Hello family and friends,
This week has been so incredible.
This week we started He is the Gift here in the mission.
Everyday we have to share 10 pass along cards with people and take out a referral. The truth is that it has been an incredible experience. Here in this mission area I can honestly say that we never talked to people as we walked along the streets from appointment to appointment, we had always looked for friends of members, recent converts, less actives and investigators, and found people through them. However with this new initiative that the church has put in place we are talking to a lot more people and it is so awesome. This week we found someone and talked to him, we offered a card and told him that he should go to church with us. He called us that Saturday and sure enough he went to church with us. This mission has exploded with referrals. - Truth is it’s truly incredible. We have had some awesome experiences. To talk with everyone all the time you really come to appreciate the uniqueness of the message that we give:
That families can be together forever
This is the point that I always use to start to talk to people, I always bring one thing up, and that’s the temples.
I tell them that I know that I can have a family for time and all eternity and not just "until death do us part". With the knowledge that I have and the faith that I have that my family will be together forever I feel others can sense that, and it interests them. Who doesn’t want to have a family forever? I love this gospel and how much it has impacted my life. I’m not going to lie, I love the new pass along cards, I find that near the end of the day I always go looking for a new one in my shirt pocket to hand out but then I find I come up short. I had to limit myself to only take 11 out everyday because if not I’d end up without any more cards a week before Christmas. I love this new initiative and the video:
He is the Gift is life changing
(scroll down and watch this wonderful video posted here 11/29th)
So cool note from the week. A referral came into the office the other day, and Elder Rojas (the new records secretary) asked me if I knew where the neighborhood-Santa Rita was at in Cali. When I heard that he had a referral for Santa Rita I couldn’t believe it. I said, "YOUR IN IT!" (the mission home is located here) Santa Rita is one of the richest parts of Cali, and there has never been a member here, nor a baptism, everyone in the office did a little jig, ha-ha. I called the number and a woman answered, her name is Diana Sherwood. The referral that came in was different from the rest, because it wasn’t from the initiative it was directly from the Mormon.org page. Elder Walker planned an appointment to go to her house and meet her. Elder Walker and I went and knocked on the door, the speaker out front of the house said, "Who is it?" We said "The Missionaries!" and all we heard was "Rosita! HURRY OPEN THE DOOR!"
At this point Elder Walker and I are pretty pumped not going to lie, when the housemaid came down and opened the door for us. We climbed the stairs and that’s when two dogs came running out, from inside the house we heard "SILVER! Get back in here!" in perfect English. Diana welcomed us in English and told us to take a sit. We went to her living room and started to talk to her and she was speaking perfect English. She told us that she had left Colombia in 1961 and had lived in various parts of the world but before she came back to Colombia she had been living in San Diego California and when she goes back she plans to buy a house in Orange. She was super comfortable talking to us as missionaries so we had to ask, "Sister Sherwood, have you met missionaries before?"
She started to laugh and pulled out a little paper and handed it to us. It was the baptismal agenda from when she had gotten baptized one year ago in Julian. Elder Walker and I were sitting there in her home with our mouths open. She lives like 2 houses from the office. She has already gone to the temple and she wants us to teach her the lessons again so that she will be ready to get endowed. It was a slap in the face moment we have a member in Santa Rita.
Her family was one of the first to construct a house here in Santa Rita over 70 years ago, and helped Terron Colorado be a recognized neighborhood of Cali. Imagine Terron is the entire mountainside where we spend most of our day preaching and at the base of the mountain where it is flat is Santa Rita. The two are only divided by one street, and the difference between the two is huge.
We are sharing the Gift with everyone. People are hearing the gospel like never before here in Colombia and the children of God are coming unto Christ. Miracles will occur this Christmas, if they are not already occurring.
I love this time of year, I love the mission and I love my Savior, the Prince of Peace.
I challenge you all to talk to at least one person about how your family celebrates Christmas by remembering Jesus Christ. One person that’s it. I know you can do it and I know that you will feel good doing it as well. It’s easiest to start the conversation in terms of something else, like Christmas lights or something and then in the appropriate moment in the conversation talk about your beliefs, be bold. Open your mouths and speak miracles.
I love you all
Have a great week. Tomorrow is candle day in Colombia, pictures to come guaranteed.