Saturday, January 3, 2015

"O Little Town of Bethlehem"

December 8th, 2014  Quito, Ecuador

Hello Family and Friends,
Thank you for all the birthday wishes! They made my day. I'm not sure why but I definately got lucky to have my birthday land on P-day. 

 I would like to share with you a story. A story of a dear single mother and 2 children:
It was Friday night and it was raining and cold. We had had a very productive day with many seen and noted blessing from God. We had planned one more lesson. As we climbed the street of Juan Castro, which is a super steep street that just goes straight up the hill, I felt the prompting to pray. We stopped and went over to a little alleyway and prayed. After the prayer we walked down the alley way-- and sure enough we saw the family that we were supposed to go visit. Luis and his sister Melanie who were baptized not too long ago, and their dear mother who looked tired, exhausted, and just beaten. They were standing in the rain without anything to protect them. My companion asked if we could share a message with them about Christmas. They happily accepted and we went to their house. When we walked in the building in which they lived, I was shocked. It was just cement and dirt floors. Their neighbors above were drinking and shouting vulgar words. When we got to the 1 room that they were staying in,  we sat on the ground because there were no chairs. I asked if we could start with a prayer. My companion then gave one of the most simple, but pure prayers I have heard. The brother from the ward who was accompanying us looked at me and was just crying.
We shared a message of Christ and how He is the Gift. We read in Luke 2 about the His birth and then what His joyful birth meant for all of us. The birth of the Son of God meant that everything was just about to change. And it did. As it says in the Hymn above, "For Christ is born of Mary, and, gathered all above. While mortals sleep, the angels keep theri watch of wondring love. O morning stars, together proclaim the holy birth, and praises sing to God the Kind, and peace to men on earth." May we Discover the Gift, Embrace the Gift, and Share the Gift. For Christ is the Gift. 
I testify of these things in the name of the beloved Savior and Redeemer of the World, even Jesus Christ, Amen.
"No ear may hear His coming; but in this world of sin, where meek souls will receive him, still the dear Christ enters in."
--Elder Hall

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