The Spirit Of Christmas In Reedsport

Hello Family and Friends!

How are you this fine and beautiful Christmas week? This week has simply been amazing and I am super excited to tell you all about it!

Okay, so this week we had our service hours at the Senior Center both on Tuesday and Thursday, which is always a blast! And on Wednesday we were going to be doing the dishes over at the Methodist’s Church Soup Kitchen like we normally do, but their choir invited us to go caroling with them and so they had paper plates instead of regular ones so there was an easier clean up, making it possible for us to practice with their choir. It was actually a lot of fun and it was great because we were with the Methodist Church, Presbyterian Church, and I believe one other church from Lakeside, and then Elder Smith and myself from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was awesome because it truly showed to the community as we caroled at the local banks, grocery stores, hardware stores, and restaurants, that even though we are of different faiths, we all believe in Jesus Christ and we were celebrating His birth and life with the hearts we touched as we sang. We actually had some great contact with people when we caroled! There was one young lady at Safeway that joined in caroling with us, and turns out that her grandmother is getting baptized into the Church over in Florence, and that the missionaries have been visiting with this young lady and I think her boyfriend as well, twice a week! So she was super excited to have run into the Reedsport missionaries and do a little bit of caroling!

Also on Wednesday we finally recontacted a family that has not been to church for a while and we were able to share with them the He is the Gift video. They were really touched by it and we invited them to come to our Christmas Program on Sunday.

Friday was incredible being able to attend Zone Conference in North Bend with the entire Coos Bay Stake. I do feel bad that we are all so spread out here on the coast that we only have one zone of missionaries in attendance. But that’s okay. It was still an awesome experience and beautiful stories and testimonies were shared and I certainly learned a lot. I love the example that was given about how if you bite into an orange, without peeling it, it’s comparable to something new or different, like the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You have to get past the peel of doubt, fear, or trials and struggles to get to the sweet and tasty center that can bring the real happiness.

Saturday was a true test of character for us and a few members of the ward because we needed to move someone out of a house and into an apartment closer in town, while it was pouring rain! Thankfully one member was totally amazing and brought his HUGE trailer that was covered so that anything we put inside of it wouldn’t get wet. The move went quickly and we only had to do one trip!

Sunday was incredible because we not only had wonderful meeting and participated in our ward Christmas Program, kind of like a Primary Program, we read from Luke and told the Christmas Story, but after church we recontacted a man who we were referred to that we have been attempting to follow up with and finally were able to sit down with him. It was so incredible to see how prepared he is to accept and receive the Gospel into his life. He read from the copy of The Book of Mormon that we left him, he shared with us his life story, and afterwards we shared with him a scripture in Alma chapter 7 verses 10-12, and when I was writing it down, he said, “Oh, just right down the chapter and the page and I’ll just read all of it after you read those verses.” That’s what he said he did last time! We shared with him a few verses from Alma chapter 32, and he read the whole chapter! We guided the conversation to where we were talking about Christ and Christmas and we shared the He is the Gift video. he was very emotional at that point that he started to get a little teary eyed and was just thanking us for sharing that with him. After wards we started to talk about how our role as missionaries is to tell the world about how Christ setup His Church while he was here on the earth, but after He died and the Apostles were rejected and killed the doctrines were distorted or lost. And we told him that it has been restored through Prophets and Apostles once again here on the earth and that we would love to talk with him more about it at our next visit with him. He was all for it! We setup a reoccurring visit with him every Sunday. Afterwards Elder Smith and I were just beaming with joy as we walked to the car.

Also on Sunday we were able to contact our 10 year old who we are teaching with the Bishop, and we started to cover the rest of the commandments with him. Basically at this point we just need to finish all the missionary discussions and he will be all ready to go for baptism in January. We are also involving Bishop and his wife in help us teach the lessons so that way we can get closer with every week.

Overall this week ended amazingly. I was really happy that we were able to contact the people we did and touch the hearts of those around us with the Spirit of Christmas, or rather the Spirit of Christ.

Well, thank you for all the wonderful Christmas love that you have shown me and my dear companion Elder Smith! You are awesome!

Best,

Elder Harper

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