Bula family & friends!
I sincerely hope each of you have had an amazing Christmas. Full of food, family, love, and remembrance. Christmas in Toukley was absolutely magical.
It was a very different Christmas this year.
Christmas without Santa.
Christmas without a big tree.
Christmas without traditions.
Christmas without my family.
Christmas without cold or snow.
Christmas without pie.
Christmas without Turkey.
Christmas without many lights.
There were a lot of things I missed from home this Christmas, but I have to say this one was my favourite yet. Without the distractions, without the traditions, without the movies, and without the hoard of presents, I was left more time than I ever before had to ponder the Saviour.
Now please don't be mistaken, I woke up to presents and was fed by the members all day long. They took such good care of us here. But this time it was different. I woke up on Christmas morning for the first time, without hopes for what I would get out of this day, but with hopes to help others enjoy it.
My favorite part of the day was after having a HUGE breakfast with the members and a HUGE lunch with a less active/part member family we came home to rest. All the 4 sisters of the flat had our mattresses on the living room floor lined up in a row next to the tree. I drifted off for just a few minutes, but I just could not sleep away Christmas. So I got up and began studying. I spent time pondering what it must have been like on the first Christmas from many different perspectives. I thought of the shepherds, the Nephites in the Americas, the chorus of angels, and Mary.
As I did so, I felt a warm feeling enter into my heart. Stripped of familiarity, on the other side of the world, the only one awake, I felt like I had my own precious time to approach the manger and adore the baby Jesus. The humble, meek, little child who would change my life forever. Who would change my families life forever. Who would change my investigators lives forever. Who would change the world.
I'm so grateful for Jesus Christ. He is the Beginning and the End. He is the Light and the Life of the world. He is the Prince of Peace. He is our Saviour and Redeemer. He is our Friend and our Brother.
Long lay the world, in sin and error pining
Till He appeared and the soul felt it's worth.
-Mattress surfing down the stairs princess diaries 2 style on "Christmas Adam" (which Sister Spainhower introduced us to. It's the night before Christmas Eve.) so we could all sleep next to the tree together. We liked it so much we slept there for 4 days haha.
-Contacting EVERYONE at all the shops on Christmas Eve morning. Everyone was crazy and busy and rushing around but so many people smiled and happily took our A Saviour is Born pass along cards. It was a wonderful way to share the spirit of Christmas!
-Christmas Eve Barbi with the zone. We cooked up heaps of meat and played games (including the funniest game of soccer in recorded history. 4 sisters against 2 of the best elders hahaha).
-HEAPS of food on Christmas! Pancakes and ice cream, seafood, fruit, eggs, ham, tarro, NZ corn beef, roast pork, just everything a girl could ever want #missionweight
-One of our investigators had to go to the hospital this week. She is engaged to a less active member and really wants to be baptized but she is so busy and never has time for lessons. She normally works 12 hours a day 6 to 7 days a week. But since she was in hospital we were able to teach her and get her a blessing. She felt the spirit so much and immediately identified the feelings she had during the blessing as the spirit. The Lord works in mysterious ways and we hope and pray that we can help Lisa be prepared for baptism as she recovers from her illness.
-SKYPING MY PARENTS! They'll probably tell you it was the worst because it was bad signal. But it was so amazing to just get to hear them and see their faces. I had so much fun laughing and talking with them. It felt like it'd been just a few days, not almost 8 months. I love and adore my family!
Well I love you all so much! I hope you can continue to keep the Christmas spirit in your heart as you look forward to partaking of the sacrament each week and continue to remember Him. Please set meaningful New Year's goals that are spirit-led and will increase faith in Jesus Christ for you and those around you.
Au lomani iko!