Monday, December 23, 2013

Week 21 / Happy Christmas

Happy Christmas this week!
Three Beautiful Ladies

I am more than excited to talk to my amazing family! How I love you all and am excited to hear and hopefully see your faces! I can't believe the time. It's been flying and the more I am here the more I get teary eyed. No joke. I am such a weeper. Jesus Christ lives. He lives and He is my Savior, my Redeemer, my brother, my best friend. I am so grateful for His birth. For His perfect example. For giving us hope and our most fullest joy.

Being here in this City- is a treat during this season. While we are getting ready some presents and chocolates, we are also preparing meals and sharing the message of our loving Savior. That is the best gift. I walk around and have this tag on that has His name. Jesus Christs Church is on the earth today! I can't help but reflect on the passages in the Bible of His birth and His life. The more I come to know of Him, the more my life feels happier. More full. I have to admit there have been times in my life I have felt just empty. I guess we all have our downs, but the more I have drawn nearer to Heavenly Father and the Savior the more I realize their hand in my life. Or rather their arms around me. How much they love us. And how much I love them. It is a beautiful time. Our Savior was born. Gets to me! You know!! Why Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ do everything is because of love and I believe for this Christmas we must love back. Love His Children. For Christmas Eve Sestra P and I thought it would be nice to cook for some people who will not have anyone this Christmas holiday. There is this 22 year old, out on his own who has no one... It's the least we can do. I just wish we could do more. You see a lot of that here and how much we wish we could just help everyone. I love this city. I love these people. I love that I get to be a Representative of Jesus Christ and warm the people's hearts up from this cold cold cold weather. I love. I love. I love.

For the White Christmas it was only Sestra P and I who had someone on date for baptism. So the Ljub event was no more and we were planning to have it here. So this last week we were trying to get the baptismal font prepared, but during the week the font was just having troubles. It wasn't going to work out. The member fixing the pool suggested that we could just go to Ljub for the baptism since they actually have a real font and that is where it was originally going to be. Sestra P and I thought that would be really good since the water won't be cold and our investigator won't have to jump in the pool by a ladder. She is the best and would have gladly done it! But she was nervous but so excited. She came walking into the church like a movie star. We read from the Book of Mormon and said a prayer. Then we were off to Ljubana. I just kept praying that she would have peace of mind and know how great this was all going to be. She put on her white clothes and looked beautiful. She sang her  musical number solo and Sestra P and Staresina H spoke. I said the prayer and I was wrapped in the thought that this is the best ''white christmas'' I ever had. When it was time for her to get in the font we led her to the door. I couldn't help but hug her and tell her how much we loved her. She was so ready. She was worried about bending in the pool because she didn't work out that day. :) We reassured her that she would be okay. When the prayer was said and she got put in the water - sparks were flying. She came from out of the water smiling so big. She was so bright. I remember telling her before the baptism started that she was going to be whole. She was remembering herself and who she had been and she was sad about that. The Spirit led me to open my scriptures and read Enos 1:5-8.
It reads..."And there came a voice unto me, saying: Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed. And I, Enos, knew that God could not lie; wherefore, my guilt was swept away. And I said: Lord, how is it done? And he said unto me: Because of thy faith in Christ, whom thou hast never before heard nor seen. And many years pass away before he shall manifest himself in the flesh; wherefore, go to, thy faith hath made thee whole." She was teary eyed but hopeful. I told her... That was her. I knew how true it was. I knew that through the Atonement, through Jesus Christ she would be made clean. That through Him we are whole. We are finally at home. That day was full and amazing. We went home by train and we all sat down and sang hymns and a little Merry Christmas. It was the best day ever. She said something beautiful -  "I now face the sun and the shadows are behind me."  I love that. Quite an amazing 27 year old.

Guess what I really want? Everyday? Alma 27:17, ''Now the joy of Ammon was so great even that he was full; yea, he was swallowed up in the joy of his God, even to the exhausting of his strength and he fell again to the earth.'' I want to be joyful,to be so happy. That through Him, I am full. I need nothing more. Everyday should be so full of joy, overwhelming that when it's time for bed we will fall to the earth. Life can be just that good and it is. I love it.

The sausage who must not be named. We went to one of our in-actives this weekend and she brought out a "famous sausage" of Slovenia and it was huge. It wasn't what you expected and the taste was rather funny it was black and the more I ate it the more I realized I wasn't just eating normal meat. We asked her son what was in it and he said if I told you, you probably wouldn't eat it anymore. I just started laughing. We ate that thing and he looked up how to say it in English. Guess what I ate mom? I ate pig ear, intestines, and nose. Maybe a little more. But mom. I DID IT! Woo!

Today is Joseph Smith's Birthday. I love that man. We were watching a documentary on him the other day and just watching and hearing how much he went through. How much faith he had, how amazing he was and still is. I love how much compassion he had for the people and love he had for the Lord. It was very inspiring to watch him and his life works. I am so grateful for Joseph Smith for how much he did for each of us. For giving us the Book of Mormon, for helping restore this Gospel. For being our Prophet. Our Friend, our Brother. I really look up to him. I couldn't help but admire how happy he was. No matter what, he was optimistic. I take heart in that and hope I can somewhat emulate such a great person. I hope that you take some time out of your day today to read or watch something on Joseph Smith. Hey, Mom you could bake a cake? yeah? yeah!

The Christmas Party was a blast and I loved the musical number by President Rowe's twin daughters. There was great food and great reuniting with my MTC family. I loved embracing Sestra K. And at the end there was a spiritual devotional and President Rowe spoke about what we can give for Christmas this year... The spirit was very powerful and in it I could feel the love and strength of what President Rowe spoke of. This year we can give a contrite spirit and a broken heart. We must always be willing to keep trying. To keep moving forward. To be humble and realize alone we can not do anything. I thought it was a neat thought and something to think about.

I can't wait for Wednesday but until then I am keeping busy. I love you and I hope you remember the true meaning of Christmas. I hope you will "be love" this Christmas holiday and think of others. Give and give. Love you, wish you the best.

Sestra Cuthbert

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