Last year the members in Kolkata experienced Christmas in a little different way. President Bradley Hansen of the India New Delhi Mission has always encouraged us to have more activities in the branch to strengthen the people of Kolkata both in and out of the Church. So, after praying and pondering hard, our Branch President decided to have an open house on the afternoon of 25th December.
We started to decorate and plan everything, though we were a little doubtful about the outcome. We shared the information about the open house on social media and in the local newspaper.
On Christmas Day a few of us gathered in the church. Even before we had finished wishing each other “Merry Christmas,” the first group of visitors arrived. Families, couples, groups of friends and lots more came. The seats started to fill-up and we had to bring more chairs into the hall. We were overwhelmed to see so many people visiting our church to celebrate Christmas. We prayed and sang carols together. We watched the nativity video and listened to the talks together. We ate cake and snacks and spent time together.
One of the visitors had been given the Book of Mormon and the address of the church a few years earlier but he had misplaced it. Seeing the announcement in the newspaper, he decided to pay a visit on Christmas Day. Another family told us that they would have never known there was a church in that area if the banner and decorations had not been out that day, as our branch looks like a residential house. An inactive member came to the church after a long time with her son.
At the end of the day we lifted our hearts with gratitude for going through with the plan.
We understood Christmas is the season when even people from other faiths open their hearts to know about our Savior Jesus Christ and want to be a part of this cherished tradition of Christmas. We understood why our branch president had that strong feeling for organizing an open house on Christmas. It was the Holy Spirit who wanted us to be present there, to welcome those people and introduce them to the true gospel of Jesus Christ. We are happy that we didn't ignore the promptings of the Holy Spirit and gave our best efforts.
Our Heavenly Father gave us such a valuable gift when he sent his Son to show pure love to us and sacrifice for us. In this darkened world, Christmas is the perfect time to look to the Light of the World and spread it among all as a perfect gift. Sometimes we may feel confused about how to spread the light of the Gospel but if we pray and ponder, we will definitely be guided by the Holy Spirit. We have to act upon his guidance and will certainly find the way to share the knowledge of Gospel throughout the world as we did last Christmas.