Thursday, December 26, 2013

There is one thing which is of more importance than they all...(Alma 7:7)

Thank you for everything that was sent my way! I felt so loved!
Merry Christmas everyone! This is unlike any Christmas I have ever experienced, and it is crazy to think that next Christmas I will already be home with my family.  No matter where we celebrate Christmas, it is truly my earnest prayer that we each put Christ at the center of this celebration.  I testify to you that all the mystery and excitement of Santa, all the cookies, candy canes and even the carrots for the reindeer can never replace the bounty of gifts, love and grace that come from our Savior Jesus Christ. Each Christmas may we write Him our letters with our deepest desires, and leave for Him instead of cookies, our very will, to do what it is He would have us do.  I invite you to do your New Years Resolutions early, to think of your gifts to Christ this year.  He gave His life, the least we can do is use ours to magnify His.

Right after calling home.  I love my family.  I know they are one of God's greatest blessings to me!

I met so many people this week that have completely changed my life and my perspective on Christmas. We met a less active member named Jennifer, from Australia, who came to Utah for the sole purpose of wanting to see temple square and feel the spirit here.  She said everything we shared with her was directly from God and exactly what she needed to hear.  We met another less active member named Joseph, from Ogden, who felt prompted to come to Temple Square.  He came into the tabernacle and after I completely spoke by the promptings of the spirit, he said he has decided to serve a mission.  We gave out two Books of Mormon in one hour to two different men on Christmas eve, one of whom was hurting after being deployed for 8 years and having lost his wife while he was gone.  All of this, brought to me a greater understanding, and the truthfulness, of something one 10-year-old girl said to me this last week.

Sister Phagwah (Guyana) and I getting creative to make a bigger Christmas tree...see the next picture!

We can always make the best out of the things we have :)
Her name is Katie and she is from Bountiful, UT.  She is so excited to serve a mission one day, so much so that she is counting down.  I asked her if she knew what a missionary's whole purpose is every day, what it is that we do all day long, with the intent to tell her that our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ, that she can be a missionary today.  however, she caught me off guard with her response.

"As missionaries you celebrate Christmas every day!" Katie said enthusiastically.
I gave her a huge smile, laughed and then thought about the deeper meaning to it.  She may have meant we celebrate Christmas every day, in that every day is a wonderful and happy day, but I could see in the eyes of this 10-year-old girl that she had such a higher understanding than that. 

We had so much snow they had to shut down the square! We were sad to be sent home, but excited to have the day to study and read :)
We both knew, her family knew, that with her statement she knew that as missionaries we celebrate the true meaning of Christmas every day. Each day we are inviting others to come unto Christ.  Each day we are inviting ourselves and others to change their view of themselves, God and the world around them.  Each day we are reading from The Book of Mormon and The Bible, sharing scriptures with people that give answers to their most troubling questions.  Isn't this what it means to celebrate Christmas every day?
Think about how happy you are today.  Think about how much we each long for Christmas.  How many times have you heard people say, "People are just nicer at Christmastime," or "I feel so much more like giving at Christmastime."  It is not a mystery why.  There is so equation to solve, there is no puzzle to solve, it is because each of us, even if it is in the slightest way, is focusing on Christ a little more and on ourselves a little less. If you want to celebrate Christmas every day, you can! No one is stopping you, especially not me :)
Zone Activity! Look at my Mom, Sister Lin, as such a cute elf.  We all had so much fun!

There is so much at this season that weighs on our attention.  There are gifts to purchase, trees to decorate, cookies to make, dinners to prepare, cards to send, parties to attend, but there is one of more importance than they all.

"For behold, I say unto you there be many things to come; and behold, there is one thing which is of more importance than they all—for behold, the time is not far distant that the Redeemer liveth and cometh among his people." (Alma 7:7)
How grateful I am to know that Christ lives.  This is why we still celebrate His birth! How grateful I am that I do not need to walk across a desert as so many shepherds did, so many humble seekers, and those wise men of old to find the Christ child.  What I have learned on my mission and throughout my life, is that Jesus Christ, our personal Savior and Redeemer as well as the Savior of the world, is not as far away as many would like us to think.  He is in your scriptures, He is in your prayers, He is in each act of love and service we devote to others.  Let us not get lost in the convenience of finding Christ, and when we find Him, let us each be sure to treasure Him and to celebrate His birth not just once, but all year round.
Merry Christmas everyone :)
Love always,
Sister Briggs
SHOUTOUTS:Kelli & Taylor Gilbert (you two are the cutest! I miss you both and am so happy to hear from you!), Mom & Dad, Bryan & Case, Robert Donakey, Brother & Sister Donakey, Mary, Becca, Sara, Barry, Grandpa Chuck and Lolly, Grandma Jeanie & Grandfather, Papa Jim & Grandmother, Todd Bruner, Taylor Hansen and family, The Macrums and Woods, all the beautiful Wilcox's, Caroline Slater and Sister Dimatera!
And to every single one of you who read this...thank you.  You have truly put a smile on my face each and every day of my mission to have your love, letters and support :)

We got our roommates matching pajamas for Christmas!

Our whole district had breakfast together this morning :)  We have all made a pact to celebrate Christmas together with our families in the future

No comments:

Post a Comment