Can you believe we get to SKYPE?! I want to Skype. How is this: We will skype you at 4:30 our time and that is 3:30 your time I think. Does that sound good? We have church in the morning and then we are going caroling with our district and then we will call you guys! I am so excited to see you and talk to you, you have no idea!!!! We will figure it out I think all I need to skype you is your e-mail address or your phone number or something. If we get lost, I will just call you guys on a cell phone or the home phone. But if you could like... log in to your skype I will try and do it that way. Cause I really want to see you all! Ah! It doesn't even seem real. I am so excited. Make sure Wilsy is in attendance cause I want to see him. We'll probably be skyping from the crosby's house. Oh my gosh I love the crosby's.
It doesn't really seem like Christmas to me. I'm not doing anything normal that I usually do or seeing who I usually see. We listen to Christmas music and talk a LOT about Jesus Christ but.. there's no snow. It's okay though. This is my last Christmas as a missionary. Dad I liked how you said in your e-mail, even though I will not be with family, this is the only Christmas that the only family I have around will be my Savior. I think He is blessing me a lot to feel okay not being home. Cause I'm okay. We'll see what I have to say AFTER I talk to you guys, right??
This last week we had Christmas conference. It was really good! It was so fun to see all of the missionaries. The theme this year was "Joy in our Purpose" because those are two things that President really stresses. Is , he says, "Just, find joy in your labors. Will you do that?" and then he says "Be missionaries of purpose!" I love him! And I loved that theme because it really seriously was perfect for what President is doing and what we are a mission are doing. President also says "Terrrific!" all the time haha it's so funny. James and Dad did your mission presidents have any isms? Oh, man I love President and Sister Crawford. We watched the movie 17 miracles. It was pretty good. The acting could have been better. And there was this love montage in the middle with those two pioneers and they were holding a red blanket and that was weird haha I laughed so hard. I'm sure just a missionary now it's wonderful. Was there really a midget in the Martin/Willie company? Cause that seemed like a made up thing. But the movie was just incredible. The faith that is required to work miracles is so apparent. Because, for REAL, if we have enough faith anything can happen. Literally anything.
We had an interesting week, but a good week. The tender mercies of the Lord are all over my life. And this missionary work stuff is hard for me, but it's getting to be normal that it's hard. I wonder how many people are tired of me saying it's hard haha. I think it's some kind of karma for not liking it when people would tell me missions are hard. I am learning so much, OH so much. This week, something that I learned is that even if I stopped progressing right here and now (which I won't) I would be good enough for the Lord. For my Heavenly Father. Even if I never improve one little bit from this moment onward until I die. I am enough to the Lord. We are all enough for him, every person that I meet is enough to Him. Sister Cochran always said "He could not be more pleased with us." And I used to really seriously think, "Well, that would be true if I were doing everything right." But now, after this week, I have realized that even when we don't do everything right... or sometimes it's we don't do ANYthing right... we are still enough for and worthwhile to and loved by the Savior. And by our Heavenly Father. I have had a strong testimony of my relationship with the Savior for a long time, but I always wanted to have a relationship like that with Heavenly Father. I wanted to understand Him and what He was doing in my life more. And I am so blessed to have learned some of that. I have learned that He truly loves us. He could not be more pleased with what I am doing. And if all of us are doing good works and following his commandments, He could not be more pleased at that. We all know what we need to do. He loves us even when we don't do it. He just loves us. The message of this Christmas season is that Our Father just loves us. So much that He was willing to send a perfect Son to earth and watch His Son perform the Atonement for us and not intervene. Sometimes, I think, that is the most striking example of our Heavenly Father's love for us: when He doesn't intervene. When He allows us to struggle because He sees what it's going to do for us. It's not that He doesn't care that we're in pain, it's that He loves us too much to take it away.
Doyle (who I call "Doiley"... but not to his face) is getting baptized this Saturday morning at 10:00 am. He is not smoking, he is coming to church, he is wonderful. WONDERFUL!! I do not know what more of a gift I could receive this year than that. The biggest blessing I have had in the last 2 weeks is the opportunity to work with Doyle. He is doing so good. And he is wonderful. James, on the other hand, has moved to Lufkin apparently and will not be back. He won't return phone calls or texts and I just am I cannot tell you how sad. It's almost like a hollowness. Just pray for him. It's right before Christmas, he deserves to be happy.
Um.. where is Jerry Dearden going on his mission??? I don't think I even knew he had his call!! Well.. maybe Mom you told me. But I don't remember. Where is going? When does he leave?
Mom, you are just the best. I am loving the Christmas countdown and advent calendar. I got your package too and I'm taking the vitamins. I'm doing a lot better. I still think it would be wonderful if someone could wave a magic wand and I'd feel good all the time, but I think that's unrealistic. I just need to keep trucking even if I don't feel good. How are you doing? Are you excited for Christmas? I am so excited! To talk to yall will be perfect!!
Dad, thanks for your e-mail! Your work sounds pretty cool! I can't wait to come home and hear more about it and see how it actually works. It seems exciting! Like you have to be persuasive and creative. Things like that, that make you be creative, are the best. How did our stake natviity thing go? I hope it was great. What about the 2 baptisms? Did you get to go? How does this all even work in Utah?
James, I think I thanked you last week for your letter, but thanks again. It's pretty bomb. I read all the letters from you mom and dad (and if jony ever sent one I think I'd read that too) multiple times. They are such strengths to me. How did finals go? And your ward christmas party? Are you excited for Christmas? It's probably going to be so weird for me to be a missionary and you be home, huh? And next year Jonny!
Jonny how are YOU? I'm going to keep asking you until you write me. Just do it. Nike, baby. Dad says youre doing really good in basketball. And I know you're out of school so you can write to me. Mmkay pumpkin?
Wilsy, how are you? You are so cute.
Well, I love yall so much! If I could wish you anything for Christmas it would be, just like the song says, Let your hearts be light. Let your hearts be happy and light and full of the joy that we have as a result of who our Savior is to us. And joy just because of every good thing that we have. CANNOT believe we get to talk in 6 days! I'm so excited. So the plan is 4:30 here... maybe we should do 5... we'll go with 4:45 here? so 345 there. Perfecto. I will call the home phone or I will ring yall on the skype. LOVE YOU SO MUCH. HAVE A GOOD WEEK!
Here is my caroling to you :]
I'm dreaming tonight of a place I love even more than I usually do, And although I know it's a long road back I promise you
I'll be home for Christmas You can plan on me, Please have snow and mistletoe and presents on the tree Christmas eve will find you where the love light gleams I'll be home for Christmas if only in my dreams
Have yourself a merry little christmas, let your heart be light, next year all our troubles will be out of sight. Have yourself a merry little christmas make the yuletide gay, next year all our troubles will be miles away, here we are as in olden days happy golden days of yore faithful friends who are dear to us gather near to us once more. Through the years we all will be togheter if the fates allow hang a shining star upon the highest bow and have yourself a merry little christmas now!