Christmas Day baptisms
Ainda assim, christmas was flippin sweet. its strange to be away from home. this is my second Christmas as a missionary, the first being in the mtc under 7 inches of snow. This one was different for several reasons. Mostly, I'm in Boston, and I passed the holiday teaching and walking and bussing and train-ing and, in a fabulous fashion, baptizing. Specifically, baptizing Maria and her daughter Vanessa.
We met these two ladies on December 7th when they came to church, and I remember when the fire alarm went off maria shouted over the screeching peal "I think I want to get baptized!" The process was not without opposition and struggle, but that miraculous start led to a miraculous baptism. And on christmas maria, vanessa, elisangela, melinda and rosilda were baptized. Nothing more fitting than rebirth on the Savior's birthday!
On the 27th we ran around like crazy preparing people to go to the temple and a recent convert, Ildo, drove me, Elder Griffiths, Djeison and Ely (2 more recent converts) up to belmont to spend a few hours there. it was a sweet experience. Not much better than seeing someone you helped join the church give that potential gift back to their ancestors.
My personal growth over the course of 2014 has been immeasurable. I landed here in Boston Dec. 31st, 2013 and spent the first night as a real missionary overwhelmed with what lay ahead of me. 2 years is a long time when you're looking up at it from day 1. But now I'm here on Dec. 29th, 2014, and I can look back at day 1, and just laugh. Time has gone so fast, and its only going faster now. But through it all the Lord has refined me as his servant and as a man; he's given me His vision, piece by piece, and continues to offer more each day as I learn what I need to sacrifice to understand the way He works. I've received a glimpse of the life God lives. Just a microcosm. Its worth every price--truly, a pearl beyond price. I'm in no place to give advice to those who already know so much more than me... but maybe take a chance to reflect on what God has in store for you in 2015. What it might take to reach the gifts and blessings he's waiting to give you. What there is left to put on the altar.
I love you all!