Traveling for the Holidays! Dec. 7, 2014

Maligayang pasko! (Merry Christmas in Tagalog)
This week we had to use so much money in travel. We even had to take the fancy ferry to HK Island so it cost a lot. There is the fun fact.
Well this week was super quick and I don't know what to write about.
We went around visiting some less-active members and also investigators and members sharing about Christmas and getting the Spirit of Christ alive in the hearts of everyone! We shared a lot form the December Liahona on the First Presidency message and also Elder Perry's talk. If you haven't read them, check them out. The past week as I was going through Elder Perry's talk the beginning and the end really stuck out to me. Especially the invitation he gives to us 
"I challenge you to rise to a new sense of commitment. I challenge you to help God’s children return to their Christian faith and to the strong religious foundation that is so essential for peace of mind and real happiness in this period of mortal probation.
May God bless you with the courage, boldness, enthusiasm, and desire to restore faith in the gospel of our Lord and Savior."
When I had read this the first time, I was thinking "How can I improve, what is needed for me to be better than I was last month, last year?" I really was searching on how I can be a better missionary, time is running out out here. When I read Elder Perry's challenge, i knew. He speaks of bringing all back to Christ. To have a new sense of commitment. I love when he lets us know that God will bless us with courage, boldness, enthusiasm, and desire. It hit me so hard. I thought of each one of those and how the Lord could help me and what I could do to have His support. I can tell you that He has been supporting. 
This past week as we finally had some time to go finding, I have felt that increase of each of those. I feel with the Christmas Spirit and testimony of the Savior, I am much more bold in declaring who He is and how He is the gift. The Church's campaign or whatever it is called about "He is the Gift" is so great. I watched the video today. It is great. I am so stoked to share about Jesus Christ to more and more. I just feel the fire of Christ building and burning! I love it. The Church stole the slogan from our mission though, back in August we made the mission goal of 65 baptisms in December for a "Gift to Christ" So they just changed it a wee bit. 
We had a lesson with an investigator who hasn't been really keeping commitments. We have been working with her and trying to help her in any way. Just been trying to make sure we understand her viewpoint. She is great and we really respect her, but we just need her to try out what we invite. Everytime she does, she will pull something bad out of a commitment. Well just a couple of days ago, she pulled a Bible scripture on us to almost condemn us. Her intent was to say that we will be accursed for teaching the Doctrine of Christ restored by the prophet Joseph Smith. 
At that moment, I felt some fire in my heart. It wasn't of anger but of the Spirit. I believe my companion felt the same. We both bore our personal testimony to her of the Savior and His gospel, of the Prophet Joseph Smith and the work he did. Our member who was there bore her testimony as well. It was like the room was filled with burning fire. It was very powerful and intense. She felt the Spirit. We left her knowing that she has the option to start the search for more truth or not. We left her with the choices. It is kind of like this by President Uchtdorf "Brothers and sisters, as good as our previous experience may be, if we stop asking questions, stop thinking, stop pondering, we can thwart the revelations of the Spirit. Remember, it was the questions young Joseph asked that opened the door for the restoration of all things. We can block the growth and knowledge our Heavenly Father intends for us. How often has the Holy Spirit tried to tell us something we needed to know but couldn’t get past the massive iron gate of what we thought we already knew?"
I am so excited for this Christmas season and the work of the Lord that we get to do! I am so excited to share the Gift. I pray that we may find those that are in need of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to come to it for the first time or come back. I love the Spirit of Christmas!
Elder Townsend

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