MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE! AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE GREATEST DAD IN THE ENTIRE WORLD!!! AND HAPPY EARLY BIRTHDAY TO THE GREATEST MOM IN THE WORLD!!! Love you both! It was so good to talk to you all yesterday 🙂
WOW! This Christmas was absolutely amazing! I hope everyone had a Christ-filled Christmas this year because I sure did! This week was a week of firsts and I think all but one or two I have captured in a photo so prepare yourselves people… LOTS OF FOTOS THIS WEEK!!!
Obviously we all know the real reason we have Christmas and we try to make our Christmas more Christ-centered but this year was my absolute favorite Christmas because I had the privilege and opportunity to re-live the Nativity Story. I decided that the present I would give Christ this Christmas was to announce His birth as much as possible and spend as much time as possible PREACHING HIS GOSPEL during Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!!!!
Let me explain, I felt like Sister Phipps and I were playing the role of 3 very important characters in the Birth of Christ.
Christmas Eve and Christmas night we decided to wrap Book of Mormon´s in Christmas wrapping paper and go CHRISTMAS CAROLING!!!! So after our 3 dinners that we ate with our investigators and recent converts, we went door to door to spread the news of Christ’s birth and offer the best present we could think of for the people in Portugal! We went door to door, and door after door was shut in our face as if to say “We have no room for you in the in.” It was in these moments that I felt closer to my Savior and his earthly parents, Mary and Joseph. I cannot even imagine the heartache they felt and the exhaustion after walking miles and miles just to find a place to stay the night and NO ONE let them in. NO ONE. (Fortunately, some people let us in.)
The second role I feel like we had the opportunity to play was the role of the shepherds. (Luke 2:7-20) anxiously announcing Christ´s birth for all the earth. Going door to door, singing Christmas carols and preaching for the people of Portugal.
The third role we had the opportunity to play was the role of the wiseman. (Matthew 2:1-2, 10-11) Offering the first presents to the Savior after his birth. We had the opportunity to not only announce His birth but to offer a present that testified of His birth and His life.
Here is where the miracle comes in, after many doors slammed in our face, we thought maybe we should’ve just spent the night with members that offered to feed us and celebrate with us, maybe we would´ve had more fun, but then these 3 characters came into my mind and realized how incredible of an opportunity we have to experience a taste of what these 3 characters tasted. As the night went on and we still weren´t having success we knocked on a door and could hear that a lot of people were in the house, laughing, talking and enjoying their christmas dinner. I got super excited! After 3 knocks they still didn´t answer but it was obvious they could hear us, we start singing Christmas songs and all of a sudden they open the door and immediately welcome us in and we walk into a room of 15 people all sitting around the dinner table enjoying the Christmas night together. They invited us to share a message about Christ and as we were sharing about the birth of Christ, the wife with tears in her eyes grabs us and starts hugging us so tightly and says “THANK YOU SO MUCH. THIS is the reason we celebrate Christmas. We were missing this message this Christmas and I am so grateful God sent you here to share this message with us. It changed my whole entire Christmas.” A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE!!! I know that it was worth it to keep knocking, to keep trying and to keep announcing His birth.
I am so grateful for the opportunity that I had to celebrate Christmas in a different way this year-helping OTHERS celebrate Christmas the RIGHT way. I am so grateful for the space that this family and 2 other families that night made for us in the inn. This is a Christmas I will NEVER forget and always want to repeat. I have so much love for my Savior, for His earthly parents, and our Father in Heaven. I am so grateful for His birth and for this Christmas season I had to get to know my Savior on a more personal level.
I hope that we can all make room in the inn for Christ not just on Christmas but every single day. Christ was born. He died for us. JUST for us. And He lives. Today. He is the only way to find true peace in this world. I hope we can all remember this. Not just today, but every day after this.
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL AND TO ALL A GOOD WEEK!!!!
Com MUITO amor,
1- IT`S SO BEAUTIFUL HERE!!!
2- Christmas Conference with the special appearance of Santa a.k.a Presidente Amorim
3- PHARMACY DECKED OUT!
4- SO MUCH FOOD…
1- First and last skype with my fam on Christmas
2- First time trying Bacalhão (Cod Fish)…Maybe not the last…
3- First time stepping in dog poo… in the middle of a street contact.. hope this is a last as well… p.s. the street contact allowed us to come to her house and teach her… so I think it was worth it 🙂
4- First time trying “Bolo Rei” It´s the traditional christmas cake here in Portugal and i thi nk my face explains it al…
Along with all of these firsts… I tried Octopus for the first time… Can´t say I am a huge fan.. Unfortunately my camera was dead, but I´m a representative of Christ and cannot lie so you all can take my word for it. 😉
2- BRASILIAN NATAL!!!
3- MARIA- SHE IS GETTING BAPTIZED ON JANUARY 28TH!!!
4- Sister Amorim- So chique!
1- CHRISTMAS MORNING PRESENTS!!!! THANK YOU FAM!!!
2- Sister Phipps present for me… a chapel made out of CHOCOLATE (She knows me so well)
3- SANTA SUIT!!!
4- CHRISTMAS PJ´S – BEST TRADITION EVER!!!!
1- NUTELLA STORE!!
2- Porto is absolutely radiant at dusk!!!
3- Porto… again. I just can´t get enough
4- And again…