JOY TO THE WORLD THE CHRISTMAS PROGRAM IS OVER
The title of this paragraph basically sums up my feelings about the Christmas program we've been working on being over. The last few weeks has been taken over with rehearsals galore and inviting everyone and their dog to come. The first performance was in a Stake Center [large church] in the city. The second and third performances were in a big fancy theater in El Centro, and the last one was in our chapel.
At every performance I played my ukulele and sang a chill [casual] version of "A Child's Prayer," with harmonies done by me and my best buddy Hermana Rodriguez and three Elders in the background snapping and oooing and aaaing the other harmony. It was actually really legite. We threw it all together super last minute, but it turned out SUPER awesome.
We even made leis out of crepe paper and missionary sewing kits. We swayed as we sang and we just had fun with it. The audience loved it.
So the really exciting performance was the one that took place in the big fancy theater in El Centro. Everything was so fancy and professional. There were big spotlights and fancy sound systems. The excitement was in the air.
We did two back to back shows, and everything turned out really nicely. The audience loved it and a bunch of investigators showed up! We handed out little tarjetitas (I'm thinking the translation for that word is cards, but I'm not sure....slowly but surely forgetting English) and people wrote down references of their friends and family for us.
The show was divided into two parts. The first part was a mixture of musical talents done by the missionaries, and the second part was the missionary choir that sang and narrated the birth and life of Christ. It was pretty powerful. Just imagine a TON of missionaries from all over the world coming together and singing their little hearts out.
By the end half the audience was crying. At the end of the show we left the stage and went out to shake a million hands, kiss a million cheeks, and thank everyone for coming. I stepped off the stage and started wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and thanking them for coming when I heard my name, "MATISON! MATISON!" And I looked up to see NUBIA BAUTISTA - my first official baptism in my very first area. My very first golden investigator.
I sprinted up the stairs and ran right into her open arms. We just stood there hugging as tears rolled down both of our faces. "Te amo! Te amo!" she said. We laughed, we talked, we cried, and we hugged some more. I couldn't believe it was her. "I heard you would be here and I had to come!" She said.
She told me all about her calling [church job] as a counselor in the Primary [children's church organization] and how she goes to the temple all the time and how she's sharing the gospel with her boyfriend over the phone and how she's telling all her family and friends about the gospel. And it hit me. I really am making a difference out here.
As a missionary (and in anyones life for that matter), it's really easy to get down on yourself. To ask, Why am I here? or Am I even making a difference in anyones life? And then you meet Nubias. Short, smiley, sweet wonderful Nubias, who say your last name in the most endearing way. Who hold you and cry with you. Who change your life forever.
I didn't change Nubia's life. She changed mine. Any success, happiness, and conversion she has is thanks to her and thanks to God. I just happened to come along for the ride. And boy am I glad that God let me. It was a magical missionary moment. Truly and 100 percent magical.
So I stood up there in front of our GIGANTIC WARD and gave a 10 minute talk with an intro, three points, and a pretty solid conclusion. I talked about missionary work and service. My three suggestions were LISTEN, HUG, and SHARE THE GOSPEL. Each had a story and a scripture and it was a gosh darn miracle. The whole "open your mouth and let it be filled" thing really works. Miracles happen everyday.
*prepping backstage in our fancy little changing room... programa navideño 1