Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Infinite Power of the Atonement........week 83

Well family another week passed and I can hardly believe that I am writing you again. It was one crazy week.

We have been running around like crazy to find things and prepare things for the Christmas Devotional and Celebration. It will be on Tuesday and Wednesday so we have very little time left now. I think I have felt more like an Elf in Santa’s workshop this week than a missionary, but in the end it is fulfilling. I will be happy to see the missionaries’ faces when they get to experience the conference. It will make all of the work we did worthwhile. I am beginning to understand how the parents feel when they wake up Christmas morning after having spent the whole night wrapping Christmas gifts. The season after all is about giving and I feel like I am beginning to understand the true meaning of Christmas.

But how is the family doing? I bet everyone is getting ready for Christmas day now with only a week left before the bells chime on that Sacred, special day. Where is everyone going to have Christmas anyway? I ask because we are going to have to have everything ready for the phone call. I will get only 40 minutes to talk so I hope that everyone can plan out their questions and such. It will be the shortest 40 minutes ever. I will call Christmas day but I will have a one minute phone call soon to say at what time exactly. But plan out a time when it would be best for everyone. Don’t worry about phone cards or any of that. It is really cheap to call the states from Nicaragua. Plus I will probably just call from the office and not pay anything. Great huh?

Despite the little time we had in the field, there were several experiences that I have had that have strengthened my testimony. Last Sunday we went to visit Danilo and his wife after church. He has been progressing miraculously with his goal to stop smoking and I couldn’t help marvel at what the atonement is doing for him. Three weeks ago we met the man in church and we gave him a Priesthood blessing to stop smoking. At that time he smoked two or more packets a day. When we asked him how he was doing with his smoking he said that he had only smoked one cigarette. He said that he didn’t really want to smoke anymore because he didn’t have a desire. He actually ended up giving cigarettes away and he denied to smoke to a neighbor. After teaching the first lesson, we testified that what had made his recovery from addiction possible was the power of the priesthood. As we drove away, tears came to my eyes and I realized that God really has given me His power to help His children here on Earth. I felt so grateful to have been able to exercise my Priesthood. I know that it is the power of God delegated to man to help God’s children come back into His presence.

It is truly amazing to see a person repent of their sins and come unto Jesus Christ. I know that He forgives us when we truly repent.

“I shall lengthen out mine arm unto them from day to day, they will deny me; nevertheless, I will be merciful unto them, saith the Lord God, if they will repent and come unto me; for mine arm is lengthened out all the day long, saith the Lord God of Hosts.” (2 Nephi 28:32)

I know that Christ is my Redeemer. I know He lives and that He works among the children of men. His Atonement is infinite in power and reach. It reaches the people here in Nicaragua. It has reached me in my own personal life. It will continue to bless all who earnestly seek its divine power. I am thankful for my Savior Jesus Christ. I love him. I serve Him as best I can. May we take advantage fully of the Atonement of Christ in our lives.

Elder Grant Russell