Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas Ramblings (December 21, 2015)

Hello from the Luke Sister in Nagamachi! Life's a little chilly but rollin' as grand as usual. (Actually, it's been freakishly warm this year, we've only seen snow in our area once so far and that was a barely-qualifies-as-snow flurry. Fingers crossed!)

Last week was our District P-Day, so I apologize for not writing...

sorry to disappoint, but we moved Tanaka Ayuko S's baptismal date, so no baptism there. BUT, she will be baptized on January 24, her wedding anniversary, and her husband will be performing the baptism and blessing their baby boy on that day as well, so it seems like a fair trade;) We did complete all the lessons this week, got the interview scheduled, and everything is moving along really well.

Recently, I've been studying a lot about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I know, I'm a missionary, so I've been studying about Him for about, eh, a lifetime, but this week in particular I've been studying 3 Nephi, the Gospel of Luke, and Jesus The Christ, and the more I learn of Him, the more I love and treasure this Gift of eternity. This Christmas Season is such a precious time to reflect on our lives and to see the change and blessings that come because there was a baby born so long ago.

One of my favorite paintings of the birth of Christ is the one where Mary is dressed in red, and everyone else is looking at the Christ child, but Mary's gaze is directed toward the viewer. There's a something sad about the look in her eyes, as if she is asking, do you know what this innocent child will suffer, what my firstborn son will sacrifice--for you? There are few things more painful than seeing one you love suffer, but Mary and indeed God the Father did just that as Christ undertook the act that would redeem the world from all of our pain, all of our guilt, all of our sadness. I join with the shepherds of old in saying, let us now go (Luke 2:15) as we in gratitude become the people we were designed to be.

Who were you designed to be? Take a step in the right direction each and every day, because leaving behind the old you is a priceless gift afforded us by the child born in Bethlehem. It's a gift of hope, of love, of warmth, and I am forever changed and forever grateful because of it.

Give your families some extra love this season! I'm far from mine, but I know they are the best family God could've sent me to love:)

Pictures: District Preparation Day was a lil' crazy...

Exchange with the perfect Sister Q, this woman is my hero!

And, one time a less active member gave us--you guessed it--250 kiwis. (I know, right???)

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