Merry Christmas to one and all!
The subject line comes from my conversation with my parents. I found it hilarious. I ruined the toes of my new boots by kneeling every morning to pray; the toes scrape against the carpet. My dad gives me these words of wisdom... "You can't pray with boots on!.... pray standing up!" Thank you, Daddy. :)
Christmas was quite enjoyable. I began my day with the usual, opening gifts the night before due to lack of time on Sunday and eventually made my way over to the VC to call home. Being a little apprehensive about it, I said a prayer before dialing. To my surprise, the phone was answered quickly and soon all my fears disappeared. It was so great hearing from home. I thought it would be a huge distraction. It's just a small one. :) The work has progressed since then. It's so wonderful having loved ones to support you wherever life brings you. Even being 2000 miles from home, I can feel their love and the love of loved ones and close friends, too. Thank you to all those that sacrificed sleep... ;)
The rest of the day was pretty low key. We went to church and had an investigator come which was great. The choir sang a couple beautiful arrangements and the bishopric spoke. We gave a bit of our tons of junk food to the Elders, went back to the VC, and served those there. Despite it being a major holiday, there were many people that came to remember what Christmas is truly all about. That is one of the things I am most grateful for; being able to testify that Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father live and love us everyday. There is nothing better! I'll do it forever and always. And always means every moment.
Christmas Eve was a blast. That morning, the entire zone, plus the sisters serving at Liberty Jail, all the senior couples in Independence, and the Mission President and his wife came for a Christmas breakfast. We performed and sang, and President Keyes read us a children's book he wrote called, "The King's Blanket". It was beautiful. I highly recommend looking it up if anyone gets a chance. I attached several pictures of good friends and the fun we had. And all of them are taken with my new camera! Thanks, Dad! A few of them are from later that day. The VC directo's closed the VC an hour early and had a gift exchange at the VC. There was so much love from the senior couples to all the sisters that I lost it. I'm so grateful for everything I receive every day. I truly have another family out here that I can rely on and I know that they are here for a reason. I'm here for a reason. We're all where we're at for a specific reason.
Yesterday morning at early morning sports, we were playing frisbee and I biffed it into the curtain. Another sister and I ran towards the frisbee at the same time, I tripped, and everything fell onto my right knee. It hurts and is banged up, but the work must go on! It's funny though. Last night was so crazy as we had half of the sisters get sick so we had maybe 3 of us on shift to take tours. I don't think I ate last night now that I think about it... but I feel so good! I'm happiest when I'm fulfilling my purpose.
Something I've been thinking about a lot lately is about humility. As I was reading in Mark this morning, I read that Jesus was teaching his disciples and they just weren't listening. However, the scriptures say, "And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, ..." That may have many different meanings, but one thing I took from that was although Christ was the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of the world, and he had all that authority, he was still submissive to his Father. He waited and followed Heavenly Father, doing nothing but his Father's will. As God's children, we promised to follow Jesus Christ before we even came here to make it back home to feel the love of God and live forever with our families. We are to be meek and humble and teachable to the Spirit of God, and to the commandments that we have been given. In doing so, everything else falls into place. I have given up so many wants and desires to serve my Lord, and yet they came back to me better than before. Trust in Him, my brothers and sisters. Trust that He knows you perfectly and wants to give you so much more. Christ's arms are open wide, waiting to receive us. Will we follow him?
I'm grateful for the restored gospel. Last night, a small family of RLDS people came in to tour the VC and I took them through our presentation "God's Plan for His Family". I had no idea what I was doing. These people believed in a restoration, in a prophet, in the Book of Mormon. They weren't going to listen to me about who is the prophet today. However, it came to me. They don't believe our families can be eternal. That is what I followed. And although it may have been a more awkward presentation, I felt at peace. Because I know, with all the surety of my soul, that we are placed in our families with purposes. We have been given these loved ones because they have something to teach us and we have something to teach them. And we grow to love them because we are working towards a common goal. God is not going to take that away from us. And with the miraculous blessing of the temple and the Priesthood, I know I will be with my loved ones forever one day. Forever and always... because God loves us.
I know Christ lives. I know he loves us. His Atonement is perfect, and as we follow the gospel and commandments that we have been given, we use that precious gift in our lives and feel our Savior's love. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the only element that will destroy the hatred that exists among people. There is no greater gift. For Christ was born to give us these gifts... eternal life with our families. I know this church is Christ's one and true living church upon the earth today. And we can all know. Ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you. Shall we not go on in so great a cause?