Saturday, January 3, 2015

"It Came Upon A Midnight Clear"

December 15th, 2014   Quito, Ecuador

Hello Family and Friends,

This week has been a week of tiredness and blessings. When I look back on this week I can't help but give thanks. The reason this week was so different was that I changed my way of thinking and working. I changed it from a form of me --to a form of others. Elder Aravena and I worked very hard with over 100 contacts and 20 new investigators that all have baptismal dates. 

Wednesday afternoon, I felt literally stuck. All of our appointments had fallen through... and I had no idea what left we were supposed to do. We had 4 hours left and no where to go. I then remembered that a brother from another ward had told us about some people from Colombia that wanted to hear the gospel. I found his number and called him. His wife and answered and said the her husband was waiting for us at his job, which so happens to be in our sector. I told Elder Aravena that we needed to go. We walked over there and talked with him. He showed us where to go and that they were waiting for us. At this time my heart was so full. We walked in and there were about 20 people waiting for us in a small living room and every person sitting on the floor. I cannot explain the spirit I felt. It was incredible. 

As the time comes closer to Christmas I want to share a thought about Him. This week I have been thinking a lot of his earthly ministry. The story that has "rung" in my ears and my heart is the story of the adulterous woman. This story illustrates many different aspects of the gospel. However, the main principle is forgiveness. How many of you who have been offended have forgiven the people who have offended you? How many of you have pleaded for Him to forgive you of your wrong doings? In the story the adulterous woman is brought before Christ by the Pharasies and Sadduces, saying this woman has been caught in the very act. "What say ye?" When I think of this I think of the crude comments, and penetrating contentious questions of these men. Trying to confuse or to catch the Son of God off guard. However, the Savior bends down to the ground and starts to draw, as if He didn't hear what they said. He then says something like this, "He who has never sinned let him cast the first stone." The Pharasies and Sadducies then are stumpped by the comment of the Lord, and move on. Christ then says to the woman in a loving but firm way, "Do you see the people who would condemn you?" She responds, "No." The Master then graciously tells her, "Neither do I condemn thee." "Woman, go thy way and sin no more."

What a wonderful and hopeful lesson this is. If the Master can forgive an adulterous woman, how much more of a need do we have to forgive others. 

Forgive others. Pray for your enemies. Remember the Dear Shepherd and Christ. 

May we ever be obedient, dilligent, and forgiving. 

Smile a mile,

Elder Hall

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