Good to hear from all of you this week! Things sure sound great. I wish Conner and Claire luck in their new adventure working in the temple! That is pretty sweet for you two! Also, it is super exciting that you will all be home for Christmas! Hope that you all have fun and live it up. I love hearing about all of the nephews. I'm sure Nate and Karli have their hands full with those little guys.
Last but not least.. Happy Birthday Dad!! You are the best dad that there is! Really I don't have the words to describe how much I appreciate all that you do for the family. You are my hero!
This week I had a great experience. I took an Elder to the United States Embassy. First time that I have ever been there. Now, you have to realize that the most American thing I have seen for a long time comes out of the packages that I get from home. This place was amazing! Huge perimeter walls, maximum security, english.. I felt right at home haha! I gave a nice salute as I passed the Utah state flag on our way in to help this Elder with his travel documents. I haven't seen such great service in such a long time either, we were in and out in minutes. Good stuff!
Oscar and Martha are doing so well! I cannot believe how much they have progressed in the last couple of months. When we first found them, Martha was drunk on the street about every other day and a smoking addict. She couldn't hold a job or be trusted with any money for fear that she would buy alcohol. Now, she looks like a completely different person. She dresses all up to come to church and participates in the classes each week. Oscar and Martha are now saying a prayer together each morning and night. She now has a job and has advanced in that job to the point where they are considering her for a raise. Now carries all of the money that she makes with no problem and is down to one or two cigarettes a day!
Oscar, too, is doing so well! He really understands the doctrine. He reads the Gospel Principles lesson manual and underlines and makes notes all over the place. He has advanced considerably in the Book of Mormon and reads out loud with Martha each night the addiction recovery manual from LDS Family Services. Currently they are learning about how sincerity is essential in addiction recovery. He, too, has improved considerably with his smoking, considering that he has been addicted since the age of 13.
I am so blessed to see the hand of the Lord work in their lives. The atonement of Jesus Christ and His grace are a reality! Each time that we visit Oscar and Martha and am in awe at the power and grace of our Savior and how He can transform our lives if we allow him to. I think all of us have felt at one point or another the grace of Jesus Christ in our lives. Only through Him can we return to our Heavenly Father and only through Him the dream of eternal life can become a reality. One of my favorite sacrament hymns helps me to understand better the atonement of Christ. It says,
I marvel that he would descend from his throne divine