Tuesday, December 10, 2013

December 9, 2013

Dear Family,
I thought I should just start out by saying that God answers prayers. I have seen over and over again how He hears our prayers and answers them according to our faith. I wonder how many miracles I have seen on my mission that are an answer to the prayers you have prayed for me. Thank you. Your prayers mean so much to me.
This week the thing that warmed my heart the most was being able to take Lachelle and two of her boys to the "Celebrate the Nativity" event that happened at our church building. The whole stake puts on this event where they put 600+ nativities on display, they have a live nativity, they have free cookies, they have a kids craft room, and they have an Art Walk of pictures of Christ. The nativities are displayed kind of how mom does it in our house, just there are quite a bit more. Lachelle was able to come and she was able to convince her two sons, Terrez and Derrick, to come with her. Watching them walk through and look at all the nativities together was such a neat experience. I know it's not something they normally would do as a family. My favorite part, however, was walking through the Art Walk with them. As they paused at some pictures and wondered about them, we were able to tell them some of the stories of Jesus and teach them precious truths about Him. It made me think of something President Eaton told us at a zone conference once. He said that it's like we are all running through the night, and we are trying to help people make it to Jesus, guiding them over fallen branches and through thorny ways, telling them the whole time of how wonderful it will be when they meet Him. It almost brought me to tears thinking of how, in a very literal way, we were able to bring this little family unto Jesus that night. I love this time of year-so much. And I find myself missing things from home. But I have felt literally lifted in Spirit as I see the effects that Christmas has on everyone here. There is a great feeling in the air.
One miracle that I wanted to tell you about was when we went contacting this week at the Festival of Lights at the park by the Lake. We figured it would be a good place to invite people the Nativity. We started out by a small bonfire they had going, and then we decided we needed to branch out, because that was a bit constrictive and awkward.
Then we went and took advantage of the free hot chocolate they had available, and we invited the man who was handing them out. Then a lady came up to us and asked us if we wanted a free taco, so we tried inviting her. We took our free tacos and went to put condiments on them. Sister Kirschner said a small prayer that we would be able to know who Heavenly Father needed and wanted us to talk to. While she was praying, I noticed a guy with a dog who I felt like we should talk to. He was getting a free taco too. I told Sister Kirschner, and so we quickly started thinking of how we could go and talk to him and make it seem natural. Finally, we just decided to walk up to him and start talking. Sister Kirschner asked about his dog, and from there we were able to have a great conversation! He wouldn't accept a Book of Mormon, but at the end of our conversation, I asked if we could say a prayer with him. He was happy to! He asked what kind of prayers we do, if we say a recited one or what. We explained that when we say a prayer we just open our hearts to Heavenly Father, and we just talk with Him. He was a little bit surprised, but was still happy to pray nonetheless. I said a prayer for him and his family, and then he said one for us. He said afterwards that he was truly touched. I hope he realized how touched we were as well. We knew after we parted ways that he was the soul we were meant to touch that night.
I testify that God does answer our prayers. As we pray specifically and with faith, they are answered. I have seen this so many times on my mission. I am learning that there is power in prayer beyond our own comprehension. With diligence and sincere humility, there is even power to change some of the things about ourselves that we might think near impossible. "...With God nothing shall be impossible." Luke 1 :37. I was just thinking yesterday how it's hard to imagine myself, me, Danielle Kristen Mecate, who has many insecurities and weaknesses, being able to go up to a complete stranger and teach and testify of the things that are most important in my life. Crazy things happen when we turn our lives over to God.
I hope you all are having a great Christmas season! As I stop to think about why we truly celebrate Christmas, my heart is full. I know that mu Redeemer lives! I love you all so much!
Sister Mecate

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