Sunday, January 8, 2017

Christmas Party Miracles

December 12th, 2016

We had so many miracles this week in Mountain House, it was a really great week. We got to teach a lot more than our usual weeks. We had our Christmas party Saturday so we were working extra hard to contact and invite everyone we are teaching (or have taught) and all those families who don't come very often. Particularly we saw miracles with Lesley this week. She still is not supported from her husband about getting baptized, but really made some strides this week in her personal testimony. She started making time everyday to read the Book of Mormon and ever since she is starting to feel the promised peace and strength in her life. She came to our ward Christmas party with her kids and had a great time, the ward was so welcoming to them. That was the biggest thing for her family, everyone made them feel so comfortable and loved. I know it made all the difference. Our ward Christmas party had a really great turn out over all, not only did Lesley come but a lot of families we don't see very often. We had dinner all together, then a short program where we watched the Bible video of Christ's birth, had the little kids sing to us, then a short Christmas message from our Bishop. It was a really spiritual, as well as fun, event for everyone. One really special part of the night was that we had a service project going where we collected donations of towels and blankets for the homeless in the area, and on Friday we are delivering them to the shelter. A lot of people showed up just to help contribute to this project, and ended up staying for dinner as well. It was overwhelming to see how much everyone was willing to give to those who have nothing. Then on Sunday, Lesley came to church with her kids for the first time and really felt something special. Her kids loved singing I am a child of God, they are adorable. It was so exciting to have her there with us, I felt like every lesson was just for her and I am sure she felt the same way. It was a really big step of faith for her to come and I know she is feeling the promised blessings from it. 

Another highlight of my week was that I got to do service at the senior center in the memory care facility (those with dementia and alzheimers) with the others elders in the area. This week we sang hymns to them for a while, and then visited in small groups after. The spirit was so sweet as we sang the hymns, and a lot of the workers there listening were moved to tears. Everyone who walked by stopped to listen. I have this one friend Stella who is a resident there that I love to visit with and when we have to leave she always cries and it is really touching to me. She makes me promise I will be back and has me write down the day and time for her. The nurses say she keeps the post it on her mirror to help her remember. I love doing service there, especially in the memory care facility. It is so refreshing to my heart to serve there. Because of this experience no matter where I am, I want to always seek out these types of opportunities. I feel like I always get more than I give.

So despite my bike breaking this week and us having to walk everywhere, it was such a great week. I know the Lord has so much in store for Mountain House and I want to do all I can to help bring it forth. 

So a scripture that really hit me this week I found while studying the Light the World daily teachings from the Savior (everyone should check it out if you haven't already, not too late). It was in John 6:23-25, "Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.". It just really made me reflect and ponder. There are so many material or superficial things that are "supposed" to make us happy in this life (the perfect job-home-car, being that perfect weight, going on the most cool trips etc), but at least in my experience I feel like it is just a never ending race. Although these aren't bad things in themselves to have, when I focused my happiness, heart and soul on them I felt like I was endlessly trying to fill myself up with things that would only disappear leaving me feeling empty again. In contrast, when I do my best to focus my happiness on Jesus Christ (just do my best to- I am not perfect at this whatsoever) it never leaves me feeling empty. It gives my happiness actual substance. I feel stability and love. I just have a simple testimony that when we focus our heart on Jesus Christ we can find that happiness that never leaves us wanting more. And as I read this scripture as I took the sacrament this past Sunday, it gave it a totally new meaning to me. Every week I can come ready to re commit myself to Jesus Christ by partaking of the sacrament and partake of the happiness He has in store for me. He is the bread of life. 

all my love, 
sister neeley

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