New Year’s Day often arrives with the notion of resolutions, and a conviction to continue with them to the end. One of the things I have done for as long as I have had a journal has been to spend some time at the end of each year to write down the blessings I have received for the year, the progression I have seen in myself, and whether or not the resolutions that I had made at the end of the last year ever came into fruition. In fact, this little exercise has helped me remember the importance of realising my very own potential, and the need to be constantly mindful that everyday is a gift, and that every day is a chance to change for the better. Someone once said, “we have a decision everyday to be better, to remain the same, or to be worse… what will yours be?” In fact, resolutions should be made everyday, for every day as another opportunity to become who you want to be. ” I think in terms of day’s resolutions, not the year’s” – Henry Moore
Looking back on the past year on a mission, I have been so fortunate to have had a flood of experiences in the space of a short year. It might sound ridiculous saying that the year went by quickly, but in all honesty, it has passed by swiftly as I have sought, at every occasion, to make the best use of my days to improve myself through serving others. I have had some of the greatest joys during this past year – finding prepared people who have searched long and hard to find added meaning to their lives, and who found greater happiness through the gospel; knowing that I have been an effective instrument in the Lord’s hand each day simply by leaving someone with a smile; seeing other missionaries grow and become more confident, more sure and stronger in their testimonies; having my own testimony strengthened through the many spiritual experiences I have had. I told my companion this week how grateful I am to have come on a mission, and how sad I would have been if I went back to heaven one day, having not served a mission, and looked back realizing how many great experiences I would have missed out on. This year as a missionary has been life-changing, and I know that I will continue to benefit from my mission for the rest of my life.
Christmas here in Versailles was nothing short of the happiness and fun I could have wished for. We went to an old folk’s home to sing some christmas songs to lighten their spirits and bring some christmas spirit, and passed by a few members’ home to sing and share a small Christmas message with them as well. I got to spend my Christmas eve with other missionaries eating at another couple missionary’s home. There was great fun, laughter and tons of food. (Probably going to have to go easy on the chocolates these coming weeks) On Christmas day, Elder Christiansen and I spent our afternoon with a new couple missionary, the Bussons, and we had a simple yet wonderful lunch. We spent our evening at the Pettitt family’s home, where we played some games, and ate to our heart’s content. The highlight was definitely skyping my family. It is amazing what does not change even after being away from home for 17 months – we still laughed at the same jokes, and enjoyed each other’s company just as though we had never left one another. I guess that this is a small glimpse into eternal life, while people may pass on, we will refind ourselves with them, catching up on old experiences, and enjoying one another’s company as though we had never left one another’s side. My family, to me, was the miracle of the week – just seeing them happy filled me with joy.
What brought you joy this Christmas?
I know that families are forever, and that it is through Jesus Christ that it is made possible.
15- Christmas Carolling with the folks!
19- The Bussons