Last night, here in our home, we really enjoyed watching the Christmas Devotional from Salt Lake City, with the four Elders in the Brooklyn Park Branch. The music and talks were, as always, very inspirational and heartwarming.
Before the program, I fixed more grilled cheese sandwiches than I can count, tomato soup and hot chocolate for these young men. They were cold when they arrived and really appreciated it. We also made some chocolate chip cookies later to enjoy.
Thursday evening we attended the Addiction Recovery meeting with a member of our branch. We were surprised to find out that we were welcome to participate. It was an eyeopener for us and our hearts go out to people who really are struggling with addiction and have nowhere left to turn but to the Lord. We learned that with God's help anything is possible but that professional help and lots of support are also needed. God usually sends help through other people and we saw that first hand that evening. This program the Church is using is amazing and has helped so many.
Wednesday we visited a sister from our branch for the first time who told us her story. We were again amazed at the resilience of people who have struggled all their lives but have always felt the light of Christ in their hearts and have searched for the truth. She is now an active member of our church and just loves being part of it. She teaches the Gospel Principles class every other Sunday and does a wonderful job. We had a lot of fun taking her grocery shopping, so she didn't have to carry her bags on the bus going home.
These two sweet girls were baptized on Saturday. Here they are with their Primary teacher who is a really good friend of ours.
Remember the changing table we picked up on the side of the road last week? Well here it is in the corner of our dining room. Looks pretty nice huh? Missionaries have to be resourceful, and we are.
Tonight we had a wonderful Family Home Evening. We had invited fifteen but eight came. A recently baptized member led the discussion and did a great job. We also had an investigator here so we were very happy to include him in our "happy family". We also each shared a special Christmas memory from our childhood, and it was interesting to learn about other's traditions.
Earlier today we took a sister to a doctor's appointment for some treatments. She was in a lot of pain in her back, knees, feet and more. After the treatment she was in even more pain, but the doctor would not give her any more pain medication. There is more to it than we know, but it was really difficult for us to take her home and leave her there alone and in pain. She was crying, I was crying, and Ken was upset also. He gave her a blessing and she was calm when we left. I hope angels are looking after her tonight.
We could tell so many sad stories about the people here. Some times I am overwhelmed, but I always receive strength and am able to carry on. There are, of course, just as many happy stories to tell.
I wanted to share something a dear friend of mine, Monika, wrote to me on FB for Thanksgiving. It really touched my heart:
I am very thankful for something you taught me, something you introduced me to, you and your Church - fellowship! Your testimony has made a great impact in my life and the lives of my girls, thank you Mormor! Alex still has the green hair clip, she holds it dear in a special place in her room. You truly touched us, and we are nothing but THANKFUL!