MERRY CHRISTMAS FAMILY!!!
Yayyyyy. Who's excited?! EU ESTOU. This will be a wonderful Christmas because things are wonderful here in Aguas Claras and I get to talk to you soon! I am seriously so stoked for christmas here, because tomorrow we're having this christmas activity with alll the missionaries, and mostly i'm just happy to see sister Hill and Sister Canfield and all the wonderful sisters who i LOVE.
oh sidenote - today is transfers, but its super calm today because I'm staying here with sister lindenlaub! HOORAY. I love her and this area. its the greatest.
K, Christmas again. yayyyyyy. Obviously the most joyous thing about Christmas is the spirit and love of Christ. Last week we had this GREAT ward activity with EVERYONE there - all the members, recent converts, investigators, and it was a huge hit. People got there around 8:30 (it was announced to start at 7:30) and people didnt want to leave until like midnight. (So we heard, we had to leave way early.) Anyways, i was talking to the bishop and he gave me an assignment to speak in church this week, and my topic was, "the Love that Jesus Christ has for us." Best subject. Ever. I really enjoyed the chance to prepare and share that talk. Especially because on Sunday I had just finished studying the Book of Mormon. The first time i read it in the field, I read it in portuguese, with the focus on learning the language, and how to use and apply the scriptures in our lessons and for the investigators. When i finished it, I started it right afterwards in English with the focus on studying the book of mormon as a true testimony of Christ for me personally. It is incredibly true. So it all came together in a really sweet way for me, and i just want to share a little of what I learned through studying the last 7 weeks, and what I shared in my talk on sunday.
I found great power in studying the Book of Mormon. It is not a record of an ancient people, it is a testimony and holy withness of the Lord and Savior of this world. Jesus Christ is the Son of God who was humbly born to the virgen Mary. He lived a perfect live. He gave us the perfect example. He loves us with a perfect love. Because of this love, we are His. This perfect love of Christ is the motivating power that dictated every action that He made. Because of His love for God the Father, Jesus Christ submitted all things to the Father's will in complete obedience. Because of Christ's love for us, He took upon Himself all of our pains, afflictions, sorrows, and sad moments, and suffered them so that we wouldnt have to. This love is the core of the atoning sacrifice of the Savior.
Through completing the Atonement and fulfilling the law which He was sent to fulfill, Jesus Christ made it possible for us to repent and become clean. Though we are far from perfect, the invitation to "come unto Christ" is an invitation to be perfect - to be perfected in Him. If we want to accomplish this we have to get to know the Savior. This is done by studying his birth, purpose, calling, life and teachings. Most importantly, we come to know the Savior when we meet him in Gethsemane. In Gethsemane, the Lord of lords suffered. When we pass through the garden with Him, it breaks our heart and changes our spirit. We realize the personal suffering that He made for our personal sins. That is the place where we gain a broken heart and a contrite spirit, and we have no more desire to do evil.
The Savior has done everything for us and given us everything we have. All He asks is that we come to Him, because He loves us and doesnt want to lose us. We have everything to gain in Christ. Our number one hope is the salvation that He promisses to us - the place in heaven that He is preparing. This is the message the the Book of Mormon teaches , and the doctrine that every human soul needs. Christ is theway and the life, and we have the simple commandment to follow Him and keep His commandments.
He has done everything because of LOVE. in turn, we do all that we do for Him and for others, trying to develop and excercise that Godly love. I have found that living (and sharing) the gospel every day is key. I am so grateful to be here as a missionary to share this message of love and of Jesus Christ. I am eternally grateful for the oportunity i have, for 18 months to be here, and to learn these truths. I love my Savior, and I love His gospel, and His perfect plan.
and i love you, and cant wait to talk to you on christmas day!