Thursday, December 20, 2012

A life changing experience

The end of Christopher's mission is coming close.  Christopher actually had the choice of coming home at the beginning of December to get ready for school and Christmas or staying one more month and finishing out his two years.  He is loving his mission so much, that he decided that he didn't want to cut anything short.  I am sure that the people that he has taught and baptized in the last couple of weeks are also grateful that Christopher decided to stay as well.  He will miss his birthday and Christmas at home, but they are just one of many birthdays and Christmas's that we will all have together.  This last month is the last month Christopher will have as a missionary and so spending it in the mission field is the better choice.

Christopher has shared a lot of personal stories about some of the people that he and his companion have taught recently.  I won't go into the details here but as Christopher reminds us every week in his letters, miracles are happening all of the time.  For example, one of the things that Christopher and his companion have been doing is trying to find some of the less active people in the Ward who they have not heard from for quite a while.  In some of their most recent contacts, the person that they were actually looking for had moved but the person who lives at the location now, has been interested in learning more about the gospel.  These kinds of contacts have turned out to be some of the best teaching experiences that they have had.  Some of the people have even listened to the spirit and have decided to attend church and even be baptized as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Another example was a family that had attended a neighborhood party with some of the families that are members of the Ward.  Christopher and his companion were also at the party but did not want to seem too over-bearing with regards to many of the neighbors who were there to just have fun.  Christopher had wanted to speak with one family all night long but just did not have the chance to really get beyond just some simple chit-chat.  Later on that evening and the next day in his prayers, Christopher had asked to find a way to be able to introduce the gospel to this family.  Well, both Christopher and his companion had just received a few new referral cards from Salt Lake with the names and addresses of people that had expressed interest in hearing more about the Church.  As Christopher looked at the names, the one that popped out was the name of the people who he had just met a couple of nights before.  Of course that was their miracle opportunity which allowed these missionaries to teach and share the gospel.  As Christopher put it in his letter, "A miracle?  I think so!!". 

Christopher and his companion recently got the opportunity to attend the temple twice in one week.  Attending the temple as a missionary isn't as common as one might think.  Since the missionaries have a calling to be missionaries, most of their time is spent doing missionary work rather than temple work.  One of the temple sessions that they attended was a sealing of a couple who had recently joined the Church.  Christopher said that going to the temple that week was really an eye opening experience for him.  Not so much because there was anything new at the temple but more for the new things that he discovered in himself by being in the temple.  He told us that over the last two years as a missionary, he feels that so many things have changed in his life.  Being a missionary has been one of the greatest things that he has ever done.  From the many things that Christopher has said about his mission experience, I really believe that he is going to have a hard time coming home in the next couple of weeks.