Merry Christmas! I don't think that I could have received better Christmas presents than I have this year.
Yesterday, I had the honor of attending Veszprém's ribbon cutting for the building of their first very own meeting house! This week, Forsythe elder and I did all we could to get the word out to all, members and nonmembers alike. We had a crowd gathered in what is meant to be the grounds of the new branch house. Due to our efforts along with the branches, we helped gather up to 10 inactive members to the ribbon cutting. It was also my honor to help break ground for the foundation of this future safe haven for the wonderful people of Veszprém. It was so amazing.
I love Christmas so much. Peoples hearts truly turn due to the miracle of Christmas. This transfer, Forsythe elder and I are devoting our work to the members. We are doing all we can to make a solid foundation with the membership of Veszprém so they can be open to accept those wonderful investigators in which we have the privilege to teach.
We are building the branch through reactivity. It is actually working fantastically, just confirming to myself that this is what the Lord wants us to do now. We have, through the help of the branch and the Lord, gathered a consistent gathering of 6-10 inactive members at church weekly. It is so wonderful to see their fire for this gospel be re kindled.
I will admit though, this has been results of two wonderful programs in which we have had the privilege of starting this transfer. One is called "Outreach." One day a week, the missionaries have gathered some of the youth together in the hopes of reactivating those who have fallen away. We break up all that are present into two man teams to hunt down 2-3 inactive members. They simply find them wherever they may be living and express their love for them and invite them to one of the many wonderful upcoming programs. It is so fun to come back to the branch house after, drink some hot chocolate and talk about the amazing experiences these members had serving.
Another program in which we are doing now is the twelve days of Christmas. We have picked 2 investigators to focus on and we are killing them with kindness. We have picked the classic symbols in which we relate to Christmas and have written a spiritual message for each, such as Christmas trees and bells. We then have bought a little something that relates to each symbol. We then leave this small gift on the doorstep of these members each night before heading home. On the Saturday before Christmas Sunday, we are going to reveal that it was us who have been stopping by nightly. We are then going to teach these two inactive church members about the miracle of Christ's birth and how each Christmas symbol relates into the story of His birth.
This last idea is great, but I am pretty sure the two inactive members know that it is us, but oh well! It is the thought that counts.
It is weird though, my sister is getting married this week. I am so excited for her, but it is weird to imagine myself being the lone child among all these old married folk in my family. I am so excited for my sister Laura though. I know it will be such a wonderful experience and I couldn't be more proud of her.
Make this Christmas wonderful! Reach out to someone. Make someone smile. Most of all, just remember how wonderful this life is. Remember all the wonderful things your Savior has given you.
Elder Jake Nelson