Sunday, May 6, 2018

"Joy to the World!!" (December 18, 2017)

This has been a crazy, stressful, wonderful week full of church parties, planning for church parties, musical numbers, freezing temperatures, and food poisioning. I don't have a lot of time to write about each, but it has been great.

A few funnies from the week:

  • A dinner this week we had was chicken legs, mashed potatoes, corn, and guacomole. Perks of doing Spanish work and being in the United States. 
  • One of the primary boys who was dressed as a wise man for our church event walking around the church adamantly declaring that he had been forced to wear a dress and didn't think it was funny, then asking us "What am I even supposed to be, a magician?" 
  • We had a miracle when I lost our phone and couldn't find it anywhere, but when we went to the last place we had stopped by, there it was, sitting partially buried on the top of a snowbank :)
  • Hidden talents discovered that President Barney plays the flute! He and another sister did a musical number for a fireside last night and I got to accompany them and it was the best musical number ever. 
  • I got food poisoning from a ward potluck this weekend. 
  • You know you live in Minnesota when you get really excited and think it's warm when it's 25 degrees

The best and most stressful part about this week was "Venid a Belen" (Come to Bethlehem) the event our ward did for Christmas. The different rooms of the church were decorated differently and they were acting out different parts of the events leading up to the saviors birth, like the innkeeper saying there is no room in the inn, and the angel appearing to the shepherds watching over their flocks to announce the tidings of the Saviors birth. And it all ended in the primary room, with Jesus laying in the manger, and all the primary kids dressed up as Mary and Joseph, and the wise men, and the shepherds, and sheep, and they were singing "Away in a Manger" and it was the most precious thing I have ever seen. It was stressful because we have been preparing for this event for a while, and up to 30 seconds before it started we still had no idea what was going on, and we never got to practice doing the tours taking people from room to room, and we were basically making everything up. But it really did all turn out so beautifully.  And so many people showed up! Members, and investigators, and lots of members brought their friends. Even some members from the St. Paul ward came and it was so fun to get to see them and catch up. It's so amazing that when you're trying to share the gospel and trying to help others to learn of Christ, it's ok if it's not perfect, because the spirit truly makes up the difference. 

I can't belive it is already Christmas time again. Being on my mission through this approaching Christmas season has helped me to come to experience what the Christmas spirit should truly be about. I have always known that Christ should be the center of Christmas, but I think this is the first Christmas where I have truly experienced it. As President Nelson shared, "My dear brothers and sisters, the joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances of our lives and everything to do with the focus of our lives.When the focus of our lives is on God’s plan of salvation and Jesus Christ and His gospel, we can feel joy regardless of what is happening—or not happening—in our lives. Joy comes from and because of Him. He is the source of all joy. We feel it at Christmastime when we sing, “Joy to the world, the Lord is come.” And we can feel it all year round. For Latter-day Saints, Jesus Christ is joy!" He truly is the reason for the season and the reason we can feel joy at Christmastime, and all year long. I hope you all can do something this week to invite Christ into your Christmas celebrations, and remember him a little bit more than you usually would.
Thank you all for the love and warm wishes! May you all have a very merry Christmas.
Hermana Meredith

Venid a Belen, President Barney's sweet flute skills, and District Meeting (not necessarily in that order).

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