I can't believe it is the middle of December. Time is such a precious thing and I'm quickly learning that if I don't use it, I lose it. This morning we got a new investigator and an awesome referral for another set of missionaries at the laundry mat. If we don't ever give someone an opportunity to accept the gospel, how are they every going to know how sweet it is? So, things are going well. I'm in charge of the music at the VC again this transfer and within a week's time, I am putting together an hour long VC Christmas program for Thursday, music at a training meeting, and musical numbers for the missionary Christmas party that the zone does on Christmas eve. Since Christmas is on Sunday this year we aren't having our parties on it. I've been crazy busy despite the VC being a little slower! I wouldn't have it any other way. Training with Sister Porter is going great! (Picture of us at transfer bus attached). She's a fireball missionary and I'm grateful for her - she's keeps me going. ;) We find that we get off topic when studying. Just yesterday we were reading in PMG about Finding People to Teach and Having the Faith to Find. It turned into a discussion about Alma in the Book of Mormon. Go figure.
We had Zone Conference last Wednesday. I LOVED it. All the MTC sisters got together and took a picture (attached). Zone Conference is like Christmas for me. However, right before our lunch break one of the sisters called me over and said her companion was sick in the bathroom and we needed to go take care of her. Regardless, we missed lunch. But I have been witnessed to that the petty things don't matter, and that a problem to be solved should never win over a person to be loved. Plus, I'm happiness when I am fulfilling my purpose. I love my mission. There is nothing better than the experiences you gain while serving the Lord. All you people debating a mission... go for it. You'll never regret it if you are willing to work at it.
We had a member bring a non-member friend to church last week. One of the new Elders in the ward came up to us and said, "you better go get her, otherwise I'm going to snatch her!" Ha, funny. We found her, found out she's a dancer and is looking for a church as the one she attends now is not giving her what she needs. Turns out she's not in our area, but she's ready to accept the gospel. I am so looking forward to seeing her grow. The gospel changes lives! I am a witness! After church, a different Elder (they are a trio) comes up and says, " just so you know, [your investigator] came up to us today and wants us to come over tonight. We're not trying to snake your investigator". There seems to be this ongoing banter between the Elders and us in this ward. I like it, it keeps things lively. :)
I received a Christmas gift from the Flanagan family... thank you SO much! I'm excited to open it this weekend! :) The family package came too... THANK YOU. Christmas away from home is going to be hard - I've never done it before. Any little things helps. I wanted to send out a little Christmas thought to everyone that reads this blog. Since I can't be there, I'm like for you to imagine with me a few things.
First, the Birth of our Savior is the single and most important thing we can remember this Christmas season. As we gather as families and friends, we can remember Jesus Christ and partake of that Spirit. Christmas is not about the marketing... the gifts... the worldly items. It's about that Spirit we feel when we give. That is the Spirit of Christ. That is the Spirit of the gospel. To announce the Birth of Christ, a star appeared in the sky: light. Christ testifies that he is the light and life of the world (Mosiah 16:9). When he was crucified, there was darkness for 3 days straight. Everything about light testifies of Jesus Christ. Isaiah 9:6 reads, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace". Christ came into the world to give us everlasting light and life.
So here comes the part where I need your assistance. Imagine with me a dark room. We are all sitting around a table, and I light a single candle in the center of the table. As it flickers back and forth, where are you looking? Why are you focused on that light? How do you feel in a silent, dark room with nothing but that candle?
The light gives us hope. That light shows us the way. That light brings peace and comfort. That light is our Savior. And his birth marks the prophesy that God has sent his son to give us peace in a world of darkness. This Christmas season, we change. The fact that everyone is giving, looking out for loved ones and strangers a like, sharing smiles and laughter, we are sharing a part of the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ. Remember the peace you feel as you are with loved ones. For that love comes from our Savior and from our Father in Heaven. I know that Christ lives, that this church is his church. I know this gospel is true. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and brings us that peace and love from our Savior as we ponder and pray about it. I'm grateful for my Savior. I'm grateful for my family. I'm grateful for my life and for the opportunity to share the light of the world, Jesus Christ, with those around me.
When all else fails, know that Jesus Christ is always there. Merry Christmas, my dear loved ones.