Monday, December 30, 2013
Merry late Christmas and Happy New Years! :)
Christmas was different this year, my first Christmas away from my family, away from my home, away from my country! But although I'm away from all those things that have been apart of my Christmas holiday, this year was a special one. Before this year, I didn't appreciate all those things that I have like my family, my home, my friends. But now being gone from all that, it made me realize how much my family and friends do for me! Waking up in the morning not having my little brothers all sleeping next to me, not having the smell of dad's fudge being baked in the oven, not hearing my mom's famous laugh throughout the day, all the little things that I had are starting to mean so much more to me now. If I learned one thing this week, it would be to appreciate all of God's tender mercies. God's tender mercies are all the little things in life that God has given you to make life more enjoyable. Simple things like a warm house, snow on the ground, siblings to play with, parents to look up to and learn from, all these things are God's tender mercies. God loves and cares about each and every one of us. One of the ways I know that is through the incredible tender mercies that he has given me in my life!
I got to skype my family this week for Christmas time and that the best Christmas gift this year! I loved it! I've only been gone 3 months now, but man I've missed those people!!! Seeing their faces and being able to talk with them for a few hours was an absolutely incredible gift!
I remember waking up Christmas morning and seeing nothing from Santa... so I thought Santa must not like missionaries. But then I thought about it and realized something... We didn't set up our Christmas decorations in our flat! So I learned a very valuable lesson this year... Always set up your Christmas decorations or else Santa doesn't feel welcome! Not only that, but we didn't leave cookies for him either! Gosh, I am terrible! I really should've known better. Well I will never let that happen again! :)
I witnessed a little miracle this week! We were visiting Kathy, our recent convert, and her husband Wayne this week and teaching a lesson with Kathy. We were teaching about the 2000 stripling warriors and having a great lesson and then Kathy, out of nowhere, announces that Wayne has given up drinking! As in he is not drinking alcohol again! He was a HUGE drinker and I wasn't expecting him to make that decision any time soon! It was really cool though because he recognized he had a problem, made a plan to stop, is executing that plan, and has people helping and supporting him! Now Wayne is not LDS, nor does he plan to become LDS, but he stepped up and made an incredible, life-changing decision and I'm so happy for him! We'd been praying for Wayne for a long time now and he's starting to make the changes in his life! Gosh I love being a missionary and being able to help and witness people changing their lives for the better!
During this upcoming New Years holiday, I challenge everyone reading this to make AT LEAST one goal to better themselves. That could mean coming closer to Christ, praying more often, quitting some addictive substances, or simply showing your love for your family. Set a specific goal that you know you can achieve and have someone else know about the goal you've set so they can help and support you through it!
I love each and every one of you and wish you the best during this holiday season!! :)