Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas

From Elder Paul Freeman, dated December 19, 2007.

Dear Mom,

It's such a great time of year and I'm appreciating it more and more. Maybe it's everyone else thinking and feeling and acting the way we're supposed to in remembrance of the birth of our Savior. Or maybe it's me that's changing. Either way, we all have great cause to celebrate this Christmas.

Yesterday, I went on exchanges with our district leader. The night previous I was concerned about not being super familiar with the area and not having much experience here. Thanks to your inspired counsel, I looked to President Eyring's talk and remembered how I've been helped and guided in days gone by and began to feel the genuine concern for those we are serving. I feel it was one of the most successful days we've had in a very long time.

First, we visited a great family of members to try and clear up some inconsistencies in our records. We then visited a great lady from the Cook Islands. She and her husband haven't been making it out to church, most likely because of his work schedule, but she has a friend going through hard times. Sister T*** has been giving great council and advise while being a wonderful example. She wants to invite her friend over when we come so we can start teaching her.

We then visited a family who just had their children baptised. They are a lively bunch and play on a Jr High foot ball team that won their Super Bowl last week. We are teaching their follow up lessons while hoping their father will take stronger interest in the Gospel.

The library is a great place to do service. It's quite and menial and suites me very nice. One lady that works their loves it when we come and thanks us a million time before we leave.

From their we visit a lady whose husband is Samoan but she's Hispanic. Her husband is never home and her son died several months ago. Missionaries used to visit before her son died and she said her son always felt better when they did. We started teaching the plan of salvation in hopes of building her faith and hope in the gospel.

There's a Polynesian store where we're trying to teach a gentleman straight off the island who is being sponsored by the family that owns the store. He doesn't know a word of English but loves to hear about the gospel. Lately he's never there, so we teach the store owner instead. He's a great guy too, born and raised in American Samoa and has the best compliments for missionaries and Latter-day saints.

After dinner and filling out some records, we went over to visit this one family that lives by the church. The wife is Jehovah's Witness but the husband isn't. They seem like they've been dealing with it their whole marriage of more than twenty years. At first we ask about what she believes, but [she] tends to answer more with what she thinks she supposed to say about her church. So, this time I just shared the parable of the Good Samaritan and connected it with the Savior and she seemed touched by it. When we left she said she really like having us over and we could come back again. Their such a good family and hopefully they can understand more about the gospel in the future.

Thanks for all your letter and the package your sending. I've haven't gotten any yet but I should soon. Just a note, the office can forward packages from the post office to our apartment, but UPS boxes usually sit in the office. I have no problem waiting, it's just if you want me to get it sooner post office is the best bet. Thanks again and make sure everyone has a very merry Christmas.


Elder Freeman