Monday, December 22, 2014

Dear Friends and Family,

Sorry I haven't been sending out very many of these. It's been pretty hard to find the time to email lately. Things have been real real here. Christmas is just about here and even though this crazy upside down place I'm in doesn't have any snow I'm still extremely happy to be spending another Christmas in the Great California Long Beach Mission. So far things are going great. We've had a few great experiences this week. One was when we were with a member visiting some people. Nobody was there, but as we were standing there the daughter in law rolled up and we starting talking to her and, long story short, she let us in and we taught her! It was awesome! Finding new investigators every week is possible! It's one of my favorite phases in missionary work for sure.

The hustle and bustle is continuing to pick up and I'm sure by the night before Christmas there will be many many creatures stirring around trying to get the last minute shopping done. From the stores with 50% off Christmas decorations to the BOGO sales many many people will be so focused on getting things done before Christmas that they might forget why they're really celebrating. Let's not forget why this all came to be. 

This all came to be because 2000 years ago a baby was born. Lots of babies were born before that and lots of babies have been born since and lots of babies will yet be born, but this one was different. This baby was not just another bundle of joy given to faithful parents. No, this baby was someone else. This baby had a divine destiny that reached far beyond any other baby. This baby was born of an earthly mother but a heavenly father. This baby was a promised gift, a foretold bringer of peace and goodwill. Rather than his birth being announced by just his parents, it was announced by angels. This baby was Jesus the Christ. This baby was the fulfillment of every prophet from Adam down. The birth of Jesus, like any other gift, is not something we should take for granted. "For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift? Behold, he rejoices not in that which is given unto him, neither rejoices in him who is the giver of the gift." (D&C 88:33 italics added) Let us receive the gift of Jesus' birth and rejoice in Him and He who is the giver of the gift, our Father in Heaven.

I love you guys and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas. I hope you all have a fun and safe time. Have fun in the snow for me! (for those of you who are fortunate enough to have it)

Keep it real merry.

Elder Sanderson