Very Merry Christmas, my beloved friends and family! I still can't really believe it's already Christmas. It's rather warm and humid, and people are walking around in flip flops with popsicles. It's like we're in topsy turvy land. That might be due to the fact that we're on the other side of the equator or something.
Let's see... this week has been kind of crazy I think. But I'm trying to remember exactly why. We went on intercambios on Tuesday. Intercambios meaning that I went with one of the other Hermanas from our zone to her area, while another Hermana came to stay with Hermana Sanchez. That was an interesting experience. Now I'm the big trainer Hermana that's supposed to help fix things that are wrong and give really helpful advice and training and stuff. I want to explain that, uh, wait! I just got here too! But it was pretty good. I was with a gringa again, which is always exciting. I've decided that I am grateful to be in the ward I'm in and I'm not quite ready to leave.
We've been trying to work more with the members. That's actually been more fun than it had in the past. We've got quite a few recently returned missionaries that are all sorts of excited to teach with us. They respect that we have the authority right now, but it's really fun and helpful to see them pull out their old mission tricks and scriptures. Most of them work a lot, but they're all trying really hard to get home from work early to teach with us. It's been cool. (Hey, you should go help the missionaries!)
I've been trying to get myself into the Christmas spirit and study a little bit from the New Testament. Well, there's not a whole lot of time to do my own personal things that I want to learn about study. But I came across a scripture that touched my heart. Luke 2:19 : "But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart." After the shepherds came to visit Christ, they explained to Mary everything that the angels had explained to them in the fields. Verse 18 explains that "they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them..." But Mary kept and pondered them in her heart. I love this tender image of a new mother, hearing that her son would be the Savior of the world. Many stood in wonder. But she treasured it.
I'm starting to realize more and more that as missionaries, we don't really have a lot of purpose in telling people that Christ exists. Pretty much everyone knows that. But we need to teach them the significance of this. What does it mean to us that Christ was born? What does it mean to us that he lived a perfect life performing miracles, healing the sick, blessing the children, establishing his church, and setting the perfect example for our lives? What does it mean to us that he suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane and bled from every pore? What does it mean to us that he was crucified and died on the cross? And most importantly, what does it mean to us that he was resurrected? Christ lives. I'm sure you all know this. But have you pondered these things in your heart?
Let's all remember a little more the reason for the season.
I love you all. There aren't words to describe how much I miss you all. And to be completely honest, sometimes I have to sit and wonder what in the world I'm doing here. In those times I have to look at the bigger picture. This time next year, I'll be home celebrating with you all. And that's not really that far away. But that's enough time for me to make some sort of lasting impression on some needful soul...
Until next week, by beloved friends! And have a very, very Merry Christmas.