Wednesday, December 31, 2014

12/29/14 Homeless people and Christmas

Family and friends,

How are you all?? We are doing work these days! Basically what this
week consisted of is we set up a huge amount of appointments, which
still is hard because people don't want to see you on New Years, even
though we are the coolest people anyone could hang out with for their
partying. Whatever!

It was pretty sweet to FaceTime my family! You all are pretty dumb,
but it's refreshing to be able to act dumb for a short amount of time
with you. I have plenty of warm clothes now. I just sit around my
apartment wearing ear warmers now. It's great! And it's like really
cold outside now (meaning 30s).

Elder Reeder and I had a pretty interesting Christmas night. After
doing some random service, because our mission president said it was a
day of service for our mission, we realized its super difficult to
find people that want help on Christmas haha. So we did random acts of
kindness, like it says in our plans. Anyways, we dropped a gift off at
president Alba's house, which is pretty darn close to our apartment
(because we are special). Then he lets us in, and we basically just
chill with president and his wife. Haha it was awesome. He gave us a
little rundown on his office he has in there, where he has pictures of
every missionary on the wall, arranged by where they are serving. It's
sweet! He says he gets to stare at us all day haha. Then sister Alba
was telling us we could help them! We could help them by handing out
these packets for homeless that had toiletries, food, etc. it was
almost 5 pm at this point. We're just like, umm sure!! We had 7 of
these packets and ended going to some sketchy-beyond-all-reason areas
when it was pitch black outside. Definitely a time where I was
actually scared for my life, especially as we meandered into "tent
city" next to the train tracks (which is very close to our apartment
as well). I was scared, then Elder Reeder is like, "I don't know where
we are going, you lead." I'm like.... Uhhhhhh. So I walk up to these
two guys, really silhouettes of guys. It turns out, one of them was
Rob, this homeless guy that we were able to teach on the street just
last Monday. I think the lord had a part in that, because it was nice
to approach someone we actually knew in this not necessarily safe
place haha. He said we were pretty brave going out there, but they
were so happy to get the gifts we had.

As we gave those to these people that had absolutely no Christmas, I
just kind of realized how much people go through that I never even
begin to think about. If we had not meandered out there, I would just
live on, never seeing and experiencing how these people struggle.
Through Christ, we can be promised that our struggles here will not be
permanent. And the life we live here is anything but the end. One of
my favorite scriptures I recently have fell in love with is Mosiah

"And if Christ had not risen from the dead, or have broken the bands
of death that the grave should have no victory, and that death should
have no sting, there could have been no resurrection."
"But there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no victory, and
the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ."

I love that phrase that the grave hath no victory, and the sting of
death is swallowed up. What greater promise do we have? This applies
for us spiritually as well. Anything, ANYTHING we go through is
something Christ has experienced. He knows more than we can ever know
about our small or large trials. Putting faith in him could never be a
mistake on our part.

I know that Christ lives, and that knowledge is strengthened every day
I am out here. Everyone needs to understand and love Jesus Christ, and
all they need is a chance.

I love all of you guys, and hope you have a beast mode new year!

Elder Janson

The posterity picture of my Mom's side (Elder Reeder's trainers, etc)

Me wearing all my Christmas presents

We got a head massager from the Taylors in our ward.

What is this sign talking about?

An older picture of all the toys we bagged for Salvation Army.  600 families got toys for their kids!

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