And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
- D&C 18:15
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Friday, December 23, 2016
I'll Be Home For Christmas
NOT REALLY. But, I feel like it is worth noting that Christmas Eve will be my 18 month mark. What an extraordinary thought. In a mission conference that we had last week, we had a powerful testimony from a member of the seventy, saying that when you are on a mission, you count your time. I don't want to, but it might be a good idea. I love Christmastime. I remember in my later high school years that was thoroughly disenchanted with this time of year, but when we turn our thoughts to the savior, there is no reason to not love the spirit of Christmas. This week has been filled with many Christmas miracles and joys. We have contacted more referrals this week than I have at any point in my mission ever before. I tied my personal record for new investigators found in a week, and the members of the congregation here have been so charitable to us as we have been away from our families.
Everyone has a Christmas tradition. Even if it is as simple as singing Christmas carols on Sunday, or reading Luke 2, we all have something that our family does together for Christmas. Of the many holiday videos my family watches perennially, one of my personal favorites is Mr. Krueger's Christmas. Back home, I love watching an old but lively Jimmy Stewart run around with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and finding out that the little girl put all the animals around baby Jesus in the nativity. As a missionary, there are three things that I want to point out to add to the beauty of this great Christmas specials. For all of you that haven't watched this video, please do so. Not only will it help with understanding the rest of this email, but it also is a beautiful show.
1. Service pays itself. When Mr. Krueger is unexpectedly given some money in his hat- money which he could definitely use- he gives it almost immediately to the salvation army band. Sacrifice is needed to be obedient to the lord and to receive his blessings. If it wasn't hard, it wouldn't be sacrifice. Even in our times of need, there is something that we can sacrifice to the lord. 2. Inclusion is more important than Perfection. The group of Carolers that invited Mr. Krueger to sing with them didn't need him, instead, they wanted him to feel the love and joy that comes with singing carols. When we are invited to act, we should trust that they want us, they we are qualified for what we are called. Perhaps we are not as good as others, but it is still our place to answer the call to action. Besides, the cat does sleep a long time. 3. The crowning sign of love is always loyalty. As Mr. Krueger, the most humble man you'll meet, bows down and wishes he had something to give to the Savior at his birth, he is reassured that his love for him is enough. And then, after all of the glimmers of happiness that he had- almost buying a new suit, buying the smallest of Christmas trees, having his only visitors leave after so short a time, reminiscing of his wife with only a picture- he receives a fulness of joy from worshipping Christ. And then, the tender mercies of the Lord fell upon him.
Love the gospel. Live the gospel. What great feelings. And I can tell you, Mr. Krueger's Christmas really isn't that great of a production.
Thank goodness that it is Christmastime. I hope that you enjoy it with your families, and that you enjoy the spirit of Christ.