I hope I just got that song stuck in all y'all's heads, because it has been stuck in mine for about two weeks! This week was a blur and a whirlwind of miracles. There were so many "right place, right time" moments that I don't even remember them all, but I'll try to get the good ones in there.
First, we had our Christmas music fireside! I was absolutely terrified because about 5 til, there were legit zero people in the chapel. And there were still zero until about 6:20 (it was supposed to start at 6). Then finally, a few people came, then a few more. We started the program, and somehow, by the time we finished with the opening song and prayer, it had quadrupled in size! You thought Mormon standard time was bad? Try Hispanic Mormon time. But hey, I'll take late rather than not coming at all. Everything went so well! It was crazy because when we stepped back and looked at it, Sister Johnson and I were a part of every single musical number. We were directly playing/singing, we organized the choir, we taught the kids Mary's Lullaby in Spanish, and we taught a few of the kids who did piano solos. When we got here, there was zero music in this ward. And now look what happened! Music brings people together like none other, and I'm so grateful for an awesome ward secretary and a ward music leader who took our ideas and ran with them. None of this would have happened without them. Afterwards, there was a dinner and it went so well too! I have never seen so many people from our ward there. There were sooooo many less actives that we got to come, and a ton of people brought non-member friends. It was exactly what we had hoped! HUGE tender mercy! Also, they had the missionaries put on a nativity and it was the funniest thing ever because they told us to bring our own costumes. But no one has just plain sheets or blankets, so we had all kinds of penguin robes going on. Also, baby Jesus was in a car seat. Very realistic. :) That was on account of missionaries can't hold children, so we didn't really have another option. Also, they had the kids from the primary come on as shepherds and they had them sing "Feliz Navidad" in the middle of it. It was the funniest/best thing I've ever seen! Also, one kid kept running around on stage holding a pop tart. It was great! :)
Here's a crazy "right time, right place" moment for y'all. So we were walking around Fat City, which is like a couple blocks of apartments in Metairie. There are a lot of Hispanics and it was pretty cold. We ran into the Bucios (they live in Fat City) and they were about to pull out of the parking lot, but Sister Bucio said, "Sisters! Aren't you cold?! Hold on I'm going to get you sweaters!" She gets out of the car, runs back into their apartment, gets us sweaters, and then they leave. It was probably the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me on my mission. We were so touched. Anyways, we were on our way to see a potential investigator, Lynn, who is actually English speaking. I don't know if I've ever written y'all about her, but she chased the missionaries down a couple months before I got here. She told them, "I don't know why, but I think God wants me to talk to y'all!" Those words are like music to our ears. Anyways, for the last 8 months, missionaries have been trying to teach her, but she's had huge issues with drugs and alcohol. She is the sweetest lady, but she's always on crack or something. Not even joking. She's always says she's trying to get better though and that she's been praying for God to give her strength to turn her life around. I've knocked on her door who knows how many times and never gotten in. I’ve said lots of prayers with her on her doorstep because she's always so depressed. Anyways, she disappeared randomly for about a month, and come to find out, she was in rehab (which was definitely for the best). So on Saturday, we were in Fat City and we were going to go see her. We knocked on her door annnnddddddd no one answers. Bummer. But as we're walking away, she pulls up. And oh my goodness she was the happiest I've ever seen her! She started crying when she saw us and told us that finally she's ready to start learning about the Gospel. WHAT?!! We told her that she looked so much better and she started crying again and told us about how hard it's been but that she feels like her life is going up for the first time in a long time. She also told us that the reason she wanted to talk to us was that we just glow all the time and that we're the happiest people she's ever met and that she wants what we have. It was crazy. I told the Sister Bucio story because without that, we would have been 5 minutes earlier to Lynn's house and would have missed her completely. Heavenly Father is so involved in our lives! I know it!
I love you all so so much! I hope you all have an amazing Christmas and make this Christmas more spiritual than the last. Try to serve more, love more, read the scriptures more, slow down more, pray more, share the Gospel more, be with family more, and try to be like the Savior more. The best present you could give the Savior is to serve someone else, and the best way to serve is to share the Gospel. So many people don't know, or at least don't fully understand, that unto us a Savior has been born so that all of us could have hope! It makes me so sad to think that some of my brothers and sisters in the world don't know that they can have hope. I'm doing my best to help my Hispanic Louisianan brothers and sisters realize this! I hope you all can share it wherever you are too. Les quiero muchisimo!