This time of year has always been one of my favorites. I love the Christmas spirit, and the joy it brings to everyone to think of others as they shop for that special something. Even if it is only for a minute before their thoughts go back to themselves. I love Christmas stories, and the tears they bring when I read them. So today, I want to share a personal story we have experience for almost a year, but really had a Christmas Miracle ending just this week.
The girls have been sharing the gospel with two of their friends that are sisters for over a year now. They starting with coming to young women activities, then one moved on to coming for home evening and giving us a topic to teach each week. That progressed to coming to church first as one girl then as 3 girls and a Mom (Dad is in Iraq working as an engineer.) Then they watched 4 hours of general conference, all the girls came to girls camp, and have become very active for the last about 5 months. Add to that regular FHE's with the elders. The youngest (12) sister E was baptized in September. But the others weren't quit ready. The two older girls started attending seminary, a real sacrifice because they have early school classes, so they attend at 6 am! Sister H also went to a dance competition at BYU-I and knew when she saw the temple she wanted to be baptized. Upon talking with sister S, she also decided she wanted to be baptized. But Dad asked them to wait so he could talk to them at Christmas.
Meanwhile Dad was coming home on Saturday. They went to the airport to pick him up, and no Dad got off the plane. As you can imagine, the girls were quit upset. Not to mention poor Mom. He doesn't have a cell phone with him, but they finally get a call saying he missed his flight in Amsterdam. And will be at the airport at 11 on Sunday. His flight is coming through Seattle, and you all know what happened in Seattle. Snowstorms... nothing going in or out. The Mom recieved a text while in sacrament meeting that he is delayed again. The youngest is crying, but goes to Sunday School. About 40 minutes later Mom got a call saying he was able to get out, his flight will be in at 1. Safe arrival of Dad!
Monday night the Elders had planned a FHE centered on Christ so Dad would understand that we are Christians. Sister H called to say they are coming, but no Dad. He doesn't want to be preached to, and is overwhelmed with everything after having a fairly intense conversation with sister H. She should be on a debate team! He said they could be baptized, but he isn't really interested. We are kind of disappointed that he didn't come, because the family is so excited to share the peace and happiness that they have found with him. So we answer some of his questions he has typed and sent over with family, come up with a date for baptism of sisters, ( Mom wants to make sure he really is truly alright with it and not just giving in before she commits, ) discuss how Dad was prayed home as his flight was the only one that left, and call it a night. Dad is picked up and then we all go to friends for a Christmas get together of food, crafts for the kids, singing, and visiting. I think most everyone there was LDS.
Tuesday morning Mom calls to say Dad has asked about the values of our church, and a 2 hour discussion ensued. He thinks it sounds like a good thing. He thinks that sister H would be in a good environment if she went to BYU.
Here is the true miracle in it all. It wasn't just a coincidence. All of these things took place for a reason. I know that the whole family was praying for him to get home. Sister E said the closing prayer in Sunday school and asked that he would get home. At FHE they all admitted that they were praying for him to get home. Mom said the closing prayer at FHE and prayed that Dad would understand. I know so many others are praying for them, and that his name was on the temple prayer roll. What a miracle that we have a Heavenly Father who hears, cares and answers our prayers. I just keep thinking "Sweet is the peace the gospel brings!"
Merry Christmas I hope this is a season of Miracles for you and your family!
2. Miracle for my family to witness