Let the Christmas miracles begin!:) Haha, Sister Polanco just barely figured out that the word "Christ" is in "Christmas". She was amazed. I'm so grateful for this time of year to remember our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. It is such a wonderful time to recognize the love of our Father in Heaven and the love of His Son. As we are entering into this Christmas season, I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to be here in Vancouver. To be here serving God's children. There is always such a special spirit that we feel at Christmas time; I hope that this spirit motivates all of us to go out and share the Gift...Jesus Christ!
Sister Polanco was sure thrilled to have a Christmas tree in the house. Thanks for the tree and sweater! Love you!
So I have to tell you all about the Christmas miracles we had last night. Oh, Sundays are just so good and filled with the Spirit! It was the first normal church meeting that we've had in two weeks because of Stake conference and the Montreal temple re dedication. It was incredible to feel like we are part of a ward family again. Everyone was so loving and so welcoming to us, and we have lots of appointments this week with the members! It should be a fantastic week!
So...the first miracle. Yesterday night, one of the Vancouver wards puts on a Christmas musical every year to kick off the Christmas season. President Burt told Sister Polanco and me last week that we needed to have an investigator with us in order to go to this musical so we took that very seriously. We got bundled up to face the freezing, frosty Vancouver night and went down the road a ways from the church to invite EVERYONE to the musical. We were loving inviting everyone to come feel the Spirit of Christmas, but it seemed like everyone was just so busy. While I was talking to a lady, Sister Polanco leaves the conversation and starts talking with a mom and son. In her broken English, she invites them to attend the musical. They gladly agreed and said, "Yeah, we're feeling spontaneous tonight." Haha, so we walked with them over to the church...and guess what...they speak SPANISH! Haha...we couldn't believe it. The dad is from Spain and the mom was a teacher over in Spain for some time. Sister Polanco and I were grinning from ear to ear as we entered the chapel and took our seats next to our new friends. It turns out that Heidi, the mom, is a less active member of many years and even has a cousin on a mission! Alejandro, her son, was seriously the cutest thing ever and was so grateful to be there. They had to leave early and so we walked them out..before we knew it they were giving us huge hugs and saying "thank you for starting off our Christmas season so beautifully!" She handed us a piece of paper with her number and address and told us to come visit anytime! WHAT A MIRACLE!
Then...if that wasn't enough...God blessed us with such a tender mercy. The Surrey Spanish ward was there at the Christmas musical/devotional singing in the choir. I was so thrilled! And Sister Polanco visited this mission 2 years ago and met many of the members of Surrey so it was a great reunion for both of us. My heart was so filled with joy as I got to hug them and talk to them after! I can't stop smiling just thinking about it. Missions are so good. My family is so much bigger now. So many more people to love.
So let's talk about Sister Polanco for a bit...my parents want to know more...haha she is such a fireball. I seriously love her so much, and have learned so much from her desire to serve God and her strong testimony! Haha, this week, I was interviewing her just to make sure I knew like everything about her. SO...her favorite color is green...good! Mine too. Her favorite food is everything Latino...of course!:) She loves the movie "The Proposal" and cries everytime she watches it. She loves to DANCE...and always does a little happy dance when she eats food. She has been teaching me the Marenge and Salsa. She is from Halapa and has two younger siblings...a brother and sister! Sister Polanco is so sassy...but apparently I am too. At least that's what our sister training leaders say. Haha. She reminds me a lot of Harrison. Oh and she is disgusted by our lack of fresh fruit here in North America...haha.
So...one of my favorite moments this week was the opportunity I had to give a training at district meeting. I have given so many trainings in my mission...but I always seem to be so nervous. I gave my training on Knowledge. It was a great experience to share my testimony of the Savior and how this last week, I was able to gain a stronger testimony of the Savior. I know with all of my heart that "All that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ." (PMG) The Spirit was so strong as I prepared and gave this training. I'm grateful that the Lord works through small and simple things...like me...to carry on His great and eternal work.
Garcia...little Ludwig is so big
My second mom! Moro
To finish this email...I want to invite all of you to watch the new Christmas video that the church just came out with. It is powerful and helps us remember the reason for the season. It's on christmas.mormon.org and is called A Savior is Born. It is the perfect way to get in the Christmas Spirit. I pray for all of you each day. I know that no matter what our trials, troubles, or afflictions may be we can trust in God. Everyday, we must choose to have faith over fear. I pray that we will trust in the Lord and turn to Him. The world is getting worse, and the faithful saints are getting better. Remember that there is opposition in all things and that the glorious light, life, and love of the gospel will never be taken away from us! We must stay in the path...we must keep our covenants, obey the commandments, partake of the sacrament, and constantly strengthen our testimonies everyday through scriptures, prayer, and service. The Lord asks for all of our heart...and it's not really a sacrifice when you think of all He has done for us. I love you all so much!
Love, Hermana Hoth