Saturday, December 28, 2013

Feliz Suavidade

Dearest Family,

I love reading you each week.  It lifts me up!  One of my favorite lines from this week is, "Dallin Vayle Bayles will buy Ben's CDs in heaven."  True that!!

Your packages arrived this week!  Thank you, thank you!  Thanks for including gifts for Sister Gutz.  She was tickled.  :)  Grandma, thanks for the stuff for members/investigators!  I wrapped up the fig newtons to give to Nazare and she was sooo excited.  She's saving them for Christmas to open.  She was touched that you sent something for her!

You guys!  Thank you for living close to the Spirit.  Do you want to hear about the coolest miracle?  So, we were getting really low on one of the things we use most: copies of the Livro de Mormon.  We only had one left, but we assumed we'd be able to get more at the Christmas Conference.  Well, we didn't.  So we had half of December stretching out in front of us and only ONE Book of Mormon to give out.  UH OH.  

Then, we went to the post office to pick up the packages you sent.  I saw "books" on the customs slip and thought nothing of it.  Then we opened it up and there were FIVE beautiful, crisp Livros de Mormon, complete with pictures of gorgeous YOU GUYS and testimonies.  I wept.  WEPT, you guys.  Various times that day.  Oh man, it was just the coolest tender mercy.  Thank you so much!

I'm going to bullet point some salient moments from the week:

- We got dropped by Rosalina.  It was really, really sad.

- We taught Joao and Luis at the church on Saturday with Nely.  (These are the two guys who contacted us last week and came to church last week.)  They are super cool and sincere, especially Joao.  He totally looks like Neil L. Anderson, like, Sister Gutz and I thought that independently of each other.  There is just something apostolic about him.  He's digesting this all at his own pace, but I think he could be a miracle in store for Evora.  I gave them Coby's copy of the Book of Mormon, with the dedicatory note translated onto a sticky note.  Thanks, Cobe!!

- Nazare invited Manuel to have lunch at her house on Christmas with us.  We're so excited!  Manuel is inching forward.  He's so so so ready, he just doesn't want to get baptized and then foob out.  Which is actually really wonderful.  Keep praying for him!  He is going to be such a stellar missionary daqui em breve.

- Sonia came to church this week and heard about Family History/Vicarious work and LOVES it.  She's way stoked about learning more about it.  Cool, huh?  Marina is in Lisbon for Christmas.  Keep praying for them!  Integrating into the Ramo de Evora is no smooth ride.

Can I share with you an Audrey Hepburn quote I found this week and love?

"People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed and redeemed and redeemed."

Isn't that lovely? And so true.  We need redemption.  We need a Redeemer.  We need covenants that bind us to Him and bring us renewal and rebirth.  

All of us need these things.  No one is above the need for redemption, renewal, revivification.    

I was thinking how one way we can show our gratitude to Christ for His redemption of us is by redeeming other people.  Like, not redeeming them in the way only He can, but redeeming them in the ways we can -- forgiving them, pardoning them, seeing the best in them, giving them second chances, looking past their faults, treating them as the people they can become and truly are.  We have so much influence over the people around us!  Let us represent our Redeemer better in the way we treat others!  

Praise Him!

I love you.

Sister Sandholtz

ps.  See you in TWO DAYS!!

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