today has been super fun haha but im exhausted!!! first, we woke up at 5:20 to play soccer until 7am. then, we cleaned the house to get ready for changes...from 7 TO 10!!!!!!! we deep cleaned it. ha. There are always new missionaries so we have to clean it good before changes...plus we arent to great at cleaning it any other time! haha. i should get better at that but i never make the messes, so i dont clean.......i wonder how you felt with 5 kids in the house making a mess.....😬 sorry. haha then we went to TGI Fridays for lunch. (filet mignon is always good) then we played volleyball for 2 hours outside....it was really really hot. but i wore a hat, sun glasses, and sun screen! then, we got on to email, i got on for 30 min then decided to make cookies in the church kitchen. while i was in the kitchen, i heard some ppl outside playing soccer. so i went out to check. I peeped my head around the corner and they saw me and called me over. So i went and got the others (Ticeran, Parada, Proffit, Cárdenas) and we played with them for an hour and a half. It was super super fun but by the end, i was exhausted. Plus we won, so thats a bonus. The only bad part about today???? I ripped not 1 but 2 holes in my brand new nikes that E. Gibson gave me. So thats a bummer. But hey, look at the bright side, we met some new kids and they really liked playing us. Should be back to play soon! Maybe they will make it to the Christmas program on Sunday? As I am typing this, the table I'm wresting my hands on has a puddle of sweat...
So what else did we do this week here in the office? One of the busier I've had here actually. We got some bad news to start it off from the area medical doctor. One missionary had to go home. About a month ago, he fell playing soccer and broke his elbow. He didn't get good medical treatment, and it healed wrong so he will be going home to fix it. The cool thing though? He is from Cordoba, Argentina!!!! I'm praying that Cutter's first area will be serving in his ward! He should be back in 3 months if everything goes as planned, but I'm excited to see if Cutter gets to meet him. I have loved serving close with him in the mission!
Remember that time missionaries got delayed coming to the country? Well...its caused problems. Getting missionaries used to be really easy. 1 trip to migraciones within the 1st 3 months and you are good. Well, this week Elder Proffit and I met with the viajes hermana. (one of the nicest, happiest, most patient person I have ever met!) We met with her for a week and found out that the missionaries now have to make not 1, not 2, not 3, but most likely 4 trips to different places within the first 2 months of being here...all on pday. Sorry new missionaries, that is going to be rough..
This week, I was reading in Mosiah. I came across the chapters when Alma and his people are persecuted by Amulon. They have been a good people, keeping the commandments, yet they are being persecuted, even to the point that one who offers prayer would be put to death. Yet, they kept praying...in their hearts. They had heavy manual labor placed upon their shoulders. It was becoming unbearable. The Lord spoke to them one day and said:
"Lift up your heads and be of good comfort...I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions."
I love this promise. The Lord God visits his people in their afflictions. And "afflictions" doesn't just mean labor as it meant for them, but it means ANY afflictions. No matter what we are going through, the Lord will visit us and ease our burdens. It doesn't say he will take them all away, but he will ease them, so that we can bear the affliction. The lord loves us. He will ease our burdens, our afflictions, our trials if we remember him and lift up our voices OR hearts unto him continually. I have a testimony of this. Christ suffered for our sins, pains, afflictions, tentaciones. He suffered it all, so that he CAN visit us in our afflictions and lift the burdens, because he has been there. He physically knows how to do it. One of the Christmas stories we read this week was amazing. It explains the need of Christ coming to earth in a short simple parable. I invite you all to read it:
The Man and the Birds by Paul Harvey
The man to whom I’m going to introduce you was not a scrooge, he was a kind decent, mostly good man. Generous to his family, upright in his dealings with other men. But he just didn’t believe all that incarnation stuff which the churches proclaim at Christmas Time. It just didn’t make sense and he was too honest to pretend otherwise. He just couldn’t swallow the Jesus Story, about God coming to Earth as a man.
“I’m truly sorry to distress you,” he told his wife, “but I’m not going with you to church this Christmas Eve.” He said he’d feel like a hypocrite. That he’d much rather just stay at home, but that he would wait up for them. And so he stayed and they went to the midnight service.
Shortly after the family drove away in the car, snow began to fall. He went to the window to watch the flurries getting heavier and heavier and then went back to his fireside chair and began to read his newspaper. Minutes later he was startled by a thudding sound…Then another, and then another. Sort of a thump or a thud…At first he thought someone must be throwing snowballs against his living room window. But when he went to the front door to investigate he found a flock of birds huddled miserably in the snow. They’d been caught in the storm and, in a desperate search for shelter, had tried to fly through his large landscape window.
Well, he couldn’t let the poor creatures lie there and freeze, so he remembered the barn where his children stabled their pony. That would provide a warm shelter, if he could direct the birds to it. Quickly he put on a coat, galoshes, tramped through the deepening snow to the barn. He opened the doors wide and turned on a light, but the birds did not come in. He figured food would entice them in.
So he hurried back to the house, fetched bread crumbs, sprinkled them on the snow, making a trail to the yellow-lighted wide open doorway of the stable. But to his dismay, the birds ignored the bread crumbs, and continued to flap around helplessly in the snow. He tried catching them…He tried shooing them into the barn by walking around them waving his arms…Instead, they scattered in every direction, except into the warm, lighted barn.
And then, he realized that they were afraid of him. To them, he reasoned, I am a strange and terrifying creature. If only I could think of some way to let them know that they can trust me…That I am not trying to hurt them, but to help them. But how? Because any move he made tended to frighten them, confuse them. They just would not follow. They would not be led or shooed because they feared him.
“If only I could be a bird,” he thought to himself, “and mingle with them and speak their language. Then I could tell them not to be afraid. Then I could show them the way to safe, warm…to the safe warm barn. But I would have to be one of them so they could see, and hear and understand.” At that moment the church bells began to ring. The sound reached his ears above the sounds of the wind. And he stood there listening to the bells listening to the bells pealing the glad tidings of Christmas. And he sank to his knees in the snow.
May we all remember the true meaning of Christmas and the need we have for a Savior to come to this world and die for us, so that we might be with our familly not just for one christmas, or even 50, but for time and all eternity.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Elder Brody Zaugg
Merry Christmas!! Best present ever!!! Got to skype at 7:30 am
Clayton was excited to show you his stocking!!!
Christmas Eve with Cielo Belen Gimenez