This letter will be a shorter one.
We moved this morning, and that took up most of the time this morning, and we still have to go do our normal shopping on top of getting the necessary supplies to clean and keep the apartment, and also to have articles with which to eat and cook.
The last week of the year passed quickly with differing experiences. I should start bringing my journal to relate stories to you, but one that happened yesterday involved helping a nearly blind, currently inactive member, to try to feel the need to return to church. Someone once said to her that she should get a blind stick (I don't know their actual names), and she said that hurt her, and she didn't want to go back until she felt confident in her ability to see. After listening and understanding most of what she said, I asked her husband if he would be willing to go with her and take her (he is also a member and attends rather frequently). Immediately he said yes, so then I asked her if she had family support and a way to get there and back why she was keeping herself from being able to partake of the sacrament and receive the revelation she knows she needs and can only come from the church. It was something I felt prompted to say, and she thought for a long time. As far as I know, she's going to be trying this week. We've visited them every week and tried to get their whole family to come, but she always had something that would prevent her, and I think we've finally begun to break the barriers down. She has a really strong testimony, but she also doesn't want to feel useless in the church. She expressed her desire to be able to go without depending on anyone, so Elder Black and I tried to help her see that we all need to rely on someone all the time. As children, we rely on our parents; on our own, we rely on the goodness of God, etc.
We all need to rely on someone, in all stages of life. On the mission, I have come to rely more heavily on God. I have been trying to aqcuaint myself more with the Spirit than ever before, and I am trying to do as I am directed. Frustrations drive away the Spirit, and the only way to get it back is to focus on the good and the way to overcome the frustrations than just on the fact that they're there.
My personal reading has taken me through Alma 23 or 24. I don't have any of my things with me at the moment, or I'd be able to tell you exactly. It is the part where the Anti-Nephi-Lehies bury their weapons. This is an example of true repentance. I love it! Their murders had caused them great pains and a harsh repentance for their clothes to be washed clean in the Blood of the Lamb. To keep their clothes and swords clean, they decided to bury their weapons of war. By doing so, they were showing not just to God but to all people their willingness to truly forsake their sins. They removed the temptation to shed blood again, even to defend their own lives, on the possibility that it might make them stained before God at the Judgement. Then they met the armies of the Lamanites in an attitude of prayer and thanksgiving to God, such that there were 1005 slain, but a greater number converted because of their example. They were willing to die before sinning again.
Miracles can happen in any place and at any time. We just need to open our eyes to recognize them when they happen.
I love you all!!