Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Letter Dated December 8, 2014 - He is the Gift

Hey Everyone!
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! Okay...I know it isn't quite Christmas yet..but it is the Christmas Season and I'M SO EXCITED!!! I LOVE CHRISTMAS! The song is totally is (by far) the most wonderful time of the year! :) People tend to get a little more excited this time of year, and seem to be a little big kinder and more tolerable. :) Which is always a bonus as a missionary!
I had an amazing week! One of the highlights being Zone Conference on Friday. It was a really long meeting, but it was amazing! it was full of testimonies, training, singing and other musical numbers, and the best of all, learning about the "He is the Gift" Initiative! It was amazing!! and a little bit sad for a minute....this was my VERY LAST Zone Conference! :( and when it's your last Zone Conference, you are asked to bear your departing testimony. And I was seriously dreading it all week! I remember my very first Zone Conference and hearing all these old, experienced missionaries get up and bear their testimonies on things they've learned, and things they knew to be true, and when I would hear them give their testimonies I had two main thoughts... Number One: I am NEVER going to be giving my departing testimony, because I'm NEVER going to be going home....I've been out a month and it's already felt like a lifetime (Luckily I don't feel that way anymore. haha! :)) and Number Two: I don't know that I will ever be as wise as those missionaries bearing their testimonies.
It was a really weird feeling to be the one that was up there bearing my testimony, and it really was a very sad thing for me. I have LOVED my mission, and I wouldn't trade my experiences here for anything in the world! I have never learned so much in my life! and in such a short period of time. My mission has flown past, and I really am sad that it's coming to an end. I sometimes wish that my whole mission has been a dream I've had at the MTC and I'll wake up and still have an entire mission ahead of me! It was an amazing opportunity to stand before so many of my friends, and testify of our Savior, and the enabling power of His Atonement along with many other things that I have learned on my mission! I still don't know if I'm as great as those other old missionaries, but I definitely feel like I'm coming close! :)
We had so many people participate in musical numbers and I felt the spirit so strongly! It's just something about Christmas music that gets me! :) I love it! We have a lot of talented missionaries in the mission!
We had an awesome time with our Mission President and his wife. They are ADORABLE!! I love them so much! They talked about having a "Christmas to Remember" and they talked about what Christmas has been like for them, and sang one of their families favorite Christmas Carols in French! and then they gave us a booklet, with a  letter from them, and tips to serve, as well as Christmas stories and Hymns for Caroling in the back.  This is something that President Johnsons mission president did for him, and he said it's been a part of his Christmas ever since! :) It's really cute and I'm excited to share it with others when we go caroling around the nursing homes and families in the ward ect. :)
I don't know if you've all seen the "He is the Gift" movie's like 2 and a half minutes long, and it is AMAZING! It's on or you can find it on youtube, or facebook I'm sure!! It is super awesome!! If you haven't seen it, watch it! and if  you have seen it, share it with a friend, post it on fb....share how you share the gift... :) It is becoming such a great tool for us in our missionary work! :) If you get the ensign you probably got a little booklet thing about "He is the Gift" with 9 pass along cards you can tear out.  Those are the same cards that we've been given as missionaries to share the gospel, and that that Christ is the reason for the Christmas Season. And that He is the only perfect gift for every single person in the world, that ever has, and ever will live. He is an eternal gift, from a loving Father that helps us more ways than we can imagine! Seriously, what better gift can we give to the world, than the gift of a knowledge, or reminder of our Savior! I'd invite all of you to share the gift this season! :)
It was super awesome! Right after this conference we had we went to go get some dinner, and I had the strongest, strangest impression to share a "He is the Gift" card with the lady standing in front of me, and I pushed it off the first time...and it came back again! So, I tapped her on the shoulder and asked if I could share it with her, and she was SOO excited about it! She asked if she could have another card with her daughter, and then gave me her contact information for the missionaries serving in her area! Before she left she gave me a big hug and thanked me for sharing that with her! That was not at all what I was expecting from sharing the pass along card with her....but it was such a cool experience! :)
We had a wonderful week full of miracles and happy experiences! We had an AWESOME ward Christmas Party and had a lot of people come out! :)
I am so blessed! I couldn't imagine life without the gospel and without the Savior! I love you all SOOO Much! :) I hope you're all having an awesome Christmas Season! I love and pray for you all!
Sister Thomas