Me and sister chestnut went to 12 week follow up at the mission headquarters and its always fun to see our missionary friends.
Me and Sis C have been doing a lot of LA visits. The elders have a tendency to just go out and walk around a try to find people to talk to... Well me and Sis Chestnut always try to have a destination we’re headed to then talk to people on the way. That way, we still get contacting done and our members and LA get to feel a little holiday cheer! We’ve done snowflakes and ornaments on people’s door and left them brownies. (Thanks costco...)
It snowed twice this week...we were trudging to someone’s house and the streets were just filling up and people bustling around....its a fun christmasey atmosphere.
Thats one thing.....I remember i felt kinda bad for Chy the christmas she missed. I imagined her out there with no family, no proper christmas tree...no swirl bread. And i was sad for her....I want jeff and jax and mom and anyone else who hasn’t experienced a mission christmas to know that you don’t need to feel bad for me! Yeah there are some moments that kinda stink...when like you get food poisoning and spend the whole night in the bathroom...or you walk forever in the freezing cold to a LA house and then they won’t come to the door, or your wonderful investigator is leaving to Myanmar for 2 months.....there are points when i feel bad for myself, but honestly, this will be one of my most memorable christmases ever.
We don’t have the distractions of home and friends and family...we get to focus on the whole reason we even have this holiday. We get to spend christmas day tracting down frozen streets so far from home, trying to tell people why we have hope—that even when we are alone on Christmas, without family or friends or parties or presents, we still have a reason to be joyful. Because as cliche as it sounds, we arent’ ever really alone. And people need to know that. They need the hope and help that comes from the knowledge of an infinitely loving Heavenly Father who cared about his flawed, forgetful, ungrateful children enough to send His perfect Son here for us. And thats why we can be joyful. Because even if we’re alone this Christmas, or struggling or heartbroken or lost, we have the Savior of the World who really cares about us because He knows what it feels like to be lonely or weak or helpless.
Now this might just be the food poisoning talking...but I got to watch Mr. Kruger’s Christmas recently, and it might be kinda hard to get past all the cheesiness of a low-budget Church film, but no matter how many times you’ve seen it or how awful you think it is, i’d challenge you to watch it again....or at least just the part where good ol’ Jimmy stewart approaches the manger.....pay attention just to that part. The rest of it is fine, but its been awhile since something hit me so deeply as the humble words that lonely ol’ Mr Kruger whispers to the Savior in His manger on that sacred night.
Also...i hate to get all bossy with you, but I would encourage you all when you read the nativity story in Luke, to also spend some time and read the few verses in Alma chap 7....starting in verse 10, you get a super short summary of the christmas story, but then Alma teaches about the Savior’s role....not just his identity as the baby in the manger, but as our Redeemer, then only person who loved us enough to take on all our sicknesses and pains and burdens. I think it will help give a little more meaning to the significance of this holdiay season.
I love being a missionary, not because its easy or fun, but because its helped me learn things i couldn’t have any other way. I feel like more than anthing else, its helped me to become a little more acquainted with the ‘man of sorrows’ who went to the absolute depths of grief and pain so that we wouldn’t have to. He gave us a way to overcome and I’m so grateful for the chance to understand that a little better during this sacred time.
Merry Christmas to everyone!
Left my camera converter at home...so i’ll just re-send some OLDIES....from the MTC. THE DISTRICT.