Dad, we had a special District Meeting this morning and President Maynes was there for kind of a special Christmas training and it was very powerful. Among other things I was able to ask President about what he felt about that eternal philosophical question about how if God truly knows everything we are going to do before we do it then how do we REALLY have agancy?! His response was simple but I found it profound and insightful and I wanted to share it with you. I don't have a direct quote but he basically said that God does indeed see what we're going to do but He himself does not pre-determine our action AND he does not tell us what we are going to choose, we still choose for ourselves. Christ knew that Judas would betray him but Christ still allowed him to. I hope this at least provokes further thought on the subject, I found it very interesting.
People are progressing! Our lessons with Cinda last week went so well and she came to church yesterday. She is so prepared! As we taught her about the Restoration, prophets, the Book of Mormon, and baptism she was so amazed at our knowledge and already feels in her heart that it's true. As we taught her about how we don't baptize infants and that little children are saved it touched her heart deeply and almost put her in tears. She had thought up to that point that her children were dammed. We have 2 lessons with her this week and are going to pray for a baptismal date for her.
Marilyn is on date to be baptized on January 4th! She needs to quit smoking and come to church, it's just hard with all her health issues but she'll get there.
Nubia is getting baptized this Saturday! It has been incredible to see her transform the way she sees things and what she believes. She is already so much happier!
Smokey was sick yesterday so he wasn't at church but he is still progressing well and if we have a lesson with him this week we're going to invite him to be baptized on a specific date.
Hongye brought up some concerns that have held her back in the past that we didn't know about. She really doesn't agree with where the church stands on the issue of homosexuality but we had a very good converstaion on it and she is now praying for a date to be baptized. That is a hard concern to resolve but thank goodness for the Spirit haha! None of these people would progress if not for the Holy Ghost.
I love this Christmas time of year! And I love being a missionary during it! Though I definitely miss all the family traditions and being with everyone I'm so grateful to be where I'm at. That is cool to hear about things going on back home. A SNOW DAY!?! Man, those are the best! We've had 1 minor snowfall so far this year. I'm looking out the window right now and I literally can't see one cloud, it's sunny and like 60 degrees! I never thought I'd really want snow to come this bad, partially because the area need the moisture badly.
I sure love you all so much. I thank you all for your big hearts and special spirits. Have a blessed week.
Elder W. Marks