On December 22nd we had an APF to “Light The Bronx”. Elder and Sister Richards made a lot of hot chocolate for us. We had hot chocolate in big orange Gatorade coolers and we brought them out to the front of the church doors where we had signs that said “Free Hot Chocolate”.
We had a TV playing the Light The World video in the front as well and we were outside finding people to bring in. We found a few awesome people. One of the guys we found was D, he was just walking past the church and almost didn’t come in but he did and he got some hot chocolate and we gave him a chapel tour! It was awesome, while we stood in front of the baptismal font he said, “it’s funny, my mom was just talking to me about getting baptized the other day and now here I am”. He was a pretty cool guy.
We also met this guy named T, he was walking by the church and noticed us and said “you guys took me on my first camping trip!” He stopped and we went into the church, he explained that when he was living in Georgia His friends who are members of the church took him on a camping trip with the scouts to North Carolina. Then later on when he was 13 he was baptized with his grandma and his brother since his move to New York with his mom. He hasn’t been around to church since he’s been in New York. But he said when he comes back from being upstate for the holidays he will start coming back to church now that he knows where we are. Throughout the time we were there we ended up finding a lot of people who were interested and we gave out a lot of copies of the Book of Mormon that we had wrapped up under a Christmas tree in the foyer. It was pretty awesome!
Later that evening I had my interview with President, which was pretty special.
December 23rd we had another APF. We went to Fordham plaza and set up a couple large tables and did free gift-wrapping for people. Today it was pouring rain all morning and we were afraid it wouldn’t be dry enough to gift-wrap. But we all prayed for the weather to be well enough to do it and while we set up the rain lightened up till it stopped soon after we started. We had a hand full of missionaries wrapping gifts while others were making contact with those in line. It was really special. We talked to a lot of people and so many are just so sweet and nice this time of year. I handed out a few copies of the Book of Mormon while people waited in line. The copies were also gift-wrapped and we gave them as gifts and explained what they were. When we finished and packed up the rain started again.
December 24th was a very special day for Elder Davis and I. This morning we went to meet with one of our investigators, M, just to ride with him to church since he didn’t know how to get there.
When we got to his house his mom P was just walking in and we invited her to come to church with us. She wanted to but she was hesitant because she had just got home and wasn’t ready for the day. After a few minutes of standing around she decided she would come. (Now P is a character, but she is such a sweet and wonderful lady.) We had quite the conversation with her on the way to the church.
We also had 4 other investigators come to church! We had 6 total and it was awesome! The chapel was full! Before each of them left we spoke to them about how they enjoyed the service, they individually told us they loved it and would be back next week! We pray that they will remember this experience and come back often!
In the evening of Christmas Eve we had a little Family Home Evening event opened up to single people who would be alone on Christmas. We had dinner and sang songs together and then did a Christmas nativity. Elder Davis and I were shepherds. It was a pretty great Christmas Eve.
December 25th Merry Christmas!! How crazy is it that it’s already come and gone! I sure did have an amazing day! We left the apartment that morning after studies and within the first 30 minutes the Spirit led us to a nearby park where we met M. M is a single man from Mexico, he was sitting in 25° weather on a bench, in an empty park, alone. He said he had no plans for Christmas because he had no family. After a minute of speaking to him and bearing testimony to him of the love Heavenly Father has for him and that we are all family we shared with him the Christmas video, Light The World. We then introduced the Book of Mormon and gave him a gift-wrapped copy in Spanish. We exchanged contact information and wished him well on Christmas. We sent his contact information to the Spanish Elders and we walked away. We ended up by a restroom and saw a man brushing his teeth. We went inside and began talking to him. His name was A. While talking to him he told us that he had met with some missionaries before and attended church in Florida, years ago. We invited him to join us this coming Sunday, he said he would love to. We got his number and shortly after left the bathroom. Leaving the bathroom and heading towards the east side of the park to go back to the main road we turned around and looked back to find M reading the Book of Mormon, he looked up and saw us walking away, in his hand he lifted up the gold wrapping paper that previously covered the Book of Mormon and waved it in the air to us.
I don’t believe in coincidences, the Lord for a surety led us to that park and there we were able to bless the lives of those two men who were alone on Christmas Day. It was a special day.
After our park miracles, we went to meet with J to go to the nursing home where his mom was. We had with us President Smith and his family, Sister Muti and Sister Ståhle. We went to his mother’s room and wheeled her to the lunchroom where some others were gathered and we sang some Christmas songs together.
When we came back in that night we got a phone call from the Spanish Elders, they said they called M and he answered. They said he told them that he began reading the Book of Mormon and loved it, it helped him keep his mind off of drinking alcohol which was awesome, because he has been sober for 3 months now and has tried quitting. They set an appointment to meet with him the next day.
We truly have been so blessed this Christmas with all that we’ve done and have seen. Miracles have NOT ceased. The Savior Lives and He Loves us. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. It is divine and it is scripture. It testifies of the Savior Jesus Christ and is proof of His earthly ministers while here in the Americas. I invite all to give heed to the scriptures and the special witnesses of Him who lives.
Patience. Love. Faith