Merry Christmas :)
I know that the greatest gift we can give back to our Savior is helping to bring one of His sheep back to Him! I wish I could put into words the feelings and emotions I have felt this last week and the mountains of miracles we saw helping Isaac prepare for baptism. It was such a beautiful thing to see Gods hand this last week-Satan had been doing all he could to discourage Isaac and us, and not let this baptism happen because he knows what an incredible strength Isaac is going to be for the church!! Not one more thing could have gone wrong the day of Isaacs baptism....but because of the incredible FAITH that Isaac has everything worked out, he was able to overcome the few doubts he had this last week and make this decision that he knows is right and will change his life forever :) All I can say is I have never felt a happiness or joy like I felt this last Saturday at his baptism, it was a beautiful meeting. Sorella Dew sang "I stand all amazed" and it was one of the strongest times I have ever felt the spirit and Gods love for His children!! I know that Isaac could feel it along with his brother who was sitting next to him on the front row. Isaac couldn't stop smiling and after the meeting, it was the happiest I have ever seen him! He was full of so much light!! We had 3 of our potential investigators there and he was talking to all of them and telling them what a "beautiful experience" this was and how he must persevere and stay strong even though it will be difficult. It was incredible, he is all ready sharing his testimony with others and his family!! The famiglia tonti picked him up for church the next day, (they have completely fellowshipped him,) and his confirmation was just as beautiful!!! He was literally glowing! so grateful to have been able to witness this whole experience :)
I am just so grateful for the knowledge that I have that we can be with our families FOREVER. Last night we went with with the Santoro family to a viewing at the hospital for Fratello Santoros aunt. It was so interesting to see how sad the others were in that room, them thinking that they will never see this lady again, and then to see fratello Santoro and the happiness and peace that he had because he knew he will see her again! We then went and visited the Iacavelli family in adelphia. Unfortunately the mom is not doing very well, she hasn't eaten in 6 days and is in a lot of pain. Last night we all sat around her bed with their family, and it was great because we had a wonderful opportunity to talk more about the plan God has for us! And that even though we don't understand the pain that their mom is going through and the sadness that the family is going through, CHRIST DOES. Because He suffered for us, He knows exactly how we feel, how to comfort and help us overcome ANYTHING. He is the gift and the whole reason we celebrate Christmas!! and if we accept this gift He will constantly be with us, every step of the way pushing us along and giving us the strength we need. He is our Savior and our brother, I know this because I have seen in my life the countless times He has picked me up and helped me get going again :) "I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me, confused at the grace that so fully He proffers me, I tremble to know that for me He was crucified, that for me a sinner He suffered He bled and died."
I am so grateful to be spending two Christmases on the mission, I feel it's easier to not pay attention to all the distractions and chaos and to focus on the whole reason we celebrate. I wish I was better at focusing on the Savior throughout the whole year and every day, and I know as we try to change our focus from the things we want to instead the gifts we want to give our Savior this year we will feel closer to the Savior :)
Merry Christmas I love you all!!!! Can't wait to talk with youuuu :)
Crystal's current area is Passo Corese, Italy.
Her address is:
Via Giacomo Matteotti, 187
02032 Passo Corese RI