I'm really glad that you got to talk to Hilary. Isn't she incredible? What a woman. You should meet Rob as well! But you will :) Christmas is just around the corner, and you'll get to meet two new members of our family. It seriously is a familial feeling when we are around them and their children. It is the most at home I have ever felt on my mission. You will love them!
I got my box alright. I'll hide the one stocking for my comp until the new one gets here. I want to get the wrapped gifts out so that I can put them under our little tree that we'll hopefully be getting sometime today :). I'm seriously going to go all out for Christmas this year. I felt like last year I really didn't do much that was Christmas-y, and because of that I didn't get as much out of it. But not this year! This year I am going to do the whole 9 yards! I'm so pumped that the dream bars are on their way...... I have been waiting for them and I can't wait to chow down! The best thing would probably be to drop them off at the mission office. If I gave you our cell phone number, I think it would be too much temptation for you ;D
That's so funny that you had to wrestle a few people in the old ward for my missionary plaque! That's nuts! Didn't think anyone over there missed me that bad ;D I'm glad that they're going to have me speak when I get home. I owe so much to 5th ward. I love them all so much. 25 DAYS TILL SKYPE! I'm waiting with baited breath. Seriously! I can't wait for it. And President Miles has indeed put out the definitive 30-45 minute limit.... But it's alright! It will just have to be more concise. So if you have things that you're dying to say/ask/proclaim, make sure you write them down so you don't forget! Or you could just wing it, whatever works;) That's good that you're decorating the house! I told the McLachlan's that you might not do as much because I wasn't home - like last year. But I'm glad you're getting into it. I'm pumped that you're watching all of the Christmas classics! Elder Roberts and I have been listening to "Silent Night" and "Angels We Have Heard On High" by Josh Groban and it makes me think of the family:) In a good way. I don't actually get very trunky at all. I'm elated to be on my mission, but I'll be thrilled to go home at the same time, if that makes sense.
Alright now for my update! I am going to center it around the video "A Savior Is Born" that is now featured on mormon.org/christmas, so here it goes:
I have been wracking my brain about what I can do this Christmas season to make it super special. It is, after all, my final Christmas on my mission. While I have been pondering this, I've been thinking about how important it is to me to know Jesus Christ. So this Christmas Season, my goal will be this: By the end of Christmas, I will know Jesus Christ personally. I will know Him better than ever before. The problem is that I have no idea HOW to do that. I mean, of course, there are the classic primary answers like reading scriptures and prayer, and while those things will most definitely be a part of what I do, I want to do something very specific. So if you have any ideas, send them my way!
Now about the video. I watched the new video and I thought back on how amazing it was that they chose Children to speak about the birth of the Savior. I couldn't think of anything more appropriate. I also really love how they define Immanuel. "God With Us". I love that definition. We encounter loads of people on our missions that have no relationship with Christ. They have no concept of Him, that He is around us, that He watches over us, that He cares for us. That He Loves us. God With Us is a good place to begin in understanding Christ's Character. He is always with us. It doesn't matter who we are, where we have come from, what we have done, what we have seen, heard, or felt. He is there, and He will take us where we are and begin helping us. He can heal our wounds. He can give us peace. He can show us love. President Miles always tells us that he has a testimony of Jesus Christ. He told us once that he had perfect confidence that if He wanted to, Christ could walk right through the door of the room we are in. I think sometimes I forget just how real He is in my life.
My Savior lives. I know it. I feel Him here even as I type this email. He is my all, and I hope that this Christmas season we all can bring Him back to the center of our lives.
I love you all! Merry CHRISTmas. (Not "happy holidays", "merry xmas", or any of that rot. ;D)