Elder Clifford is serving a two year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to Mexico Guadalajara East from August of 2014 to July of 2016.

E a two year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to Mexico Guadalajara East from August of 2014 to July of 2016.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Week Seventy Two

Feliz Navidad!!!! Almost. 

Seasons greetings to all the family. I hope that you are all well and have enjoyed this Christmas season. This week was a really great week. It all started off with our trip to Lazaro Cardenas for the Christmas Zone conference. The experience we had getting there was something that I will never forget. In preparation for the conference, we had to contract a bus to take our zone from Uruapan to Lazaro and then back again after everything was done. A few days before we were able to find a company that offered a good price and then we gave all the information to the offices of the mission so as to be able to handle the financial side of things. Well, come Tuesday night, to our surprise, we realized that we had lost the debit card that we needed to take out the money to be able to rent the bus the next day. We frantically looked all over the house for the lost card. Nope. Nada. Zilch. We could not find it anywhere. Reluctantly, with time, we decided to retire to bed and that we would just leave it in the Lord's hands. Remember that an entire zone conference depended on us receiving the money to be able to contract this bus. Obviously, we went to bed pretty depressed and quite frankly not sure about what was going to happen early the next morning. We left the house at 4:30 the next day and headed over to the atm to check and see if by any chance I had sufficient money to pay for the bus from my personal funds. Nope. We slowly headed back to the Stake Center where all of the missionaries were happily waiting for us to get there. We tried to hide our distress and directed everyone inside the building while we talked to the bus driver. He told us that if he was in charge, he would let us pay later, but that he needed the money to be able to pay certain check points in the trip, and could not leave without the full amount in his hands. At this point, I had no idea what to do. Neither did my companion. We walked into the chapel where all of the zone was waiting and sat there in silence. We slowly started to explain the situation. Sorry guys, it looks like there's just no chance we can get there. Unless you guys happen to have a couple thousand pesos lying around here, we're not gonna be able to pay the bus. Then out of nowhere, the missionaries started taking their wallets out to see how much money they had. I had said that jokingly and in no way had meant it seriously. But to my surprise,one by one, they started offering all that they had for this trip. Minutes later, by some miracle, we had enough money to pay the bus off. We arrived in Lazaro on time,a bit poorer I might say, and quickly settled the problem with the Financial Secretary of the mission.To some of you, this may not seem like a very big deal, or it might just look like a dumb coincidence. Those that know missionaries will know that we carry very little money, and that this was an almost impossible occurance. I took the money in my hand, and looking down on it, I saw the true meaning of the sacrifice that these missionaries had made. Nothing was worth more to them than an opportunity to bond as a zone with our beloved Mission President and his wife. From this experience I learned a lot of things. We must always trust in the Lord, but we must always be prepared for any situation. This could have been easily avoided if we had been a bit more responsible. Second, in order to get things done in the Lords work it must be done as a unit, a team, or a family. We attempted to solve the problem on our own, though we saw no clear answer until we worked as a zone. Third, God truly loves all of his children, and we have opportunities to literally see and feel His love each and every day. For me, this was truly a Christmas miracle. There's no way for me to explain how it all worked out. The experiences we shared that day were worth the short sacrifice that we all made. Later on in the week, we were able to joyfully return the money to each Elder and Sister who donated, and look them in the eye and thank them for what they did. Though the money was a small offering, and of no real significance, I had learned the real meaning of each donation. So yeah, I guess that's something that doesn't happen every day.

Other than that this week was pretty great. Our investigators are progressing very quickly, and will hopefully be entering the waters of baptism as planned on Christmas day. God has blessed us greatly in this my last Christmas in Mexico. I've been able to really feel the true spirit of Christmas this year and I hope the same for all of you. Please take the time to read the account of the Savior's birth in Matthew and Luke this week and really reflect about what the birth of the Savior means for you. Ask yourself - what gift will you be giving to the Savior? I testify that you will be blessed with answers and will be able to make a difference in this Christmas season as you help those in need.

Ive not got much else to say. Merry Christmas everyone. Enjoy this wonderful week.

Elder Clifford

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