It's Christmas time! The decorations are starting to go up in our apartment, and we've been listening to Christmas music since I got here 4 months ago. We are prepared. And we've had another good week! On Monday all the missionaries from the Dallas stake got together and played sports and had lunch, which was a lot of fun. Here's something I learned from the experence: leaving hotdogs in an oven, even if the door is open and the temperature is on "low", does not keep the hotdogs warm. It chars them. (Anyone remember Mike's charred chicken sandwiches? It wasn't that extreme, but they were getting there).
The temperature has been surprisingly warm here over the last two weeks or so, which has been a huge blessing. We've seen a lot of good things happening with the work as well. Just as an example, the less-active families we're visiting are opening up more and more, and Ana and Alfonzo (Analee's mom and soon-to-be step dad) came back to church after about a month of working Sundays.
Something I'm coming to believe firmly is that, as President Sabin once said, "People only get into trouble when they do not understand who they are or they have forgotten." This last week I studied different parts of the Book of Mormon trying to better understand what contributes to and damages unity. The understanding I came to as I read about the well-known cycles of pride and humility is that pride really comes down to this: forgetting our relationship with God, losing the influence of the Spirit, and basing our self-worth on comparisons to others or on having nice things rather than our identity as a child of God who is loved by the Savior and has access to His Atonement.
I'm sorry, but no pictures again... I'll harder try this week. We might be going to the temple on Friday, so we'll try to at least get some there!
P.S. I just have to share this again. If you haven't seen one or either of these videos, please check them out. They really will give you more hope and make your day better.
He is the Gift: http://www.mormon.org/christmas?cid=HPFR112814529
Because of Him: http://easter.mormon.org/