This has been so far the most amazing year of my life (will not counting the year I learned about the gospel and got baptized). It has been so nice to be here away from the conflict in the Holy Land and away from the checkpoints and difficulties. I have met some amazing people who have taught me so much about sacrifice and love.
We have had a really busy week. We had the last of our Christmas dinners for all the missionaries. We were shuttling missionaries back and forth from the train station and trying to answer questions and trying to help them get their packages. Most of the packages have been picked up and so most missionaries got their Christmas packages. We still have some in the office and the APs said they will pick the up on Tuesday. YAY... It was like a Santa workshop in the mission office every time we get the mail as we would get over 20 or more packages every day. Sadly despite all this there are still about 50 missionaries that got nothing for Christmas. I have seen nice people giving gifts to some of them which is great.
A new couple will be serving in the office, Elder and Sister Porter. They will take over Sister Cates job (housing and Vehicles) and sister Cates will do my job. She will be training the Porters and then I will train her to do my job. We can't get much done this coming week. The office is closed on the 25th and 26ths. My friend Mahasin is coming to visit on the 24th and will be here until Saturday the 28th. We are going to try to go see some sites so that her trip is not completely wasted. Everything is closed though, so it will be interesting. We hoped to go to London on the 26th, but there are no trains that day. So, we may go on the 27th except that it is raining all day! Our luck!
We have had so many concerts here. It has been nice to focus so much on Christ this Christmas. At home I am usually so busy trying to buy gifts for others that I forget to enjoy the season and feel the spirit of it. The picture below is at the Visitors' Center with one of our new couples, Elder and Sister Nielson.
I am so grateful for this Christmas season to remember the Savior and remember His life and what He has done for me. My life completely changed after I got to know my savior. He gave me eyes to see the beauty in the world and gave me a new heart that is able to rejoice and love. I will forever be grateful for Him.
I wanted to end with a message shared by two modern day prophets about Christmas. May you all have a wonderful Christmas season. I hope you all can enjoy it and not worry too much about how clean the house is, or how well the Turkey turns out, or how much people will like your gifts...
President David O. McKay said: “True happiness comes only by making others happy—the practical application of the Savior’s doctrine of losing one’s life to gain it. In short, the Christmas spirit is the Christ spirit, that makes our hearts glow in brotherly love and friendship and prompts us to kind deeds of service.”
President Monson Said:
“May we give as the Savior gave. To give of oneself is a holy gift. We give as a remembrance of all the Savior has given. May we also give gifts that have eternal value, along with our gifts that eventually break or are forgotten. How much better the world would be if we all gave gifts of understanding and compassion, of service and friendship, of kindness and gentleness.
As the Christmas season envelops us with all its glory, may we, as did the Wise Men, seek a bright, particular star to guide us in our celebration of the Savior’s birth. May we all make the journey to Bethlehem in spirit, taking with us a tender, caring heart as our gift to the Savior.”