(December 3, 2012)
Entramos en Diciembre!!!! Que alivio, ¿no? Llegamos por fin!!! Hope you are all enjoying cold weather and turtle necks and mittens and scarfs. Here I am sitting, feeling sticky from humidity and wiping sweat out of my eyes! Just kidding. It isn't that bad. It is hot though and hot+Christmas I don't think will ever work out in my brain. It just doesn't feel like the Holidays without snow, cold, and pneumonia to accompany them!
This past week was spent with my Companion Elder Bradshaw and also with a Brazilero that was waiting for his new companion. It was a strange experience but fun and good for learning Portugese! Who knows, maybe I'll come back speaking Portugese and Guadani too! One thing is certain though, my English spelling and grammar is going down the tubes! I want to apologize to all those that taught me how to speak read and write and say that at least part of your efforts were in vane. Terribly sorry!
We've been working hard and having a lot of fun lately. We had a conference from a seventy or general authority of the church this last week! His name is Elder Di Giovani and was excellent! He dropped the cane on us and chastised us for not writing in our journals. No worries though! I've already filled 7 and am working on number 8! Ya'll will have a lot to read when I get back. Not sure how exciting it will be!
In thinking of how we can prepare for Christmas I've begun to think of how others prepared for Christmas in the Holy Scriptures. The kings, shepherds, Mary and Joseph, and even the angels. But seeing as it would be rather hard to buy camels, sheep, find an inn with no space, or be anything like an angel, I continued searching for an application to me. I was reading in the Book of Mormon of the Prophesies of the Birth of Christ by a prophet named Samuel the Lamanite and how he said we could prepare for Christ's coming. In Helaman 14 it says:
1 And now it came to pass that Samuel, the Lamanite, did prophesy a great many more things which cannot be written.
2 And behold, he said unto them: Behold, I give unto you a sign; for five years more cometh, and behold, then cometh the Son of God to redeem all those who shall believe on his name.
3 And behold, this will I give unto you for a sign at the time of his coming; for behold, there shall be great lights in heaven, insomuch that in the night before he cometh there shall be no darkness, insomuch that it shall appear unto man as if it was day.
4 Therefore, there shall be one day and a night and a day, as if it were one day and there were no night; and this shall be unto you for a sign; for ye shall know of the rising of the sun and also of its setting; therefore they shall know of a surety that there shall be two days and a night; nevertheless the night shall not be darkened; and it shall be the night before he is born.
5 And behold, there shall a new star arise, such an one as ye never have beheld; and this also shall be a sign unto you.
6 And behold this is not all, there shall be many signs and wonders in heaven.
7 And it shall come to pass that ye shall all be amazed, and wonder, insomuch that ye shall fall to the earth.
8 And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall believe on the Son of God, the same shall have everlasting life.
9 And behold, thus hath the Lord commanded me, by his angel, that I should come and tell this thing unto you; yea, he hath commanded that I should prophesy these things unto you; yea, he hath said unto me: Cry unto this people, repent and prepare the way of the Lord.
It is interesting to me that the way to prepare the coming of the Lord was to repent. To change one's self. Many ask, "What can I give to Christ this season?" It is a good question seeing as, after all, it is HIS birthday we are celebrating. The answer is simple. He already has EVERYTHING minus one small thing, and that is our free will. The only thing we can give to him, is our decisions, our love, and renewed commitment to more closely follow Him. He lives, He loves us, and He is the reason for this season. So think for yourselves. "What can I give Him?" Think of your "favorite sin" or habit most difficult to forsake and gift that to Him this year. Give it up. He's already paid the price for it and now all he asks of us is to give it up. To be more happy and be more like Him. I know as we do so, we will see his hand in our lives and grow to truly understand how much we mean to Him.
I love you all and am thinking of you EVEN MORE in this Christmas season. If you are expecting a package from Argentina though, forget about it, because it costs 350 pesos to send a kilo and I only live off of 800 pesos a month. Sorry. You'll have to wait one more year....I am too poor! I pray for you though!!!! :)