Guess what?! it's a Christmas miracle and they let are giving us 30 minutes to email on Christmas!
Just so I don't waste time, I'm only going to tell you what went on today (Christmas) because it's been such a unique and incredible experience. (and it's only 1:00 in the afternoon! still plenty of time for Christmas miracles)
But before I start, I have a funny story. Last night as we were saying district prayer, Elder Labaron said "Nuestros Quierido Padre Celestial. Feliz Navidad! amen."
For those of you who don't know spanish, the translation is "Our Dear Heavenly Father, Happy Christmas! Amen."
He meant to say please bless us to have a happy christmas, but he got mixed up. It took everything in my soul to not burst out in laughter during it. It's alright though, I act dignified mum.
That is, until we sang "once there was a snowman" for the closing song. Then all bets were off.
So this morning. The four of us Hermanas woke up and opened up our presents while eating your orange rolls (thanks mum! they were fantastic...and don't worry about them not being as sweet as normal. you wouldn't believe how muany treats we have. it's disgusting) Anyways...I'll probably give more details on this on tuesday because everything else is so much cooler.
Well, this morning after opening presents, we were able to watch motab music and the spoken word and partake of the Sacrament with a General Authority.....drum roll please. ELDER BEDNAR.
They kept it super secret, and we didn't know who was coming to visit us until right before he came out. We all stood as he walked in, and everyone was so excited. We took the sacrament, all 2,140 of us. It took about 40 Elders to pass it. Then his wife spoke and said Ï am with ye always even to the end of the world
(just got kicked off the computer by an elder, now i´m on a slow one that is in spanish again. so we will see how this goes.)
Elder Bednar. Today, he was so different than normal. Today he was relaxed, relateable and SO funny. I was laughing so hard at som of the things he was saying and the voices he made. Ya, he made voices like the cookie monster. It´s applicable to the gospel, I promise. But anyways, he was so incredibly heart felt in his talk today and it was directed so specifically at us that I can´t even describe to you how it felt in that chapel. None of these words or feelings witll do any justice. But I have never felt so at peace or at home...than I did then. Not home, as in pleasant grove with you guys. But at home, in the heavenly sense, other than the temple.
He explained when he comes to the mtc he does a question answer session. But that today was different. That we were in a place of the Lord, on the Sabbath, on the day that we celebrate Christ´s birth. So he was going to testify of ¨He who has sent you´
Neal A Maxwell said that there would be no atoning sacrifice without the character of Christ. Elder bednar said that that involves accepting God exists. Correct understanding of the character attributes and perfections of Christ. and the actual knowledge that what we are doing and the path we are on is part of Gods will.
He stressed how much we need to desire to find more OF him. not about him. OF him and his character.
I hope I can get these stories out, but He spoke of a story in Matthew about the Savior, when he fasted for 40 days. Satan then came and tempted him. In the scriptures it speaks of creating food, and other means. But the only TRUE tempation was Satan asking Him to deny that he was the Son of God. Satan was asking Christ to deny who He was and His divine nature. Christ then said to depart, and when satan left the scripture speaks of the angels coming unto Him and ministering.
Bednar then pointed something out to us. He said Christ fasted for 40 days, he was tempted and He was spiritually exhausted. I think He could have been justified needing that spiritual upliftment from angels. However, if you look at the Joseph Smith Translation it says that he sent the angels to JOHN who was in Prison. When Christ could have felt sorry for himself, when anyone else would have asked for sympathy...He looked towards others.
When He was about to be crucified He went to the garden, and asked for His apostles Peter, James and John to stay awake with him, for just an housr so He didn´t have to be alone. When he returned they were asleep. I´m sure he was a little let down. Then He was betrayed by a kiss from another one of His apostles. He wrestled with every agony of eternity. Any mortal would have died, but He is the Son of God. He was able to withstand death, but was in so much pain that it made him sweat blood from every pore. When He could have felt sorry for himself, when He could have become angry or asked for people to feel sorry for him He didn´t. He healed the guard´s ear. He did missionary work telling the thieves they would join each other in heaven, He was concerned about His mother and made sure she was taken care of. And then He was lifted upon the Cross and prayed for US.
We cannot rely on testimony enough. Conversion is necessary. But only with Christ can conversion happen. My conversion must be to the Lord, and my witness of the Savior. Anything regarding the people, the callings or the organization should not negatively affect my conversion to Christ because He is why we are here. When you don´t think you can do this...you are right. You can´t. But through the Lord, we can.
His final words are what touched me the most, because of an experience I had yesterday. But basically he left us with this. He said "I want to leave with you all a blessing. A blessing for all of you who were willing enough to forget yourselves and choose to serve the Lord, and be away on Christmas away from family and gifts. I bestow upon you a blessing, that all your desires and diligence be towards finding the Character of Christ. I promise you and bless you with this, and you will NEVER fall away."
p.s. everything above are his words. I just stopped using quotes. The spirit was EMACULATE in there. Truly, so many of the promptings and things said were that ÿou are in the right place at the right time. The Lord is absolutely proud of who you are. I could not have asked for a better Christmas, and I´m so happy that I am able to have this opportunity to be in here. I know Jared said I could have planned it better so I would only miss one, but honestly, this is the only place I could imagine myself in right now, on this day. I´m supposed to be here, and I can´t wait for what else lies in store.
I love you all and I hope you have a very very Merry Christmas full of love, but mostly of CHRIST. It´s how it should be.
Before I go I just want to leave with you something in honor of Christ's birth. "When God wants a great work done in the world or a great wrong righted, he goes about it in a very unusual way. He doesn't stir up his earthquakes or send forth his thunderbolts. Instead he has a helpless baby born, perhaps in a simple home and of some obscure mother. And then God, puts the idea into the mother's heart and she puts it into the baby's mnid and then God waits. The greatest forces in the world are not the earthquakes and the thunderbolts. The greatest forces in the world are babies" -E.T. Sullivan
Christ was that miracle. Through Him we can do great things. Love you! I´ll rwite more on Tuesday. P.s mum. you know to email me at THIS email address right because I haven´t gotten any emails from you.
hermana kaitlyn waters. aka hermana aguas