^ Wouldn't a title like that make for a fine children's book?
I will begin my epistle with a tragic yet glorious story from my week.
So for the past two months, I've had this tooth ache. It comes and goes, but it always seemed to come at inconvenient times. Like when I'm trying to sleep. I've been super quiet about it because I don't like to complain. And I don't like wasting mission time with personal matters, and I don't like asking for favors or money or anything. It makes me feel bad. But this week, I hadn't slept for days it hurt so bad, and one morning one of our roommates found me on the kitchen floor hiding behind a cupboard door and clenching my face with my hands. So she practically called the mission nurse for me and requested that I go to the dentist. The mission nurse set up an appointment for me in a city called Edmond. I expected for the dentist to tell me how much it would cost and I would say, "It's fine, I'll just live with it." But instead, they put me under laughing gas, gave me a root canal, and then afterwards told me, "we just like to take care of the sister missionaries." My heart was full of so much gratitude. They answered so many of my prayers.
Stillwater has a parade for everything. Literally everything. So this week we went to the Christmas Parade and handed out He is the Gift pass along cards to everybody who came to give us fliers and stickers. It was a solid exchange, I'd say. My companion even gave one to Santa and said, "this is a card that will help you discover the true meaning of Christmas" Hahah. So bold. I love her a lot.
We set a baptismal date with a fella named Larry for January 12th! And he got so excited about it that he put it on Facebook! Missionaries have been trying to teach Larry for quite some time, but his Dad just recently died, and he seemed as though he had been humbled quite a bit. He even came to church for the first time yesterday and he loved it. He's excited to come back next week! We are SO STINKIN' Excited!!!
Also, LeRoy is supposed to be getting baptized this Saturday!!! Which will be amazing. We have gone through all the baptismal interview questions with him and he seems thoroughly prepared. We just have to keep following up and making sure he's not still dipping.
We ran on not much sleep this week as we drove to the city for a meeting, to that dentist appointment in Edmond, to Woodward for an exchange, and to an outlying city called Perry, all within a matter of 3 days. Which meant waking up at five almost every morning. But it was worth it. We've had an amazing week.
We met several new people because of this He is the Gift Initiative. If you haven't shared it on Facebook yet, do it! Think of all the sad people who don't know how much our Father in Heaven loves them! And are spending their Christmas focused on being stressed out instead of being relaxed and joyful.
CHRISTMAS DEVOTIONAL <--- You should watch this, if you didn't get a chance to last night. It was really good. My companion and I received a lot of revelation from it. It goes hand in hand with something I've been studying lately.
"But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits,without partiality; and without hypocrisy." (James 3:17)
I've been trying to envelop some of these qualities in my own life and be less abrasive and spastic. It's hard for me.
I know Buddy the Elf says that the best way to spread Christmas Cheer is singing loud for all to hear, but I'd have to disagree with that. The best way to spread Christmas cheer is by developing charity for others and then doing something about it. That pure love of Christ will enable us to be creative and sparing in order to bring about much good. In the devotional, Elder Christofferson, in the devotional, mentioned that if we make becoming more Christlike a part of our daily routine, we can have the Christmas spirit, the Spirit of giving, year round. Because it becomes a part of us, not merely an annual occasion to serve. Those who sacrifice in the service of others are doing a wonderful thing. Sister Oscarson said that reflecting on how we can be more Christlike will help us be instruments in bringing about the happiness of others.
I wish I could be more eloquent, but I'm going to have to empathize with the many great men who stated that they were "not mighty in speaking", because I'm not. But I love my Savior so much. I love our Heavenly Father so much. I feel the love they have for me and for every single one of us, if we want to accept it. I still reflect on the glory that our father in Heaven has restored the teachings of Jesus Christ to the earth so that we may partake of them and be instructed...literally from on high. I love all of you, as well, and want to thank you so much for the wonderful influence, support, and happiness you've been in my life. My heart feels like it's going to explode.
I love you.