Monday, December 29, 2014

Week 74 / A Week of Christmas Thoughts

Dear Loves of My Life,

On Monday we went to a beautiful lake in Celje. We walked for about an hour to get there and the scenery was incredible to breath in and really take mental pictures. I am really loving the view of the forestry here. It's very much a fairy tale and makes you realize the magic that is here on this earth and how much God puts details and love into everything. Everything has been touched and created by His hands and I really am grateful for His beautiful works here and the creatures living on this earth. We had a really good time at the lake and I got to eat a peanut butter sandwich with bananas... Who knew that I would consider that so heavenly? We made sack lunches for our trip and it made me appreciate and switch back to when I was going to school and mom would make billions of sack lunches for us kids. I am so thankful for mom and all her sweet efforts of giving us her all. I actually have been thinking about you a lot, mom. I wrote a sort of poem or shall I say rather thoughts for each day this week. I dedicate it to you, for you were a lot of my inspiration. Thank you for being my mom who has kept my world at flight, who has given me so much reason to be brave and love through out my life. Your example and the family's example are the endless flow that circulates in my heart. I Loved talking to you this week. Emotion has been getting the best of me lately and I thank Adam and Eve for that. I love that I can be open with you and tell you anything. Feelings really matter to us as humans. If we don't feel right, or bad... we walk away, we can't stay. We can't handle being in that particular place... But the feeling of goodness, unfeigned love that replaces the hardness of our storms is the only feeling I receive when I am in your presence and I want you to know it. You are the feeling that keeps me, that helps me stay and keeps my feelings of non-worth at bay. Thank you.

December 22, 2014 ( I was getting really excited to talk to you all and my thoughts turned to you in the early morning studies.)

Could you imagine holding me close?
Could you imagine I was at home?
I imagined it hundreds of times 
when I missed you like crazy.
And it gave me hope, it shook my heart.
It let me know I was still there with you
and
you with me.
Even with this ocean to keep us.
I have felt home in a far away place.

December 23, 2014
Today we had district meeting and it was a really uplifting one. Our district leader talked about the importance of who we are and here as missionaries. Someone said that our mission was a beautiful gift that we get to build on our strengths and weaknesses and how much it will be a blessing for the rest of our lives. We talked about how a lot of missionaries go home and then fall away and how badly I felt I wanted only this gospel and that I was not going to be one to fall away. All our lives we need to keep fighting for our faiths, or desires, what we truly hold dear. I know that it will always be that way, but how great is our reward if we keep to who we truly are. We really grow into something incredible. If we love and love and love we are conquering and our souls are in deep gratitude for the love we are fighting for.

Even after we die we are still fighting. 
We are still conquering. 
We are never ending. 
We never have to say goodbye. 
Our souls just keep... 
beating.

December 24, 2014
We went with the Branch President around to houses of our members and investigators to give Christmas baskets. It was such a touching spirit to sing to those people we have grown to so dearly love. I felt the Christmas spirit and was happy to take time to go and do that. It took quite a bit of time because our branch is quite spread out. We got on the free way and I was astounded to what I saw and really let the night fill me with a greater love for this holiday season.

A beautiful night paved with stars
as we searched for homes.
The black spilled on the earth
and the light dripped droplets throughout the fields that weave
cities like constellations.
Who knew we had such a view from the ground,
who knew we even had magic in our very own souls.
We drove on through the streets
and I stayed quiet,
wordlessly looking at the Christmas Eve 
that hung before me like the moon
and gave me a sky
to breath it all in.

We went to a member's house and I had a Manger/Nativity for their mother. I had never met the mother and I was wondering if it was a bit weird to hand her a note and a manger from a complete stranger, but as time went on and I looked to my badge and the name of Jesus Christ shown bright, I knew that I was no stranger. It was my last manger and when we knocked on the door I felt a connection with this woman. She immediately went soft when I explained to her what I was doing and giving to her. She was sweet and it was really a great moment for a memorable Christmas Eve.

We went to midnight mass and it was really interesting to see the perspective that they had of Christmas and being spiritually fed. I was fascinated with how much work the Priests and Bishops have to do and the timing and memorizing they must act out. It looks like a lot of time and effort is put into their meetings and I love them for that. That they take what they know best ( like us all) and give their full selves. I felt appreciation for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I couldn't exactly tell you how much a warmth difference I feel when I walk into our building, our church. I really would describe it as walking into God's loving arms. I love that I got to celebrate Christ's birth with all sorts of religions and people. That I got to experience the love of Christ and recognize His beautiful gift to us and His birth to all of God's children.

December 25, 2014
After I got to see you all I was complete for the day. I felt a very peaceful vibe and I felt a strong love from God for you. I love all and each of your beauty. Although, you were in PJ's and bed hair... That was real and most beautiful to me. I believe that when you see someone you love, our faces change. It's like the Gods and Goddesses we are meant to be switches on for a split second,  because the love that fills us is the power of our loving Heavenly Father we become the true and purest beauty. All of you were glowing and beautiful today.

Sweet faces I have seen,
voices I recognize and love.
As we gather, and as we connect,
let me reach across, stretch as far as I can
so maybe you can feel my warmth,
maybe you can feel my love
as my hands reach out
to yours.

For Christmas we had a breakfast and I got to make some french toast. We spent time talking and eating and it was more of a day to ponder and to think and pray for our thankfulness for the Savior. We went out and talked to a few people and got a few pictures of our district. The lights in the city are a real treat and makes things really something special.

December 26, 2014

If it can grow, 
it can change, 
and if it can change 
then it can be some thing more than it was. 
And that is something remarkable. 
Change is a miracle that I like to see in everyday.

December 27, 2014
We went to 'Return and Report' which is for the Trainers and Trainees. It went super well and the things we learned are going to be applied to this week and forever. I really liked what one missionary said about having faith in our investigators. We really need to have faith in the people we love and want to grow. If you don't have faith they will not change and become something more. I really loved what Sister Nydegger said about learning to be brave. We need to remember to always be brave and we don't need to let our fears keep us hidden. We can be honest and open with God and He will help us be fearless.

The frost glazed over the forest last night. We looked out the window of the train and the honey from the sun made the grass sparkle as the rays hit the earth and drizzled down to give the world a white chandelier. 

The train rumbled and my mind took a breath and held it's memories, as we went through the tunnel. I wished for one thing and as the scenery came back to our view, my eyes blinked and the wish went with the blackness and I held on to that darkness as if it was my
deepest secret. 

The sun now took it's turn and opened my horizon and thoughts. I felt brave in the light's presence and knew that I didn't need to hide my desires in shadows, but rather to let God see them. To let God reveal my heart's wishes.

December 28, 2014

As the storm blows her winds, I am breathing.
As the stars twinkle, I am constantly blinking.
I know the seas cannot divide us, 
the mountains are not our curtains to hide us.
When the earth moves, I stumble around.
And as I walk the earth begins to tumble before me.
But I think of you and the world
stops,
and I remember it is because of you I am standing.
It is because of you my heart is still.
And the world becomes quiet and looks to us and simply smiles.
I knew that love would be enough. I knew that it was you.
You
you were already and always enough.

Hope you had a beautiful Christmas and that your New Year's is something completely rad. Best wishes and prayers.

Love you,
Sister Holly Cuthbert

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