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Monday, December 22, 2014

December 22, 2014 - Christmas time is here!

Elder Miles and Elder Raban at the DC Temple
We had an amazing week! We had another lesson with Alejandra. She told us that she wants to get baptized before she goes back to Guatemala on January 2, so we put her on date for this Saturday (Dec 27). We are going to have a busy week ahead of us with Christmas, a half mission conference, and a baptism. It will be a really fun week!

Alejandra has a great ability to understand and comprehend the gospel. She understands what she reads from the Book of Mormon and receives a lot of personal insights. She is a more reserved type of personality, but once we got to know her better she opened up a lot more. I am really excited for her baptism. This will be the second person we baptize in this ward that leaves quickly afterwards. Speaking of which, Rachael will be here after Christmas and they are going to take us to dinner.

We had a man, named Jeff, that was passed off to us from some Zone Leaders that we went on exchange with. He knows some members of the church. He attended two weeks of Church before we met with him. We had an amazing lesson with him. After the lesson he told us this is exactly what he has been looking for, that he knows it is true, and that it gives him purpose in life. He then accepted the invitation to be baptized on January 31. He is a very solid investigator! 

Robert is doing very well. His member fellow shipper in our ward is outstanding! They hang out and work out together all the time. He set his own baptismal date for January 10 and is set for that day! Overall we will have three baptisms in the next 6 weeks! The sisters in our ward are teaching two people that will also be baptized in January. All three of our investigators were at church and had a great time. Sundays are always much better when investigators are at church.

Some of the nativity scenes
Yesterday after church we went straight up to the temple visitor center with Robert, his girlfriend, and his member fellow shipper. Alejandra and her boyfriend also met us up there. It was super packed last night and there was standing room only. The performer was a Broadway singer who sang some Christmas songs. The visitor center also had lights and a huge collection of nativity scenes from around the world. Robert invited one of his non-member friends from high school and he met us at the visitor center as well.

The Washington DC Temple
On the 18th we took 6 other Elders with us to help direct traffic at the temple Visitor Center. We chose a night that wouldn't be too busy, so that it wouldn't be a mad house. We had a good time with our reflector vests and "light saber" sticks. It got a little chilly. Toward the end of the night they let us go watch a performance because there wasn't much traffic. It was some strange Ukrainian group. I’m not sure what the point of their performance was... Then we drove home. It is only about a 30 minute drive without traffic.

Elder Raban and I feel really blessed with how well our area is doing right now. Prepared people are just falling from the sky! We have several other people that we are hoping to start teaching after Christmas as well. I will most likely be leaving this transfer (Jan 8). I feel ready to move on from all of the office responsibilities, but I am disappointed on what I will miss out on in the Braddock ward. I will still be able to come back for the baptism though.

I have been reflecting a lot on the Savior lately. I am so grateful for the gift of his life and example. I feel extremely blessed to be able to represent Him at this time of the year and share His message with others. I look forward to kneeling and saying a prayer of gratitude on Christmas morning and spending the day celebrating his birth! We will be helping the homeless at a local church in the evening. It will be great serving others for Christmas. Have a very merry Christmas!

Elder Braden Miles
Washington DC South Mission

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