Feliz (casi) Navidad!
I love this time of year. IT ROCKS! Also, I love Cajamarca Peru and the fact that I’m not being transferred for at least six weeks! All this week we’ve been singing Christmas songs, helping people decorate their trees, and eating a LOT of paneton (I’m pretty sure it’s the boxed fruit cake that people in the states just keep re-gifting). But I actually LOVE it now. Who knew?
So next week I won’t be writing home Monday the 22nd. Instead, our P-day will be the 25th and I’ll be CALLING HOME! Craziness. So basically this week will be my Christmasy letter. President Williams came this week to celebrate with us here in Cajamarca. It was a blast! Skits, songs, traditions, videos, and of course the spiritual boost we all needed.
This week I’ve been studying about the Christmas story. Not the one about Ralphie and the BB gun, but about how our Savior came into this world! Every time I read the story in Luke 1 and 2, I am more and more impressed with the faith and humility of Mary. I can ALMOST understand why half the people in this country worship her! JUST KIDDING. That was a joke. *For real though, we have found people who would not accept the pass-along cards of the Savior because they only worship the virgin.* its fine, we still love them. ANYWAYS… my favorite verses this time reading in Luke were verses 37 & 38. This is when the angel appears to Mary to tell her of her important calling! After dropping the bomb, the angel assures sweet Mary that NOTHING shall be impossible with God. Her immediate response that we read in verse 38 is, “Behold, the handmaid of the Lord, be it unto me according to thy word.”
To be honest, I don’t know if that would have been my first response! I can’t even imagine her thoughts at this moment. She had just learned that she, as a virgin, was pregnant, her cousin Elizabeth, as an old lady, was pregnant, and to add to that, her baby would grow to become the Savior of the world. Oh yeah, and all that information was from an angel. Nevertheless, Mary’s first response was, “Be it unto me according to thy word.” I love her example of love, faith, and humility. Especially at this special Christmas time! The only thing we really have to give to our Savior as a gift in this time of year is our will. It’s the only thing we have that wasn’t first a gift from our Savior! So naturally, I’ve been thinking a lot about how specifically I’m gonna give my will to Jesus this Christmas. In Luke 22:42, Christ once again sets the perfect example for each of us! He gave up His will to His Father. “Not my will, but thine be done.”
I love being a missionary. Every day I have the opportunity to literally proclaim these good tidings of great joy. Every day, to ALL MEN! I love it. I’m eternally grateful and humbled by the gift each of us receives this Christmas… the son of God. #HeisTheGift. There is no gift greater! There is no gift more important. There is no gift given with more love! I testify of the love Jesus has for each one of us. I feel it every day… His love for me as well as for all the people here in Peru! As His representative, He has blessed me with just a small, miniscule part of that love for all men. I invite all of you to discover this gift, accept this gift, and share it. Love you all, and have a very Merry Christmas!!!