Our ward had planned an activity before the Christmas devotional depicting the Christmas story. Featured among the cast were two of the children of some of our investigators, one as an angel and one as a shepherd, as well as our investigator progressing towards baptism, Benton, who was also a shepherd. Perhaps the most well-cast member of all was our bishop, who donned a crown and sat upon a throne to play King Herod. I hope he doesn't get any clever ideas from it.
As for me, I sang "Silent Night" in German with Brother Skipper, one of the Wise Men. I got this on video, thankfully, and will try and get it out to you soon.
This Sunday we also saw a less-active member who we've been working with come to church for the first time in 27 years. Awesome!
During the course of my mission I have come to possess a small little whiteboard that I now take with me everywhere I go. I use it all the time in lessons to illustrate my point, drawing out a picture or a diagram or whatever else comes to mind. It also comes in extremely handy for those rare times where I feel sleepy in a lesson, because I can doodle on it to stay awake.
I learned rather early on that, if writing out a diagram or a list or something, it is very distracting to write the words out and then turn the whiteboard so that other people can read them. So I started just writing stuff upside-down instead so that investigators can read my words without me having to flip the board around. I've gotten quite good at writing upside-down now, the sad part being that my handwriting is actually more legible writing upside-down than it is normally.
We had the opportunity to go and speak with a man, who has member parents but was not a member himself, who had lost his son. He had gone into his adult son's room Thanksgiving morning and found him dead. The autopsy results have not yet come back as to how his son died.
While we spoke with this man, who was extremely depressed and distraught, interestingly the impression came to offer a blessing, not to him, but to his other son, the younger brother of the son who died. I had the thought this son was feeling a lot of guilt about not spending as much time with his brother as he could have, so during the blessing I felt prompted to give him as much reassurance as I could that his Father in Heaven loved him. I can only pray that it helped him.
I've had a lot of good thoughts this past week but perhaps the one that most stood out to me was one I heard at church:
Tithing is the only commandment that we can obey fully. All the others, like "Love thy neighbor," we can always improve on, but for tithing, we can be exactly obedient. 10% faithfully, every time. How kind of Heavenly Father to give His imperfect humans something it is possible for us to perfectly obey.
Love you all. Hope you are enjoying your Christmas season. Hurrah for Israel!