Miracle #1. Our Christmas party was on the 26th and we had a performance of the Savior's birth by the primary. Brother Benz brought his mom and dad and THREE of his friends with him! WHAT. First of all, if you don't know who Brother Benz is, he's been one of our investigators since my first transfer here in Ubon (back in Oct). Anyway, his mom didn't want him to get baptized for a lot of reasons that I'm not going to get into, but just the other week, after she came to the Christmas party, SHE SAID HE COULD GET BAPTIZED!! She even came to church a couple Sundays ago! His baptism won't be for a couple more months but at least he can do it now. I'm so happy for him. this has been nothing short of a miracle.
Miracle #2. The zone leaders have been baptizing every Sunday since the transfer began. We had four baptisms yesterday, two of which Elder Daybell I have been teaching. They're names are Brother Gitti and Sister Uy. Gitti came from our English class that we teach every Tuesday. I saw him come to church three weeks ago and scheduled a lesson with him a few days after with his little sister, Sister Uy. Anyway, they've been progressing ever since. They read and pray and have literally accepted everything we've taught them. I've never seen anything like it. I know that the Lord has been preparing them to receive the Gospel and get baptized. Nothing short of a miracle.
Miracle #3. Church attendance and the number of new investigators we have has sky-rocketed. We average around 100 people every Sunday, but as of this transfer, we've been getting a lot more. I think part of it has to do with the Christmas season, but just this Sunday, we had 148 people come! It's like people are literally falling out of the sky and coming to church. Again, nothing short of a miracle.
These are just a couple of the crazy things that have been going on this transfer. Please don't get the wrong idea that everything here is perfect and that we're always seeing huge amounts of success and making it look easy etc etc. Quite honestly, we could be seeing more success. The work here is still way hard. I'm still struggling with the language and I get frustrated and impatient when things don't go the way that I think they should. I'm nowhere near to the missionary or person that I know the Lord would have me to be yet, but I LOVE what I'm doing. SO MUCH. SOOOOO MUCH. The more I focus on the people we're working with, the more I begin to realize how insignificant my problems really are. That it's no longer about me, but about them. If you were to tell me a year ago where I'd be and what I'd be doing now, I don't know if I'd be able to believe you. To whoever is reading this now- if you're thinking about going on a mission, just do it. Hold nothing back and just go. A mission will literally CHANGE YOU if you allow it. I hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year! 2016 is going to be a year of even more miracles. I love you guys. Have a great week!
From the Christmas party last month.
For New Years, we woke up early and got to see another sunrise. The "first sun" of the New Year!