Merry Christmas Everybody!!!
I can't believe it was just Christmas, but let me tell ya, this Christmas was so much better than last Christmas, that's for sure. Last year I had just entered the mission field, and was not used to mission life. It was nice this year to feel more comfortable and just focus on Christ. It is so liberating to not worry about what you are recieving and to just GIVE. Maybe that is what makes a mission so great. Usually disappointment, anger, stress, and so on, come when we are only thinking of ourselves. Thinking about yourself is exhausting . . . I hope to live more Christmas's like this one.
Christmas Adam (aka Christmas EVE eve) was not too eventful because everyone was so busy that we couldn't catch anyone at home. But we did get to eat dinner with the Senior Sisters, which really cheered me up. And then we went and said hi to our investigator. She is from Sudan, and has nine kids. And gosh, she teaches me humility and happiness every time I walk in her door. She throws out her arms, and with a big smile yells, "SISTERS!!!" She told us stories about these people she came in contact with at work who were so stressed for Christmas that they were just ready for it to be over. She said, "What is there to stress about? It is Jesus' birthday! It's not about what you are getting for your family. Did the wise man ask Jesus what he wanted when he was born, or did they give him the best that they had?"
That HIT my heart so deeply. "THEY GAVE HIM THE BEST THAT THEY HAD." Ah, I had never thought of the Christmas story like that before. What a sign of humility it must have been for these wise men to kneel down before the newly born Savior and give the best that they had. That really is all that Christ asks from us. To come unto him, with a humble heart, and with the best we can give, no matter how small it may be. This is what Christmas is all about.
Christmas Eve I got to go out to lunch with a member from one of my last areas. Ah, what a show of kindness. It is so fun to see how even members grow, and the light that is in them. Ah, and the desire to do good that some people have just brightens the world! There are little sparks of light and hope everywhere, sometimes it just is hard to see them. It really touched me to realize the family that I am apart of here in Tennessee. This is what Christmas is all about.
I got to watch Mr. Krugers Christmas. All the missionaries laugh at the cheesiness and stuff, but it is so CLASSIC!!!! Mr. Kruger is one of my heroes. I love his personality and his simple kindness to everyone! There is a part in the movie where he is imagining being at Christ's birth and he talks to Jesus and tells him what is in his heart. He says, "You are my closest, finest friend, and because of that, I can hold my head high wherever I go." Another peg to the heart. I so long to have Christ be my finest friend and to walk around with complete trust that it will all be okay. To hold my head high wherever I go. Ah, I have learned so much about that by having my name tag on my shirt at all times. People look at you so funny, and this week, I have just smiled, and thought of Mr. Kruger. This is what Christmas is all about.
Somehow Christmas day snuck in, and it ARRIVED!! We got to sleep in til 8, and I thought I was in heaven. And the phone rang and it was my investigator. So the story goes, that some anonymous donor found out about her and her family and donated so many fun things to their children for Christmas. The person isn't even a member of our church, but through others, got in contact with us, and we got to "play Santa" and deliver the gifts. Ah, the presents filled up our entire car, and carrying them into the home, the kids faces were priceless. We gathered them around and read a Christmas story, then they went all crazy and OPENED THE PRESENTS. I felt so much like my mom, taking pictures and video recording thier reactions. They were so grateful, screaming THANK YOU, and even crying by how much was given to them. I am not going to lie, I was crying too. Ah, the PURE JOY and GRATITUDE. I was humbled, I wish I had been more like that. This is what Christmas is all about.
Oh my, then I got to talk to my crazy awesome family. I could brag on my family all day. To talk to my brother in Chile was just the biggest joy. I am so PROUD. He is killing it, and has grown so much. We kept screaming, "The whole family is back together again." Oh my, and to see Garrett and Wyatt all grown up!! What!?
The cherry on top of Christmas was Christmas dinner. I have named it the SINGLE LADIES dinner. So, my companion and I bought a roast, potatoes, carrots, salad, the works, and took it to a single woman's house, and invited two other ladies that would have been by themselves. We treated them to a Christmas dinner. Oh my gosh, it was so fun. I couldn't stop smiling and thinking, WOW, THIS IS WHAT CHRISTMAS IS ALL ABOUT!! We just laughed. An 82 year old lady, that melts my heart, taught us the jitterbug to Manheimer Steamroller (she even did the splits!!) , and somehow we ended up dancing in the living room. Pure joy was exuding out of the walls!! And then my comp, showed us her hip hop skills. No one was in a rush. No contention. No one was left out. This is my kind of simple, but great Christmas. I hope I never forget this once in a lifetime moment.
And the week didn't stop bringing blessings. One of the kids I taught back in the Clarksville YSA got baptized. I was shocked by how much he had changed. I got to go back and see all of the wonderful people. Ah, MIRACLE!! Four of my companions were together, which tells you I have had too many comps, and too many areas. But nonetheless, it was so good to talk about old times, and see some of my old investigators, and talk to them again about baptism.
And the best Christmas Present came Saturday when I found out that I am NOT being Transferred!!!!! Nope, I get to stay in Franklin. Oh the relief, I don't even know what it feels like to stay in an area. Hallelejuh!!! And I am getting a new companion who is AWESOME!! She is so positive, hard working, and she even played high school basketball. Her name is Sister Lamborn. So, onto a new transfer, filled with more learning and more to overcome, but more joy to be had.
Hope ya'll had a merry Christmas, and if not . . . hey, there's always next year :)
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!