to a member's shop for more food than all the 2nd Ward missionaries could eat.  I still have leftovers from two days ago, and I haven't been hungry for two days, even though I fasted yesterday.  I really don't believe that my food experience was more important, or better, than my experience with the people this week, but after I finished summarizing our experiences with the people I met this week (without too much detail, because lots of the conversation still goes over my head) I realized that all I did was meet new people and eat a ton of food.

I'm anxious to see pictures and hear everyone's own accounts of Christmas at home, and I hope the new year is as merry and bright and refreshing as Christmas.  I love you all, and thank you all for your love and prayers for me, and for all the missionaries!


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