The Ana Verde ward feels like my family. God couldn't have put me in a better place to adjust and feel loved than in this ward. It's almost like God knows me perfectly or something;) haha. I know everyone's name and what they like to do. I never realized how easy it is to make someones day just by greeting them with their name and then asking them about their week. One thing that was hard for me when I worked at my dad's clinic was small talk with old people. I wanted to care about what they had to say... just never clicked... because rather than thinking about the needs of that person I would be thinking about what I was gonna do when I got off work. I can't tell you how much that has changed! I love small talk now! Nothing makes me happier than to hear someone talk about something that makes them happy.
"People are intensely interested in people who are intensely interested about them."
Take some time this Holiday season to sit down with someone and genuinely show them you care about them just by listening. Charity is an attribute you have to develop... so if you want it to be a part of your character... then prove it!
Joseph Coronel invited us over for dinner Saturday night. We had a dinner planned but they ended up having to reschedule so we were able to go have dinner with him instead. His son left to his mothers for the holidays so he was alone. We had a great dinner as we shared our thoughts on repentance and forgiveness. We didn't think much of it. The next day in Elders quorum we had a lesson on the birth and life of the Savior. Joseph shared how just the night before he felt completely alone. He was torn between traveling down to San Fernando to be with some old friends... but he knew if he went he would end up drinking and smoking.... or staying home. He called us instead. He was crying as he talked about all that the church has helped him to do and the change he has seen and felt. He gave Elder Hyde and me a shout out for being his best friends and always showing up right when he needs us. I had no clue our visit the night before had touched him so much. He is trying soooo hard to leave his past behind... and it is evident every time we meet. (He literally just called us and asked if we wanted to join him for dinner on Christmas.) He is like a brother to me. I love him so much. It is awesome to see your love for someone grow the more time you spend with them and the more spiritual experiences you have with them. It's a cool thing to know you personally have been a blessing in someone else's life. I can't imagine how connected Jesus feels to each one of us.
I am so grateful to be on a mission this Christmas. As much as I wish I could spend it with my family.... I couldn't ask for a better way to spend it than by sharing the gospel to those who don't have it.
God Bless you..... Every one.
Elder Crandall the Vandal