Monday, December 19, 2016

Missionaries and Dogs

Dear family and friends,

A solid week here in Chimbote! The highlight was Pablo´s baptism.  And there were no craft presentations to get in the way!  It was a great experience, as usual.  It´s always kind of fun trying to really grasp the meaning of what´s actually happening.  We know it, but I don´t think we really understand! At least I don´t yet.  Things of eternal significance happening right before our eyes! Saving ordinances performed by restored priesthood authority! I always try to wrap my mind around it, especially during those ordinances, but I´ve yet to really grasp it.  But it was a great experience, and the confirmation on Sunday sealed the deal!

One funny thing: we´re working with an investigator named André who believes that the Book of Mormon is true, but isn´t sure about Joseph Smith.  He just believes it because it talks about Christ, I think.  We always take it for granted that if they know the Book of Mormon is true, they´ll automatically know that Joseph Smith is a prophet too, but these things are so new to investigators that they don´t make that connection so easily! A little challenge we´re dealing with.

Sometimes as a missionary you feel like a huge scary dog.  Just because of the fact that as we are walking the streets of Perú, there are so many people that take one glance and cross the street! Haha they are so scared of us! That´s one thing I´m looking forward to when I get home: being able to catch people by surprise and start up gospel conversations with them.  In a white shirt and tie, everyone already knows what´s coming!

What an unbelievable time of year Christmas is.  I have come to appreciate it so much more these past two Christmases.  It´s so strange; I always knew the "true meaning of Christmas" and all that, and always tried to remember, but it´s just different being away from all the commercialism and submerged in what really matters.  My love for the Savior has grown so much! I think they´re things and feelings that just come with experience, so I still have a way long way to go, but my feelings for Christ and Christmas are different now.  We sang Joy to the World today in our Christmas devotional; in Spanish it says, "Rejoice, Jesus was born.  Savior of the world.  And every hear shall turn to him to receive their king." I just found myself smiling while singing.  He lives!! It´s so unbelievable.  I can´t even describe it.  

Have a MERRY CHRISTMAS!! Love you all!

Love, Tanner

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