Monday, January 2, 2017

Good morning everyone, its a beautiful -4 degrees here in Indiana this morning. Hope it's warmer for all of you. It's supposed to get to -20 today, I was just told, isn't that special? ;)
This week has been a week of miracles. We have found multiple new families to begin teaching and a couple of other elect individuals who are excited for the gospel in their lives. I am going to leave the miracles and share a neat experience I had though.
This past Sunday I had the special experience to pass the Sacrament with the youth. While passing the Sacrament, I handed the bread tray to a mother and her 2 year old son, with a look of "excitement" and "need" for the bread, thrust his hand out and grabbed a handful of the bread! Then, of course, his mother corrected him and he partook of the bread as he should. Well, while I know that his need and excitement for this bread was motivated by physical hunger, it made me wonder and think. How many of us have such a spiritual hunger and need for this bread that we feel similar to what this child was feeling? How many of us truly are excited and ready to partake of the sacred emblems of the Sacrament? And how many of us truly repent daily the week before in preparation of partaking the Sacrament? It helped me to realize how much more I need to be doing to prepare myself to partake of the Sacrament to truly make the Sabbath more holy. I leave my testimony that Christ has asked, and desires of us, to partake of this sacrament, but he desires us to do so worthily. As we worthily prepare and partake of his Sacrament, the spirit truly is poured out without measure upon the faithful.
Brothers and Sisters, I love this Christmas season. It is miraculous. Day after day, Elder Westover and I, have been witnessing miracles. I want to share one of my favorites with you. 
 We have been teaching a couple, Chris and Karen Crooks, who have been married 18 or so years but are on the brink of divorce. Karen was reactivated back in March, and Chris was reactivated as we transferred into the area we started to teach him because he took leap of faith and was willing to meet one time. Well, Chris and Karen have been arguing almost every day for years, they are pretty much just roommates at this point. Elder Westover and I, last Tuesday, urged them to pick up the scriptures and to read and pray together every morning and we promised they would see the fruits of the truth and atonement in their life. They committed. We went over on Saturday (Karen not home) and after sharing that they have been reading and praying together Chris covers his eyes and with emotion shares with us,"The past two mornings Karen has hugged me. That has not happened in years." As he uncovers his eyes, tears are strolling down his face. The Atonement is healing their marriage. It is a miracle. I know that Christ wants to heal us. All he asks is for us to come unto him with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. I love this gospel. I am grateful for it and I bear my witness that I know Christ lives and he loves you. I leave you with my witness of that and hope you have a happy new year. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

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