Monday, December 16, 2013

Dreaming of a White Christmas

Happy Birthday to my grandpa (Papa)! He is a young buck at the age of 74 now haha I will always remember watching tons of sports and faulty towers with him :) I love you Papa! Also, I hear that the gender for Ian&Lindsay's baby will be known on the 21st. My guess is that it will be a boy!!! and they will name him Seth....right? ;) haha but Im really excited to hear how that goes! Thank you for all of the Christmas cards and gifts too! I'll send thank you notes out and I really love coming home from the cold to some mail! 
Well, I had some neat experiences this week. On Friday, I did a baptismal interview for a lady named Khajidsurn Navaantanba who is from Mongolia.  She is here to get here doctorate in mathematics and speaks pretty good english for only having been here for one year! It was really neat because she shared with me her testimony of Jesus Christ. I realized in a new way that Christ really is the Savior of us all! 
Friday, we also had exchanges. I was on a bike with Elder Polatis in his area and it was a long night. We talked to EVERYONE we saw and tried some people who were potentially interested but nobody invited us in to teach. We were both freezing and a little sad but with a little bit of humor we lightened up and rode our bikes on the snow covered sidewalks to our dinner with some members. It was cool because although we didnt see any "success" that night, we felt the Spirit with us, assuring us that we were doing all that we could do...that is a satisfying feeling :)
Then Saturday, we taught a man named Kagulo who was baptized this summer. He is a little less active now so we are trying to help him come to Church every week. He is from the Congo, so hardly speaks English. We read 1 Nephi chapters 1-2 with him from the Book of Mormon. We read in English and he read in Swahili. His remark at the end of the lesson was something like this, "So we need to keep commandment or else it is not good and we be destroyed like Jerusalem." We laughed a bit at the harshness of it, but assured him that he was correct. We taught how the people in Jerusalem had "destroyed" themselves by not keeping the commandments. They had put themselves in a situation in which when Babylon came to conquer, they were exposed completely to them b/c they had not listened and prepared as the Lord had commanded them. It was sweet and again I learned that this gospel is for ALL children of our Heavenly Father, no matter what background or culture. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is pure truth and truth is eternal and unchangeable!
Each day this week, we met with a man named Scott who we started teaching this week. He had been taught before by some sister missionaries this summer but had taken a break from learning. Well, we have had some of the most powerful lessons with this man. He has received all sorts of spiritual confirmations that the Church is true and the Joseph Smith really was a prophet and man of God. Yesterday, we made a breakthrough and he opened up to us about how he had become depressed some years ago after he had to give his 3 sons up for adoption b/c he couldnt adequately provide for them. We taught him about the Atonement and read Alma 7 with him (from the Book of Mormon). The Spirit was strong and we all felt the truthfulness of the words of the prophet Alma as he talked about how Christ not only suffered for our sins, but for our pains (physical, spiritual, emotional), sicknesses, and afflictions too. It was intense. Afterwards, we gave him a priesthood blessing. He felt very good he told us and is working towards making the covenant (promise with God) of baptism on Dec 28! There is no greater feeling of joy than when you feel the love and power of God working through you to help another person. Thats missionary work for you :) I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas season. Enjoy the company of family and friends and those you love. Think about them first and you will feel that true Christmas spirit which warms your very core being with joy! Love you alll, Elder Seth McGinn
Picture of that freezing night we were biking!

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