Merry Christmas! Well it seems about pointless to write today as well seeing as we talked for an hour and you got a really good idea of what has been happening here. All is good here. We had a weekend of miracles!
As you noticed in the call, I was a little bit stressed out for the weekend (and for good reason seeing as the goal for the attendance was extremely high). But let´s just say that so many miracles happened this weekend that I am amazed and surprised.
Sunday was an extremely busy day as we started inviting people to church at 6:00am. Our ward starts at 8:00am so we have to wake up pretty early. The office elders from Managua came to help us out over the weekend with our attendance and with the excitement and dedication of the members, it really made a difference! We were able to have a about 170 people in church this weekend and what made it best was that every companionship of missionaries in the zone improved their attendance this Sunday. The President was happy, so we were too ha ha.
But really, to tell you about all the miracles that have happened in the last 3 weeks to make it happen would take 3 weeks to tell. In short, instead of finding about half of the people engaged in something in the morning or without desires to go, we found the members ready and willing to come and many made huge sacrifices. Many families came for the first time after not having come in over a year. It was a special experience. I really love working with the less actives because I can feel the love of the Lord for them. This week we are going to hit it hard again and try and maintain a good attendance in the Branch and in the Zone.
I don't know how much of my testimony Troy and Tyler could pick out or if they told you what I said, but I would just like to reemphasize the things that I said. I am so grateful for your support and help here on the mission. I feel your prayers and love across the miles and I know that I am doing the right thing. I feel so privileged to be a missionary and to bear the name of the Saviour in this great work. I am so grateful for the Atonement and I know it works because I have seen how it changes lives and makes homes happier.
This week taught me a great lesson: Trust in the Lord even when you don't believe. I was a bit cynical and sceptical about how many we were going to be able to have since the best the Branch had achieved in a long time was about 120 or 130. But we worked our hearts out and we saw how the Lord did His part.
May God continue to bless you always and may you trust in Him even when your earthly eyes limit your eternal perspective. I am so grateful to see that the Lord is never wrong and that if we just put our faith in Him, He will lead us along the way. That is what He does for me.
Elder Grant Russell
P.S. Please tell Brother Minor that I got his package and that I enjoyed it! He is truly a special man. Thank him for his continued thoughtfulness in my behalf.
I expect to get the other package soon.