This week we had the opportunity to go Across to a Christmas Zone Conference at the mission home. Obviously they can't fit the whole mission in there so each zone has gone one at a time. We're in the Liverpool Zone and we really wanted to attend our conference, however, the weather on the island was so bad that they considered moving us to the next week (to go with the Manchester Zone or something). If we went the following week we would miss the ward caroling at a local nursing home (which is tomorrow) and we really didn't want to do that. So we put it into the Lord's hands! Even after all the boats were being cancelled, we decided to be at the ferry terminal on time and just see what happened. And the boat went! It was one of the only ones of the week and because of the storm it took 10 hours (as opposed to the normal 3.5) BUT we got there!! And we had a great conference.
While at the mission home we were taught about charity and miracles. Guess what film we watched as a Christmas treat? 17 Miracles! Wow. Not only was it fun to see the Wadleys, Alex and Nate, but the stories were deeply touching. I laughed. I cried. It moved me, Bob. But honestly, they had so much faith! It really moved me to examine myself and determine the faith that I do or do not exhibit. I feel like each of us can have so many miracles in our lives if we simply put our faith to it! And many of us already have many miracles in our lives if we will just recognise them. As Moroni says:
19 And if there were amiracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being? And behold, I say unto you he bchangeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles.
21 Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, awhatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this bpromise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth.
20 And the reason why he ceaseth to do amiracles among the children of men is because that they dwindle in unbelief, and depart from the right way, and know not the God in whom they should btrust.
This is what was going through my mind as we were stuck in a snowstorm on Friday morning after conference on the way to catch our boat home. There was a mix-up about which Elders would be taking us, so we had started off late and then we got caught in the only snowstorm of the season! The check-in was closing in five minutes and we were at least twenty minutes away. It wasn't the Elders' fault so I was trying to be pleasant and positive, but missing this boat would mean we would be missing the ward carol service that evening for which I was the sole pianist. That was one of the reasons the ward members didn't want us to sail the first time: they were afraid we would get stuck in England. The fact that the boat wasn't being cancelled was an answer to many prayers and imagine how frustrated we were that it might go, yes, but without us on it! We really needed to be there! As I looked at Sister Rothmund and felt her starting to panic, I had this peace come over me and I realised this could be a test of my faith. I said, "The fat lady hasn't sung yet, sister," (that's a phrase I recently taught her : ) she thinks it's hilarious) and we sped on. I was frantically ringing the port but they were not available for comment. We finally pulled in, ran into check-in, and experienced the 18th miracle! The boat was delayed! We were so relieved. We checked in fine and as we sat among disgruntled passengers in the waiting room I leaned over to Sister Rothmund and whispered, "I don't think they would be too happy if they knew we are the reason this boat is delayed." We giggled a little but felt such gratitude for the Lord's tender mercies and how he truly takes care of his own. We arrived for the carol service a little green but still had a great performance and warmed many hearts.
It's so special to be a missionary during this season! What an honour to wear the Saviour's name and declare his good news just like the angel to the shepherds. Sister Rothmund has been teaching me a German carol that has really touched my heart. The line I love the most is:
da sang ein Engels-Chor, 'die Welt ist nicht veloren!'
thus sang the angel choir, "the World is not lost!"
Doesn't that make you want to cry? I am just crying at everything lately! But seriously, what a message to bear: Do not distress! The World is not lost! A Saviour has come! We will be redeemed from the fall. All is not lost. Die Welt ist nicht veloren. That is the message I will continue to bear this season.
I love you all. To those I will not be speaking to on Sunday, Happy Christmas! May you find deep peace through the True Gospel of Jesus Christ.