Christmas is around the corner! I love seeing everyone's spirits lift as we get closer to the day that we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. The members here have been so thoughtful and kind to us this holiday season. We've felt so much love from the wards here! And even from those that are non-members. That has been the best part of this Christmas....we have been so welcomed by so many people that we contact. They are all so open to hearing about Christ this Christmas time. We had a wonderful visit with a nice old couple the other day. We had met the husband weeks before and we read the book of Mormon with him. We decided to bring him some Christmas goodies and he and his wife welcomed us in. They shared some candy with us and we had a wonderful conversation about Jesus Christ. We shared John 3:16 with them and asked them to think about what they can give back to Christ this Christmas. As we left, they excitedly told us that they are really going to think hard about what they will give Christ. I could go on and on about all the wonderful things that are happening as we spread the real meaning of Christmas.
Of course, the holidays are fun and exciting! We have enjoyed Christmas parties, gift exchanges, art shows, hay rides, caroling, ugly sweaters, goodie-making, and so much more! But as I have centered my thoughts on Christ, this Christmas has meant so much more. We had a Christmas Conference with our mission leaders and I learned some amazing things. Our stake president gave an awesome talk that will stick with me for the rest of my life. He was speaking about the birth of Christ and how Christ is the ultimate gift to the world. But he told us that instead of reading Luke 2 on Christmas Eve, he likes to read 1 Nephi 11. We then went and read 1 Nephi 11 together...and oh my. As we read, I felt so much LOVE from our Heavenly Father. Nephi wants to know the meaning of his father's dream. 1 Nephi 11 is where the meaning of the tree of life is explained. But I found it very interesting that instead of simply stating "The tree of life symbolizes the love of God"....Nephi was shown Mary. He was shown Christ being born into the world. He was told what Christ would do for all mankind. And then Nephi realized the tree of life is the Love of God. Because the Love of God is so evident as we reflect on Christ and His life. I know without a doubt that Christ is our Savior. He came into the world because He loves me. And He loves you. He was born into a stable...such humble circumstances...and His life was dedicated to doing good. He died for every single one of us so we can be forgiven of our sins and live again with our Heavenly Father!
Redemption and eternal life. What greater gift could we ever receive?
I hope you are all thinking of Christ this time of year. Seriously, go read 1 Nephi 11 with the Christmas spirit in your heart. It will change your perspective and help you grow closer to Christ this Christmas. It truly is the most wonderful time of year!
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! I love you all!
|P-day hike to "Tunnel Drive". Originally made for trains in the olden days.|
|Sis. Elama and I, just being hipsters...jk. Colorado is so gorgeous!|
|Christmas Caroling with Canon City ward members!|
|Glam gingerbread houses!|
|Christmas caroling with real horses! Only in Canon City! LOL|
|Christmas Zone Conference|