Ola outra vez Familia!
Today was an eventful week of Christmas joy and snowy white pleasure. I'd like to share with you a few of the tender mercies that I was able to witness this week.
First of all, we had Zone Training Meeting this past thursday where we were informed by the Zone Leaders and President Wirthlin on how to proselyte more effectively this holiday season. It was very interesting to hear of the many unique ways that the NY Utica mission utilizes the Christmastime to teach families about Christ. I can't believe the transfer is already halfway over! It still seems like I just met Elder Hougaard.
We finally had a lesson with a guy named Shawn Steele who I've been trying to have a lesson with for months! He is ready for baptism and even said he listens to the Book of Mormon on audio every night! The only thing keeping him from baptism is that he isn't married to the woman he has been living with for 10+ years, and doesn't want to. He is afraid that she will change once they are legally wedded. Please pray that he he will recognize that legal marriage is ordained of God.
These past three days were a bit tough. Nearly all of our appointements were cancelled on us, right when the snowstorms started coming. This left us with our backup plans, which was to basically walk around and contact people while visiting former and potential investigators' homes. It's times like these when I walk around in snowstorms when I think of the memories that serving New York will give me. I will never experience the same things in Brazil. It really is crazy how different my two missions are.
Elder Hougaard and I both realized that the reason we didn't have any appointments the last three days was because the lord wanted us to give him our best. He wanted us to work hard, even in the harsh and cold weather. So, Elder Hougaard and I went back to our apartment, put on basically every article of clothing we had, said a prayer that the lord would help us find one person to share a christmas message with, and started working. We were successful, and found a couple of people that the lord had prepared for us to come back to their home and share a brief message with.
Yesterday, we had about 15 members show up to church because the snowstorm left many people's vehicles lost in the depths of snow. It was CRAZY! I wish I could've taken a couple of pictures but my camera broke.. (I'm sending it home today, there is a warranty on it!) After sacrament meeting andschool, we went to the apartment to get some snow shovels and help people dig their cars out. We did this the whole day, since our appointments were cancelled. At nighttime, we came at a crossroads with our shovels in hand. Elder Hougaard and I said a quick prayer to know which way to go. We both felt like we should turn right, so we did. The streets were dark, and we felt like we had made the wrong choice after walking a couple of blocks, until we found a lone man shoveling out his driveway. We approached him and asked if we could help, but he said he would be okay. Walking away a bit discouraged, he yelled back at us, "Nevermind, if you both help, I'll give you 5 bucks each." I replied, "Can we do it for free?" Turns out, this guy knows our branch president and wants us to come back to share a christmas message with him and his family. Prayer is real!
I love you all and wish you a happy week of Nice, school, work, etc. Happy Holidays!
Elder Ja. Kunzler
P.S. If Josh skypes atPacific time on Christmas, then I'll try to schedule my session at the same time. Hopefully that'll work out. I'll give you more details next week. The rule in this mission is 30 minutes skype and a 1 hour phone call. Strange, I know.