December 21, 2010
1. It has been raining since about Friday of last week. Crazy, because SD has been in a draught for the past like 2 years. I was thinking and I figured it out. God knows that I can't work well in the heat so when I get here he makes it cold so that I can perform well. haha
2. I was able to get my 12 days box and I love it. I am going to wear the tie to the Christmas gathering. I have the manger scene next to my bed. I am trying to stay away from all the cookies and candy (trying to lose weight again). And the A&M ornament made me trunky when I heard it...but its still on the tree hahahaha
4. This week is going to be crazy. A lot of missions kind of take the holidays off and just slide into the new year. But when your mission reports are reveiwed each week by the missionary exectuive council (the 1st presidency and the qourum of the 12) in their weekly meeting, you cant really afford to take off for the holidays. So we just keep pushing. We had training yesterday and today (our real pday will be tmw). We have the christmas gathering thrusday, eve on friday and christmas on saturday....crazy week. The prophet set a goal for the mission to get 100 baptisms in January. Something our mission has never done.
Well this week ahs been kind of rough. The rain has been depressing, i miss that big texas sunshine. But Sunday made it all turn around. At the MCRD, me and another missionary got to serve the sacrament to some Drill Instructors and other marines. This time though was special. There were 3 men in there with us. One was a company commander (one of the guys that runs the show at the MCRD, he is a member) the commander over the lawyers in the marines (he a member) and the financial commander (non member). It was a great experience and we got to teach the financial commander a little bit. It was pretty cool being to teach someone that you know could kill you in 10 seconds....kind of exciting hahahahah But also on Sunday, it was a missionary sunday. We got to sing in church and basically we ran the meeting, under the direction of the bishop. The last speaker, Elder Jardine (our DL) spoke and he started crying. He shared a real touching story about how his sister is pregnant and that he baby has a very rare disease. Only 3 out of every 1000 babies have it. And out of those 3, 2 of them live through the labor and only 1 lives to the age of 6 months. It made me think about how lucky i am that i have 2 healthy nieces at home waiting to see me. But that made me miss yall. But, at the end, another tender mercy happened. The 1st counselor in the Bishopric got up and shared his testimony and thanked the missionaries for everything we do. He then said, "hermanos (because nobody calls us elders), ustedes tienen una familia aqui en la mision. Todos de nosotros somos su familia. Ustedes tiened 300 hermanos y hermanas aqui en la capilla." I almost started crying. Every member after that came and gave us a hug (well the men....and a few old ladies) and invited us for christmas and told us we were their family. One old lady shook my hand and said "tu eres mi hijo. tu eres mi hijo ahora" I almost cried again.
That is what christmas is all about. Its not about gifts, or decorations, or the food, or how good everthing looks. A lot of the time we get so caught up in everything that we lose focus. We run from store to store house to house, trying to get everything done. We just need to slow down and relax. Spend time with the family. Dont worry if you are going to get the newest hot toy or the newest dress or clothing style. In 10 years that wont even matter. But in 10 years and even in 100 years, what will matter are the experiences you had with family. To tell you the truth, i dont remember every christmas morning, i dont even really remember what i got last year. But what i do remember is 2 things. Caroling to less actives and home teaching families, and doing the manger scene or watching the nativity every year. Those are the memories that we keep. At this time, as a missionary, i have the great opprotunity to help people remember this and that every year we receive a gift that we cant give. The gift that Jesus Christ gave us when he atoned for a sins. He made it possible for us to actually enjoy this life.
Christmas is all about Christ. This Christmas has probably been the most special to me so far. Seeing the joy on peoples faces when we talk about Christ. Finding those lonely people on the street and helping them realize that they arent alone. That is where its at. I guess ill end this testimony by telling yall how much i do love everyone. I love yall more than you can imagine. And i know, that yall love me more than i can imagine. I love this gospel and i know that i was called at this time to SD to help those people realize the gift of the Atonement in their lives and help them except it by entering into the water of baptisms and allowing God to bless them. The church is true and the book is blue.
I love yall so much ! Merry Christmas!!!!! and I will talk to yall on SATURDAY. That was the fastest 7 months of my life!!!!!! LOVE YALL Y FELIZ NAVIDAD