Sunday, January 1, 2017

noël c`est l`amour

December 12th
Hi everyone!!
Only 13 more days to Christmas, and I`m so sad it`s coming so soon! Christmas time is such a beautiful time of year, when everyone`s hearts are a little softer as the Christmas spirit works its magic and we don`t want it to end! We have found so many people this week who are prepared to hear more about the Savior, and it`s been perfect as we have shared the church`s video (on about how we can be a light to others, and the light is contagious!
This week has been so busy, we`ve gone on three exchanges with the other Sister missionaries in the area and it`s been so fun to learn from them, watch them teach, and then talk together about how we can both improve. These Sisters have taught me so much! From one Sister I was reminded of the importance of saying (and meaning) «we love you» to the people we teach and the members we visit. You can never say it enough. Over the past few months, I`ve found a new favorite phrase in French, it`s «est-ce que vous savez combien je vous aime?» which translates to, «do you know how much I love you?». And people love it! Each time we tell them, or we remind them, they are always touched by our expressions of love. And we always do mean it, because as missionaries, I swear, we have this special, enlarged capacity to love others, in ways I have never felt before. You could meet someone for the first time, yet instantly feel that Christ-like love for them, and I`m convinced it`s because Heavenly Father wants us to realize how important all of His children are to Him, how much He loves them. So He lets us, as missionaries, feel just a little tiny particle of how much He loves His children. It`s a love that can`t be our own. And that`s the spirit we should be focusing more on this Christmas.
And we were recipiants of that loving Christmas spirit this week, as another Sister and I literally walked (unknowingly) into an apartment building`s Christmas party. We were on the hunt for someone who lived in the building that other missionaries had recently contacted, and our search was ended as we found the whole building in their basement/party room. It was hilarious as we walked in, and everyone turned to look at us, and as we stumbled around talking about how we were looking for Jacqueline. Well, then we found her, and she said she was not interested at all in talking with us about our message of Christ (again while everyone was still staring at the few strangers who just walked into their Christmas party) and as we were about to excuse ourselves, the host of the party comes up to us and screams, «You`re just in time for the cake! Stay and party with us as we celebrate this Christmas season!!» The other Sister missionary and I had a hard time not freaking out as we were led to a table where a few other women were already sitting, they all welcomed us with open arms as they started to ask who were were. Then we had cake together and they sang, and it was honestly one of my favorite Christmas parties ever. By they end, we found a few women who were interested in our message, and we talked to Jacqueline again (who`s demeanor had totally changed through the course of the night) and she said that we could come back another time after she got back from her Christmas trip to Haiti. She was so cute. Oh it was wonderful to see all these people just open up to us, love us so freely, receive us and give us cake, and goodies. That was definitely a miracle.
And to close I wanted to share a scripture I found yesterday morning as I was studying for the people we would see that day, and I found a  perfect scripture that simply and beautifully tells us of God and the mission of our Savior Jesus Christ.
It`s found in Doctrine and Covenants section 20: 17-26, where after speaking of the Holy Scriptures, the Prophet Joseph Smith recorded:

17 By these things [the scirptures] we know that there is a God in heaven, who is infinite and eternal, from everlasting to everlasting the same unchangeable God, the framer of heaven and earth, and all things which are in them;
 18 And that he created man, male and female, after his own image and in his own likeness, created he them;
 19 And gave unto them commandments that they should love and serve him, the only living and true God, and that he should be the only being whom they should worship.
 20 But by the transgression of these holy laws man became sensual and devilish, and became fallen man.
 21 Wherefore, the Almighty God gave his Only Begotten Son, as it is written in those scriptures which have been given of him.
 22 He suffered temptations but gave no heed unto them.
 23 He was crucified, died, and rose again the third day;
 24 And ascended into heaven, to sit down on the right hand of the Father, to reign with almighty power according to the will of the Father;
 25 That as many as would believe and be baptized in his holy name, and endure in faith to the end, should be saved...

How perfect are those scriptures? Tears came to eyes as I read and understood the Plan of Happiness our Father in Heaven has given us, and how essential Jesus Christ is to that plan. It is through Him we are saved, and it is He who we should remember at this special, special time of year.

Have a great week, but most importantly, remember the Savior.

Sister Thomas

We forgot our cameras this week so no pictures! :( sorry! Next week for sure.

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