Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Stand ye in Holy Places

Feliz Navidad!
The subject of my email comes from Tuesday.  We had to get our tires changed at Firestone, and it took a very long time.  We were waiting in the lobby, trying to study our scriptures, but it was hard because the T.V. was on and it was distracting.  They had it tuned to the small claims court.  There was one case about a woman suing her former best friend because she bailed her out of jail and the friend never paid her back.  As it was going, I kept thinking about how sad it was - a friendship was ruined over a small amount of money and a large amount of pride.
But then a case came on of a woman suing her ex-boyfriend.  They were having lots of breaking the law of chastity problems and it was very explicit.  It was completely impossible to tune it out and the Spirit told us to leave.  So we did.
We walked to the closest public place (It was very cold that day, so we were not going to wait outside.), which just happened to be a Chick-Fil-A.  So we studied the scriptures and the Spirit was there.  There were many families eating together, very cheerful employees, and some quiet worldly music playing (we wouldn't be listening it as missionaries, but there was nothing bad about it).  Truly it was a place where the Spirit could dwell.  It wasn't a temple or a chapel, but it was a Holy Place.
The different between Chick-Fil-A and the bad TV at Firestone was completely different.  It was a difference between night and day.  As I was sitting at Chick-Fil-A, I realized that I have been very blessed in my life to have always been in Holy Places.  Holy Places do not have to be a temple or a mountaintop, all they have to be is a place where the spirit can dwell. 
We covenanted when we were baptized to stand in Holy Places always.  I think I understood a little bit more about that that day at Chick-Fil-A.  I never want to leave Holy Places. Ever.
We have been doing a lot of Family Home Evenings with the families in the ward, and it is awesome!  I love Family Home Evening!  Really it is just an opportunity to have fun as a family.  It is great!
We taught Julia the gospel of Jesus Christ.  It was a powerful lesson.  She has been reading and marking the Book of Mormon.  She can't read very well, because the letters are too small, but she is trying the best that she can, which is awesome!  And that is pure faith!  And we set a baptismal date with her.
We have adopted a Panamanian Grandma.  She is this sweet old lady that we serve, and share a scripture, and she makes us yummy food.  We keep trying to teach her for real.  I know that it will happen someday, but she loves us and we love her!
We had lots and lots of food for Thanksgiving.  We actually ate 3 Thanksgiving dinners (although one was on Friday.)  The first was with the Nunez family, and it was delicious.  She cooks her turkey upside down to make the meat more flavorful, and it was so good!  The second was with the Queiro family, and they had invited their nonmember cousin over as well.  We taught him the first lesson and gave him a Book of Mormon.  They had rice instead of stuffing.  The third was with one of our investigators.  She is from Puerto Rico, and it was a traditional Puerto Rican Thanksgiving.  We had turkey, and rice, and a salad consisting of green platinos, turkey gizzards, olives, and olive oil.  I didn't really like the salad, but everything else that we were given was delicious!
On Friday, we met a modern day John Tanner (The John Tanner Story).  If you haven't watched this film, you should, it is really good! The quote to listen for is "Excuse me, but would you have a copy of that book that I might review?" "Of course, would you like to meet with us after?" 
So we were following up on an old referral from the sisters.  We tried finding Claudia, and she was actually home.  Very hesitantly she permitted us to enter her home and share a brief message about Christmas.  We went inside and met her brother Jose as well.
We introduced the Book of Mormon, read Alma 7:10-11, talked a little bit about Christmas, gave Claudia a copy of the Book of Mormon and said the closing prayer and left. 
After the prayer, Jose (who had been very quiet for most of the lesson) asked us if he could have a copy of the book as well.  He was curious and said that he wanted to read it.  We didn't have another copy with us, but we told him that we could go to our car, and get him his own copy as well. He actually followed us out to the car in the cold, because he really wanted a copy of the Book of Mormon!  Definitely a modern day John Tanner!
And the Rodriguez family came to church!  And on Sunday after Church we had a Christmas sing-a-long.  It was awesome!
Que les duerman con los angelitos,
Hermana Julie Anna Sanchez


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