Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Letter dated December 23, 2013 - Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!!!!
I am so excited that it's finally Christmas this week! I get to call home, and have so much fun spending Christmas with my sweet companion Sister Winkler, and the awesome Elizabethtown Ward! oh man, I wish you all could have been there for the Christmas Sacrament Program yesterday! It was sooooo good! and SOOO pretty! Oh my goodness! The spirit just filled the  chapel with such pretty musical numbers and wonderful narrations.  This Christmas season Sister Winkler and I have been sharing messages of the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ, and we often times would use the story of the Wise men in Matthew chapter 2:9-11, that reads: 9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
 11 ¶And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
and we would focus on the star, how wise the Wise men really were for following the sign that was given to lead them to the Savior, and what are some of the "stars" that are in our lives that lead us to the Savior? What are those stars in your life? We had some of the most amazing answers, we had people that said the scriptures, prayer, the temple, families, the Spirit...ect.
and then how marvelous that was that the first thing they did is fall down to their knees to worship the Savior, and how we get to do that, every morning and every night to get to kneel down, and show our love for the Savior as we pray.  And that the Wise Men presented gifts to Christ.  What kind of gifts can we give the Savior? we had a lot of answers of Service, and keeping the commandments, and all of these wonderful things, but the one that struck me the most was that we could give him our will.  And yesterday in the program someone said something, and they were quoting someone..but I can't tell you who exactly...but they said, "when we give our money- we give much, when we give our time- we give more, and when we give our will- we give all." and that is so true....the only thing that we can give with all of our whole heart, and all of our mind, might, and strength, is our will.  Everything else is a gift to us. So I would just like to invite each of you this Christmas Season, and always, to find at least one way that we can change our will to be more in harmony with the Savior and his teachings.  To be able to give back to the Savior, and our Heavenly Father.
I'm so excited that I have the opportunity to experience Christmas on a mission! :) I feel like I'm gaining a better understanding of the true meaning of Christmas, it isn't about receiving (even though I've loved all of your packages in the mail :)) but it's about giving back, Serving the Lord for the next 13 months with all that I have, because this time is not mine, but His.  And for the opportunity I have to quickly learn from the spirit how to be changing my will to be more in line with His. I'm thankful for the Spirit of Christmas that I have been able to feel from all the members, and the  non-members as this season is directed toward Christ, and His birth, and not only his birth, but the life that he lived.  I'm so thankful that I have a savior that loves me so much, and showed me every step of the way, how I can become a better person, how I can be learning and improving in the gospel, and learning how I can better help others come unto him, and join his fold, or to help Him find his lost and wondering sheep that they can come safely back into the fold once more.  I love my Savior. I'm growing a deeper relationship with him as I pray often, and I read the scriptures, and keep his commandments.  I'm thankful for the love He shows me, and each of you! This is a season of so much love! and I am so thankful that I get to experience it this way.
I hope you all have a very Happy, Merry, Joyful, Loving, Christ Centered Christmas! :)

Thank you so much for thinking of me! and sending all your love! :) :) :)
Love always!
Sister Thomas! :)